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Innsbruck is the provincial capital of Tyrol. Its 121,000 residents make it the fifth largest city in Austria. It was one of the eight host cities in the 2008 European Football Championships. It has twice hosted the Winter Olympics making it not only an interesting and beautiful situated city but the "largest ski resort in the Alps". It is located both close to Munich and northern Italy making it a must see alpine destination.
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Points of Interest in Innsbruck
The Innsbruck-Card offers free entrance to all of Innsbruck's sights, free use of public transportation (including the TS line). It also includes a one-time ascent&descent to Nordkette, Patscherkofel and Axamer Lizum and free entrance to Swarovski Kristallwelten  in Wattens. The Innsbruck-Card is valid for 24/48/72 hours and can be purchased at Innsbruck Information (Burggraben 3), the TI in Hauptbahnhof, and several museums and tourist offices. Tip: The Innsbruck card is pretty expensive, €29/€34/€39 for 1/2/3 day cards. And daily or weekly public transport cards are cheap - the "all inclusive" sales pitch is alluring to disoriented travelers, but make sure the discounts are worth the initial price. If you are not seeing these major entrance-fee sites, remember that you may buy more than one daily card at a time, as the 24 hours only starts once validated. Be sure to compare with the price of a weekly ticket too.
The bus line Sightseer (TS) connects the major sights in Innsbruck. However it there is always a cheaper public transport line going to the same destination, though it might take you more time.
Churches and Cathedrals
- Hofkirche, Universitätsstraße 2. Innsbruck's Hofkirche has the most important emperor's tomb monument (of emperor Maximilian I) in Europe. Especially characteristic are the larger-than-life bronzes ("schwarze Mander") that show members of different dynasties. Entrance: €3, reduced: €1.50, free with the Innsbruck-Card.
- Cathedral at Saint Jacob (Dom zu St. Jakob), Domplatz. Baroque styled cathedral, with works of Lucas Cranach the Elder. From 1717-1724 it was rebuilt (after damage from an earthquake) according to the plans of Johann Jakob Herkomer and Johann Georg Fischer. Free entrance.
- Wiltener Basilika, Haymongasse. Baroque styled church with Rokkoko-stucco, built from 1751-1756. Free entrance.
- Stift Wilten, Klostergasse. Premonstratensian monastery with a baroque collegiate church, not far from Wiltener Basilika. Free entrance.
Castles and Palaces
- Schloss Ambras, Schloß Straße 20 (Tramlines 6 (nearest stop) and 3, Bus: C (Stop: Luigenstraße)), ☎ +43 1 525 24 4802, fax: +43 1 525 24 4899. Open 10AM - 5PM. A renaissance style castle that was built on behalf of archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol. Interesting things to see are portrait- and armor-collections, art and curiosity cabinets, the Spanish hall and the palace garden. April to October: €8. December to March: €4.50.
- Bergiselschanze (ski jump by Zaha Hadid), Bergiselweg 3 (frp, the train station, walk 30 minutes to South. Or take the tram lines 1, 6, STB or the bus line TS). The Bergisel jump was replaced according to plans of the Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid in 2001. Because of its design and prominent location (on Bergisel, south of Innsbruck) it is considered a new city landmark. There is a cafe on top, which offers views of Innsbruck and the surrounding mountains. During sporting events, the jumping tower is not accessible, and a ticket is needed to enter the terrain.
- Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof), Herzog-Friedrich-Straße. Late-gothic alcove balcony, with 2657 fire-gilded cupreous shingles. It was built on behalf of emperor Maximilian I.
- Annasäule (St. Anna Column), Maria-Theresien-Straße. The column, which is made of Tyrolean marble, was created in 1706, in memory of the drawback of Bavarian troops.
- Triumphpforte (Triumphal Arch), Maria-Theresien-Straße (Southen end of Maria-Theresien-Straße). It was built in 1765 to mark the marriage of archduke Leopold and the spanish princess Maria Ludovica. The north side displays mourning themes on the occasion of Franz Stephan of Lothringen.
A combined ticket for the Tyrolean Sate Museums  is available for €10, or €6 discount, and offers entry to The Ferdinand, Hofkirche, Volkskunst, Zeughaus and Das Tiroler Panorama Museums until the end of the calendar year. The ticket includes a free audio guide (which is worth getting as information is otherwise only in German) at some locations.
