Innsbruck: a modern city full of history

Posted on June 9, 2017 in Austria Lakes & Mountains by Tim.Fowler Tags:

The majestic city of Innsbruck, nestled amongst the Tyrolean Alps, is one of the most fascinating cities in Austria. Innsbruck is a historic yet dynamic city, home to a thriving cultural scene with incredible museums and art galleries, as well as festivals and sporting events.

At over 800 years old, Innsbruck’s old town is full of spectacular architecture. Perhaps the most distinctive landmark is the famous Golden Roof. Emperor Maximilian I would watch jousting tournaments from this ornate balcony. Today it is the centrepiece of the bustling old town, and a vibrant museum explores the city’s rich history through interactive exhibits.

For impressive views across the rooftops of Innsbruck, head to the onion-domed Stadtturn. Once used by the city watch, this distinctive tower dates back to the 1400’s and provides incredible 360-views of the whole city and the mountains beyond.

Innsbruck has a rich Imperial heritage. The striking Hofburg Palace is situated in the centre of town and the copper cupolas and white, baroque exterior steals attention from the surrounding buildings. However, it is the lavish, rococo interior and lengthy Riesensaal, full of ornate chandeliers and murals, that are the true stars of this architectural gem.

Further out from the city centre is the Schloss Ambras. This renaissance palace is set amongst resplendent gardens and the hill-top location provides stunning views of the local area. An outstanding collection of paintings, from Velázquez to Van Dyck make this a must visit destination.

Art and history lovers will admire the Ferdinandeum State Museum. The exhibits range for Stone Age artefacts to modern art, and includes the original designs for the Golden Roof. Another fascinating museum is the Museum of Tyrolean Folk Art, which provides an incredible insight into the traditional way of life in this part of Austria.

It would be a mistake to visit Innsbruck and to focus simply on its past. This city is alive and well with contemporary culture as typified by the iconic Bergisel Ski Jump. Towering over Innsbruck, this striking modern building was designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid. A restaurant at the top provides a stylish and sophisticated setting for dinner.

Award winning gourmet restaurants such as the stunning, contemporary Lichtblick, located on the top floor of the town hall prove this is a cosmopolitan destination. Innsbruck is full of modern restaurants serving international cuisine. Yet you will never struggle to find a local coffeehouse for cake and coffee, a most traditional and enjoyable Austrian pastime.

Innsbruck is an incredible destination for a day trip from the Austrian Alps. The city rewards explorers with its beautiful architecture, fascinating past and its present-day cool, contemporary swagger. Any visitor to Innsbruck will agree: It’s simply unmissable.

The 24-hour Innsbruck card is free for all Inghams’ guests who holiday in Igls, which is only 15-minutes by coach from the city. The card includes free one-time admission to museums and visitor attractions in Innsbruck as well as free trips on selected transport.

Find out more about Igls >