Innsbruck isn’t all about the skiing and winter sports – there’s so much more to it than that! Here are 7 of the best things to do in Innsbruck to really get a feel for the city
I’m starting to think that Austria only produces pretty towns and cities.
Nestled at the bottom of a valley and surrounded by the mountains, many people consider Innsbruck just a winter destination with world-class ski resorts. However, there is so much to do here in summer too.
From visiting the Imperial Palace to checking out the stunning views at the top of Nordkette Mountains, Innsbruck is just another gem you have to visit in Austria.
Innsbruck was the final stop in our ‘Operation Eagle’ series around Austria.
This is where we set the legend that is Eddie the Eagle to a number of different challenges all around Austria.
For those of you who don’t know him, Eddie the Eagle is a British national treasure. He shot to fame after finishing dead last in the ski jump at the 1988 Winter Olympics. Even though he didn’t leave with a medal, he won over hearts all around the world, so much so they made a film about his life in 2016.
While we were in Austria, I was part of the team that was coming up with some weird and wonderful challenges for Eddie. Think cooking challenges and unique triathlons. Anything to get Eddie out of his comfort zone while showing off some of the things you can do in Austria.
Anyway, you can read more about what we got up to in our ‘Operation Eagle’ series here.
But firstly, make sure you watch our Innsbruck episode below to get a flavour of what it’s all about!
Filming in Innsbruck
As you can see from our video, we were super busy with filming in Innsbruck.
The whole challenge was to beat the clock. Eddie and I had to get from Berginsel Ski Jump to the very top of the Nordkettenbahnen in just 30 minutes. Impossible, right?
Well, as it turns out, no!
The beautiful thing about Innsbruck is the close proximity of the mountains. You can literally get from the city up to the top of the mountains in less than half an hour. 20 minutes if you’re really counting.
Okay, so we *may* have taken a little longer ourselves, but that might’ve been down to the fact that I wanted to go on a scenic horse and carriage ride through the city. If it wasn’t for that, we would’ve been at the top of those mountains in a flash.
Still, we shot in some of the best locations in the city, and in-between filming I managed to tick off some of the best things to do in Innsbruck.
So, if our video has inspired you to see a little more of Innsbruck, here are some of the best things you can do there.
Stand in the shadows of the Bergisel Ski Jump
We started the day at Bergisel Ski Jump. How anyone can throw themselves off this thing I have no idea. Eddie assured me it was one of the most exhilarating things you can do – obviously I’ll have to take his word for that as I can’t see myself trying this anytime soon.
Anyway, competitions were first held at the Bergisel Ski Jump in the 1920s. Since then, it has been redeveloped and expanded to a capacity of 28,000 people.
The Tower stands 47 meters tall and provides some spectacular views from the top.
Tickets to the top cost €9.50 and you get there via a funicular (don’t worry, you don’t have to climb those stairs).
If you want to see how crazy people like Eddie are, standing at the top really gives you an insight into what it must be like to be a ski jumper.
Catch the cable car to the very top of the Nordkette Mountains
Directly opposite Bergisel Ski Jump are the Nordkette Mountains. And no trip to Innsbruck would be complete without catching the cable car to the top.
Standing at over 3,000 metres, the cable car takes around 20 minutes to get to the top and provides you with amazing views of Innsbruck.
There are several stops along the way if you’d like to get out and explore the different stations. Also, there’s a lovely little restaurant at the very top serving traditional Austrian food.
The views from up here might just be my favourite in all of Austria – they really are something else.
Tickets cost €25.90 for a round-trip.
Have a coffee at the Golden Roof in the heart of Old Town (Altstadt)
One of the stranger attractions in Innsbruck is the Golden Roof.
As the name suggests, this is a roof made out of gold, and it is found right in the heart of the Old Town.
Constructed in the 1500s for Emperor Maximillian I, the striking roof is made up of 2,738 gilded copper tiles. All the lower balconies bear coast of arms relating to the Emperors historical territories.
One of my favourite things to do at the Golden Roof is to grab a coffee or a beer from the of the restaurants in the main square and watch the world go by – all with the Golden Roof in the background.
Climb the 133 steps to the top of the Town Tower (Stadtturm)
Whenever I’m somewhere new, I always try to find the tallest building to climb for views of the city below. In Innsbruck, this is at the Town Tower (Stradtturm).
Built in 1450, people having been climbing to the tower for views of Innsbruck for over 500 years. The only thing that’s changed here is the view of the city being built around the Old Town.
Even though the 133 steps to the top will leave you panting, the views are incredible. I love how the red roofs are framed by the river and the mountains – picture postcard perfect this scene.
Take some photos of the colourful houses by the river
Like with a lot of places around Austria, Innsbruck is really bright and colourful.
Down by the river there are some colourful houses which are super cute. This is just another great photo spot in Innsbruck.
Also, if you’re in Innsbruck on a weekend, then there is a little market just opposite the houses selling local meat and cheeses.
Go for a cycle around Innsbruck (or better yet, watch it)
While we were filming in Innsbruck, we jumped on some bikes to zoom around the city centre.
What I didn’t realise was that Innsbruck is actually a city that’s really into its road cycling.
From the 22nd-30th September 2018, the UCI Road World Championships will take place in Innsbruck. This is an event where the world’s best cyclists will compete on one of the most beautiful courses in Europe.
While I was in Innsbruck a few people we’re talking about the race already and I’ve no doubt the city will be buzzing.
Feel like 1 million dollars at Swarovski World
Even though Swarovski World is just outside of Innsbruck (it’ll take you about 45 minutes to get there), it is definitely one of the top things to do in the area.
Yes, they sell lots of diamonds and crystals there. No, you don’t need to buy all the diamonds and crystals there. As you can see, it is an amazing place for photos though.
If you’d like to learn more about Swarovski World then check out Wanderlust Chloe’s guide.
This post was in association with Visit Austria and Visit Innsbruck promoting some of the best things to do in Austria during the summer – it’s not all about the winter sports here! As always, views are entirely my own and without bias.
What are some of your favourite things to do in Innsbruck? I’d love to hear what you think so let me know in the comments below!
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