- Alpinist Association Museum, Wilhelm-Greil-Straße, ☎ +43 (512) 587186 12, fax: +43(512)587 18613, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 9AM-5PM. €1.10..5.50; free with Innsbruck Card.
- Anatomical Museum, Müllerstraße 59, ☎ +43 (0)512 9003 71111, fax: +43 (0)512 9003 73112. Fridays only, 2-4PM (and on reservation), Oct-May. June through September it is only open on advance notification. Objects from human preparations, to history of development and old anatomical devices.
- Bell Museum, Graßmayr, Leopoldstraße (tram lines 1, 3 and TS). The Bell foundry has existed for 400 years, and been lead by the same family for 14 generations.
- Hofburg, Rennweg. 9am - 5pm daily. It was modified to rokoko-style by order of the empress Maria Theresia.
- Das Tiroler Panorama, Bergisel 1 (S-Bahn 1 to the Bergisel stop), fax: +43 (0/512) 588 675. Incorporating the Kaiserjägermuseum (Imperial Hunting Museum)
- Maximilianeum Goldenes Dachl, Herzog-Friedrich-Straße. Information on the impressive life of emperor Maximilian I.
- Riesenrundgemälde , Rennweg (bus lines 4, O, E). A Panorama painting of the Battle of Bergisel, August 13, 1809, over 1000 square meters in size. One of the world's last 24 panoramas.
- Stadtturm Innsbruck (City Tower). Herzog-Friedrich-Straße.
- Tiroler Landesmuseum. Ferdinandeum, Museumstraße, Scientific collection, Feldstraße and Museum im Zeughaus, Zeughausgasse
- Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum (Folk Art Museum), Universitätsstraße 2, ☎ +43 (0/512) 59489 510, fax: +43 (0/512) 59489 520, e-mail: email@example.com. Opened after reconstruction in 2009.
Boulevards and Squares
- Maria-Theresien-Straße, Innsbruck's Boulevard and central pedestrian area. St. Anna's Column and the prominent Nordkette mountain range make popular backgrounds for holiday photos.
- Herzog-Friedrich-Straße. The Old Town's "main street" (now a pedestrian area). It expands to a square in front of the Golden Roof.
- Sparkassenplatz and BTV Forum. Innsbrucks modern urban center, accessible from Maria-Theresien-Straße and close to the Old Town. Has a range of cafés and restaurants, as well as shops. Farmers' market on Fridays and free concerts, film screenings and concerts in summer.
- Alpengarten (Alpine Garden). Open June until September from 9AM to 5PM.
- Botanischer Garten (Botanical Garden), Sternwartesstraße 15 (Bus A will take you just outside of the main entrance), ☎ +43 (0/512) 507 5910, e-mail: Botanischer-Garten@uibk.ac.at. Open daily from 7:30AM until 7PM. In the winter, the garden is open until 4:30PM. Adults: €2, Children, students, and seniors: €1.
- Hofgarten (Imperial Court Park), Two minutes away from the Old Town (Entrances at Rennweg and Kaiserjägerstraße).
- Alpenzoo, Weiherburggasse 37 (accessible using the Hungerburgbahn - short footway - or by bus, line TS). The alpine zoo is Europe's highest situated zoo (727 m), and is specializing in alpine animals. It contains outdoor enclosures, terrariums, aviaries, aquariums (world's biggest collection of alpine fish species) and a barnyard with old farm animal races. The zoo is in hillside situation, so there's a certain altitude difference to cover. Free entrance with the Innsbruck-Card.
Popular events in Innsbruck in the near future
Innsbruck became the capital of Tyrol in 1429 and in the 15th century the city became a centre of European politics and culture as emperor Maximilian I moved the imperial court to Innsbruck in the 1490s. Many old buildings from the Middle Ages and modern times survived in the heart of old town.
The city is well known for its sporting opportunities, especially alpine sports, as it is in the Alps and surrounded by mountains. Several ski resorts are situated inside the city territory or within short distance. Innsbruck was one of the centers of snowboard boom in the 1990s and the derived distinct subculture endured until today. The population of skateboarders, snowboarders and people alike is therefore above average and nothing unusual to the people. This culture is also celebrated by a lot of events in and around Innsbruck especially in the winter season, attracting (predominantly young) people from all around the world.
