Innsbruck is internationally known as sport centre and the reason is more than obvious. It hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympic Games and everybody does some kind of sport there. However, you don´t have to be a sport freak to fall in love with this city. I prepared for you my list of Top Must Do´s in Innsbruck. I hope this article will make you to put Austria and especially Innsbruck on your bucket list.
1. Explore historical part of the city
There are couple must haves of historical Innsbruck that you have to see. Even those who hate sightseeing, will be shocked by the beauty of Innsbruck. It would be such a pity not to see the famous Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof) which was built in the beginning of 16th century by Maximilian I. The emperor used the balcony for formal presentations and watched the special occasions from there.There is no way to miss the Goldenes Dachl because it is always surrounded by tons of tourists who are taking pictures of themselves with this unique monument.
Those who love palaces have to see Hofburg (Imperial Palace). This former Habsburg palace is one of the three most significant buildings of the country. The complex includes Hofkirche and then Tyrolean Folk Art Museum. This museum is great because you can see how people used to live back in time in Tyrol.
If you are going to visit any church, make sure that it is St. Jacob´s. At the first glance, this eighteenth-century Baroque cathedral looks just like another historical church or cathedral that you have already seen many times before. However, there is something special about it. Look at the ceiling of frescos which consists of three cupolas that are decorated with colourful paintings. Those three cupolas are just visual perception. There is just one cupola real and it´s the one above Communion table. The other two are just painted to look like real cupolas.
2. Enjoy beautiful nature
One thing that you will definitely fall in love is the picturesque nature. Innsbruck is surrounded by mountains. Therefore, weather is pretty much unpredictable and it can change anytime. If you visit Innsbruck in winter, make sure you go skiing at least once. It is quite expensive but is worth it and you won´t regret that. The skiing seasons starts from the end of October and lasts till April. If you go to Innsbruck outside skiing season, you have to go hiking. There are many places that you can hike to. Some of them are more demanding, some of them are less. However, all the effort will pay off by the picturesque view of the city. On your way up to the hill, you pass by couple traditional pubs which are called Kneipen. They offer traditional food. Speckknödel (dumpling with bacon) is so yummy. They serve it either with soup or with cabbage. You can also order home-made cakes. They are delicious and are the best payoff of all the effort that you have to put in to get there.
3. Experience the atmosphere of Olympic Games
If you are already in Innsbruck, you should not forget to visit world-known Bergisel hill and the ski jump. The hill is definitely worth to visit. The breath-taking views of Innsbruck and mountains will get you from the first glimpse. You can either take a bus or to walk there. I would recommend you the second option. It is not that far and you can save money from the bus ticket. 🙂
4. Taste local food
Travelling is not just about seeing new places but it is also (and this is my second most favourite thing) about tasting food and getting to know local people. Typical Austrian dish is Wiener schnitzel served with Vienna style potato salad and lemon and cranberry jam on the side. To experience proper Austrian dinner, visit the restaurant called Stifskeller which catches your attention because it serves traditional food. I have tried Schweinebraten which is like roasted pork served with sauerkraut, dumplings and sauce made from gravy, carrots, onions and beer. You get big portion of meat and you will be stuffed. Therefore, it is advisable to order mug of beer which will help you with digestion (at least that is what Czechs say). For dessert, you have to try out apple strudel. Strudel is usually served with vanilla sauce.
5. Sing in Copa
Innsbruck is quite small city, but the nightlife is not boring there at all. You can find many bars and clubs there. One of my favourite place is Copa. Copa is a bar with karaoke which is being organized every Wednesday. It is kinda dark space which is overcrowded most of the times. However, karaoke is always fun and you can sing the whole night and have fun with friends.
6. Relax with Austrian coffee culture
Coffee lovers, prepare yourself! Austrians love coffee and know how to enjoy drinking it. To become a true Austrian while drinking coffee, you should visit one of the “Kaffeehaus.” The café is the only place when you can spend how much time you want, but at the end you pay just for the drinks and food that you consumed. You can find traditional cafés, e. g. famous Café Sacher with Wiener melange coffee and worldwide known Sacher torte (delightful chocolate cake). My favourite is Café Katzung which you can is located close to Goldenes Dachl. If you are not a coffee person, you should visit Café Munding which serves the best hot chocolate in the city. For €5 you get a glass of hot milk and a big chocolate ball. I am more than sure that your heart will melt with this delicacy.
7. Ride a bike around the city
Everyone rides a bike in Innsbruck. It sounds like you would be in Amsterdam, right? People ride bikes to go to school, university or even work. I would recommend you to rent one as well. The ride around Innsbruck is awesome. You can explore the places which are not that touristic. I loved riding bike in Innsbruck because you can turned left here, go straight there and go wherever you want. Furthermore, you enjoy the beautiful nature and fresh air during your ride.
8. Spend upside down afternoon
If you are not a big fan of museums, believe me that you will love this one. It is called Haus steht Kopf which means “The upside down house.” You can find this house only in Innbruck and there is also one in Germany. The museum is located near Innsbruck and it takes around 20 minutes to get there by train. The one way ticket costs around 5 euros. You have to get off at Voll-Vomperbach. It is like a five-minute walk to the museum.
Keep in mind that you must not forget your camera. And do not go there alone because there would be no one who would take pictures of you and your visit would be pointless because the pictures are the funniest part.
When you enter the building, you might feel a little dizzy. Now, it is the right time to take as much picture as possible. You can paint the wall in guest room, cook dinner upside down, clean bathroom or repair car in the garage. I think I explained enough. Look at the pictures, they are so fun.