Innsbruck is a small city nestled in the heart of the Austrian Alps in Tyrol.
It’s surrounded by mountains and has a strong connection with nature. But at the same time it has a strong arts and culture scene and a vibrant nightlife.
Here’s how to make the most of both worlds with The Local’s guide to 24 hours in Innsbruck.
When it comes to outdoor adventures in Innsbruck, exploring the Nordkette mountain range is a must-do.
The Nordkette (or North Chain) is located just north of the city and is part of the stunning Karwendel Nature Park – Austria’s largest nature park covering 727 sqm.
This mountain range is easily accessible from the city centre with the Nordkettenbahn (Nordkette cable car). In just eight minutes, visitors can go from Congress Station on Rennweg (near the Golden Roof – see more below) to the Hungerburg Station via the Hungerburgbahn.
From there, you can visit Hermann Buhl Square to find out more about the famous Austrian mountaineer. Or simply take in the panoramic views across the city.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can then head to the Seegrube Panorama Trail or to the Seegrube Restaurant to try Tyrolean cuisine like homemade soups and Gröstl (a bacon, onion and potato fry up).
The cable car runs every 15 minutes from 7.15am to 7.15pm, Monday to Friday. On Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, the operating hours are 8am to 7.15pm.
Tickets for the Hungerburgbahn start at €10.90.
History and culture
The Goldenes Dachl (or Golden Roof) is a landmark structure. It’s located in the Old Town (Altstadt) and is considered Innsbruck’s most important and historic symbol.
The building was completed in 1500 and finished with 2,657 fire-gilt copper tiles on the roof, which give the effect of a roof made from gold (hence the name). It was built for Emperor Maximilian I.
Visitors can take in the structure from outside for free – or from the comfort of one the nearby cafes if you can get a seat on the terrace. Alternatively, you can pay a fee to go inside and explore the museum, depending on how much time you have.
From October to April, the Goldenes Dachl is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
While you’re at the Goldenes Dachl, it’s also worth taking some time to wander around the Old Town and then down to the river. There is a pretty view across the water of different coloured houses, all of which have stunning mountains as the backdrop.
Food and drink
If you’re on a budget, or just want to sample some local and seasonal produce while you’re in Innsbruck, then add the Markthalle (market hall) to your itinerary.
The Markthalle has more than 40 vendors and sells everything from Speck (cured ham) to Austrian cheeses and fruit and vegetables.
On the weekend, the Markthalle is only open from 7am to 1pm on Saturday and is closed on Sunday. But it’s open from 7am to 6.30pm from Monday to Friday.
For craft beer fans, add Tribaun bar to your list of things to do in Innsbruck.
Tribaun is centrally located on Museumstrasse (about a five-minute walk from the Goldenes Dachl). It has around 16 different craft beers on tap, as well as a food menu with pizzas and burgers.
Tribaun is open Monday to Saturday from 6pm and customers can book a 90 minute beer tasting for the full experience.
Another recommendation for food is burrito hotspot, Machete, on Anichstrasse, where you can sample Mexican cuisine while sipping on cocktails.
Unfortunately, Machete does not take bookings, so it’s worth arriving early if you really want to get a table. Machete is open from 11.30am to 1am from Tuesday to Saturday, and from 11.30am to 12am on Sunday.
Maria-Theresian-Strasse is the main shopping street in Innsbruck. It is home to Kaufhaus Tyrol and the RathausGalerien, both indoor centres with shops and cafes.
All the usual high street shops can be found on Maria-Theresian-Strasse. As well as some Austrian favourites, like Swarovski, and stores selling traditional dirndls and lederhosen.
If you want an alternative to high street stores then stroll through the Old Town where there are many small, independent shops selling jewellery, souvenirs and local food. This is the place to go to pick up some Tyrolean gifts.
And just outside of the city centre there is the DEZ shopping centre, where you can find stores like H&M, Zara, Humanic and even IKEA.
Got a recommendation for our 24 hours in Innsbruck guide? Let us know in the comments section below or email [email protected].