I am currently based in Salzburg, a little mountain city in central Austria. The capital city of Vienna lies to the east, and to the west is the wonderful Innsbruck, another mountainous and adventure-filled spot.
After nearly a year of living in Austria (albeit rarely actually being here though, what with my jaunts across the continent), when Vancouver friend Connor said he was heading through on his way from Italy to Spain to walk the Camino, we figured a weekend hiking there would be a brilliant way to catch up and hang out.
The main things we did were two wonderful hikes: the Zirbenweg with views across Innsbruck from the top of two gondolas, and then a glorious sunrise hike to Salfeiner See. However, the city of Innsbruck itself, nestled against the Alps and with a bustling old town, also offers plenty to do.
How to Get to Innsbruck
There is an airport in Innsbruck, but by far the most popular and easiest way to get here from around Austria and nearby European countries is by train to Innsbruck Hbf. Salzburg to Innsbruck is less than two hours by train.
Where to Stay in Innsbruck
As a popular tourist spot, accommodation is fairly pricey here. We stayed at the Meininger Hostel, about fifteen minutes walk from the Innsbruck Hbf. It was clean, modern and well-located and I'd happily stay here again, even though the dorms were €40 per night!
Things to Do in Innsbruck
The main attraction in Innsbruck in the summer is of course to get out into the mountains and go hiking. We did two hikes: the Zirbenweg with views across Innsbruck from the top of two gondolas, and then a glorious sunrise hike to Salfeiner See.
2. See the view through Triumphpforte
Built in 1765 by Empress Maria Theresa in celebration of her son's wedding, this arch now is an iconic photospot looking down the Maria-Theresien-Straße.
3. Spot the Annasäule
This iconic marble column in the heart of Innsbruck was built in 1703 and features a statue of the Virgin Mary.
4. See the golden balcony of Goldenes Dachl
This ornate residence is decorated by over 2600 shiny tiles in the heart of Innsbruck's Aldstadt.
5. Wander past the pretty buildings of the old town
Photographed is the Hofburg Palace, a sixteenth century Renaissance palace.
6. Visit the Hofkirche mit Silberner Kapelle
This beautiful Gothic church houses the tombs of Emperor Maximilian I and Archduke Ferdinand (the one from the 1500s though, not the one who was assassinated setting of WWI!) as well as some pretty impressive lifesize statues, including one of King Arthur.