There are two universities and several colleges in Innsbruck, with over 25,000 students altogether, (including a significant Italian population) making the city's nightlife very lively.
There is a substantial number of ski resorts located in the mountains surrounding Innsbruck, many of which offer free ski buses from the city center so long as you have ski gear and/or a valid ski pass, making it a great place to base one's self. Below is an overview of notable ski areas easily accessible from Innsbruck. For full information about resorts around Innsbruck and Tirol, see Bergfex.com .
- Nordpark is accessible via the tram line 1, the bus lines 1, 4, A, D, E, J and T. The Nordkettenbahn goes up to Seegrube and Hafelekar, where many hiking routes and trip routes start. In August 2004, the Nordpark Singletrail, one of the most ambitious mountain bike freeride routes of Europe, was opened (more information: ).
- Patscherkofelbahn. Is accessible via bus line J, destination "Patscherkofelbahn" or "Olympiaexpreß" and tram line 6 to Igls. Tram line 6 is particularly worth taking - a beautiful meandering route up the mountain and included in the city zone of Innsbruck's public transport. Much better value than the Hungerburgbahn on the Nordkette. The Patscherkofel is a skiing region south of Innsbruck, that has a number of timbered ski-runs of the former olympia-routes. In summer it is a great region for hiking along the forestline.
- Stubaital. Offers several ski resorts in the winter.
- Casino Innsbruck. Gaming enjoyment in Tyrol.
- Tiroler Abend with the Gundolf Family. For almost half a century this show is visited by travellers and gives good insight on traditional Tyrolean culture— everybody who likes everything stereotypical about the alpine culture will be served the full menu: Yodeling, traditional dances, plays, music and clothing are mixed with typical surroundings.
- New Orleans Festival - Since New Orleans is the partner city of Innsbruck a festival is held every summer featuring a lot of prominent musicians and focussing on Jazz, Blues, Gospels and other styles from the region around New Orleans.
- The Ski Jump Contest around new year at the Begisel stadium is one of the few moments when Austrians demonstrate true patriotism. As Austrians are very competitive in alpine disciplines this is one of the events that many people follow.
- For the younger generation the Air & Style Snowboard Contest is the high point of the year when the best snowboarders of the world compete in the biggest snowboard event of Europe. The event is the first snowboard competition that ever featured the straight jump, it's accompanied by international bands and a crowd beyond the 10.000's. Usually it is held either around the beginning of December or end of January.
- In late spring a lot of clubs and pubs participate in the city event Sound City, where downtown Innsbruck becomes a network of discos. Shuttle busses circulate around the city and bring the guests to various locations where a range of international DJ's play different styles.
- The Hafen, the Treibhaus and the p.m.k. are event centers downtown or a little oustide of the city. Many concerts, events and parties take place all around the year and are visited by young locals, students and travellers.
- Note: In the summer season Innsbruck is flooded by tourists from the far east and far west - predominantly older people who are mostly on a European tour - the event calendar adapts to this. The winter season is dominated by younger people, especially students and travellers from all around the world, who provide the city with a vivid nightlife.
- Gasthaus Anich, Anichstrasse 15 (city center, close to Maria-Theresien Strasse), ☎ +43 512 570450. M-Sa 9:00 - 24:00, closed on Sundays. This is a real "Gasthaus" (tavern) with Austrian cuisine. Not too crowded and mostly visited by locals, it's an insider tip. Great portions. Offers separate smoking and non-smoking areas.
- Shere Punjab, Innstrasse 19 (city center, close to the Golden Roof, just cross the bridge), ☎ +43 512 282755. M-Sa 11:00 - 14:30, 17:00 - 22:00. Indian Restaurant. Great portions.
- Magic Pizza Kebab, Innrain 1 (old town, close to Ottoburg, entrance from Herzog Friedrich Str.), ☎ +43 512 56 02 03. Daily till 24.00. The place looks like a 70s American diner and is usually quite populated. Great portions. €2.9 for a Pizza!
