Innsbruck – largest ski resort in the Alps
Prosperous yet unpretentious, pristine Innsbruck is likely to bowl you over. If the fresh alpine air doesn’t get you, the Olympic bobsleigh run surely will! In Innsbruck you can spend a morning sightseeing – there are cathedrals, castles, world-class museums and palaces galore; and the afternoon exploring the mountains, then finish off the day in a riverside lounge bar. Innsbruck is a popular university city with a spirited energy so there are plenty of brewpubs and beer gardens peppering the medieval lanes. Famous sights include the Triumphpforte, the Golden Roof and the Bergisel ski jump. Visit the Schloss Ambras, Europe’s oldest museum, or Alpenzoo, officially the world’s highest zoo. A glittering world of wonders awaits you at the Swarovski Kristallwelten, or you can learn how bells are made in Grassmayr. The mountains are the perfect playground: skiing, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, sledding; even white-water rafting are on offer!
Go for the urban chic and the natural splendour. Go for the snow sports, the Old Town and the nightlife. Stage your own Winter Olympics with the many sports on offer in the Alps or stay cosy with a romantic meal in a 16th century restaurant.
When to Go?
Innsbruck enjoys a continental climate. Winters tend to be cold and snowy while summers can vary. Hot dry days can often be followed by a cool, rainy spell. Summer nights are generally quite cool, with temperatures dropping after sunset. The summer season runs from July to August and the ski season starts in late December and ends in early April. The quietest times and cheapest flights tend to fall outside these months.
How to get there?
Innsbruck is served by the Innsbruck Kranebitten Airport. It’s 4km to the west of the city and buses and taxis are available for airport transfers. Regular scheduled flights are available from London Gatwick. You can also fly to Munich Airport which is 2.5 hours away, and arrange airport transfers by minibus for the price of a comparable train ticket.
A holiday in Innsbruck wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Bergisel ski slope, a giant glass and steel structure with a café on the top. Watch athletes train for the biggest ski jump event of the year - the Four Hills Tournament - every January. Don’t miss the Hofburg Palace, a rococo feast, with chandeliers and a 31-metre long Giant’s Hall. Stop off at the Theresienbräu microbrewery and admire the rose-studded ceiling and the gleaming copper vats as you wait for your beer.