Innsbruck is a beautiful city that has so much to offer travelers, but it can be hard to know where best to start.
There are many things you could do in Innsbruck from skiing and snowboarding, hiking, or even just enjoying the scenery. But with all of these options, it can be difficult to figure out what best suits your needs.
We have created this article highlighting some of the best things to do in Innsbruck Austria for those looking for ideas on how best to spend their time here.
It includes information about some of the more fun adventures like skiing and snowboarding as well as some of the most popular tourist attractions in Austria like Hafelekar Mountain and Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof).
The Austrian city of Innsbruck is a city primed to reward any explorer with a wonderful travel experience. In the scenic Austrian state of Tyrol, the city is right next door to the countries of Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, making it a great spot to set up shop while exploring central Europe.
There are numerous enjoyable and memorable things to do in Innsbruck as you take in the breathtaking beauty of the spectacular surroundings. Innsbruck is an alpine gem where exciting adventures await.
The city is known across the world for its ski resorts and has a long, illustrious history as a winter sports destination. It is among Austria’s most renowned year-round holiday locations, attracting visitors from all over the world.
It’s not simply a winter getaway, either. Innsbruck offers several beautifully preserved historical sites, such as the medieval Old Town and the Hofburg Palace, the city’s imperial palace.
Take a ride on the Funicular railway or tour the Top of Europe national park’s trails for some fresh air.
Check out this list of the most wonderful things to do in Innsbruck that you should include in your Austria vacation itinerary.
Table of Contents
- Fun & Best Things to do in Innsbruck, Austria
- 1. Take a Walking Tour of Old Town Innsbruck
- 2. Visit the Luxurious Ambras Castle
- 3. See The 360 Degree Views of The Mountain Nordkette And Ride Nordkettenbahn
- 4. Tour the Beauty of The Former Imperial Palace, Hofburg
- 5. Unwind and Enjoy the Beauty of Nature at Hofgarten
- 6. See Cultural Artifacts in Tyrolean Folk Art Museum
- 7. Be Amazed at Innsbruck’s Golden Roof
- 8. Enjoy A Delightful Stroll at Maria-Theresien-Strasse
- 9. Hiking in Innsbruck
- 10. Check Out the Magnificence of Triumphpforte
- 11. Mountain biking around Innsbruck
- 12. Take a day trip to Feste Kufstein
- 13. Bergisel Ski Jump
- 14. Visit Alpine Zoo (Alpenzoo Innsbruck)
- 15. Visit the Court Church & Emperor’s Tomb
- Where is the best place to in Innsbruck for sightseeing?
- Final Thoughts
- Is Innsbruck worth visiting?
- What’s Innsbruck famous for?
- How many days in Innsbruck is enough?
Fun & Best Things to do in Innsbruck, Austria
1. Take a Walking Tour of Old Town Innsbruck
You simply must take a walking tour of Innsbruck’s ancient Old Town as soon as you step into this beautiful, vibrant Austrian city.
Old Town Innsbruck, located in Altstadt, the ancient old town of Innsbruck, is surrounded by a circle of streets called the Graben, a delightful area where one can wander through 800 years of the town’s history.
It’s a real trove of architecture throughout the ages, with its smaller house fronts, preserved medieval houses, as well as buildings with a touch of Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo architecture, and other examples of beautiful architecture built in the ancient Tyrolese fashion.
Helblinghaus is a notable example of beautiful Baroque architecture. Then there’s the Ottoburg residential tower, an impressive jagged Gothic specimen that was built sometime before 1476.
The Golden Eagle, known as the Goldener Adler in German, was built in the 16th century and is also found in Old Town. It was originally a historic inn that was popular with Goethe, a prominent writer, as well as Austrian royalty.
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2. Visit the Luxurious Ambras Castle
Archduke Ferdinand II lived in Ambras castle (or Schloss Ambras) from 1563 to 1569. It is a spectacular Renaissance landmark that still stands today and has a great deal of historical value.
Beyond the gleaming exterior grandeur of the castle, the treasures that can be found within the walls make it an even more fascinating place to visit. Archduke Ferdinand II was a big fan of art and learning, which can be seen in his collections in the galleries of the castle.
