A city escape – between urban flair and alpine nature: Innsbruck offers a unique mix of urban flair and alpine lifestyle seldom seen elsewhere. You don't even have to venture high into the mountains to experience this exceptional combination – a few steps out the centre is all it takes to walk between the two worlds. A tour of the famous Bergisel is a particularly wonderful example of this.
City trips rarely include much nature. In Innsbruck, it's different. Lena and Fabian treasure Innsbruck's unique mix of urban lifestyle and mountains. On their second visit to this alpine metropolis, they decided to do a very special discovery tour: the "Bergisel-Sillschlucht-Runde", a circular tour of Bergisel and the Sill Gorge. Lena finds the walk a particular highlight in autumn. "From Bergisel, you have a great view of the Nordkette mountain range, which is often covered with a dusting of snow at this time of year. The contrast to the colourful forest is stunning." And if you find yourself longing for higher peaks, you can always choose your next destination during the walk. "From the ‘Drachenfelsen’ viewing platform in the Sill Gorge, for example, you can see Nockspitze mountain soaring up out of the colourful autumn canopy. You can do a magnificent mountain tour there starting from either Axamer Lizum or Muttereralm" Lena excitedly explains.
Innsbruck has it all: splendid historic buildings, an Imperial Palace, narrow lanes, medieval arcades, magnificent shopping streets and futuristic architecture like the Hungerburgbahn funicular. What's more, this urban masterpiece is surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery. However, there may still be days when you long for a city escape, to get away from the heat of the city in summer for example. And this is something Innsbruck has also perfected.
Bergisel – a monument to freedom fighters and ski jumping legends
The tour around Bergisel is one of the most varied in the area – this large hill is located on the southern edge of the city and is a sightseeing highlight from both a sporting and historical perspective. Today, Bergisel is home to a ski jump that welcomes the world's best ski jumpers year on year for the Four Hills Tournament. In 1809, however, the hill was also the site of the rise and fall of freedom fighter Andreas Hofer. The Tirol Panorama Museum and Imperial Infantry Museum at the foot of the Bergisel feature impressive exhibitions that show just how closely his fate is interwoven with the history of the region.
Coffee at the top of the jump tower – variety guaranteed
If you want to start your tour at the futuristic-looking ski jump, you can take the sightseeing bus known as the Sightseer, which stops at the ski jump stadium. The ski jump tower is a lovely place for a coffee but there is a real danger you might stay too long: if you can tear yourself away from your seat overlooking the breathtaking scenery of the city with the Nordkette mountain range towering up behind it, follow the "Panoramaweg" panoramic trail down into the wildly romantic Sill Gorge and on to the State Museum.
Finally, Lena has a very special recommendation: "Immerland cafe is a great place to stop for breakfast or a cappuccino during your sightseeing tour. It is located on the charming Wiltener Platzl square, just a few minutes from the city centre."