Imperial Innsbruck A city of surprises
You’ll be charmed by this colourful, historical Austrian town where old meets new, says Dorothy Andrews
Years ago I had a day trip to Innsbruck and always vowed to come back to this elegant Austrian city nestled in the shadow of the Alps.
A bus outside the airport takes you to Central Station – about 20 minutes, at 3 euros one way. A few minutes away was my hotel, Stage 12 – Hotel by Penz. Behind its traditional façade and elegant walkway is a stylish, modern interior with a lively bar, sauna, steam room and a fitness room.
It’s in a great location, minutes from the main attractions. My balcony overlooked colourful rooftops with the baroque clock tower Spitalkirche dominating the evening skyline.
The first evening was spent dining at the famous Café Sacher at the inner courtyard of the Imperial Palace. As well as tucking in to the infamous Sacher torte (with cream) we were serenaded by the promenade concert – it was the cherry on the cake.
Back at the hotel in a glorious comfy bed I only managed to count one sheep; the next thing I knew it was morning! It couldn’t have been the Gruner Veltliner Austrian wine – I only had one glass…
After a delightful breakfast, it was time to explore. Buy a 24, 48 or 72-hour Innsbruck Card (from 43 euros) for free entry to all attractions.
Imperial and modern architecture complement each other on the colourful main street. The buildings positively glow. But the centre of attention is the Golden Roof with 2,657 copper tiles glistening in the sun, commissioned by Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519).
You’ll get a fantastic view of the golden roof from the city tower; it will also help get your bearings for other landmarks. Be careful on the spiral staircase; there is one up, one down which makes it easier.
Catch the Hungerburg funicular and cable cars will take you up the Nordkette mountain range to Hafelekar – the views are incredible. The best way up the mountain if you don’t want to walk!
With so much to see in a short time I was recommended to visit the Tyrolean Heritage Museum which has exhibitions looking at faith and magic.
The pre-show for The Court Church starts with a room full of paintings of Maximilian I. Then… you’ll have to go to see for yourself! The Court
Church houses the tomb of Maximilian I, guarded by 28 huge bronze statues.
Dating from 1500, tours of the Imperial Palace include the Giant’s Hall with portraits of the Habsburg family and ceiling frescoes.
Do taste a local Wiener Schnitzel (veal cutlet) and Kaiserschmarren (pancake with plum compote) too!
Innsbruck’s main walkway Maria-Theresien-Strasse, shadowed by the magnificent Nordkette mountain
Giant’s Hall in the Hofburg Imperial Palace
Funky plant pots leading to Stage 12 Hotel
Bergisel ski jump
Giant panoramic painting at the Tirol Panorama Museum
Hungerburg g Funicular station