Perfect Weekend: 48-Hours in Innsbruck, AustriaBy Alicia Grimshaw
Innsbruck, known to the locals as ‘the capital of the Alps’ is brimming with culture, arts, incredible mountain ranges and some of the best Tirolean food around. Found nestled in the Inn Walley and surrounded by the rugged Austrian Alps, Innsbruck has become a firm favourite winter destination for outdoor sports and skiing. It’s not just in winter just should visit Innsbruck, with the city offering more that snow topped mountains and skiing routes. Come the summer months, the place is an ideal spot for hiking, cycling and mountaineering. And, if you’re not one for physical activities, Innsbruck is also home to a plethora of shops, restaurants and local watering holes. Here’s 48-hours in the city all mapped out for you:
Where to Stay
If you’re coming to Innsbruck for the weekend, the Adler Hotel offers much more than a bed and an en suite bathroom. Adlers Hotel is the highest building in Innsbruck, with each of the 75 rooms designed to offer views over the mountains, whatever room you are staying in. Sleek, smart and modern interiors meets fantastic Austrian hospitality. The design of this hotel is second to none – from the different light settings in the rooms, to the power showers and trendy, urban design, Adlers is more that just a hotel. Rooms aside, the hotel is home to an onsite spa and unlike many hotel amenities, the spa does not disappoint. Relax in one of the 2 saunas, or opt for the steam room or for the ultimate stress-reliever, head over to the relaxation area. At night, travel to the top of Adlers to their roof top terrace for stunning views and classic cocktails – guaranteed likes on Instagram. We can confirm that the breakfast buffet lives up to the hype. So many condiments, breads and pastries.
Where: Alder Hotel, Bruneckerstrasse 1, 6020 Innsbruck
Where to Eat/Drink
Seegrube isn’t your run-of-the-mill restaurant and is certainly not a place for a quick bite to eat. There’s only one way to get to Seegrube restaurant (unless you want to hike) and that’s to catch the Nordkettenbahnen cable car at the Congress station in the town centre. The restaurant, located 2,000 metres above the city, is highest in Innsbruck and along with serving traditional schnitzel and other Austrian favourites, the restaurant offers a hefty side portion of panoramic views. The restaurant is two floors – on the ground level it’s a canteen-style affair, expect an informal atmosphere, local beers on tap and snacks. The 1st floor is where you’ll find the Seegrube restaurant. Here, it’s a white tablecloth and linen napkin situation. Seegrube’s menu is a true culinary feast, and you can’t leave without trying their dumplings. They’re different to their Chinese cousins – rich, meaty and utterly flavoursome.
Where: Seegrube, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
For a last meal blow out, Ottoburg delivers on all fronts. The restaurant is housed in a former medieval defence tower situated in the Old Town. Today, it has been transformed into a culinary hotspot of Innsbruck. The waitresses are decked out in the traditional Alp get up (you know the white shirts, skirts and lace up bodice). If you’re after a real taste of Austria – the Ottoburg has it all. The walls are cladded in wood, the tables are finished with checked tablecloths and the menu is packed full of Triloean fare. The portions are large, so swerve the starters and go straight for the mains. Try the Gulasch and spätzle, the steak also comes high recommended by us. On the weekends the restaurant is popular with locals and tourists alike, so book to avoid to disappointment.
Where: Familie Dengg, Herzog-Friedrich-Straße 1, 6020 Innsbruck
No trip to Innsbruck is complete without sampling apple strudel and at Cafe Sacher a bucket load of Austrian pastries awaits. The iconic Cafe Sacher is set in the Hofburg Imperial Palace, the cafe oozes old world Habsburg atmosphere, teamed with subtle modern decor. This café come wine bar and restaurant is one of the only places in Innsbruck to serve the original Sacher-Torte, sticking to the closely guarded recipe – the chocolate cake is thinly coated by hand using the best-quality apricot jam and topped with chocolate icing. Heaven.
Where: Rennweg 1, 6020 Innsbruck
What to See/Do
Innsbruck may be smaller than holidaymakers favourite,Vienna, but there’s still a variety attractions to visit. We whittle down the best places to spends your hours and Euros:
Innsbruck is steeped in over 800 years of history with each building having a separate story to tell. It’s a place where traditional and historic buildings have been lovingly blended with modern practices and developments. Start by Hofburg Imperial Palace, considered by most as one of the three most significant cultural buildings in the country.
Move onto The Court Church, the most important monument in Tyrol. The Court Church houses Ebert organ, more than 450 years old, Andreas Hofer’s funerary monument and the Silver Chapel. However, it’s the tomb of well-respected Habsburg Emperor Maximillian I that you should spend your precious time on. The cenotaph is where you’ll find 28 larger than life bronzed statues, all representing the Emperor’s ancestors and his heroes of antiquity.
The Golden Roof is the symbol of Innsbruck and lies only a short walk from The Court Church. The roof is decorated with 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles, personifying the glittering heart of the town. Surrounded by burgher townhouses, secret alleyways and avenues lined with local cafes and shops, it’s not to be missed. Here, you’re at the mouth of Maria Theresian Street – the shopping destination of Innsbruck. Your Visa Debit will take some hammering here.
Innsbruck hosted the Winter Games in 1964 and 1976, and most recently the Olympic torch was back in town for the 2012 first-ever Youth Winter Games. Innsbruck was the first city to host the Olympic games three times and along with London, is the only place to complete an Olympic hattrick. Towering above the city is the Bergisel Ski Jump. Take the two elevators up to the starting line of the 50m jump, it’s not the faint hearted, but you’ll look out onto the best views of Innsbruck. There’s an aptly placed graveyard at the end of the jump (let’s hope no ski-jumpers end up in there).The ski jumping tower is a state-of-the-art sporting masterpiece which boasts both a cafe and restaurant – for those wishing to enjoy a flat white in the safer surroundings.
Where: Bergisel BetriebsgesellschaftmbH, Bergiselweg 3, A-6020 Innsbruck
There’s nothing quite like the museum and hats off to the people that curated 7.5 hectares of amazing exhibitions. You need a least half a day to fully enjoy all of Swarovski Crystal Worlds, the new onsite restaurant will perk you up with their light bites and refreshments. What’s so special about luxury cut lead glass, I hear you cry, well the fact that this is no ordinary museum. The Chambers of Wonder enable you to experience the magic of crystal in a dimension that has never been seen before, and you will not forget in a hurry. There’s dancing trousers, abstract interpretations of the primal world and a strange spatial experience.
In April, to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Swarovski and its own 20th year anniversary, Swarovski Kristallwelten enlisted architects of global renown to help create a park landscape alongside the museum. The expansion now sees unique art installations, new attractions and for the first time, outdoor art in the gardens. It is now even larger, more sparkling, and more fascinating than ever.
Where: Kristallweltenstraße 1, 6112 Wattens/Tirol, Austria
Inghams is offering three nights, bed and breakfast accommodation at the four-star Hotel aDlers from £619 per person. Price includes return flights from London Gatwick to Innsbruck and airport transfers. For more information visit www.inghams.co.uk or call 01483 791 116.