Innsbruck – beauty between the mountains
Innsbruck is a colorful city in the Alps. Surrounded by 2000 meter high mountains with many colorful faces between the houses: onion domes, historic house facades, magnificent buildings, the Bergisel Schanze, the Golden Roof, the Hofburg, the Anna Column, the Triumphal Gate with Maria-Theresienstraße and the pedestrian zone to stroll through. All of this belongs to the old town. Innsbruck city center is a mixture of the charm of bygone imperial times, modern architecture and the alpine joie de vivre in the Alps. At least that’s how the city looks to me. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Austria. Let yourself be inspired by my impressions, the grandiose sights and what else is beautiful here on this website about the old town of Innsbruck. Benefit from my tips at first hand and take a look at these pictures. For me the highlight is also the highest attraction in the city – the Top of Innsbruck.
The most beautiful Innsbruck sights
Discover the most beautiful Innsbruck sights in the eyes of a local! I live here and can give you my tips first hand on what you should really see on your Innsbruck excursion or Innsbruck holiday. I’ll take you to the famous Innsbruck sights and some places that you wouldn’t find at first glance – Innsbruck insider tips. There are still some things that cannot be found in every travel guide. The city on the Inn has a lot to offer, even if it does not have the largest old town in Tyrol.
Innsbruck insider tips
And that’s one of the secret tips: A visit to the largest old town in Tyrol. This is only a few kilometers away in the historic Hall in Tirol. The coin used to be there. The coinage brought a lot of wealth to the city, with which numerous historical houses and sights were built that you can still admire today. If you like narrow historical streets, with picturesque corners and mighty city towers – then you should take your time on your Innsbruck trip for a stop in Hall in Tirol, 10 kilometers away. It is also the birthplace of the dollar!
But what are the best sights in Innsbruck itself? I’ll show you that in this post. Starting with the world-famous Golden Roof to the highest attraction in the city, the Hafelekar. Most visitors don’t even check that you can drive straight from the old town to the Top of Innsbruck without any effort … I’ll show you in this post and what else is worth seeing in the capital of the Alps. Let yourself be inspired and informed. At the end there is also an overview of the city’s museums – for all museum fans. But now to the hotspot that you cannot miss – the Golden Roof:
The Golden Roof – the most famous of Innsbruck’s sights
What are the most beautiful sights in Innsbruck? For me – and probably most of them – the first port of call when visiting Innsbruck’s old town is the Golden Roof. Tourists can be found here almost at any time of the day. It is the hot spot in Innsbruck and one of the most visited sights in the city. Regardless of whether the sun shines on the golden roof tiles in summer or the snow turns the roof into a romantic backdrop in winter – this sight is always beautiful! You have the most famous view from the pedestrian zone:
I am always fascinated by the Golden Roof. It always looks different depending on the season and the light. That is why all Innsbruck visitors and even locals like to come here. You can not only see the Golden Roof from the outside, there is a museum inside. While there are many visitors outside, it is very quiet inside. Hardly any of the excursion guests “dares” to enter the building. Usually just a quick photo or a selfie is taken from the most famous roof in Europe and then on to the next spot. Curious about this top sight in Innsbruck: There are many stories about the Golden Roof. And it arouses desires: thieves have often succeeded in stealing individual pieces from the 2,657 gold-plated clapboards – but they have all come back! Nobody wanted or could keep them. Interesting right? Do you want to find out more about the Golden Roof?
-> Here you can read more about the Golden Roof.
the golden roof
The Annasäule – one of Innsbruck’s feudal sights
A 13 meter high column made of Kramsacher marble adorns Maria-Theresien-Straße in the old town. The Anna column stands in the boulevard of Innsbruck. Around the Anna Column you will find many shopping opportunities and great shops. There are also cafes here. The Anna column is of course one of Innsbruck’s must-see sights for your visit. The Anna Column is accessible free of charge around the clock and is always an admirable monument. Without the city stroll around the Anna column, you have missed something of Innsbruck. Admire not only the striking column, but also the houses with the many oriels that shine in all colors. You can read here how to get to the Anna column and what else is worth knowing:
-> that is the beautiful Anna column
Like the Triumphal Arch in Paris: The Triumphpforte
It is modeled like the Arc de Triompfe in Paris: The Triumphpforte in Innsbruck. Like the Anna column, it is situated in the city’s boulevard. You can find it at the end of Maria-Theresien-Straße. The Triumphal Gate is a huge monument that you should have seen on your city tour. The huge structure was built for a wedding … I like this sight in Innsbruck, because on nice days the striking peak of the Serles appears to rise directly into the sky behind the archway. This is how you notice the proximity of the city to the mountains!
The imperial Hofburg in Innsbruck
Around the golden roof, the surrounding sights such as the Hofburg are worthwhile. It was inhabited as a residence by the Habsburgs. At first it was a castle, then it was converted into a palace. Hence the name „Hofburg“. The imperial Hofburg in Innsbruck is worth a visit even in bad weather. It is a particularly large and imposing structure. You can walk around the Hofburg and see some of it from the inside. It can be viewed against admission. And it’s worth it. But take enough time, there is a lot to see. In the imperial Hofburg are the apartments of Empress Maria Theresa and the magnificent giant hall. For everyone who would like to save on admission, but would like to experience a piece of imperial times in Innsbruck: Next to the Hofburg is Innsbruck’s most beautiful park, the Hofgarten. It is accessible free of charge. One of the most beautiful playgrounds in town can be found for families with children. For couples, it’s a great place for a walk or a picnic in the park. Where the aristocrats used to sunbathe, you can relax in an imperial way in the immediate vicinity of the Hofburg.
