Whether it be your 1st or 10th time travelling Tirol, it’s always worthwhile maximising the value of your visit. The following 8 tips just might make the difference between a satisfactory holiday and an unforgettable adventure.
1. The locals know best
Tirolean locals tend to be welcomely proud of their heritage and are genuinely enthusiastic when it comes to info and tips about their stomping ground. Don‘t expect them to let you in on the location of their favourite secret spot, but you‘ll probably be sent walking in the right direction.
2. Just try it
Don‘t let your picky eating habits get in the way of trying something on the adventurous side. Austrian cuisine may seem intimidating and very foreign upon reading your menu. Traditional foods such as Kaiserschmarrn, Käsespätzle, Kaspressknödel and Germknödel will surpass your expectations and perhaps even make a solid impact on your list of favourite foods. Don‘t be afraid to ask your waiter or neighbour what to choose from the menu, you‘ll be in safe hands and leave proud knowing you‘ve tried something new and enjoyed it.
3. Innsbruck is growing up
Innsbruck is the capital of Tirol. With a population of over 120,000 people, the city has a lot going for it. In recent times Innsbruck has seen an abundant influx of new trendy restaurants, cafes, bars and shops in and around the city. Innsbruck may not be massive, but it‘s proximity to nature and neat urban environment nestled between towering mountains gives off a unique vibe which lacks in other major European cities.
4. Don’t trust the weatherman
No one likes to have their plans ruined by the weather. Tirolean weather can be particularly unpredictable at times leaving myself and I‘m sure many others in conditions they weren’t ready for. May it be snowfall in summer, random torrential rain or wind which seems like it’s blowing directly from the Arctic, always be prepared for the unexpected and consider packing for all four seasons. It is, for this reason, I would also recommend leaving a day or two in your itinerary free for spontaneous activities so your outdoor days are filled with sunshine and good times.
5. Getting around
In general, public transport will efficiently get you to the majority of tourist hotspots. Check the OEBB website to find out if public transport takes you where you need to be. Hiring a car may be worthwhile investigating especially for those looking to cover ground in more remote areas far from the main valley. Just don‘t forget to purchase a Vignette to avoid highway fines. If you are someone who enjoys scenic drives, Tirol has you covered. The beautiful mountain passes connecting valleys and counties bordering to Tirol will take your breath away and provide an epic photo opportunity around every corner. Timmelsjoch and Hahntennjoch are two of my favourites.
6. Go to the top of a mountain
Going up to the top of a mountain may seem daunting especially in Tirol where the mountainscapes are so rocky, rough and wild. With mountain peaks as far as you can see, there is something for the inexperienced newcomer as well as for the expert who is in search of the most challenging of ascents. During the summertime, some ski lifts reopen so the option of being fast-tracked to the top is available if your walking legs aren’t up to it. Once on top, take in the incredible view, say ‘Berg Heil’ to your neighbour and appreciate the beauty of Tirol from above.
7. Don’t expect to see everything in one day
I can almost guarantee that any local Tirolean will confess that they also are yet to see everything Tirol has to offer. Make the most of your trip and do everything you travelled here to conquer. But don‘t expect to leave saying ‘been there done that’ because the longer you‘re here the more you‘ll realise you haven‘t even scratched the surface.
8. Do your research
Yes, I know the point of a travellers guide is to recommend the best of the best from a certain area so that you don‘t need to do your research. However. Tirol packs some serious punch when it comes to activities especially if being outdoors is high on your to-do list. Around every corner, in every valley is a hiking or biking trail probably leading to a beautiful Tirolean mountain hut. So go do some research and find the trail less travelled.