Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Innsbruck Introduction

Historical and contemporary splendour amidst majestic mountain scenery

Take a stroll, see the sights – discover Innsbruck’s many faces

Anyone who comes to visitInnsbruck, the capital of theTyrolregion, will immediately notice the close coexistence of culture and nature. Located at the crossroads of Europe’s most important transport lines and nestled in the mountain ranges of the northern ‘Limestone’ Alps’ and the Central Alps, Innsbruck always was – and continues to be – a meeting point and platform for cultural exchange, commerce and science. In more recent times the city has also gained international reputation as an important sports venue.

This union is visible all around, even in the middle of the historic city centre with its elaborate buildings, museums and churches: While the view down the splendid Maria-Theresien-Strasse towards the medieval old town is crowned by the majestic Nordkette mountain chain; the baroque Triumphal Arch is set off by the Bergisel ski jump, Innsbruck’s spectacular new icon designed by top architect Zaha Hadid.

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Innsbruck Information and Must See Sights

Innsbruck Museums

Innsbruck’s museums tell of the riches of lost times, of victorious battles, of splendid courtly days and simple rural life. More than anything they attest to the eagerness of all those who collected art and curiosities over many centuries. The most impressive example of this sits on a hill to the south of the city – Ambras Castle. Once the castle of the Counts of Andechs, it received its magnificent character under Archduke Ferdinand II (1529–1595), who had it transformed into a residency for himself and his wife Philippine Welser in the 16th century.

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Golden Roof, Innsbruck

Despite the fact that Habsburg Emperor Maximilian I (1459 – 151999 passed away ages ago, his imposing presence can still be felt in Innsbruck and surroundings. Among the numerous traces that you can explore throughout the Emperor’s favourite town is the ‘Goldene Dachl’, the famous Golden Roof, which during the course of the past centuries has turned into one of Innsbruck’s most widely recognized landmarks. Also an opulent, albeit empty, tomb at the nearby Imperial Court Church

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Imperial Palace, Innsbruck

The Imperial Palace, Innsbruck. The glory of bygone days is reflected everywhere at the Innsbruck Hofburg, one of Austria’s most significant historical buildings, from its Gothic cellar to the beautifully domed roof. Following major refurbishment works of the state rooms, the newly renovated Giant’s Hall, Guard Hall, the Lorraine Room and sacred rooms of the Imperial Ladies’ Chapter now present themselves in all their 18th century grandeur.

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Galleries in Innsbruck

One of Innsbruck’s most important locations for art lovers is Maria-Theresien-Strasse, home of the Galerie im Taxispalais, the Galerie Thoman, as well as Kunstraum Innsbruck, all devoted to contemporary art. Galerie Thoman, founded in 1977, focuses on paintings and sculpture with works by notable artists including Siegfried Anzinger and John M. Armleder, Jannis Kounellis and Hermann Nitsch, Franz West, Eugen Wurm and Otto Zitko. In close collaboration with these artists the Thoman family features exhibitions, publications, production works and artist’s editions.

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Innsbruck Alpine Zoo

A visit to the Alpine Zoo – at 750m the highest of its kind and the only themed wildlife sanctuary worldwide – is a truly unforgettable experience for children and grown-ups alike. More than 2,000 animals and 150 species can be viewed in their natural habitats, as the zoo’s enclosures, aviaries, aquariums and open-air terrariums are home to the most complete populations of animals native to the European Alpine regions.

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Tyrolean Museum Railways

The Tyrolean Museum Railways or Tiroler MuseumsBahnen (TMB) is a railway society in Austria whose aim is the preservation and/or documentation of the historically importantbranch lines (known as Localbahnen) and their rolling stock in the state of Tyrol. The Tyrolean Museum Railways have three main spheres of operation

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Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck

The Bergisel is a hill (746 m) that lies to the south of Innsbruck, Austria, in the area of Wilten, where the Sill river (Wipptal) meets the Inn Valley. The name is derived from the Latin name burgusinus (mountain), which then became Bergisel in German. Among its earlier uses were as a cremation site and as a habitation area during the Ice Age. In 1809, Bergisel was the site of the four Battles of Bergisel under the command of the freedom fighter Andreas Hofer

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Maria-Theresien-Strasse

Exclusive shops and boutiques, beautifully ornate facades and a view of the Golden Roof against the backdrop of the majestic Nordkette mountain range: This has always been the magnificent setting for Innsbruck’s main boulevard, Maria-Theresien-Strasse. The northern section of this street in which car traffic had been kept to a minimum already during the past became a fully pedestrianised zone under a redesign effort by architectural group ’Alles wird gut’ in 2009.

