Julie Austria 10 Comments

Innsbruck is a colorful, picturesque city nestled in the Austrian Alps. Its biggest draw is its location. Innsbruck sits in a valley and it surrounded by enormous, snow-capped mountains. This is a city with endless views…ride cable cars to the mountain peaks, visit a ski jump, or climb the Town Tower for unbeatable views. With its close proximity to Italy and Germany, Innsbruck makes a great stop on a road trip or railway trip through Europe.

You only need a few hours to see the highlights of Innsbruck, but if you have more time, there is plenty to do to keep you busy.

8 Great Things to do in Innsbruck

Aldstadt von Innsbruck (the Old Town)

The Old Town is compact, scenic, and easy to visit. Stroll the colorful streets, go shopping, and if you are lucky, you may be able to see a street performance. Most of the main sites in Innsbruck are within walking distance from the Old Town or connected by the tram.

Innsbruck in August

Innsbruck street performers

For Breathtaking Views, Ride the Cable Car

There are a series of cable cars that can whisk you to the top of the Nordkette Mountains for 360° views over the area.

You have three options for ascending the Nordkette Mountains:

The Hungerburg Funicular takes riders a short ways up to Hermann Buhl Square. This is the cheapest, quickest option. For just a few euros, you can get some amazing views over the city. For budget travelers, this is a great option. Here is the view from Hermann Buhl Square.

Innsbruck Austria

From Hermann Buhl Square, take the Nordkette cable car (also called the Innsbrucker Nordkettenbahnen) to Seegrube. Now, you are really climbing high. Once at the top, enjoy the amazing view. You also have the option to hike the Panorama Trail, an easy hiking trail that can be completed in 30 minutes.

The third cable car, from Seegrube to Hafelekar Peak, takes you as high as you can go (2,300 meters). From here, you get panoramic views of the Alps.

There are a variety of sports and leisure activities offered in Seegrube and Hafelekar Peak. Go downhill mountain biking, hiking, handgliding, skiing, and more.

For full details on ticket prices, hours of operation, and planning your visit, go to the Nordkette website. Tickets can also be purchased through GetYourGuide, and the last we checked, tickets purchased on the GetYourGuide website can be canceled up to 24 hours in advance with a full refund.

For another scenic view, climb the Town Tower

The Town Tower (Stradtturm) is located in the Old Town of Innsbruck. For just a few euros, you can climb the tower for a different perspective of the city.

Town Tower Innsbruck

Overlooking Innsbruck

Innsbruck Old Town

See the Hofkirche and the Cathedral of St. James

These are two small churches located in the Old Town. The Hofkirche is notable for its 28 bronze statues of the ancestors and heroes of Austria. The Cathedral of St. James is a favorite of tourists for its Baroque architecture.

Innsbruck Cathedral

Cathedral of St. James

Schloss Ambras

Schloss Ambras was a medieval fortress that was turned into a Renaissance castle for the wife of Archduke Ferdinand II. Now, you can see the medieval armor and artwork dating back hundred of years.

Tirol Panorama

There are two reasons to visit the Tirol Panorama: to learn about Tirol history and to get more views over the city of Innsbruck. This is a new, modern museum that takes visitors on a journey through the tumultuous history of Tirol.

Bergisel Ski Jump

So, the stunning views are endless in this city. From the top of the ski jump, you are rewarded with anther panoramic view of Innsbruck. This ski jump is also used for training and competitive purposes, so if you are here at the right time, you will also be able to watch ski jumping.


Innsbruck hosted the 1964 and the 1976 Winter Olympics. The sports complexes at Olympiaworld were used during the Olympics and are still in use today. Watch ice skating, ice hockey, soccer, and even music events.

Innsbruck Olympics

Planning Your Visit

Getting to Innsbruck

Innsbruck is located on the long, skinny tail of Austria that is wedged between Italy and Germany. If you have a car, in just 30 minutes you can be in either Germany or Italy. If you are traveling by rail, the Innsbruck station connects European cities such as Venice, Munich, Salzburg, and Zurich. There is also an airport in Innsbruck.

The Innsbruck Card

If you are planning on visiting many of the museums in Innsbruck, as well as riding the cable car, the Innsbruck Card is worth purchasing. This card covers a ride on the Innsbrucker Nordkettenbahnen cable car (as well as several others in the area), admission into all museums and tourist attractions, free transportation on buses, trams, and bicycles, and it even includes a free walking tour. The card is available for 24, 48, or 72 hours.

The 24 hour Innsbruck card costs €49. If you plan on riding the Innsbrucker Nordkettenbahnen and visiting the Bergisel Ski Jump Stadium, the card pays for itself.

For full details on the Innsbruck card, click here.

You can also purchase the Innsbruck Card through GetYourGuide. It’s the same price as the official website, and the last we checked, if you purchase it on the GetYourGuide website, it can be canceled up to 24 hours in advance with a full refund.

More Things to Do in Innsbruck

Go paragliding, take a food tour, and even go white water rafting. These tours make great additions to your visit to Innsbruck.


If you have any questions about the best things to do in Innsbruck, let us know in the comment section below.

Planning a trip to Austria? Read all of our articles in our Austria Travel Guide.

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Innsbruck Austria Travel List


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Innsbruck Austria things to do

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Comments 10

  1. Avatar for Lori Blaisdell
    Lori Blaisdell

    Hello and thank you for your wonderful website! My husband and I have about 12 hours in Innsbruck and are wondering how long you suggest for the Nordkette/Hafelekar Peak visit. We would like to do that in the morning, and take the train to Salzburg in the afternoon. Thanks!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Lori. I would budget 2 to 3 hours to go to the peak. That includes time on the cable cars and time for the views at the top. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Al

    I’m heading to Innsbruck from Stuttgart on the A7. Are there places to stop for the vignette along that section, say from Ulm to the border?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      You can purchase a vignette at the gas stations and rest stops near the border between Germany and Austria. So keep a lookout for a gas station right before you get to Austria and you should be able to purchase a vignette here. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Chandana

    Hi I am planning a ten day relaxed vacation in Austria with my husband for our anniversary in Oct.Can you suggest some cities that we can cover . We are planning to visit Vienna Salzburg and Innsbruck. Any advice /suggestions. Also we don’t know German will that be a problem

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck are great. You can also add in Hallstatt. While in Salzburg, it might be nice to day trip into Berchtesgaden, Germany. It’s a beautiful area. You don’t need to speak German, although being able to say hello, goodbye, please, thank you, and few other short phrases is always appreciated. But you will be able to get by just fine with English. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for James

    Hi, I am planning to visit Innsburg from Salzburg for one day.What is the best itenary for one day.

    And we are 6 people, where to park a car for one day in Innsbruck.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello James. If it is a clear day, I would start with the cable car. In general, the skies tend to be clear in the morning and get cloudier in the afternoon (but this is just a generalization). Then, walk around the Old Town, have lunch and later in the day see the Olympic sites, the Panorama, and the ski jump. Maybe end with dinner again in the Old Town. If I remember correctly, we parked in a public parking lot just outside of the Old Town. On Google Maps, you can search for parking and then save these on your map. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Minu Vijay Doiphode
    1. Avatar for Julie Post

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