I’m one of those people who loves all Seasons, (my housemate would be rolling her eyes now) but it’s true. Every single Season brings me so much joy, and not just because of all the basic gal seasonal Starbucks drinks but because Season has something to offer. I don’t get to see snow very often, so spending a day in snowy Innsbruck was possible one of the best experiences ever. They have good food, snow, mountains, great sightings, and so much more to offer.
We were staying in Salzburg, but when I was researching online I came across Innsbruck and immediately fell in love with it. The photos I saw were just gorgeous, and the National Park blew me away. However we only had one day free on our trip, the old town is gorgeous full of color, and the mountains are beautiful. Innsbruck is the capital of the city Tyrol in the Austrian Alps, it is best known for its Winter sports.
As I said before I don’t get to see snow very often and winter/snow holidays are in my bucket list as well as learning how to snowboard. Unfortunately, the day we went nobody was allowed to Ski or Snowboard, so we used a sled like the kids and oh my freaking God THAT WAS AWESOME!!! It’s safe to say that the child in me was freaking out and I just wanted to slide down the mountain over and over, and over again!
How to get to Innsbruck
Since we were in Austria it was super easy, the train system is pretty good so to get to Innsbruck via train from most major areas including Salzburg or Vienna is pretty quick and straightforward. The train journey lasts about 1 h 50 min if you’re traveling from Salzburg, so you can take a little nap as I did. The return ticket costs roughly 34€ for a second class ticket, we ain’t bougie out here. Be sure to buy your tickets beforehand because they get expensive as it gets closer to the departure date.
If you’re not in Austria that’s cool too, you can use Euro rail from other destinations. Just be sure to check out Train Line website to find the best routes and prices. If trains aren’t your thing, then you’ll be happy to know that Innsbruck has its own airport. From certain countries that don’t have direct flights, it might be easier to fly to Vienna and then take the train to Innsbruck. However, if you get to fly to Innsbruck I hear that is possibly one of the prettiest plane scenery ever. You get to see all the pretty snow covered mountains, how awesome is that?
Plus, if you love driving, that’s another possibility.
What to do/visit in innsbruck
Looks like a tiny city but there’s actually a lot to do in Innsbruck. Like I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t get much time to visit since I only had one day and I spent most of in the National park and sliding down the mountain. If you have a couple of days to spend that’d be awesome, this way you’ll be able to take advantage of everything from fun in the mountains to strolls in the old town.
– Innsbruck Old Town (It’s just gorgeous, full of color mixed in with cobblestone streets, the background of the snow filled mountains, oh my goodness.. I couldn’t stop smiling.)
– Golden Roof
– Nordkette (by cable car)
– Seegrube (by cable car)
– Swarovski Crystal World (AKA The Disney World of Crystals)
– Innsbruck Cathedral
– Tyrol Folk Museum
If you’re into Zoo’s, Innsbruck has the highest zoo in Europe. It’s located on the mountain tops so you can access via cable car, walking, or get a bus. Since the Zoo was not on our agenda and quite frankly I don’t really appreciate them we just had a little stroll around Hungerburg and took the cable car up to the top of the mountain.
The heart of the alps
I never really had proper Winter holidays, and quite frankly I don’t think I can consider my experience “Winter holidays” because I only stayed over there for one day, but this was the best experience ever. Stopping in Innsbruck Alps was the biggest highlight of the whole 2 weeks trip, I loved it and I wish I could go back again this winter. I think everybody should experience the Winter holidays, whether you like the cold weather or not just try it once in your life.
It’s just so much fun, the beauty of being in contact with nature at its finest is just amazing. You breathe in the fresh air, you exercise without even noticing, and you laugh constantly so all in all the best kind of trip you can have really! As I said above, we traveled to Innsbruck and from there we went up to the mountains in Hafelekar.
It can be reached by Cable railways (cable car), from the city center to the Austrian largest Nature Park in a few minutes. You can hop on board at the Congress Station (old town) as we did and then stop wherever you like. Tickets can be bought at the station on in the tourist information office (near the Golden Roof). Prices range from 27.40€ to 36.50€ return, depending on your route (ie: Top of Innsbruck 36.50€). If you’re not staying in a lodge or Airbnb in the mountains, be sure to travel down before 17:30 h.
K, so in the mountains there’s so much to do and see. When you get to the cable car you’ll see that you have three stops to choose from, or you can visit them all if you have the time (which we did not). The first stop is Hungerburg where you can find the Alpine Zoo, Cable Railway Museum, and the Theresien Church. Since neither of us was into Zoo’s for railway museums we skipped that part, we tried visiting the Church but it was closed, we had a lil stroll around Hungerburg but we didn’t stay long. Hence why you won’t see pictures of that area.
Stop number two and my personal favorite is Seegrube, this place can be visited both Winter and Summertime and it won’t matter which Season you choose it will always be fun. From here you can catch a glimpse of all the daredevils in the area in action, and by daredevils I mean the crazy ass people who paraglide, mountain bike or rock climb. There’s a deck where you can relax and get some Vitamin D in your system, chill out or hang by the mountain bar, shake your booty at the Iglu or enjoy a nice Austrian meal in the restaurant. The views are gorgeous, the fun never stops here, I fell, got stuck in the snow, sled down the mountain, threw snowballs, ate yummy food and laughed my ass off here.
Please appreciate the photos down below, and enjoy my face when I was throwing a snowball but realizing that I was gonna get snow straight into my face.
The final stop is Hafelekar, the highest part of the mountain. Here you can appreciate the panoramic views of the Alps. There are a few easy short paths you can take to reach the viewing points, however, they’re easy but be sure to have appropriate shoes. Some of the paths are closed during winter for security reasons, but if it’s not snowing too much you’ll be able to see the Karwendel. From here you can see the skiers and snowboarders in Seegrube. Like in all stop points there’s a restaurant for you to indulge in Austrian food.
Oh, be sure to try out the Kaspressknödel, which is Tyrolean dumpling and an absolute must-eat food. My veggie friends out there will be happy to know that they are vegetarian, they’re cheesy potato dumplings which can be served on a veggie broth or on its own with some sauerkraut as I had.
If you are not comfortable with skiing of snowboarding, rent out a sled or a snow bike and have some fun in the snow. Don’t be afraid of being judged, I was that person and I wasn’t having fun and now that I don’t give a damn I have the most fun I’ve ever had. Just do it, I guarantee the child in you will be so content.