As a long-time resident of Innsbruck and lover of the city, I’d like to share my very personal selection of favourite attractions with you. I’ve also put together some ideas on the city’s most intriguing shops but, first, let me tell you about the city sights which never fail to impress me, even after all these years. For full information on all these attractions visit www.innsbruck.info
1. Experience the Hofkirche and its black figures – life-size bronze statues by artist Albrecht Dürer. One of the most impressive and important monuments in Innsbruck, it would be criminal to walk past this church without venturing inside – don’t be fooled by its simple exterior.
2. Enter St James Cathedral. The famous Maria Hilf painting by Lukas Cranach the Elder is displayed above the altar in this beautiful baroque building.
3. Visit the Bergisel ski jump, designed by star architect, Zaha Hadid. Enjoy a coffee in the restaurant and admire the beautiful views over the city and the Northern Chain mountains.
4. Take a trip to the Northern Chain mountains. Set off from the Convention Centre and travel on the funicular to Hungerford, Seegrube and Hafelkar for a mind-blowing view of the mountains and city. The funicular stations were designed by Zaha Hadid, with the Seegrube restaurant and Hungerford station the creation of Franz Baumann (1930).
5. See the Golden Roof, Innsbruck’s major landmark, and, while you’re in the neighbourhood, take a stroll through the Old Town. There’s plenty to discover here and the city tower gives a fantastic view of the streets below. For more info, see a more detailed blog about the Old Town.
6. Hofburg in Innsbruck
The late Baroque residence of Empress Maria Theresa sits on the edge of the Old Town. Expect beautiful state rooms, ornate furniture and exceptional paintings.
7. Ambras Castle, located on the outskirts of the city, is one of Innsbruck’s major attractions and is well worth a visit. The famous Portrait Gallery and Wunderkammer (Cabinet of Curiosities) are highlights – although many visitors are surprised to find a lack of Renaissance pieces here. Nevertheless, a visit is highly recommended.
And if you have a little more time on your hands:
8. Visit Hall Old Town – around 15-minutes away by bus. The medieval centre is absolutely beautiful and is twice as big as Innsbruck’s Old Town. It’s a quiet place but definitely worth seeing – one of my extra-special recommendations!
9. For lovers of crystal and sparkly things, a trip to the Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens won’t disappoint. Travel there via private shuttle bus.