Innsbruck – Special Feature

Myself and my wife Jan have recently come back from a trip to Europe and one of the most enjoyable cities we visited was Innsbruck.

It’s located in a beautiful alpine region of Austria with many attractions all easy to access using an Innsbruck card. We secured this card from the tourist office at the main train station and set about seeing this beautiful city in our 48 hr stay. This card proved to offer amazing value with all the major sights, activities, admissions covered for a flat charge.

We visited the following attractions and all of these we were able to enter for no charge beyond the initial cost of EUR 50 p/p.

First was a train to the cable car that takes you up Nordkette Mountain. We had a spectacular day weather wise and the trip done in 3 stages finally has you at 2,300 metres above sea level. You have a stunning vista across the mountain tops and city below. A nice restaurant at the top allows a pleasant extended time and a number of walking trails/biking tracks are possible up down and around the mountains for a full experience. Parachute gliding is done off the mountain top and we had the pleasure of filming a local expert taking off on such a thrilling adventure.

We then visited the old town and saw the major historic places. The Golden Roof with its 2.657 gold plated tiles built over 500 yrs ago during Maximillian I rule. He used to sit in the Royal Box to watch jousting tournaments from here. Then we climbed up the City Tower which commanded terrific city views. Next was the Court Church which houses 28 larger than life bronze statues of Maximillan’s ancestors and heroes surrounding his empty tomb.This church was built after his death. It was too difficult to build a large memorial for him in Innsbruck so his body was buried in Vienna.

Next then Hofburg Imperial Palace. This dates from the 1500’s and was very beautiful inside with many grand state rooms and apartments to see. 400 rooms in total.

The last major attraction we visited using the card was to Swarovski Crystal Worlds. This is located about 20 kms bus trip out from the city transport is included and runs on a schedule across the day. A very famous product and we expected it to be moderately interesting. It ended up being a revelation of the senses. They have built a complex with a mix of art, culture and entertainment installations to creature wonderful exhibits for all ages. Crystals are used in most displays. Thousands of them used in various constructions. A great new addition for Innsbruck and a must see.

Here’s the link to the Innsbruck Card website for more information. Passes are available for 24 hrs and 72 hrs as well.

Other sights we did not have time to see were the Ambras Castle, the Bergisel and it’s impressive ski jump which was a venue in the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics. Many museums are also include in the Innsbruck card.

Our stay was at a lovely boutique property called Nala Individuell Hotel Apartment. This was centrally located and only a few blocks from the main train station. A lovely garden in a courtyard setting. We had a garden access room with small balcony, and cost $242 per night.

Innsbruck is a city well worth including in a European trip for 2 – 3 days. Easy access by train from Salzburg and then after to Fussen to see the famous castles in southern Bavaria.

To find out more about Innsbruck or to plan your own European adventure, give us a call on (03) 9600 1482 or email contact@transotwaytravel.com.au