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Innsbruck is the provincial capital of Tyrol. Its 120,000 residents make it the fifth largest city in Austria. It was one of the eight host cities in the 2008 European Football Championships. It has twice hosted the Winter Olympics making it not only an interesting and beautiful situated city but the "largest ski resort in the alps". It is located both close to Munich and northern Italy making it a must see alpine destination.
Innsbruck Kranebitten Airport (INN) is the largest airport in Tyrol. Currently regular scheduled flights are available from
Austrian Airlines from Vienna
Lufthansa from Frankfurt
Seasonal flights are available from several destinations in the UK, the Netherlands as well as from Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Kiev and Moscow. There are also charter flights to several German cities - especially in winter.
Munich Airport, 2.5 hours away, is another alternative. There are vans that will meet you at the Munich Airport and take you directly to your lodging in or around Innsbruck for the price of a comparable train ticket.
Regular (direct) trains operate from Venice, Bolzano/Bozen, Zurich, Munich, Graz, Vienna (via Linz and Salzburg) and many other destinations.
Despite being a smaller city Innsbruck has fantastic train connections to all major cities in its neighborhood. The main station, Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof, is located at Südtiroler Platz (South-tyrolean square) in the east of the city center. In addition there are several stations which serve suburban and regional train connections.
The Austrian train system is operated by the Österreichische Bundesbahnen, OEBB.
Most one-day visitors don't use any transport: all of the major Old Town sites are within a reasonable walking time.
The classic walk into old Innsbruck follows. From the main station to the city center is a relatively short and enjoyable 10 to 15 minute walk. Walk out of the Hauptbahnhof, cross the street at the train station cross walk, turn to your right, and go down to the next street to your left.
Big parts of the downtown area are declared (fee-based) short-term parking zones. For longer visits, it is highly recommended to park off-site and use public transportation.
By public transport
Public local traffic (4 tram-lines, and a dense network of buses) is operated by Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe and a couple of private operators. All public services are organized in Verkehrsverbund Tirol, which means that tickets are valid in every public transport line.
What to see
The Innsbruck-Card offers free entrance to all of Innsbruck's sights, free use of public transportation. It also includes a one-time ascent&descent to Nordkette, Patscherkofel and Axamer Lizum and free entrance to Swarovski Kristallwelten in Wattens.
The bus line Sightseer (TS) connects the major sights in Innsbruck. However it there is always a cheaper public transport line going to the same destination, though it might take you more time.
Churches and Cathedrals
Hofkirche, Universitätsstraße 2. Innsbruck's Hofkirche has the most important emperor's tomb monument (of emperor Maximilian I) in Europe.
Cathedral at Saint Jacob, Domplatz. Baroque styled cathedral, with works of Lucas Cranach the Elder.
Wiltener Basilika, Haymongasse. Baroque styled church with Rokkoko-stucco, built from 1751-1756.
Stift Wilten, Klostergasse. Premonstratensian monastery with a baroque collegiate church, not far from Wiltener Basilika.
What to do
The Nordkettenbahn goes up to Seegrube and Hafelekar, where many hiking routes and trip routes start. In August 2004, the Nordpark Singletrail, one of the most ambitious mountain bike freeride routes in Europe, was opened.
It is possible to walk/hike all the way up to the summit without taking the cable cars. It is vigorous but doesn't require special equipment. There are places where it is not completely clear which way to go but other walkers are very friendly and you can almost always see your goal.
Patscherkofelbahn is accessible via bus line J, destination "Patscherkofelbahn" or "Olympiaexpreß" and tram line 6 to Igls. Tram line 6 is particularly worth taking - a beautiful meandering route up the mountain and included in the city zone of Innsbruck's public transport.
One ascent&descent is free with the Innsbruck-Card.
Stubaital offers several ski resorts in the winter.
Casino Innsbruck gaming enjoyment in Tyrol.
Tiroler Abend with the Gundolf Family - For almost half a century this show is visited by travellers and gives good insight on traditional Tyrolean culture— everybody who likes everything stereotypical about the alpine culture will be served the full menu: Yodeling, traditional dances, plays, music and clothing are mixed with typical surroundings.
New Orleans Festival - Since New Orleans is the partner city of Innsbruck a festival is held every summer featuring a lot of prominent musicians and focussing on Jazz, Blues, Gospels and other styles from the region around New Orleans.
The Ski Jump Contest around new year at the Begisel stadium is one of the few moments when Austrians demonstrate true patriotism. As Austrians are very competitive in alpine disciplines this is one of the events that many people follow.
For the younger generation the Air & Style Snowboard Contest is the high point of the year when the best snowboarders of the world compete in the biggest snowboard event of Europe.
In late spring a lot of clubs and pubs participate in the city event Sound City, where downtown Innsbruck becomes a network of discos. Shuttle busses circulate around the city and bring the guests to various locations where a range of international DJ's play different styles.
The Hafen, the Treibhaus and the p.m.k. are event centers downtown or a little oustide of the city. Many concerts, events and parties take place all around the year and are visited by young locals, students and travellers.