Innsbruck is a charming alpine city located in western Austria boasting pastel-hued houses lining the green waters of the River Inn. When traveling to this destination, you will be impressed by many interesting things to explore. Here is a list of the best things to do in Innsbruck that you can’t miss.
Best Things to Do in Innsbruck
1. Climb the Town Tower (Stadtturm)
For almost 450 years, the Stadtturm (Town Tower) is a 15th-century medieval tower where guards would keep watch over the city of Innsbruck in the Middle Ages in order to warn citizens of dangers such as fire.
It is interesting to head inside the Stadtturm and climb the 133 steps that lead up to the 31-meter-high viewing platform. What you’ll get are spectacular 360-degree views of the city’s medieval streets and the Nordkette Mountains. You can even see the famous Bergisel Ski Jump located to the south.
2. Make a visit to the Hofkirche or Court Church
Start your Innsbruck sightseeing with a visit to The Hofkirche or Court Church, a 16th-century church built by Emperor Ferdinand as a tribute to his grandfather, Emperor Maximilian I. Bronze statues surround the black marble tomb, which incidentally, is empty. 24 reliefs depict events from Maximilian’s life including his marriage to Mary of Burgundy and his defeat of the Venetians.
3. Explore Nordkettenbahnen
The Nordkettenbahnen takes you from the center of Innsbruck up to the stunning scenery of the Nordkette mountain and in only twenty minutes your surroundings completely change from that of a bustling city to a pristine and picturesque mountain environment.
Starting off in the Hungerburgbahn funicular, you travel across the River Inn before taking a cable car to Seegrubenbahn where you transition to a chairlift for the second stretch of the journey. The highest point of the Nordkette mountain can be reached by taking the Hafelekar chairlift.
At the various stops, there are numerous activities on hand and you can go rock climbing, hiking and even skiing in the upper reaches of the mountain or simply sit down at one of the restaurants and drink in the breathtaking view.
4. Go skiing
Set amidst the mountains, it comes as no surprise that Innsbruck is home to some of the world’s best ski slopes and ski resorts. Consequently, it is popular amongst locals and tourists who want to hit the slopes.
Nearest to the city is the Nordpark, with such beautiful views on offer, as well as many great ski slopes which cater to all levels. The surrounding area is also home to a number of great pistes; it is for good reason that this place is considered to be the main skiing destination in the whole of Austria.
With over 500 kilometers of trails for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy, taking to the slopes and breathing in the fresh mountain air is not to be missed when visiting Innsbruck.
5. See St. Anne’s Column
St. Anne’s Column is a monument erected in 1704 in gratitude to the last Bavarian troops who were driven from Tyrol on St. Anne’s Day (26 July in 1703), as part of the War of the Spanish Succession. To commemorate this event, the column was made by Trient sculptor, Cristoforo Benedetti, who used red marble and placed four statues of different saints on the base. Towering above them at the top is a statue of Mary representing the Woman of the Apocalypse.
6. Visit Swarovski Crystal Worlds
Austria is home to the globally famous brand, Swarovski, which has its headquarters in Wattens. It’s one of the most popular Innsbruck points of interest and you can’t leave without visiting it. Swarovski Crystal Worlds will dazzle you with its display of crystal art and installations created by artists around the world. The outdoor giant head waterfall and Crystal Cloud steal the show, for their wow factor.
Visiting Swarovski Crystal Worlds is one of the best things to do in Innsbruck during your trip.
7. Spend time in the Ambras Castle
Upon the hills above the city is a Renaissance castle that was once the home of Archduke Ferdinand II. The popular Innsbruck tourist attraction has a Lower Castle that exhibits the erstwhile ruler’s collection of armor and weaponry. Meanwhile, the Upper Castle has a vast gallery of portraits of Tyrolean rulers painted by famous artists like Titian and Diego Velázquez.