20 Things To Do In Innsbruck

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Innsbruck is nestled in the West Austrian Inntal valley and surrounded by towering mountains. While it is a small city, it is overflowing with history, adventure and culture. Innsbruck locals are friendly, the food is delicious, and the landscapes are incredible. So whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a history buff, there are plenty of things to do in Innsbruck.

I moved to Innsbruck to make the most of the winter sports, but I quickly discovered there’s so much more to the city than just snow. Innsbruck is known as the adventure capital of Europe, and it’s also home to many internationally acclaimed museums, historical buildings and impressive architectural feats. You won’t be bored on your visit to Innsbruck. The only problem you’ll have is figuring out what to see and do first. To help you out, here’s our list of the best things to do in Innsbruck.

Innsbruck, Austria

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20 Things To Do In Innsbruck

1- Explore Innsbruck’s Old Town

top ten things to do in innsbruck wide view of old town with cafes and colourful buildings
Exploring the historic streets on foot is one of the first things to do in Innsbruck when you arrive.

Take a walk back in time and visit Innsbruck’s old town, known in German as the “Altstadt”. With cobbled streets and secret alleyways, there’s so much to explore.

At the centre of the town is the Goldenes Dachl, a beautiful balcony roof adorned in copper tiles.

There’s a story of love and romance behind this building, as the tiles were placed in 1500 AD by Emperor Maximilian to celebrate his marriage.

Further down the street, you’ll come across the Triumphforte, an impressive stone archway, several beautiful churches and hidden doorways.

Golden Dachl is at Herzog-Friedrich-Straße 15, 6020 Innsbruck. Get a bird’s-eye view of the Old Town from the City Tower.

2- Visit The Top Of Innsbruck, Nordkette

things to do in innsbruck in winter day time in summer with snow-covered mountains
Admiring the breathtaking view from the Nordkette is one of the most memorable things to do in Innsbruck, Austria.

Towering over Innsbruck on the Northern edge of the city is Nordkette, a 2,334m (7,657ft) mountain.

Nordkette lives up to its name of the “top of Innsbruck” and seems to rise right up out of the city.

You can’t miss a visit to the top of the mountain, as the views it offers are simply unforgettable.

There are many ways to get to the top, including hiking or cycling up, taking the Hungerbergbahn funicular from the city, then the cable car, or a mixture of both.

Whichever way you choose, you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views across all of Innsbruck and down into the Karwendel National Park.

When you reach the Seegrube cable car station at 1,905m, you’ll find a restaurant where you can relax, drink in the scenery, and enjoy an ice-cold beer.

Norkette Cable Car is at Rennweg 3, 6020 Innsbruck. Skip the line and book your tickets for this iconic Innsbruck attraction here.

3- Eat Schnitzel At Höttinger Alm

top 10 things to do in innsbruck austria
Digging into a hearty schnitzel and a beer is a classic thing to do in Innsbruck.

Stretch your legs and get out of the city with a visit to Höttinger Alm, a guesthouse and restaurant perched up on the side of the Nordkette mountain at 1,480m (4,855 ft).

The Alm is run by a local family who offers true Austrian mountain hospitality and fantastic food.

Several trails lead up to the Alm, so you can choose a path to suit you.

While hiking is the most common way to get there, there’s also a well-maintained cycle road, and hiring an e-bike from the city will make the trip much more enjoyable.

Whether you cycle or walk, it’s an uphill grind to get there, but you’ll be rewarded with incredible scenery and have earned a beer and schnitzel.

Höttinger Alm is at Roßfallweg 30, 6020 Innsbruck.

4- Explore Patscherkofel Mountain

Towering over Innsbruck on the southern side, you can’t miss the Patscherkofel mountain.

You can spot it from anywhere in Innsbruck, as it’s got a large transmission antenna perched on the top, providing radio broadcasting and telecommunications services to Innsbruck and the surrounding towns.

Patscherkofel is 2,246m (7368 ft) and has a ski run over 8 km long.

If you’re visiting in summer, there’s as much fun to be enjoyed on this mountain as there are hiking trails to the summit and brilliant views of Innsbruck, Norkette, and the neighbouring Stubai Valley.

For a more relaxing day, skip the hike and ride on the gondola instead.

This will take you up the mountain, where you can enjoy the views from the restaurant and wander through the well-maintained Alpine Garden.

Patscherkofel Cable Car is at Römerstraße 81, 6080 Innsbruck-Igls. Find out more about a mountain hike here.

