Discovering Innsbruck is an exciting thing to do! The Innsbruck Card is a practical and rewarding tool for this purpose.
While the offer of other city passes in various big cities is often very confusing, sometimes you even need comparison platforms for different city passes of the same city, it is quite simple with the Innsbruck Card: "All inclusive - and the city is yours!"
Here everything is really included: With the Innsbruck Card gives you free access to more than 22 attractions, rides on selected mountain railroads, public transportation and the Sightseer bus, and much more.
The City Card for Innsbruck is available for 24, 48 or 72 hours, and it's especially worthwhile if you're taking a mountain trip. The Innsbruck Card is online, in the Tourist information and in many hotels.
As a city guide I can highly recommend the Innsbruck Card. In this post I list my most beautiful sights, free with the Innsbruck Card. Let's go!
First: Get an overview
From my own experience, I know that when visiting a city for the first time, it makes sense to get an overview first. So that you don't have to strain yourself too much or read up too much, you can use the Innsbruck Card to comfortably board the Sightseer bus or take part in the Welcome Tour, a guided tour of the old town in German (in July and August also in English).
The route of the hop-on hop-off bus takes you through the city and to the most important sights. Perfect to get a first impression. Interesting information is also provided by an audio guide in eight languages, with a special version for children. > Information and timetable
In addition to the Sightseer, all other lines of the Innsbruck public transport company (IVB) are included in the Innsbruck Card. > Information, route and timetable
The best way to explore the historic Old Town is with a professional guide on the Welcome Tour. This city walk not only covers Innsbruck's history, but also provides up-to-date information and entertaining anecdotes. The meeting point is at the Innsbruck Information (Burggraben 3). > Further information
Panoramic view from the city tower
Speaking of overview: The observation deck of the city tower in the middle of the old town offers a wonderful panoramic view to get your bearings. You can reach a height of 31 meters via 133 steps. In addition to the narrow streets and various sights, the Inn River and the surrounding mountains can also be seen from there.
In the Middle Ages, the tower guard warned the citizens of fire and other dangers from the city tower. At that time, the town prison was located on the lower floors of the tower. > Information and opening hours
A golden landmark
From the city tower it is only a few steps to the Golden Roof. The oriel with the Golden Roof from the year 1500 is the historical landmark of the city of Innsbruck and goes back to Emperor Maximilian I.. He was an important ruler who significantly enlarged the Habsburg Empire. Innsbruck was one of his favorite residences, which is commemorated, among other things, by the Golden Roof.
The Dachl consists of 2,657 copper shingles that are fire-gilded. It is indeed real gold that we see here. The oriel itself is also richly decorated with frescoes and reliefs. Since the original reliefs are made of the delicate sandstone, they are in the Museum Goldenes Dachl
A visit to this small museum is worthwhile for the reliefs alone. It is a special experience to see them up close. The famous loggia is part of the museum, but may not be entered. The view can still be enjoyed, and mirrors are cleverly placed so that the frescoes and the entire loggia can be seen. > Information and opening hours
The jewel of the Alps
It's easy to forget that the mountain backdrop of Nordkette is actually Innsbruck's greatest attraction. It's also special for an Alpine town to have the mountains as incredibly close as they are here.
The ride with the Innsbruck Nordkettenbahnen is a must with the Innsbruck Card. Only if clouds ruin the view too much, the trip is not worth it. The ride in three sections is also a ride through the history of alpine architecture. You start centrally at the Congress Innsbruck with the 2007 opened Hungerburgbahna funicular railroad. The station buildings by the internationally renowned architect Zaha Hadid are among the most beautiful examples of modern architecture in Innsbruck. The view from the Hungerburg is already a highlight that is topped with every additional meter of altitude.
From there, two cable cars take you further up the mountain. The first cable car at this location was opened in 1928. The station buildings by Franz Baumann have been preserved in their original form and are listed as historical monuments. The cable car technology is, of course, new.
Once you reach the Seegrubeyou already get an alpine feeling. You have a wide view of the city and the mountains to the south. Here you should not stop in any case, but also the last stage!
The Hafelekar lies at an altitude of over 2,300 meters and is rightly called "Top of Innsbruck". Now you have arrived in the high mountains. The view of Innsbruck and to the south is only surpassed by the view to the north into the Karwendel Nature Park. According to the terrain, make sure you wear suitable footwear and have good equipment. > Information, webcams and operating times
The animals of the Alps in the Alpine Zoo
One station of the Hungerburgbahn is located directly at the Alpenzoo, and the W bus line also goes there. A stopover is definitely worthwhile - especially (but not only) for families. Europe's highest zoo is home to 2,000 animals and 150 species that are or were native to the Alps. These include ibexes, brown bears, wolves, lynxes, elks, otters, golden eagles, bearded vultures and many more. > Information and opening hours
Tyrol's hero church
Tyrol's greatest art treasure, important tombs, a silver chapel and the valuable Ebert organ from the Renaissance period can be found in the Court Church to discover. To get you in the mood for your visit to the Hofkirche, there is a multimedia show available in several languages.
