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Innsbrucker Altstadt mit Goldenem Dachl | © Innsbruck Tourismus / Frank Heuer

Bucket list for provincial capital of Innsbruck

The best sights in the city and beyond.

There’s plenty to do in Innsbruck, even if you’re only here for a couple of days. All the major sights are in walking distance of each other. Those who have more time to spare can soar to dizzying heights in total comfort: explore the summits of the Nordkette mountain range, the Patscherkofel or the viewing platform on Bergisel.


1. | A symbol of Innsbruck

The Golden Roof in the centre of the old town is Innsbruck’s most famous tourist attraction. It was built around 1500 on behalf of Emperor Maximilian I (1459–1519), who sought to demonstrate his power and wealth with the lavish structure. Its 2,657 wooden shingles are covered with an alloy made from copper and a small amount of gold. Inside the house, there is an interactive museum.


2. | Learn about Tirol’s freedom fighter

In 1809, Andreas Hofer led the Tirolean Rebellion into battle on the Bergisel mountain. The TIROL PANORAMA is a 360° artwork measuring nearly 1,000 square metres. It depicts scenes from the legendary Tirolean battle for freedom. Visit the museum in conjunction with a tour of the Bergisel hiking circuit to the Drachenfels.


3. | Breathe mountain air on the Nordkette

The valley station of the Hungerburgbahn cable car is located right next to Congress Innsbruck. Celebrity architect Zaha Hadid was inspired by snow, ice and glaciers when designing it. The trip to Hungerburg, which sits at an altitude of 860 metres, only takes eight minutes. From here, take the Nordkettenbahnen cable cars to the Seegrube restaurant (1,905 m) and the Hafelekar at 2,256 metres above sea level.

4. | ‘Schwarze Mander’ on the emperor’s grave

Decades after Emperor Maximilian I’s death, the Court Church was built, complete with his tomb. Even though the coffin is empty – Emperor Maximilian is buried in Wiener Neustadt –, the church is the largest imperial tomb in the German-speaking region. Its 28 ‘schwarze Mander’ are particularly impressive: the 2.4-metre-tall bronze statues depict the Emperor’s family and his historical role models, for example, King Arthur. The Emperor himself decided before his passing who would be allowed to visit his final resting place.


5. | Centuries of pomp at the imperial residence

In 1500, during the reign of Emperor Maximilian I, Innsbruck’s Hofburg Imperial Palace was completed. As well as the residence of the imperial family, the splendid building fulfilled a representative purpose. The palace was changed many times over the centuries. Alongside the Vienna Imperial Palace and Schönbrunn Palace, it is one of Austria’s most important cultural buildings.


6. | Fine art at “Galerie Congress Innsbruck”

Fritz Wotruba, Rudi Wach, Elmar Peintner, Gerhild Diesner, Nino Malfatti and Franz Pöhacker are only a few of many artists whose works are displayed at Congress Innsbruck. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through Galerie Congress Innsbruck and discover large paintings and drawings, wall reliefs and sculptures in the foyers across all floors. The artworks give you a striking impression of the Tirolean contemporary art scene.


7. | Spectacular city views

More than 133 steps lead up to the viewing platform of the Innsbruck City Tower. After its construction in 1450, it was used as a watchtower offering sweeping views of the entire city. Whenever a threat appeared, be it enemies or a fire, the citizens were swiftly alerted. Today, the viewing platform – towering 31 metres above the ground – treats locals and tourists alike to lovely vistas of Innsbruck and its surrounding mountains.

8. | Castle of love

Archduke Ferdinand II of Austria (1529–1595) had a former hunting lodge expanded into a magnificent palace for Philippine Welser, the love of his life with whom he entered into a morganatic marriage. To this day, their love is tangible to anyone visiting Ambras Castle. From its castle grounds and the historical baths to the Renaissance chamber of art and curiosities, Ambras Castle more than deserves its reputation as one of Austria’s greatest sights.


9. | Twinkling all over

Over a hundred years ago, Daniel Swarovski (1862–1956) revolutionised the world of jewellery by developing a method of cutting and polishing glass to make it shine and glitter like diamonds. The Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, open since 1995, invite visitors into the fascinating world of these twinkling stones. Multimedia artist André Heller has created a unique place of imagination: across 18 sparkling rooms, ancient history meet contemporary artworks.


10. | Climb the local Olympic mountain

In 1964 and 1976, the Winter Olympics took place on the Patscherkofel mountain. Innsbruck’s local mountain, situated just south of the city, is a popular leisure destination, attracting droves of hikers and mountainbikers in summer and snow boarders and skiers in winter. Its summit is easily reached with the Patscherkofel cable car.

11. | Discover alpine flora and fauna


At Alpenzoo Innsbruck, visitors can get up close and personal with the fascinating animal world of the Alps and discover many rare Alpine species. With its magnificent location perching above the city, the zoo not only offers unique insights into an array of alpine fauna, the spectacular view it offers of the surrounding mountain landscape will take your breath away. A visit to the Alpine Zoo is an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and families alike.

12. | The exciting world of ski jumping 

The Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck has hosted Olympic ski jumping competitions and Nordic World Championships and is part of the annual Four Hills Tournament. The ski jump impresses with its modern architecture by star architect Zaha Hadid and offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city from a viewing platform with an adjoining restaurant. Visitors can discover the site’s historical significance and experience the excitement of ski jumping up close.


The Innsbruck Card.

The Welcome Card gives visitors to Innsbruck free or discounted admission to many attractions plus free public transport.

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