The former Kornschüttgebäude, (or grain bulk building) on the first floor of Ambras Castle, houses an extensive art collection, which includes several sculptures and works of applied art. The collection is on display on the first floor of the castle.
Additionally, there is a great collection of arms and armor in the Unterschloss in the lower castle.
There is also a magnificent Spanish Hall, decorated with a gorgeous coffered ceiling and numerous wonderful frescoes depicting lords from the Tyrolese region.
Besides the castle’s art collections and magnificent rooms, it also features various other features worth exploring. A stroll around the garden of the castle is one of the most pleasant things to do. It has lush vegetation, a beautiful pond, and numerous nooks and crannies for you to explore.
See Related: Best Castle Hotels in Austria
3. See The 360 Degree Views of The Mountain Nordkette And Ride Nordkettenbahn
You’d be mad not to admire Innsbruck’s stunning scenery while you’re in town, and then explore the natural beauty of Innsbruck and its neighboring mountain, the Nordkette, which is situated at “the top of Innsbruck.” It’s an ideal location for winter and summer sports.
The Nordkettenbahn cable car gondola lift, which starts in Hungerburg and travels through Seegrube Station to the summit station, is the quickest way to reach the mountain’s peak and Top of Innsbruck.
It is one of the most beautiful things to do while visiting Innsbruck, especially in the winter as you take in the scenery and appreciate the Swiss Alps blanketed in snow as chilly breezes tweak your ears and nose.
There are several restaurants and additional viewing platforms on each segment of the Top of Innsbruck, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to sample delectable Austrian cuisine.
Here is a video of our experience making it to the Top of Innsbruck.
For those looking for an outdoor adventure or great locations for photos, several hiking trails through the mountains can be found here.
4. Tour the Beauty of The Former Imperial Palace, Hofburg
A visit to Innsbruck won’t be complete without checking out the Hofburg.
The Hofburg is Innsbruck’s old Court Palace that was built during the 15th and 16th centuries, designed in Baroque and Rococo architecture.
The former palace is now a magnificent museum, remodeled at the request of Empress Maria Theresa in the 18th century.
The old palace is filled with grand furnishings and apartments. It features awe-inspiring painted ceilings and a superb collection of portraits of the Imperial family.
The luxurious Maria Theresa’s Rooms, Ancestral Gallery, and painting gallery are among the highlights to see when visiting the museum. Empress Elisabeth’s Apartment and the lavish Furniture Museum are also essential stops when visiting the Hofburg.
5. Unwind and Enjoy the Beauty of Nature at Hofgarten
The Hofgarten is a lovely imperial garden with an English-style pond and spectacular architecture in the heart of Vienna, near the magnificent Hofburg Imperial Palace.
It’s a verdant haven where you can relax while taking in the tranquil atmosphere of the grounds. It’s the perfect place to unwind and get out of the city noise.
As you explore and admire the garden, you will find yourself surrounded by lush greenery and vibrant blooms. The imperial garden covers a whopping ten hectares, providing plenty of room for visitors to relax and enjoy themselves.
The Hofgarten is a lovely area to catch up with friends, relax, and take a delightful stroll. There are multiple ponds, a play area that children will enjoy, and several restaurants to choose from.
Whatever you decide to do, the perfectly manicured lawns, lush greenery, and beautiful garden settings will be the perfect backdrops for your experience.
6. See Cultural Artifacts in Tyrolean Folk Art Museum
Innsbruck is not only home to several historical sites, but it also boasts several outstanding museums that should not be missed.
If you are a fan of the arts, then the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum is a must-see. It is considered one of the finest galleries in Austria to admire examples of regional art heritage in Europe.
The museum is located in a Franciscan Monastery in Innsbruck, which is near other popular attractions such as the Hofburg and the Hofkirche and can be easily reached by public transportation.
The museum features a collection of artifacts that provide a glimpse into the life of Tyrolean commoners in the early nineteenth century.
The museum is split into several parts, each of which focuses on a different exhibit. There’s something for everyone in this museum, from the Plump Year section to Stuben to the historical exhibits at Miniaturen des Evangeliums.
