Innsbruck. Tirolean Alps. Snowcapped Mountains. Alpine Valleys. Yodeling. Charming Villages.
These are all terms used to describe Innsbruck and the Tirolean Alps. You could even add in glorious mountain rivers, Alpine lakes, houses bedecked with overflowing flower boxes, cows wearing bells and glaciers.
Innsbruck is described by many as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. As the capital of Tirol, Innsbruck has enjoyed an important role in Austria’s history. Emperor Maximillian I lived here when Innsbruck was the seat of the Holy Roman Empire and the Empress Maria Theresa visited Innsbruck often during the Hapsburg rule.
There are many reasons to spend time in Innsbruck, but today I’ll tell you about 5 of them!
1. The Aldstadt
Wander through narrow alleys, marvel at noble squares and be amazed at the ornate Baroque architecture. Stopping to admire the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof) made of copper tiles and now home to the Maximilianeum, which displays paintings and artifacts from the life of Maximilian I. Wandering further to explore the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) housing portraits of the Hapsburg’s and other historical items; continue to the Hofkirch to visit the 16th century Silver Chapel. Don’t miss the statues which include one of King Arthur of England an ancestor of Maximilian I.
2. Schloss Ambra
Archduke Ferdinand II decided to marry a “commoner” and, therefore, was not allowed to live in the city. To have a home fitting his stature, he had a 10th century medieval fortress turned into a Renaissance beauty complete with red and white shutters, which can be seen from a distance. Today we call it Schloss Ambra. Inside you will be amazed by the Spanish Hall which is embellished by gorgeous wood ceilings and frescoed walls. Also be on the lookout for the Archduke’s sunken bath! The castle is also home to collection of15th century armor and weapons as well as a portrait gallery which is home to many exquisite portraits of the Hapsburg’s and other European aristocrat’s. The grounds offer an equally amazing display and are a great place for a picnic.
To soar above Innsbruck head to Hungerburg to board your cable car that will sweep you up to Hafelekar which stands at 7,500 ft. The trip from Hungerburg to Seegrube to Hafelekar may just be the highlight of your trip! As you are rising above Innsbruck you will be dazzled by the views. As usual, the Alps do not disappoint. During your journey you’ll stop 3 times and each time the views get better. At each stop there are restaurants. Hungry? Might be a great place to enjoy traditional food and drink while savoring those views!
4. Stubai Valley
The alluring Stubai valley is one of those magical places Tirol is known for. This valley is home to over 80 glimmering glaciers and 40 plus imposing mountain peaks. Traveling this valley you will find small quaint villages with church spires as their main attractions. You will see blossoming wildflowers, rivers, wild life and those mountains. The real attraction of the Stubai valley is the beauty.
No matter what level of hiker you are, you can find it in and around Innsbruck. With over 320 miles of marked and maintained paths and trails, hiking in Tirol is a must. Whether you want a day or multi-day hike, you can find it in this amazing area. The Innsbruck Hiking Program has hikes that last 3-5 hours. Their program even includes a shuttle to the starting point, guide and equipment (if needed) for those staying at hotels in Innsbruck. Included in their list of hikes are the sunrise walk, lantern walk, pleasure walks, peak walks and even culinary walks. These sound like a great way to discover all that Innsbruck and Tirol has to offer!
I’d love to hear how would you spend your time in Innsbruck?
Tell me about it!
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