Visiting Innsbruck often comes with a lot of questions: What can I see? How much does it cost to see it? How do I get there? Getting the Innsbruck Card comes in handy here. This one card gives you access to a great variety of places for no extra money. It is even valid as a ticket for public transportation so you don’t have to worry about getting to the place you want to see. I got the Innsbruck Card for 24h and made my way through Innsbruck.
First stop: Bergisel
Starting off in the south of Innsbruck, the first stop was Bergisel. Here you can find the Bergisel ski jump, Tirol Panorama and Kaiserjägermuseum. Unfortunately, I went there on a Tuesday which is the one paticular day all of theses places are closed. But there is a reason I like this small hill in particular: The pavillion. Not only can you sit here and rest far away from the busy streets down in the city, no, you even have one of the best views over the city! After revising the booklet which comes with the Innsbruck Card in my favourite spot, I decided to leave this place and dive back into the streets.
Hopping off the Sightseer bus line, it took me a few steps to the Grassmayr Bell Museum and Bell Foundry. For entrance, nothing than showing the card was required. Awaiting the usual museum ‘watch-only’ atmosphere, I was really blown away! You can get your hands on all the different bells, watch movies about their creation and read about the science and tradition behind it. After a French group of people guided by a lovely lady in her mid 50’s joined me on my adventure through the history of sound, she made a demonstration on a bell put upside down and filled with water. Swinging the hammer she made everyone feel the sound of the bell conducting through their fingers in the water. Pretty cool!
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Even though I could have stayed in this place for more than just 1,5h, I had to catch the next bus to get me downtown right into the heart of Innsbruck.
When the doors of the bus opened and I stepped outside on Anichstraße, I knew I was in the city again. People walking around, sitting in Cafés, talking, laughing, enjoying the weather. Making my way downtown by walking the famous Maria-Theresien-Straße, I let the pulse of this place run through me putting a grin on my face.
Arriving at the City Tower, the counter was empty. “Be right back!” said the sign there, so I decided to take a short break and grab some food. That this was not the best idea came into my mind when I had to climb the tower taking the tight spiral staircase all the way to the top. To do so, I again just had to show the Innsbruck Card and got a ticket handed out. The City Tower has a 360°-balcony you can walk around right above the roofs of Innsbruck to glory in this unique perspective on the Golden Roof, Nordkette and the Innsbruck cathedral. It does not fit a lot of people, so be sure you go there when it’s not packed.
Fun fact: There are two staircases twisted around each other, one for going up, one for going down. So when you go down make sure you see people walking up on the other staircase. Just to watch how you looked taking these stairs.
Heading towards Hungerburgbahn, I spontaneously decided to enter the Imperial Palace aswell. Again, showing the Innsbruck Card at the counter gave me access without any further action needed. Unfortunately I was not allowed to bring my camera inside, so I had to lock it up in one of the free lockers first.
Entering the great dining hall first, I forgot how to breathe for a moment. This place is huge! The ceiling is even so high they put mirrors on carts on the floor so you don’t have to break your neck to watch the beatiful paintings up there. Feeling a bit dizzy from twisting my nape anyways, I wandered through the different chambers. Starting with the small dining chamber, all the way through the bed-chamber of Maria Theresia. Here the colors of every room amazed me the most. With regard to the main purpose of the room it was painted in a specific color. Not only the walls and the ceiling, also curtains, chairs, tables, beds, dressers. Just everything inside this room had at least a stripe of this color.
Leaving the busy streets behind me once again, I hopped on the Hungerburgbahn to get to the Alpenzoo. Easier than anywhere, you just need to swipe the Innsbruck Card at the barrier to get in. Even if I would have loved to take the train all the way to the top right away, the Alpenzoo station is just underneath the Hungerburg and I had to get off there first.
After a little five minute walk through the greens of Mühlau, I arrived at the zoo. At the counter, it was the same play as everywhere else. Show the Innsbruck Card, get a leaflet with info, step in. Simple as that. Now here I was, stunned by the variety of animals living in the alps I couldn’t decide which ones to see first. Luckily it was just around mealtime for most of the big birds, which gave me the possibility to see them up close. Most of the other animals already had their meals and decided to take a nap in the sun since it was a pretty hot day. The best nap spot price here goes definitely to the lynxes. Took me a while to spot them, most of the time they hang out on the branches high up. Reminded me of Bagheera from The Jungle Book.
To finish my tour, I couldn’t resist taking the train all the way up to Hungerburg. As a person who has lived in Innsbruck for quite a while now, I have to go there every now and then, just to remind myself what a beauty of a city I live in.
All in all, I really enjoyed the freedom and flexibility the Innsbruck Card offers. No matter which of the sights you want to see, it is included. Also the fact that this Card is a valid ticket for any public transportation in Innsbruck is a huge plus. The most important thing I would recommend is that you should make your decisions what to see and make a plan based on this decision. You can not do all of it, even with the 72h-Card.
Get more info about the Innsbruck Card with prices here.
Is 24h really 24h?
Yes it is. When you get your Innsbruck Card at 10:00 am, it is valid until 10:00 am the next day. Same goes with the 48h and 72h passes. So with a bit of clever planning you can really boost your Innsbruck experience.
The most interesting bus line to take on all the attractions with the Innsbruck Card is definitely the Sightseer bus line (TS). It goes around Innsbruck and covers all of the included museums with stops in walkable distance. In addition it also comes with free audio-guides in the bus so you don’t miss any information about places you go by.
The bus leaves about every 40 minutes, which is a pretty good interval to go with. No matter if you just have an ice cream or you take a walk through a museum. When you go back to the bus station it never takes long until it arrives.