Innsbruck for bookworms
If you are looking for a lovely reading corner or a nice place to enjoy a good book, you won't have to look far in Innsbruck: The new city library acts as the largest living room in the city, and comfort is a top priority. There are also numerous bookstores in the city centre that attract visitors with their excellent service and advice, as well as various cafes where you can browse and enjoy a nice long break with a good book.
Reading outdoors is of course especially nice when the weather and temperatures are right. Just grab a book and head to the Imperial Gardens, to the banks of the River Inn or up into the mountains! In Innsbruck's largest gardens, you can sit directly on the grass under the old trees or opt for one the many park benches. The banks of the River Inn can get quite busy but they are a wonderful place to soak up the sun. And only in Innsbruck: reading with a view! You can get up to high-altitude reading spots, for example up on the Nordkette mountain range or on Patscherkofel mountain, quickly and easily thanks to the various lifts and cable cars.
A place for everyone: the Stadtbibliothek (city library)
Innsbruck has been home to this breathtaking "living room" since November 2018. The city library is an impressive example of modern architecture with lots of natural light(LAAC Architects). This isn't simply a place to store books, it is a welcoming and comfortable space where people can come together to read, work or study. Visitors can browse the many books, newspapers and magazines and then simply sit back, relax, use the available workspaces or enjoy a coffee. The children's area is an inviting space where families can play and explore. The library is open to the public and free of charge; the current rates apply for borrowing books, games, films and much more.
Other libraries in Innsbruck:
Innsbruck's bookshops: more than just books
Innsbruck's main bookshops have two things in common: Firstly, they are located in the city centre – within an area of a few hundred metres to be precise. Secondly, the booksellers are renowned for their charming and competent advice and their obvious enthusiasm for literature.
Wagner'sche. Books since 1639
This large, traditional bookshop on Museumstraße road quite rightly holds the title "Bookstore of the Year 2020".
The store is much more than a place to buy books. One of their special highlights is "Blind Dates" – books that are wrapped in brown paper and briefly described by employees. This is exciting for the reader and well worth a try. The bookshop's well-stocked selection extends across two floors and the second floor is home to another insider tip in addition to books: a small café with vegetarian lunch menus, a charming rooftop terrace and, of course, good coffee. The perfect place to dip in and out of literary worlds!
The often high-profile and well-attended events and readings held at Wagner'sche are also highly recommended. The in-house publisher features many interesting works, often connected to Innsbruck.
Tyrolia. Reading is paramount.
The name Tyrolia says it all. This Tyrolean bookstore has 18 branches. The shop in the centre of Innsbruck is located in the Obexer-Haus on Maria Theresien Street and is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy shopping street. The shop has a large sales area with three floors and features numerous, comfortable reading corners. Coffee is also available on the first floor. The fabric shopping bags offered by Tyrolia feature the words "Es keat oanfach viel mehr glesn", which is basically a fun Tyrolean way of saying "We should all be reading more". This bag is probably one of the coolest accessories and just one of the many gift ideas that are available at the bookshop alongside literature and reading materials. All of the products offered are selected based on regionality and sustainability. In the basement, the range of paper, stationery and office supplies complement the already extensive selection. Events held are not limited to Innsbruck, they also take place in other locations. This includes the presentation of publications from the Tyrolia publishing house, often with a reference to Tyrol or religion.
Liber Wiederin. The tradition of bookstores
The bookstore Liber Wiederin on Erlerstrasse road in Innsbruck carefully selects new publications while passionately nurturing great works of world literature. The recommendations provided by booksellers at Liber Wiederin are hand-picked and therefore highly valued. The bookshop has an appealing design featuring beautiful accent colours.
One of the shop's unique attractions is a large adjoining reading garden – right in the heart of the city. This wonderful setting makes discovering the world of books even more fun, and can be enjoyed with a cup of coffee in hand! It is easy to see why this has all been rewarded with the Austrian Bookstore Award (2017).
Haymon. Giant, publisher and bookshop
The name Haymon is closely linked with Innsbruck through the legend of a giant. For Tyrolean literature, the importance of the Haymon Verlag publishing house cannot be overestimated and is therefore also “giant” in this regard. Haymon bookshop on Sparkassenplatz square stands for years of tradition and the connection between publishing and bookselling.
The large shop windows reveal dark walls full of books that lure reading enthusiasts in from the street. The shop is well stocked and has received multiple awards: on the one hand for its architecture, on the other the Austrian Bookstore Award (2018). The HAYMON coffee bar sweetens the reading experience even more with coffee, refreshments and handmade pastries.
Cafés for reading in Innsbruck
Innsbruck is home to many enchanting cafes where you can relax and enjoy a good book. The list would be very, very long if we were to try and name them all. That's why we've put together a small selection for you here.
Poetry slams and reading contests – win over the audience
During a poetry slam, participants have five minutes to present/read their own texts. It is a competition and the audience picks the winner.
BPS – the Bäckerei Poetry Slam
The poetry slam at the Bäckerei has already become a tradition in Innsbruck and people flock there every month. The events held at this cultural venue are always extraordinary experiences with special, varied texts. Some of the slammers have even published books with their entries.
The Gestaltwandler (shapeshifter) Slam takes place monthly at the Brux – Freies Theater Innsbruck. A theme is provided for each slam, so the shape of each event changes. At most other poetry slams, participants can choose their own topic.