5- Walk Along The Inn River

best things to do in innsbruck austria wide angle aerial panorama
You’ll find lots of interesting things to do in Innsbruck, Austria, which is the most popular Austrian city and capital of western state of Tyrol.

Take a stroll along the banks of the Inn River (where Innsbruck gets its name from), and cross the water at one of the city’s many bridges.

When you get to the main bridge by Mariahilf Street, drink in the sight of one of Innsbruck’s most iconic sites: the row of bright, colourful buildings.

Overlooking the river, these distinctive houses are painted in picturesque shades of orange, pink, blue and green.

It’s a beautiful view, no matter what time of year you visit.

In summer, the buildings look striking against the turquoise waters of the river, while in winter, they will be covered with snow and Christmas lights.

Keep an eye out for these beautiful buildings when you’re walking, and snap a picture in front of the buildings at this photography hotspot.

The colourful houses are at Mariahilfstraße, 6020 Innsbruck.

6- Go Indoor Rock-climbing In One Of Europe’s Biggest Gyms

If you’re adventurous, then checking out the Kletterzentrum Innsbruck, “KI”, is a must.

KI is not only Innsbruck’s biggest rock-climbing and bouldering gym but also one of the biggest in Europe.

It opened in 2017 and has an impressive 6,377 m. sq. (20,921 ft) of climbing walls, including bouldering walls, self-belay walls and outdoor rock walls up to 17m (55ft) high.

There’s even a cafe in the gym, so if climbing isn’t your thing, you can grab a coffee and relax, watching the rest of the team take on the rock walls.

The KI is in the middle of the city, so it’s easy to reach by walking along the river or taking a tram ride.

KI is at Matthias-Schmid-Straße 12c, 6020 Innsbruck.

7- Experience Royal Life At The Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace (or Hofburg as it’s known in German) was a palace for the Habsburgs, one of the most powerful dynasties ever.

It was first built in 1406 and has been extended over the years to the impressive building you can visit today.

Take a guided tour through the palace or find your own way through the maze of intricately decorated rooms and courtyards that once housed Austrian royalty.

There are many different themed areas that you can visit, all illustrating different aspects of royal life.

The Imperial Palace is one of Austria’s most culturally important buildings and one of the most beautiful buildings of the “late Gothic period”.

Hofburg is at Rennweg 1, 6020 Innsbruck.

8- Have An Animal Encounter At The Alpenzoo

If you’re looking for a fun family activity, Innsbruck’s Alpenzoo (Alpine Zoo) is a brilliant attraction, with over 2,000 animals and a chance to learn about the Alps and its wildlife. 

The Alpenzoo is appropriately named as it’s one of the highest-located zoos in Europe, sitting at an altitude of 750m (2,460ft).

You can spend time with mountain mammals, including bears, wolves, moose, wildcats, alpine reptiles, birds and fish.

The Alpenzoo is open seven days a week, and it’s full of wheelchair-accessible paths, so it’s the perfect place for the whole family to get up close and personal with some very special creatures.

Alpenzoo is at Weiherburggasse 37a, 6020 Innsbruck. Skip the lines and reserve your tickets here.

9- Visit Swarovski Crystal Worlds Museum

entrance to the museum
Visiting the Swarovski Museum is one of the cool things to do in Innsbruck, Austria.

Bring some sparkle to your holiday with a visit to the Swarovski Crystal Worlds museum.

Located on the outskirts of Innsbruck, the Crystal Worlds is a magical exhibition of fun and fantasy that are sure to amaze you.

The museum was created in 1995 to celebrate the crystal company Swarovski’s centennial anniversary.

It showcases crystals in a range of incredible sculptures, art pieces and larger-than-life installations.

Highlights of this attraction include the Giant, a crystal-embellished waterfall; the Chandelier of Grief, an infinity mirror room; and the garden Carousell, adorned with over 15 million Swarovski crystals.

Swarovski Crystal Worlds is at Kristallweltenstraße 1, 6112 Wattens. Skip the lines and reserve your tickets her.

10- Go Paragliding

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, what better way to get your fix than taking to the skies to see Innsbruck from a bird’s eye view with a tandem paragliding trip?

Book your trip with one of Innsbruck’s reputable, experience tandem paragliding companies, and then meet your guide in the mountains before setting off.

Paragliding is a brilliant way to view Innsbruck from a new perspective, and you’ll get to soar over the valley, glaciers and mountain ridgelines while your heart pounds in your chest.

This incredible adventure will give you unforgettable photographs and even more unforgettable memories. Find out more about the experience here.