See Related: Best Restaurants in Innsbruck, Austria
7. Be Amazed at Innsbruck’s Golden Roof
The iconic Golden Roof may be found in Innsbruck’s Old Town, along the towering line of elegant old merchants’ homes, which run parallel to the arcaded Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse. It is a magnificent sight and one of the most popular attractions in town.
This spectacular Late Gothic oriel balcony has a roof made of gleaming copper tiles and is regarded as the symbol of Innsbruck.
Built in 1496 as a royal viewing box to mark the union between Maximilian I and Bianca Maria Sforza, the roof was embellished with 2,657 tiles.
From the box, the royal court could observe civic activities taking place in the town plaza below. A total of 10 figural reliefs can be found on the roof’s open balcony section, while the lower railing is decorated with some wonderful paintings.
8. Enjoy A Delightful Stroll at Maria-Theresien-Strasse
To take a stroll down the bustling and colorful promenade that is Maria-Theresa Street is another one of the most enjoyable activities while in Innsbruck.
Maria-Theresien-Strasse is a charming street in the heart of the city, where the roadway runs from the Triumphal Arch all the way to the Old Town district. Here you can stroll down a row of beautiful 17th and 18th Century structures.
It is one of the most gorgeous of many gorgeous streets in the city, with views of the mountains to the north serving as a captivating backdrop.
Maria-Theresien-Strasse is lined with various shops, restaurants, cafés, and other establishments. It is a bustling business district that also has significant historical value in the city.
Several blocks of the street are completely pedestrianized, and it is the ideal area to take a stroll or perhaps enjoy a drink while taking in the stunning architecture that lines the sidewalks.
Aside from the stores, the Chapel of St. George and the Triumphal Arch are two of the most notable sights to view near the bustling Austrian boulevard.
St. Anne’s Column, also known as the Annasäule, is another must-see attraction, standing in the center of the square in front of the Innsbruck Town Hall, constructed to commemorate the retreat of the Bavarians from the city on St. Anne’s Day.
9. Hiking in Innsbruck
There are many great hiking trails to choose from in Innsbruck, and they offer something for every keen walker. Whether you’re looking for an easy walk or a challenging hike, you can find what you’re looking for in the hills around Innsbruck.
One example is the Hafelekar hiking trail. This well-marked and maintained trail has two options, a three-hour round trip hike up to the top of the plateau, or five and a half hour hike crossing over the peaks of Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks).
Another option is the Klettersteig Wendelstein mountain trail. This path is best for advanced hikers, as it requires some equipment and knowledge of proper technique. It lets you explore the mountainside on steel cables with only your hands to support you.
10. Check Out the Magnificence of Triumphpforte
From Maria-Theresien-Strasse, you can easily visit and look at the Triumphpforte, or the Triumphal Arch in English. It is a remarkable historical monument and one of the most well-known landmarks in the city of Innsbruck.
Empress Maria Theresa commissioned the construction of a triumphal arch in the style of ancient Rome, to honor the marriage of the Empress’s son, the Duke of Tuscany, to Princess Maria Ludovica of Spain. The arch is set against the backdrop of the majestic and timeless Alps.
This magnificent arch is covered with intricate marble reliefs, sculptured figures, and beautiful inscriptions, rich in detail. Today, the monument is a significant landmark that contributes to the historic appeal of the city’s ancient architecture.
11. Mountain biking around Innsbruck
If hiking or skiing isn’t quite your thing, there are other great things to do in Innsbruck when the weather is nice. A great option is mountain biking.
Innsbruck has some great trails for mountain biking, and there are routes and trails for all sorts of bikers. If you’re a beginner, there are plenty of easy trails to try, while more experienced riders can take on the more challenging routes.
One popular trail is from Innsbruck to Pfeis Hut mountain hut. It’s a six-hour ride from the city center to the heart of Innsbruck, and taking in all of the best things to do in Innsbruck on your way.
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12. Take a day trip to Feste Kufstein
Kufstein is a mere quarter-hour from Innsbruck, Austria’s bordering town of the Tiroler Alps. The huge Heroes Orgel (Heldenorgel), built-in 1841 on 4,300 pipes and 16 stop-clocks, plays on Saturdays from noon onward.
