Innsbruck is a gem in the west of Austria that is often overlooked by travelers. It’s definitely worth a visit, though, for many reasons. And not the least is the beauty of this little city that nestles peacefully at the foot of the alps.
The River Inn flows through Innsbruck, hence the name. (The River Inn is not a hotel, as I briefly thought – ha ha!). Here’s the river, the pastel buildings lining the banks, and the alps – not in the distance but right up close.
People tend to flock to Salzburg and Vienna in Austria, but far fewer travelers make their way to Innsbruck. We trained there from Switzerland in a last-minute change of plans because the Swiss Alps were expecting a big storm and our hiking plans had to be canceled. Innsbruck has inside activities (museums and a castle), so we figured we could weather the storm there. As it turned out, we loved Innsbruck and the rain here held off until we left. We stayed in a hotel that first opened its doors in the 1300s. This alone was worth the trip!
Innsbruck was home to Archduke Ferdinand in the 10th century. A tour of his castle is coming up in a future post. Maximilian I also reigned here in the 15th century. Innsbruck’s claim to fame in recent years is as host of the 1976 Winter Olympics. You can tour a ski run here! More on that coming up, too.
One easy sight to find is the Golden Roof, the most famous landmark of Innsbruck. It boasts more than 2,000 copper tiles and was added by Maximillian sometime around 1500. The square under the roof was once the scene of public burnings, but today it’s the scene of tourists enjoying their day. Of course, tiles are stolen from time to time, then recovered.
The food was fantastic. One cafe featured open-faced grilled cheese sandwiches, a real treat. And the gelato is SO good.
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