A visit to Innsbruck is always a good idea. Whether you are a culture lover, sports freak or nature lover, everyone is guaranteed to get their money's worth here. In addition to all the attractions that can be explored directly in the city, Innsbruck is also the perfect starting point for great excursions. Three destinations that are unparalleled, I may present to you in this post. They could not be more different, and so I am quite sure that there is something for everyone.
James Bond in the Tyrolean Alps
First, we head to the Ötztal valley, more precisely to Sölden - a place that many know since the legendary James Bond movie "Spectre". Here, at 3,040 meters above sea level, inside the Gaislachkogl, hides the 007 ELEMENTS: a captivating James Bond experience that lets us look behind the scenes of the world-famous film series. Strategically placed right next to the ice Q restaurant, the filming location of the Hoffler Clinic in "Spectre", you immediately feel the special atmosphere where James Bond meets Madeleine Swann for the first time. The extraordinary building with a size of over 1,300 square meters extends over two floors and blends harmoniously into the breathtaking mountain scenery.
The legendary MI6 agent James Bond was created by the British author Ian Fleming and made his debut in the novel "Casino Royale" in 1953. In 1962, James Bond entered the big screen for the first time with Sean Connery in the leading role, and since then the British agent has thrilled generations of fans.
007 ELEMENTS: Behind the scenes of the secret agent
So it's no wonder that the 007 ELEMENTS is a center of attraction for visitors from all over the world. A special experience is already the arrival with the Gaislachkoglbahn including the breathtaking view of the Tyrolean mountains. From the top station there is barrier-free access to the entrance level. The 007-ELEMENTS installation is entered through the "Barrel of the Gun", the revolver course. In a total of nine rooms, you leave reality behind, immerse yourself in the world of the secret agent and look behind the scenes.
Up high: James Bond at 3,048 meters
Even though James Bond prefers to wear a suit and tie, visitors to the 007 ELEMENTS should wear warm clothing, since they are in high alpine terrain. For the ride with the Gaislachkoglbahn from the valley to the top station, you should allow about 30 minutes. For visitors who do not have a valid train ticket (such as a ski pass or the Ötztal Inside Summer Card), there is a Combination ticketwhich includes the ascent and descent with the Gaislachkoglbahn I + II AND the entrance to 007 ELEMENTS. Owners of the Welcome Card unlimited enjoy a very special advantage: For them, the entrance to the 007 ELEMENTS as well as the ascent and descent with the Gaislachkoglbahn are included once for free.
AREA 47: a paradise for adrenaline junkies
We stay in the Ötztal, but drive out of the valley again to Ötztal-Bahnhof. Here you will find AREA 47, Austria's largest outdoor leisure park - a place of superlatives, a playground for adrenaline junkies, sports enthusiasts and hard-core outdoor enthusiasts. Here you can literally throw yourself into the depths, for example on the Flying Fox & Mega Swing. If you are looking for that Tarzan feeling, venture into the High Ropes Course and overcome the limits and the inner swine. At Canyoning you are almost at the mercy of the forces of nature. Here, gorges are conquered, you jump into foaming waters and slide along slippery rock grooves down the abyss. Who dares?
Water, water, water!
Are you ready for an unforgettable water experience? Then you shouldn't miss the Water AREA, the coolest water park in all of Austria! With a total of 20,000 square meters, this versatile park is dedicated to the element of water. Here you can expect not only creative diversity, but also an adrenaline-filled adventure. The fastest water slide in Europe will take your breath away, while blobbing, cannonball and the slip-and-slide water jump will make you feel like a human projectile. And best of all, you can get all these exciting experiences with just one ticket or even for free on your tour day or during your stay in the Living AREA or if you are a holder of a Welcome Card unlimited welcome card. The Water AREA is the ideal place for those who want to experience more than just lying by the lake and are looking for real action.
