The Nordkette mountain experience
The Nordkette is the jewel of the Alps. This stunning mountain range perfectly complements Innsbruck, the Capital of the Alps, and impressively demonstrates the city’s finest attribute: the alpine-urban connection between natural mountain scenery and vibrant city life.
The mountain range watches over the city from the north and is a popular destination and attraction: for both sports enthusiasts and anyone who believes Winston Churchill’s alleged “no sports” philosophy. “No sports” was once his explanation for his old age. He lived to be 90 years old and would certainly have enjoyed the modern Nordkette experience.
Up to 2,000 meters in 20 minutes
The Nordkettenbahnen lifts take passengers high up into the mountains from the city centre. The journey takes just 20 minutes from the Congress lift station, near the Imperial Palace, to the Seegrube at 2,000 metres. From the Seegrube, another cable car continues 300 metres higher to the Hafelekar. The whole journey can be done without any hiking. The lifts are also wheelchair accessible, offering easy access for people with reduced mobility.
Enjoy the view
Once at the top, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The summit cross on the Hafelekar is just a 20 minute walk away and the mountain lift stations are good starting points for hikes to numerous mountain huts. From Hungerburg, a short and relatively simple 45-minute hike will take you to the Arzler Alm mountain hut. From the Seegrube, the Bodensteinalm can be reached within an hour and the Höttinger Alm within one and a half hours.
The Karwendel Alpine Park also boasts many hikes and numerous mountain huts that serve delicious food and offer accommodation. Follow in the footsteps of the poet on the Goetheweg trail, for example. The hike to the Pfeishütte mountain hut and back takes four and a half hours.
Evenings at the Nordkette
The ride up to the Nordkette is also a great experience at night. Dinner overlooking the city lights awaits you at the top. Alternatively, sports enthusiasts can enjoy the huge range of activities available with the Nordkette Weekend Welcome in summer. In winter, evenings take on a party vibe at the Cloud 9 igloo.
The last lift down from Hafelekar leaves at 5 pm and the last cable car down from Seegrube leaves at 5.30 pm. Except on Fridays when lifts run until 11.30 pm for the evening programme. The Hungerburgbahn funicular runs until 7.15 pm. If you are returning to Innsbruck after this time, the J bus stops a few metres away from the Hungerburg lift station and will take you into the centre of Innsbruck. The last bus leaves at 10.26 pm.
Free with the Innsbruck Card
The return lift ticket and use of public transport are included with the Innsbruck Card. Parking is available at the Congressgarage car pack by the Congress lift station. This isn’t included with the Innsbruck Card but is free of charge from 8 am until 6 pm in combination with the following offers:
- When purchasing a combined ticket for the lift and Alpine Zoo
- With single tickets from the Congress lift station to Seegrube or Hafelekar
- With a day ski pass
Sport on the Nordkette
Sport makes people happy. If you believe this too, you’ll be in paradise on the Nordkette. The Seegrube is the perfect starting point for mountain bikers, rock climbers, hikers and daring downhill bikers. The Nordkettenbahnen lifts offer bike transport up to the top of the single track, which covers a spectacular 1,000 vertical metres. Alternatively, fitness fans can burn energy in demanding CrossFit sessions. Friday evenings at the Seegrube offer all the sport you could want and more.
Every Friday evening from June to September. The Seegrubenbahn cable car runs every half an hour from 6 pm on these evenings. Discounted lift tickets are available. The last lift down leaves at 11.30 pm.