A while back, Timehop app reminded me that it’s been a year since my solo travel to Austria. I wrote about how I spent one week in Austria but barely touching on Innsbruck, which is probably my favorite Austrian city as of the moment (I’ve only been to Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck as of this writing).
Here’s a list of reasons why you should include Innsbruck in your next travel.
1. Innsbruck is a charming small town
Yes, it is a city but with only 130,000 inhabitants, Innsbruck is considerably small. I have lived in the big city of Tokyo and now living in Dubai, I long for a more chill vibe. And the Austrian alps as backdrop? I instantly fell in love with this place the moment I stepped out of the train.
However, despite not looking like a big, glitzy city, there are loads of cool places to hang out – parks, cafes, co-working spaces, bars and restaurants and WiFi is everywhere.
Did I say charming?
You can wander through narrow alleys, marvel at noble squares and be amazed at the ornate Baroque architecture. Literally, every corner is beautiful.
2. Innsbruck is eye candy
The rows of houses at Maria Hilf street along the Inn river is a sight to behold against the picturesque Austrian Alps. I could stare at it for a long time.
3. If you love the mountains, Innsbruck is for you.
The unique thing about Innsbruck is its spectacular location hemmed in by the Austria Alps. Take the Patscherkofel cable car to the top of the Patscherkof Mountain at 2246 metres or get aboard the underground train from the city center to Hungerburg and from there take the cable car Hungerburgbahn up to Hafelekar mountain station. The Nordkette cable railway stations designed by the brilliantly talented, recently deceased architect, Zaha Hadid, are the futuristic gateway to these majestic mountains.
TIP: Don’t forget to get your Innsbruck card to avail of these cable car rides for free, along with other discounts on other attractions.
In history, the Tyrol region is referred to as the wilderness by the Austrians mainly because, 85 per cent of the region is mountainous. If you love climbing mountains, you will love the unforgettable sight above, unless it’s cloudy of course, in which case, you just need to come back.
…or wait till the weather clears.
By the way, there’s no need to be a certified mountain climber, you can get on a cable car to take you to the top of famous ski landmarks and enjoy the view from there.
4. Small villages straight out of a fairy tale book!
Innsbruck is surrounded by small holiday villages with pastoral landscapes, wooden chalets with sloping roofs bedecked with flowers, and wrap around porches.
5. It’s close to nature
Innsbruck is a beautiful combination of urban and natural playgrounds. Tyroleans love the outdoor life and hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter is a normal weekend routine. The day after I arrived at Innsbruck with feet still dead from roaming around Vienna and Salzburg, I went out with my friend and her family to climb a “little” mountain. We started halfway and reached 2,000+ meters in a few hours with me pondering on how unfit I am!
Mountain climbing/hiking in Innsbruck is a beautiful way to keep fit to be able to eat the schnitzels, strudels and sausages while on vacation!
HOW TO REACH INNSBRUCK
- via its own airport
- 2 hours by car from Munich (or shorter if by train)
- 4 hours by train from Vienna (several airlines from Dubai flies to Vienna non-stop) and 2 hours from Salzburg
When you think of travelling to Austria, the first place that comes to mind is often Vienna. However, I hope these photos helped you decide that Innsbruck is a city not to overlook!