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Shopping in Innsbruck

If you like to shop big time and in the one spot, this is definitely your kind of place. Having played a pioneering role in local retail history, Innsbruck is home to Austria’s very first shopping centre which remains the largest in the Tyrol region. But it’s not just about size – also attractive architecture with aesthetic, state-of-the-art design by renowned architects is a major drawcard. Explore these all-in-one shopping havens from the city centre to the outskirts of town, easily reached by car or public transport.

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Innsbruck Handicrafts and Souvenirs

Tyrolean handicrafts made of precious materials are on sale in Werner und Brigitte Bliem’s jewellery shop by the Golden Roof, offering hand-made silver jewellery featuring a distinctive edelweiss design. The renowned Viennese enamel jewellery manufacturer Frey Wille sells at its Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse boutique jewellery as well as watches, silk shawls, ties and other accessories. The largest selection of traditional local products you find at the Tiroler Heimatwerk, proving that Tyrolean craftsmanship is on par with international modern design.

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Cuisine of Innsbruck

What does a country taste like? Just think of the aromatic smell of Alpine pastures, of crystal-clear spring water emerging from the depth of the mountain, of sunny meadows and the sweet scent of flowers and you will realize, why more and more restaurants and inns in Innsbruck and its holiday villages swear by fresh, delicious local produce. Food labelled ‘Qualität Tirol‘, and ‘Bio vom Berg’ (organically grown on the mountain), is no longer restricted to wholefood shops but has become a permanent fixture in supermarket chains.

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Innsbruck for Connoisseurs

While the way to any city’s finest restaurants is clearly sign-posted with toques and stars, it is also worthwhile to keep an eye open for some other tasty options. In Innsbruck and its holiday villages you can explore some delightful niche restaurants who either score with unusual setting, unique location or a particular type of cuisine – or who have just recently begun to aim for toques and stars and a mention in forthcoming restaurant guides.

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Tyrol Schnapps

What today ranks among Tyrolean top-class culinary delicacies used to be considered nothing other than ordinary ‘spirits’. While beer or wine had to be transported from further afield, the foundation for schnapps was readily available right at the farmers’ doorstep. Fruits such as apple, pear and plum along with cranberries, elderberries and juniper berries, represent the basis for home-made ‘Selberbrennter’, not forgetting of course the sought-after variety of spirits distilled from the fruits of the rowan tree, sloes, gentian and masterwort.

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Alpenlounge Seegrube

Renowned for their unusual location, the restaurants perched on Seegrube (1,905m) as well as further up on Hafelekar (2,256m) have been offering excellent food, combined with fabulous panoramic vistas, to skiers, hikers and alpinists for the past ninety years already. The most recent addition to Innsbruck’s ‘peak gastronomy’ high above town is the Alpenlounge Seegrube, arguably one of the trendiest hangout spots for both visitors and locals.

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Alpenpark Karwende, Innsbruck

 

There are a total of 11 stunning nature reserves in the Alpenpark Karwendel area, among them the Nordkette protected nature reserve, which is the traditional local recreation area for the citizens of Innsbruck and its visitors. Here you will find ample opportunities for hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking; there are also numerous alpine lodges or chalets like Höttinger Alm, Rumer Alm, Thaurer Alm or Enzianhütte, all of which are easily accessible, even with young children, offering a comfortable place to rest and serving tasty local fare.

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Innsbruck Airport

Official Website

Innsbruck Kranebitten Airport (IATA: INN, ICAO: LOWI) is the largest airport in Tyrol in western Austria. It handles regional flights around the Alps, as well as seasonal international flights to other destinations. During the winter, activity increases significantly, due to the high number of skiers travelling to the region. It is the main base of Welcome Air and Austrian Airlines’ regional carrier Tyrolean Airways.

The airport is approximately 2.5 miles from the centre of Innsbruck. It is connected to the city and to Innsbruck Central station by city bus F. The bus runs every 15 minutes and takes 18 minutes. This place is very famous due to being the starting airport on the X-Plane 9 Flight Simulator. Microsoft flight simulator also has a mission where the user takes off from the airport.

Innsbruck Airport is well known for having a difficult approach due to surrounding terrain, prohibiting certain aircraft types from operating at the airport.

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For Details on Innsbruck’s Christmas Markets click here’


Reviews

USA Tour 2012

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