Nestled in the Austrian Tirol, the city of Innsbruck combines snowy peaks with pastel-coloured buildings; a perfect combination of alpine and urban. During the summer, activities such as golf, hiking, mountain biking and paragliding are popular. Whereas, in winter, the snow descends to the valley floor and skiers and snowboarders flock to the slopes.
Due to its convenient location, just five minutes’ drive from the airport and with its own train station, people go to Innsbruck throughout the year.
In the city, residents and guests can enjoy the sights, shops and restaurants. Stroll through the historic old town, home to the famous Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof) that was built for Emperor Maximilian I, or jump on the Hungerburg funicular railway, designed by the late Zaha Hadid, and marvel at the incredible views when heading up the Nordkette.
There are plenty places to eat, drink and be merry in Innsbruck, plus a selection of amazing activities. However, here are a few to start…
A trip to Innsbruck would not be complete without sampling some delicious Austrian food. Start the culinary tour at Dass Schindler, a classy eatery that has successfully scored one toque and 14 points in the Gault Millau. Tuck into beef tartare topped with a fried quail egg or linguine with black truffles while admiring the incredible views onto the vibrant Maria Theresien Street.
Alternatively, combine an incredible listed building (1634) with creative and fresh meals at Lamm Innsbruck. Looking over the river, guests can expect quality produce cooked a little differently and paired with delicious, smooth wine. Finally, Das Monaco’s brings European and Mediterranean ideas to the Tirol – including wood-fired pizzas and mouth-watering burgers. All of the fruit and vegetables come straight from a farmer in Thaur, Tirol; freshness is guaranteed.
There are plenty of places to buy a drink in Innsbruck, but there are definitely some venues that stand out. The MM Bar calls itself the cocktail address of the city and specialises in creating the best mixers. Aside from the well-known tipples, it also has a few of its own – Mint Splash anyone? If views are necessary, then head up to the 360, which has panoramic views across the whole of Innsbruck through its floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Perch at the bar and watch the staff whip up a drink or sit outside on the terrace and marvel at the sun set. For something very different, why not try the Moustache Café – Bar? Nestled on a quiet cobbled street, very close to the Golden Roof, this cool place has a range of chic décor and serves a wide range of drinks and delicious snacks. Sit back and relax in one of the high-backed armchairs and watch the world go by.
The best way to discover Innsbruck, and all its wonders, is to go on a tour with someone who knows all its intricacies – a local. Within an hour, find out the most interesting facts about the city, see all the important sites and learn about the people that live there. For those hankering after heights, and more vistas, head over to the Bergisel ski jump – built in 2001 after being designed by Zaha Hadid, it stands proudly above the Olympic city. Otherwise, for all things glittery, Swarovski Crystal World is the place to be. The unique building, complete with room after room of wonders, and a waterfall at the entrance, will be remembered long after leaving…
Innsbruck has many different places to stay, from historic tall hotels to swanky, modern buildings and cool, suave retreats. Probably the most famous is Hotel Innsbruck, a four-star majestic stop in the heart of the town. Built on the foundations of the former city wall, guests will be surrounded by alpine charm, stylish furniture and friendly staff. From €67 pp per night.
For a change of scenery, the NALA is a trendsetting hotel in the cosy Wilten district. Home to 57 rooms, and plenty of oxymorons (relaxed craziness, for one) it offers guests an eccentric, yet elegant stay. Specialising in green accommodation, NALA uses ecologically degradable cosmetics, quilts and pillows made from renewable resources (corn and wood fibres) and even houses a small oasis. From €85 pp per night.
Lastly, Stage 12, just 350 yards from the Golden Roof, is an elegant hotel that has a spa, fitness centre and views of the mountains. Combining the old with the new, expect high ceilings, glass-walled rooms, a swing in reception and walk-in rain showers. From €65 pp per night.
For more information: www.visittirol.co.uk/innsbruck