On two wheels - in any weather
There are so many activities and tours to book at AREA 47 that I can't even list them all here. There is guaranteed to be something for every adrenaline junkie. But one very special attraction must not be left unmentioned here: Austria's first and only Indoor bike park. There are only four comparable mountain bike halls in the whole of Europe. In the 3,700 square meter MTB hall you will always find the perfect grip and the best conditions to live your passion. We are located in Tyrol, surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery, so true mountain bikers are naturally drawn out and up to the summit (no problem at AREA 47, as numerous mountain bike and e-mountain bike tours are offered). Nevertheless, it's good to know that from now on, from January to December, you can shred, drop and jib until your legs fall off in all kinds of bad weather. Here in the AREA 47, even the toughest bikers will have their hearts full!
Tratzberg Castle: history, art and lots of fun
After all the action and sports, I have a great tip for those interested in culture and history: Tratzberg Castle. It may seem a bit unspectacular at first glance, but it's anything but boring. In fact, it is one of the most popular family excursion destinations in Tyrol. Even my normally skeptical son still raves about this visit today.
I would like to take you on a little journey through time: Tratzberg Castle first appeared in documents in the 13th century. In the course of time, it often changed hands, including Emperor Maximilian, who used it as a hunting lodge. Later it came into the possession of the Fugger family, who further furnished the castle. The magnificent inner courtyard and some of the still existing inventory date from this time. After various changes of ownership, Tratzberg Castle finally came into the possession of the Counts Enzenberg in 1847, whose private residence it remains to this day. Count Ulrich Goëss-Enzenberg, descendant of Empress Maria-Theresia and current owner of the castle, took over the inheritance from his ancestors in the fifth generation. Together with his wife Katrin, he opened the long-neglected castle to culture enthusiasts and tourists. In the process, they run it like a modern business enterprise and live there with their family as the first generation.
A virtual trip into the past
If just reading or listening to history isn't enough for you, you can go on a unique virtual journey through time and experience history up close in 3D. Be there live when the castle burns down and is rebuilt. Hover over the renaissance castle at night and let yourself be carried away into times gone by. This unforgettable experience replaces the historical introduction of the castle tour and is available in different languages. There is a special version for children over the age of six.
Fairytale discoveries and fun for big & small
Tratzberg Castle is a perfect destination for families. Children can explore the castle together with their parents while listening to a particularly captivating and child-friendly fairy tale version of the story. The little ones go in search of the castle ghost Tratzi and his mouse friend Adele, meet a real knight and have the chance to win great prizes in a quiz. The children's program takes place at the same time as the adult tours, so families can stay together. At Tratzberg Castle, everyone gets the tour that suits them.
Eat, drink, play: Experience Tratzberg Castle all around!
No one has to go hungry here. The physical well-being is provided by the Tratzberg Castle Innwhich can be reached comfortably with the Tratzberg Express train. The slow train takes guests through the romantic castle forest directly from the castle to the Schlosswirt and back again. A special advantage for families: right next to the Schlosswirt is a spacious children's playground, where little castle visitors can let off steam after the tour, while the grown-ups can relax in peace.
Film magic in Tyrol
To connect with the previous excursion destination, the 007 ELEMENTS in Ötztal: Tratzberg Castle has served as a backdrop for numerous German-language film and television productions, and even Hollywood has filmed here. Tyrol basically enjoys great popularity as a filming location for national and international productions. If you're interested, feel free to stop by here. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Johannes Köck, the head of the Cine Tirol Film Commission, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.
All inclusive with the Welcome Card unlimited
Owners of the Welcome Card unlimited can use the three featured attractions(007 ELEMENTS & Bergbahnen Sölden, Water AREA and Tratzberg Castle) for free and get even more out of their Innsbruck vacation. Everything you need to know about the Welcome Card unlimited can be found here. Laura has written a great blog post with super tips for your Innsbruck vacation with the Welcome Card. Here you can find lots of tips for excursions around Innsbruck, and in this blog post I have summarized the many advantages of the Welcome Card and the Innsbruck Card.
Header image: © 007 ELEMENTS/Manuel Kottersteger
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Mother, TV series addict and nature lover with a passion for good food and the mountains!