**Updated : December 2023**
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What to Know Before your Visit
After our most recent visit just last month, we realized there were a few things first time visitors might like to know before arriving in Innsbruck.
Looking for a place to stay? The Hotel Central Innsbruck is super close to Old Town Innsbruck and the Christmas Market!
8 Best Things to Do in Innsbruck
1. Old Town
The Old Town of Innsbruck is simply adorable. Said to be one of the best old towns in all of Europe, our best advice is just to walk around and explore on your own. We recommend starting near Maria Theresa Street, conveniently located right at a local tram stop, then adventuring to find spots like the Golden Roof, the Innsbruck City Tower, and the Cathedral of St. James. Chances are, you'll even find a place to try some local schnitzel!
2. Delicious Strudels
Before making it to Innsbruck ourselves, we got a recommendation to check out Strudel Cafe Kroll - a small cafe that specializes in some really good in strudels. Seriously. Not to mention it's tucked away in an adorable alleyway that looks just like the one in Harry Potter, but they have sweet and savory strudels, so it's the perfect place to stop! We got a traditional apple strudel with ice cream and a savory cheese & veggie strudel - both were delicious! We'll 100% be stopping here again whenever we make it back to Innsbruck. Huge thanks to our friend Alex from @alexdeanmedia for the recommendation!
3. Banks of the Inn River
Chances are, if you've been planning a trip to Innsbruck then you've seen photos of the adorable, brightly colored houses that line the banks of the Inn River. Luckily this view is very close to Old Town, and you can simply make your way to the "Colourful Houses Innsbruck" location tag on maps. I'll be honest this isn't the most exciting, but an iconic stop for first time visitors to Innsbruck.
4. Fairytale Castles
Austria is known for their incredible "fairytale-like" castles dotted throughout the country, and lucky for you there's quite a few located pretty close to Innsbruck! The Schloss Ambras Castle, closed in the off season, is a stunning sight and is able to be reached for free on the public bus via your Welcome Card! (Read more in the "What to Know Before You Visit" section. Known as the "first museum in the world," the Schloss Ambras Castle was built in the 1500's, and is €12 to €16 per person depending on the season you visit. Tratzberg Castle, one that we were bummed to have missed ourselves, was rebuilt in the 1500's. Located about one hour outside of the city center of Innsbruck, tickets are €14.50 per adult. The Kufstein Fortress is located right on the banks of the Inn River, about another hour North of the Tratzberg Castle and looks incredible. Built in the early 1500's, this fortress costs €14 per adult to enter.
5. Olympic Ski Jump
The Bergisel Ski Jump has been a ski jumping site since the 1920's, and is now used as a training and competition site year round. Although it was under construction when we visited, typically visitors can take a tour of the area which includes a spot to watch the morning or evening ski jump show, a restaurant, and terrace with incredible views overlooking the city.
6. Swarovski Crystal Worlds Museum
Another popular spot, this incredible museum is €23 per person. Most people tend to spend a few hours here, but others say you can easily spend a full day here exploring the different attractions and exhibits in the gardens. We recommend getting your tickets in advance, as we've heard tickets can often sell out. If you visit in the summer, it's also recommended to avoid visiting in the midday since the heat can really get to you when exploring the grounds.
7. Fuel Your Adrenaline
Innsbruck is known as an adrenaline junkie's paradise. Surrounded by the Alps, there are endless activities to choose from, from paragliding, to hiking along the 403 meter long Highline 179 (costing €8 per person) suspension bridge, to driving the Kaunertal Glacier Road or taking a boat ride along Lake Achensee - our best recommendation is to rent a car to be able to explore these sights that lie outside the Innsbruck city limits.
8. Christmas Market
The Christkindlmarkt is an incredible Christmas Market that typically takes place from mid-November through Christmas. When it begins, nearly the entire city center of Innsbruck is taken over and decorated with fairy tale characters and festive decor. With delicious foods, fun drinks, and lots of shopping opportunities - we highly encourage you to time your visit during this event if possible. Make sure to grab a cup of punch to get your souvenir cup!
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