Oh, Innsbruck! You who have been greatly loved by emperors and kings, and for good reason! After leaving Hallstatt, Megan and I took a train through the mountains to one of Austria’s historic wealthy trading towns, Innsbruck. Innsbruck is situated just 32km (20 miles) from Italy and 34km (21.5 miles) from Germany.
Innsbruck was founded 800 years ago by Bavarian lords who took full advantage of its strategic location. Innsbruck, meaning bridge over the river Inn, was so named for the only bridge in the Tyrol valley that connected the rich trading route between Venice and Augsburg, Germany. What set this city on the map, and funded their rise to such a long-standing history, is the toll that they levied on merchants crossing the Innsbruck bridge. Silver mines also contributed greatly to the wealth of this area.
Innsbruck today, however, is known for the awe-inspiring 360-degree view of the towering Austrian Alps. These magnificent giants lift their heads atop the medieval buildings, allowing great views from most places throughout the city. Many of old town Innsbruck buildings date back close to 500 years.
The Golden Roof is another major attraction of Innsbruck and has become the iconic symbol of the city. The emperor Maximilian I commissioned it.
Innsbruck can hardly be held only to it’s past history only. In recent years (so to speak) it hosted the 1964 and 1976 Olympic games as well as the 2012 Junior Olympic games. Many of the arenas still stand and are used for sporting events as well as concerts today.
The Hofburg Imperial Palace is another of the homes for the Habsburg family. Maria Theresia spent a lot of time here as well. The house is now a museum showing how life was back then.
We visited several other museums including, Schloss Ambras museum and the armor collection there, The Court Church and The Museum Of Tyrolean Art. We also went to the top of the City Tower.
Last but not least we took Nordkettenbahnen funicular ride up to the top. It was cloudy but the view was still amazing!
Stay tuned for more detailed posts about some of these locations in Innsbruck!
We bought the Innsbruck cards, which in this city was absolutely worth it. We saved a lot of money by getting the passes and were able to do a lot more than we would have been able to do. Some cities it isn’t worth getting the card, but in Innsbruck it is a big money saver. I will be posting about the Innsbruck card soon.
I really enjoyed Innsbruck. It was one of my favorite places that we visited in Europe. If you are going to Austria, make sure to take a few days in Innsbruck. Between it’s rich history and culture and the magnificent mountains, it is an absolute must see in my book!