The Cathedral of St. Jacob
Also in the immediate vicinity is the Innsbruck Cathedral, one of the top sights in Innsbruck. The two large church towers of St. Jakob’s Cathedral – as it is correctly called – are impressive. If you want to take photos inside, you have to buy a photo ticket. Personally, I find that a bit exaggerated and smells like the church’s “money making”. I don’t like that. I would be in favor of everyone who pays church tax not having to pay another entry. Dear persons in charge: Maybe an idea for the future? Interesting for visitors and free of charge in Innsbruck: every day at 12.10 p.m. the peace carillon of Innsbruck Cathedral rings in the city center, at the foot of the Karwendel.
Hofkirche Innsbruck – Emperor Maximilian and his legacy
Emperor Maximilian used the wealth of Tyrol for his government. He openly admitted that he was picking up money in Tyrol. Emperor Maximilian left a lot of traces in Innsbruck. The best place to get an impression of it is in the Hofkirche. There you can find the concentrated knowledge about Emperor Maximilian: I was in the Hofkirche in Innsbruck and very positively surprised by the multimedia show and the famous tomb in the church. It is not one of the outdated Innsbruck sights that one would expect at first glance.
The Top of Innsbruck
Few of the visitors think of that when sightseeing in Innsbruck: The highest attraction in the city, the Hafelekar. Because of its highest location, it is also known as the Top of Innsbruck. With the Nordkettenbahn you can go up into the mountains of the Karwendel without hiking equipment. From the highest point you look down on Innsbruck and on the other side over the beautiful mountains of the Karwendel Mountains. Uniquely beautiful – and often wonderfully sunny, while the clouds are hanging in the city. You definitely shouldn’t miss this excursion.
The Nordkettenbahn is also your feeder to the best vantage point over the old town and Innsbruck’s sights! You reach the valley station of the Hungerburgbahn next to the Hofburg. It was built by Zaha Hadid and is in itself one of Innsbruck’s sights. Admire the structure and then go down to the train station. The funicular starts as a subway and comes out of the underground at the Löwenburg station. From here, admire the view. First it goes with the Hungerburgbahn over the Inn and then up the steep mountain to the highest district of Innsbruck – the Hungerburg. What used to be a lonely hamlet above Innsbruck is now an enviable, beautiful residential area with a high level of recreational value. Right next to the mountain station of the Hungerburgbahn you can reach the free viewing platform of the Hungerburg with a gigantic view over the city and the sights.
Innsbruck sights: beautiful alleys and streets
You should also take your time to walk between Innsbruck’s sights: We mostly walk through narrow alleys or splendid streets with ornate house facades. I really like that. Many historical-looking signs on the houses give Innsbruck’s old town a great flair. All of this makes the old town of Innsbruck a sight in itself. So you don’t have to go in everywhere and pay admission. Take your time and stroll through the city center. Those who like it particularly feudal can also take a horse-drawn carriage through the city center. In my two following articles I will tell you the most beautiful streets in Innsbruck and my recommendation for a city tour that is particularly worth seeing.
The Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden in Innsbruck is also outside the old town. It is located in downtown Innsbruck in the district of Hötting. The university’s botanical garden has existed since 1793. He has been in Hötting since 1913, where you will find over 7000 plant species on an area of 2 hectares. Access is free and the botany is interesting to visit at any time of the year. If you want to know more about the research and botany of this famous garden in Innsbruck.
More sights in Innsbruck
The excursion destinations in Innsbruck shown above are the city’s top attractions. But you can discover a lot more if you have enough time. In addition to the many buildings, Innsbruck has special museums and companies that are a sight. I am thinking of the Grassmayr bell foundry. The family in Innsbruck has been making bells since 1599. The bells from Innsbruck ring out in over 100 countries around the world. You can see it in the family’s own bell museum.
Museums – the special Innsbruck sights
In the city you can also visit some museums and exhibitions. I have listed the biggest musts – and the most curious ones. For more information about the museums, just click directly on the link – there you will also find the opening times, prices and current information:
Tyrolean Folk Art Museum
The Tyrolean Folk Art Museum is located in the middle of Innsbruck’s old town next to the Hofburg. Originally founded as a Tyrolean handicraft museum, you can learn a lot about Tyrol from the exhibits here.
The Ferdinandeum is one of the Tyrolean state museums, dedicated to the former Crown Prince Ferdinand. You can see 7 collections from the past to our time.
Museum „Das Tirol Panorama“
In the center of this museum is the so-called Innsbruck Giant Circular Painting, which shows the Battle of Bergisel. It is one of the Tyrolean state museums.
Tyrolean museum railways
An association receives historic trams, restores them and exhibits them. You can also visit the Museum of Trams. From May to October the Museum of the Tyrolean Museum Railways is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Especially great for children: the museum train runs in Innsbruck during Advent.
Anatomy Museum Innsbruck
The strangest museum in town: Emperor Leopold I founded the University of Innsbruck, which began teaching in 1672. It was one of the first universities to have a real skeleton for anatomy teaching. From this a museum has developed that is open every Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
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