However, the most impressive tomb in the Hofkirche is empty: the tomb monument of Emperor Maximilian I consists of an ornate high tomb and a wake with 28 larger-than-life bronze figures. The monument was created by the best artists of the time and is a masterpiece of the High Renaissance.
Other tombs include those of some famous Tyrolean freedom fighters, including Andreas Hofer, or the tombs of Archduke Ferdinand II and his wife Philippine Welser.
The Hofkirche belongs to the Tyrolean provincial museumsas well as the Tyrolean Folk Art Museumwhich is located right next door and is of course included in the Innsbruck Card. > Information and opening hours
The Imperial Palace is directly adjacent to the Hofkirche. It was built as a residence for the Habsburgs, who came to Innsbruck in the 15th century. Soon the castle was as large as it is today, but nothing can be seen of the old palace for a long time. In the 18th century, the Hofburg was rebuilt under Maria Theresa
the marriage of Maria Theresa's son Leopold to the Spanish princess Maria Ludovica provided the impetus for the redesign of the castle and was celebrated on a grand scale for 14 days in the summer of 1765. However, the sudden death of Emperor Franz Stephan I, father of the groom and husband of Maria Theresa, put an abrupt end to the celebrations.
You can discover more about this exciting story in the state rooms on the second floor of the Hofburg. Particularly worth seeing is the Giant Hall, considered one of the most beautiful Baroque halls in the northern Alps.
On the same floor are the Imperial Apartments, which were furnished for the famous Empress Sisi.
The Permanent exhibition Maximilian1 on the life and times of Emperor Maximilian I has found a fitting setting on the second floor of the Hofburg. The exhibition takes up exciting topics and conveys them with the help of a wide variety of media. > Information and opening hours
A pearl of modern architecture
The Bergisel ski jump has been a modern landmark since 2002 and at the same time a symbol for Innsbruck as a sports city. The ski jump designed by architect Zaha Hadid is enthroned in the south of the city and is also an eye-catcher at night when illuminated in color.
Ski jumping competitions have been held at the Bergisel since 1927, and Innsbruck has been a stop on the Four Hills Tournament since 1953. Every year, the Bergisel Jumping competition on January 4 attracts the best jumpers and over 20,000 spectators. In summer, the facility serves as a training site for international ski jumping teams. The chance to see training jumps on mats is greatest at this time.
Two elevators take visitors to the jump tower with viewing terrace and the "Bergisel Sky" restaurant. In just under a hundred years, the cauldron-shaped arena has hosted not only sporting events, but also concerts and even a papal mass in front of 60,000 faithful (John Paul II, 1988).
Visitors can also experience the view of the ski jumpers up close. This view is notorious because the athletes look directly onto a cemetery.
With the Innsbruck Card, the best way to get to the Bergisel is with the Sightseer bus, this ride is also included. > Information and opening hours
A museum on the mountain of freedom fights
Away from the sport, the Bergisel is a place steeped in history. Here, in 1809, the decisive battles of the Tyrolean freedom fights against Napoleon's troops took place. This is commemorated not only by a large Andreas Hofer monument but also by the giant circular painting in the Tirol Panorama. The battle scenes are impressively depicted on an incredible 1,000 square meters of canvas. The museum offers an exciting experience for all senses. > Information and opening hours
Precious collections in the fairy tale castle
Like in a fairy tale Ambras Castle in a beautiful park above Innsbruck. The most convenient way to reach it with the Innsbruck Card is by taking the Sightseer bus, which is also included.
The Renaissance castle dates back to Archduke Ferdinand II. (1529-1595) and has extensive chambers of armor, art and curiosities. The Ambras collections are considered the oldest surviving museum in Central Europe.
In addition to armor, Ferdinand collected not only artistic objects made of special materials, but also curiosities of every kind. He also laid the foundation for the portrait gallery, which includes some top-class paintings. All this can be discovered here! In addition, there are changing special exhibitions on various themes. There is a varied guided tour program with, for example, highlight tours or guided tours for children.
A jewel in the High Castle is the Spanish Hall, which in addition to colorful paintings has a beautiful wooden ceiling from the Renaissance period.
For a visit to Ambras Castle, you should bring enough time and include a walk in the castle garden. The free-roaming peacocks are part of the Castle Ambras experience. > Information, guided tour program and opening hours
... And so much more
So these are my recommendations as a city guide. The tips are - admittedly - mostly interesting from a historical perspective. But basically it's the versatility that makes Innsbruck: That's why the recommendations also include mountain experiences, sports and architecture.
The list of other attractions that can be visited with the Innsbruck Card is long. Ultimately, it depends on personal interests, the time available and external circumstances, such as the weather, what else could be included in the program. And if something doesn't work out, it's always nice to have a reason to return here. To be on the safe side, I'll name a few (without claiming to be complete): Patscherkofelbahn, Swarovski Crystal Worlds, Audioversum, Zeughaus, Glockenmuseum & Glockengießerei Grassmayr and much more.
Cover picture: © Lea Hajner
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A Tyrolean girl, graphic designer, blogger and tour guide with a variety of interests and a weakness for nice people, culture, starry night skies, one more beer and the mountains.
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