11- Visit Schloss Ambras Castle

things to do in innsbruck in may castle front view with green gardens
Visiting Ambras Castle (Schloss Ambras) is another thing to do in Innsbruck for your bucket list. The Renaissance 16th-century castle and palace is in the hills above Innsbruck.

A trip to Innsbruck wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Schloss Ambras, Innsbruck’s local castle.

This ancient castle perched on the hillside beside Innsbruck is unassuming at first glance, but it’s filled with art, treasures, and curiosities that you won’t be able to take your eyes off.

From the minute you step inside, you’ll be captivated by the extensive collection of Renaissance art, science, and culture that this castle holds, all brought together in the 1500s by Prince Ferdinand II.

As you move from room to room, take time to appreciate the weird and wonderful treasures, art, weapons, and tools, including the Habsburgs Portrait collection, a wooden carving of “death”, and paintings that were said to depict “Wonders of Nature”.

To get the most out of this experience, book a castle tour and have a guide help you delve deeper into these curiosities.

Schloss Ambras is at Schloßstraße 20, 6020 Innsbruck. Skip the line and book your tickets online here.

12- Hit The Mountain Bike Trails

Cycling is one of the best ways to get around town in Innsbruck, but why not rent a mountain bike and hit some of the trails outside the city?

Innsbruck is home to some of Austria’s best downhill mountain biking and to some brilliant touring trails and a great bike park.

You can easily rent a mountain bike and helmet in town and then grab the “Bike City Card” which gives you access to all the lifts and bike parks.

Once you’ve got those sorted, head to the trails and get riding.

If you’re new to mountain biking, don’t be shy.

There’s a trail to suit any level of fitness and ability, and regardless of your skill level, you’ll be able to take in spectacular views while riding around the hills of Innsbruck.

Many trails will take you past mountain restaurants or cafes, allowing you to stop for some apple strudel.

13- Taste Local Food At Markthalle

things to do in innsbruck vienna apple strudel close up
Tasting apple strudle is one of the top things to do in Innsbruck.

A visit to Innsbruck wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the city’s Markthalle or Market Hall.

This central spot used to be the city’s main marketplace, and going back as early as 1791, this is where locals used to buy their produce.

While the architecture has been updated, this is still the best place in town to browse a range of local delicacies, as well as fruits and vegetables, herbs, cheeses, wines, sausages, and bread, all under one roof.

You can grocery shop at Markthalle or stop by for a coffee and an Austrian pastry as you watch the shoppers around you.

Markthalle is located beside the Inn River, in the middle of Innsbruck and is open from Monday to Saturday but closed every Sunday.

Markthalle is at Herzog-Siegmund-Ufer 1-3, 6020 Innsbruck.

14- Visit The Folk Art Museum

things to do in innsbruck austria colourful buildings with red tram
Wandering around the colourful streets is one of the most pleasurable things to do in Innsbruck.

Immerse yourself in art, culture, and history with a visit to one of the best regional heritage museums in all of Europe, the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum.

This museum is inside an ancient monastery building right in the centre of Innsbruck, and it showcases an incredible collection of Austrian tools, art, and handiwork dating back to the 1600s.

You can sit in an authentic farmers’ dining room, walk through rooms that have been relocated from traditional farmhouses, gaze up at folk art, and experience how Tyrolean people lived hundreds of years ago.

Tyrolean Folk Art Museum is at Universitätsstraße 2, 6020 Innsbruck.

15- Visit Bergisel Tower

things to do in innsbruck austria in summer
The alpine hills of Innsbruck and Olympic ski jump tower.

Innsbruck has been home to the Winter Olympics twice, and there’s no shortage of winter adventure sports in this beautiful city.

In particular, the impressive Bergiselschanze is in Innsbruck, a towering ski jumping stadium that stands out from almost any part of town.

We don’t recommend taking part in ski jumping, but you shouldn’t miss a visit to this iconic architectural site.

The Bergiselschanze was designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, and it’s an impressive sight.

Visit the cafe at the top of the tower and take in the views of Innsbruck or stretch your legs on a short walk around the hillside, admiring the building from all angles.

Bergisel Ski Jump is at Bergiselweg 3, 6020 Innsbruck.

16- Explore The Hofgarten

The Hofgarten, or High Garden, is perfect for downtime between adventures.

The Hofgarten is a large park situated on the edge of the Innsbruck Old Town, and it’s made up of more than 10 acres (4 ha) of carefully planted gardens and lawns.

