Innsbruck, Austria. A historic city that is also a mecca for outdoor sports enthusiasts because it’s located at the base of the Nordkette Mountain and Austria’s largest nature park, the Karwendel Nature Park. It’s quite an amazing city, especially if you can visit on a sunny day.
I’d been in Stuttgart, Germany working all week and decided to break up my drive home to Vicenza, Italy with a stop in Innsbruck. I left Stuttgart Friday afternoon around 5:30 pm and arrived in Innsbruck around 9pm. I dropped off my bags and stepped off to do a little exploring. While it is a beautiful city, it’s much better to see it for the first time in daylight. I only have a couple of pictures that may do it justice at night.
I had been to Innsbruck twice before and it was raining both times. Back in 2014, my mom, sister and I stayed overnight. I was taking them on the German, Austrian and Swiss thunder run so we didn’t stay too long. I’d always wanted to come back, but just never found the time. Lucky for me, the weather was forecast to be nice and it was on my way home.
Saturday morning I got up around 6am to tour the city before it got crazy. I can only imagine that Innsbruck is like other European cities and when the weather gets warm in early Spring, the masses come out to enjoy every last second of it. So I’ll start out with the boring morning photos and then I’ll throw in a bunch of people, some mountains, and even a ski jump later to spice it up a bit.
After my morning jaunt, I checked out of my hotel and decided to head up to the top of the Nordkette Mountain. Or the huge mountain behind the colorful houses in the pictures above and below. The top is three train stops and two gondola rides from Old Town and sits at an altitude of 7,400 feet or 2.256 meters. 40 Euro gets you a round-trip ticket and for an extra 12 Euro, you can get a ticket to the Alpenzoo (Alpine Zoo), which I did. For some reason, I thought that was a good idea until I arrived to find screaming children running all over the place. Oh yeah, that’s who goes to zoo’s, kids. It had been so long I forgot. I think I only stayed 5-minutes before departing. Alpine Animals are cool, but they aren’t that cool.
If the weather is decent, I highly recommend taking this trip for an amazing view of Innsbruck and the Inn Valley. As you can see, it was somewhat hazy and the view across the valley wasn’t the best. But it was still a great experience. If you mountain bike, ski, snowboard or hike, you’ll love Innsbruck. There were people under the gondola hiking up the mountain, which I imagine had to took all day. People were still skiing at the top and a few folks on the gondola had their mountain bikes with them. Not bad when you have a gondola that will take you to the top so you can just sail down the mountain.
Later on in the day, the sun did come out and I was able to capture some great views from the other side of the valley at the Bergisel Ski Jump. But first, I headed back into Old Town to take some more pictures and work my way back to my car.
After a pretty eventful day, I made my way over to see the Bergisel Ski Jump that was used in the ’64 and ’76 Winter Olympics. I wanted to squeeze this visit in before the sun went down and I’m so glad I did. I was able to get a few nice pictures of Innsbruck and the entire valley from the edge of the media tower while also scaring the crap out of myself. In relatively high winds, standing on a little metal balcony is a bit sketchy.
After the Bergisel Ski Jump, my fun in Innsbruck was over. I’m glad I was finally able to make a return visit when the weather was good. The views of the mountains and from the mountains were well worth the trip. Of course, easy for me to say. It was only a 3 1/2 hour drive to get there.
If you’re contemplating a visit, check out the Innsbruck Visitors Guide. It’s got everything you’d want to know about this fine city and more.
That’s all for this weekend. Hope you enjoyed the pictures and videos. If so, please let me know below.
Have a good week.