3 days in Tyrol Capital – Innsbruck Guide

Innsbruck is a place I’ve dreamed of since I found a video from Innsbruck’s old town on my Facebook feed. I showed it to Konrad and said to him I’ll go there one day. I meant to visit Innsbruck in February but due to heavy snow, our flights were cancelled and we had to reschedule our trip but this time I’ve finally made it!

Innsbruck is probably the most beautiful city I’ve ever been to, it’s just perfect combination of colorful buildings, history and mountains landscape. The Old Town (Altstadt von Innsbruck) is like taking a trip back in time – a string of charming, pastel houses with Alps in the background, streets filled with cafes and shops with local goods. This place is like photoshopped picture in a real life. A view that will always have a special spot in my heart.

Even though the flight was less than 2 hours, it was a very long journey for me. Birmingham – Luton route itself is about 2 hours by car. Plus flight and transfer – but it was SO worth it!
Unfortunately I became ill on my very first day in Innsbruck and the flu developed day by day hence I fought with myself and my body every morning after a sleepless night just to make the most out of my stay.
Innsbruck is relatively small city so a couple of days spent there would be enough to see the main tourist attractions. Even if you stay in a nearby city, definitely put Innsbruck on your ‘must see’ list! 🙂

Where to stay?

We stayed at STAGE 12 hotel, which is located in the heart of the old town. I have never stayed so close to the city center ever before, so I did not realise the privileges of accommodation in such place but yes, it definitely made our trip much easier and enjoyable as all the main attractions were based seconds away from out hotel.

A cosy, modern hotel with friendly and helpful staff and an excellent breakfast. The only downside of this hotel is the lack of room service (Normally I wouldn’t mind but when you’re dying of flu and all you can think of is a hot drink, you call the reception asking for tea and they say ”oh, sorry we don’t provide room service” you feel kind of disappointed). Anyways – these small things didn’t really matter in the end and I would definitely stay there again, I mean the location was just perfect, breakfast was delicious and I liked the simplicity and design of the rooms, too.

Prices:
Flights (round): £100
3 nights at Stage 12: about €400 (with breakfast)
Dinner (two course meal and drink) for two people in average, mid-class restaurant costs about €60.
A taxi from the airport to the hotel (Innsbruck city centre): €15
Small water in the supermarket: €2
Bus ticket €2.80

Prices at the restaurants / shops are slightly higher than in other cities in Austria, keep it in mind if you want to visit all the main attractions as you have to pay admission fee literally everywhere.
I was, however quite surprised when we entered St. James Cathedral and the first thing I saw was a sign ”Permission for taking pictures (up to one hour) €1” and they also charge 80 cents for lighting a candle. Although I totally understand that most tourist places must somehow earn money and that’s the reason they charge tourists and it’s usually small charges but places such as cathedrals, churches etc. should not do that as they simply lose their charm and authenticity.

Places to see

As mentioned before, Innsbruck is the perfect place for a two / three-day trip because most of the attractions are based in one place so you can easily explore all iconic places by a short walk.
Let’s start from Old Town, along which you will find colorful buildings decorated with baroque stucco’s, atmospheric restaurants, cafes and a whole range of souvenir shops. Following the Maria-Theresien-Straße, you will see Helbling House, Stadtturmand the famous Golden Roof (which is not made of gold but of fire-gilded copper).
Heading to the left from the Golden Roof you will see the famous colorful houses along the Inn River where you can get yourself a glass of Aperol at the Tapabar restaurant (Marktbar)and enjoy the view – it’s simply magical.
5 min walk from the Golden Roof you will find the Cathedral of St. James which YOU NEED TO SEE. I have never seen such a beautiful Cathedral, you’ll be amazed by the smallest details and the atmosphere of this place.
There are a few viewpoints in Innsbruck but in my opinion the best place to enjoy the views from above (and where you will also find a menu with a wide selection of cocktails) is 360 ° Cafe (accessible from the Rathaus gallery on the 7th floor).

What and where to eat?

Let’s start with the classic Austrian dish: Wiener Schnitzel served with lemon, potato salad and cranberries. We managed to find a local Austrian restaurant – I try to avoid (when possible) restaurants filled with tourists and look for places where locals eat traditional dinners – to make sure I came to the right place where I’ll eat authentic, local delicacies. We went to the Weinhaus Happ, a simple, authentic, Austrian restaurant in the heart of the old town and we loved it!

I also recommend the traditional Apfelstrudel, a pastry filled with apples or cherries, served with whipped cream and / or a warm vanilla topping. You’ll find a cafe with the most delicious strudels within a few meters from the Golden Roof – Strudel Cafe Kroll 

My opinion & tips

If you wan to squeeze as much as possible from your stay in Innsbruck, I recommend getting a Innsbruck Card, which includes free entries to places such as City Tower, Zoo, Castles as well as free public transport and Shuttle Bus that will take you to Innsbruck’s most iconic places.
You can buy it online or directly from Tourist Information Centre.
Prices and list of places: here.
Innsbruck is a place you’ll instantly fall in love with. I would definitely visit again. And again and again – even for a couple of hours to stroll around old town and enjoy my morning coffee with this insane view.
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