- Mamma Mia, Kiebachgasse 2, ☎ 0512 562902. Excellent Salmon Tagliatelli. No wifi. Walk to the 2nd floor for a more quiet and spacy seating. Soups €3.5; pastas €7.5-8.
- Papa Joe's (Grill, cantina and bar), Seilergasse 12 (in the old town near the Golden Roof), ☎ +43-(0)512-583046, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Su-W 16:00 - 01:00, Th-Sa 16:00 - 2:00. Mexican, Caribbean and Creole food. Serving sizes are very generous and the ambiance is laidback. Average.
- Specialita italiane e pizzeria, St. Nikolausgasse 1. Tu-Su 10AM-2.30PM, 4PM-11PM. Italian food. They have handmade Gnocchi but it can run out early, so go early if you want to try.
- Zappa Music Bar, Rechengasse 5 (close to clinic and university main building), ☎ +43 512 581057. mo-so 18.00 to 2.00. Every day of the week has special offers and events. Since it's close to the university there are a lot of students and you might need to call in and order a table.
- Limerick Bill's Irish Pub, Maria-Theresien-Strasse 9 (close to the old town), ☎ +43 512 582011. The place is lively and usually crowded with students and visitors from all over the world, especially a lot of English speakers. Staff is bilingual, so this might be a great place for you to feel home.
- Weekender, Tschamlerstraße 3, ☎ +43 512 570570, e-mail: email@example.com. 18:00 - 02:00 (cafe), club longer. Weekender is a place to both have a drink and to dance. Almost every week there are national and international live bands. A must for indie fans!
- The Galway Bay Pub, Kaiserjäger Strasse 4 (Take a right in front of the goldenes dachl and walk approx. 500m straight ahead), ☎ +43512251541. Daily 17:00-01:00. Authentic Irish pub with two large floors. Pub quizzes every Monday (except during summer), Open Mic Night every Thursday. mid range.
- Treibhaus, Angerzellgasse 8 (next to Old Town), ☎ +43 512 572000. café daily 5PM to 1AM. Almost daily events, e.g. concerts, film/tv screenings, comedy shows and dances. Every Friday free concerts. Spacious café with garden, jazz salon and two big event halls. The all-female staff ("Weiberwirtschaft") serves food and snacks (pizza, kebab) in the café till midnight. cheap.
Malls: There are several shopping malls in Innsbruck:
- Rathaus Gallerien. 2 minutes walk from the Old Town, main entrance via Maria-Theresien-Straße
- Kaufhaus Tyrol. Recently opened shopping mall with five levels, located right in the inner city just opposite Rathaus Gallerien.
- Sillpark (just outside downtown—turn right from train station (Hauptbahnhof). Walk one block, turn right, walk under a railway—and you are looking at it. All major bus and tram lines take you there.
Outside Down Town
- DEZ (bus lines C, R, S and T). Many stores just right around it, such as Ikea etc.
- Cyta (in the suburb "Völs") (S-Bahn S1 or S2, or bus line T)
Furthermore, there are several warehouses, especially in the suburb of Neu-Rum.
Shopping areas: There are numerous shops in central pedestrian areas like Maria-Theresien-Straße, the Old Town, Franziskanerplatz, Sparkassenplatz and Anichstraße as well as Museumstraße. You will also find shops/stores in quarter centers of Wilten (tram lines 1, 6 and STB) and Pradl (tram line 3).
Souvenir stores in the Old Town offer souvenirs of varying origin, but the Tiroler Heimatwerk (Meranerstraße 2) offers real Tyrolean handcraft. However most of the shops are real tourist traps and are overpriced by far. You will probably find more authentic and cheaper souvenirs in one of the surrounding villages of Innsbruck.
Clothes and footwear
Buy creative footwear:
- El Natura Lista in Salamander shop (Maria-Theresien 1; also great choice of Tomy Hilfiger shoes)
- Think! in Stiefelkater (Marktgraben str. 14, +43 512 583065)
- GEA, ☎ 0512/582 829. "Arts & Crafts" footwear in a funny plain design, not cheap, but very durable (Anichstraße 20,
- Humanic Kids, Maria-Theresien 17-19. Also has discounts in early January, with a decent selection.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Innsbruck on Wikivoyage.