One of the best things about life in Innsbruck is how quick and easy it is to get into the mountains. You have all of the convenience and culture of a city but also the beauty of nature all around you. And the mountains couldn’t be easier to access – either on foot, by car or with public transport.
Innsbruck’s Nordkette lifts provide a direct link between urban Innsbruck and alpine nature. A funicular runs from the centre of town to Hungerburg and from there you can take the cable car up to Hafelekar at 2256 metres. The return trip costs € 29.50 per person (free of charge with the Innsbruck Card) and takes just 20 minutes.
I’m always amazed when I hear people say “I can see the Nordkette from town, is it worth going up the lift?” Yes, it’s absolutely worth it. Whether you want to mountain bike, hike, climb or simply enjoy the views of Innsbruck with a cup of coffee and slice of cake. Here are just a few of my top reasons why you shouldn’t miss a trip up the Nordkette during a stay in Innsbruck:
If you are combining a stay in Innsbruck with mountain sports, the Nordkette is the perfect alpine playground just minutes from the city. There are a wide range of sporting options available including many hiking trails, mountain biking routes (including the Nordkette singletrail – one of Europe’s steepest, longest and most difficult mountain bike downhill tracks), a via ferrata and rock climbing.
Mountain huts and food
A great lunch is a huge part of the alpine experience for me. And something that Austria does better (in my opinion) than most other Alpine countries. If you want to enjoy a meal on the mountain without having to don your hiking boots, the Alpenlounge Seegrube is the perfect place. It’s located right by the cable car station at Seegrube and has fantastic views over Innsbruck. Or try one of the many mountain huts – the Höttinger Alm is just a short walk away (about an hour from the Seegrube lift station) and serves some great local specialties, not to mention delicious cakes.
From the minute you step onto the funicular in Innsbruck, you’ll enjoy stunning views in every direction. The views from Hafelekar (the top lift station) are particularly spectacular – looking back over Innsbruck on one side and over untouched nature on the other.
Nordkette by night
Innsbruck’s Nordkette lifts also give you a chance to experience the mountains by night. The cable cars run every Friday evening from 6 pm until 11.30 pm and the Alpenlounge Seegrube restaurant is open for dinner.