It commemorates a man who died in two world battleship wars. It’s worth seeing the magnificent Old Castle, which rises high above city walls in this steep crag.
In addition, the castle houses a town-based historical house, the Heimatmuseum, which serves as a museum and concert site with performances for festivals throughout the year.
13. Bergisel Ski Jump
There are several best things to do in Innsbruck, Austria that is worth checking out. One of the best things is the Bergisel Ski Jump. This ski jump tower was first used for the World Championships in 1934 and it hosted many events since then.
One of the best things about this ski jump is that it is open to visitors, so you can take a tour on Friday afternoons. You can also view some of the thrilling competitions that are available on Saturday mornings.
Depending on where you are in the Innsbruck city centre, you can see the Bergisel ski jump from afar.
14. Visit Alpine Zoo (Alpenzoo Innsbruck)
I am not generally a fan of going to the zoo since I prefer exploring the wild and seeing animals in their element, not ours.
That said because Alpenzoo Innsbruck is such a popular zoo across Europe with a unique alpine theme, I added this Alpine Zoo to the list. It’s a zoo nestled in the alps offering Tyrol panorama opportunities every which way you look.
The Alpine Zoo has bears, wolves, bearded vultures, lynx, chamois marmot, and a huge golden eagle that was rescued after being shot.
The Alpenzoo Innsbruck is one of the most famous attractions in Innsbruck because you simply can’t find anything like it in the world.
15. Visit the Court Church & Emperor’s Tomb
The Hofkirche, or Court Church built-in 1563 on the Schlossberg hillside, was designed in the early church Gothic style. The tombs and museums for Emperor Maximilian I can be found here.
Count Albrecht IV’s sculptures make up most of the 25 granite reliefs depicting events in Emperor Maximilian’s reign.
With statues of the Madonna and 11 saints, the Court Church is a place of pilgrimage.
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Where is the best place to in Innsbruck for sightseeing?
Most of Innsbruck’s main attraction comes to Innsbruck Castle, where narrow streets surround massive late-Gothic buildings.
The hotel in the old center of Mariahilf City is the most conveniently located, but road or highway networks are close by with the opposite bank of the River Inn. Skiers staying in this area can easily access Seefeld’s skiing slopes without leaving the Old Town hotel.
See Related: Best Hotels in Innsbruck Austria
The fascinating Austrian city of Innsbruck delivers a remarkable vacation experience, with magnificent natural scenery surrounding the city and beautiful man-made marvels. It is a fantastic tourist destination for anybody visiting Austria.
In each corner of the city, all you can see is its beauty, which itself is emblematic of this stunning country.
Is Innsbruck worth visiting?
Yes, Innsbruck is totally worth visiting. There are some fantastic ski resorts within an hour of the city centre like Hinterstoder and Bockelspitze Ski Resort. Or, visit in summer and get amazing views of Innsbruck from the Nordkette Mountain Range.
What’s Innsbruck famous for?
A whole bunch. Innsbruck is best known as a winter sports venue, due to its large ski areas and proximity to the mountains.
Whether you prefer skiing or snowboarding, Innsbruck has some of the best slopes in Austria that offer a range of difficulty levels.
Innsbruck is also a major jumping-off point for exploring the surrounding Alps by foot or on Nordic skis – many people hike from Innsbruck up into Tyrol’s higher peaks, going on to explore valleys and lakes located high up in the alpine regions.
For those seeking more leisurely pursuits, there are plenty of cafes serving hot drinks, crepes, and cakes next to picturesque rivers of ice-covered waterfalls.
How many days in Innsbruck is enough?
To make the most of your trip, it’s best to stay here for at least five days. This would give you time to try some Austrian cuisine, visit the best places of interest.
As well as exploring more of the city and countryside on day trips.
Some good locations which are only an hour or so away by train are Hallstatt (mountain village overlooked by imposing castle), Salzburg (a beautiful old town with Baroque domes), and Klagenfurt, Austria’s third-largest city with its fairy tale castle on a hill overlooking the River Worthersee, which is definitely worth a see!
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