In the warmer months, you’ll be sure to find Innsbruck locals strolling through the gardens, or sitting under a tree with a book in their hands, so head on down to join them.

With plants dating back to the 1700s, giant chess boards, and a glasshouse containing a large collection of palm trees, the Hofgarten is another must-visit attraction in this beautiful city.

Innsbrucker Hofgarten is at Kaiserjägerstraße, 6020 Innsbruck

17- Learn Local Legends At Panorama Museum

things to do in innsbruck in summer Innsbruck old town cityscape and Karwendel mountains, Tyrol, Austria.
Looking for things to do in Innsbruck, Austria? You’ll find lots to keep you busy for all seasons.

To soak in local culture and history, visit the Tirol Panorama Museum at the foot of the Bergisel ski jump.

This museum is dedicated to the stories of Andreas Hoffer, a local legend who led Tiroleans to victory against French and Bulgarian troops in the 1809 Battle of Bergisel.

The main attraction of this museum is the giant panorama painting, which tells the story of the 1809 Tirolean revolution stretched across a canvas that is 1,000 meters (3,280 ft) squared in size.

This incredible piece of art is visually stunning and educational and is not to be missed.

Das Tirol Panorama is at Bergisel 1-2, 6020 Innsbruck.

18- Adventure Along The Innsbruck Klettersteig

The Innsbruck Klettersteig, also known as a Via Ferrata, is not an activity for the faint-hearted and requires a high fitness level.

This path starts at the Hafelekar Station at the top of Nordkette and takes walkers along the ridgeline with breathtaking views to either side.

It’s a mixture of hiking, climbing, and the occasional scramble, so you must have a good head for heights if you want to attempt this adventure.

Appropriate equipment is also essential if you’re heading out to the Klettersteig, so make sure to bring or rent your helmet, harness and Via Ferrata rope set.

Hafelekar to Frau Hitt Saddle, then back to the Seegrube cable car station will take around five hours.

It’s well worth the adventure, so if you’re experienced in the outdoors, get on out there.

Norkette Klettersteig starts at Hafelekar Peak, reached on the Norkette Cable Car.

19- Enjoy The Bell Museum

While walking around Innsbruck, you’ll hear the “bong” of giant bells ringing out from the city’s churches.

To learn more about these giant bells, head to the Grassmayr Bell Museum and discover the ancient art of making and ringing bells.

The Grassmayr family has been making bells in Innsbruck for over 400 years, making this the oldest business in Austria.

Founded in 1599, the Grassmayrs have perfected the art of bell making and now have a team full of electricians, carpenters, sculptors and metalworkers to ensure the perfection of every bell to leave the foundry.

At the Grassmayr Museum, you can tour the museum, watch an actual bell being cast, learn about the history of bell making, and visit the sound room to test out some of the finished products.

Grassmayr Glockenmuseum is at Leopoldstraße 53, 6020 Innsbruck.

20- Relax At A Sauna

After a big day of exploring and adventuring, there’s no better way to relax than to visit the sauna.

Spending time in the sauna is a common European pastime, and Innsbruck is home to several different public saunas, each with a different style and vibe.

One of the best is the Panorama Sauna, situated in the town centre with a view straight up to the Nordkette mountain.

While enjoying the view, you can choose between a dip in the cold pool, sweating in the sauna, or soaking up some sun rays on the sundeck.

Bear in mind, though, in true European fashion, it is standard to wear nothing but a towel in this sauna.

Panorama Sauna is at Indoor Pool Amraser Road, Amraser Str. 3, 6020 Innsbruck. 

top things to do in innsbruck austria clock tower and cafe in the plaza
Sitting and watching the world go by in the Old Town is one of the lovely things to do in Innsbruck.

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Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, I’m now based in Innsbruck, Austria, and getting out to experience Europe every chance I get. When I was in High School I spent a year living in Toronto, Canada, and I haven’t stopped travelling since. I’ve explored India, Sri Lanka, and Singapore, and I spent several months of 2020 on Covid Lockdown in the village of Sidi Kaouki, Morocco. After hiking Te Araroa, New Zealand in 2022 I developed a love for solo-hiking – I think it's one of the best ways to really get to know a new country! Since then, I’ve gone on to hike Rota Vicentina in Portugal, and Haute Route from Switzerland to France, two incredible adventures. When I’m not travelling, you’ll find me writing or reading. I have a Bachelor of Communication Studies from the University of Waikato in New Zealand, as well as a law degree, and that certainly keeps me busy.