Well, there was one thing I realized last year. Austrian alps are as beautiful as Swiss alps and so is its unmatched beauty, period. Some also argue both Austria and its people are warm and hospitable than most cities in EU. I too had my biased infatuation to this place. So, if you are inspired to visit the skiing capital of EU, and cant wait to explore this less travelled destination in Austria, here are top recommendations for you. Nordkette mountain range: This city offers great hiking sites especially during summers with valleys blooming with wild flowers and with a number of blue lakes all over the place. One of the most talked about tourist attract here is the Hafelekar in Nordkette mountain range; the steepest skiing spot in EU, which lies at an altitude of 7000 ft. Imagine!! The other historical attractions in and around the city are the Golden Roof, Imperial Palace Altstadt von Innsbruck, Triumphal Arch (Triumphpforte); the road Maria-Theresien-Strasse and Ambras Castle/Scholl Ambras (its average), hoffkirke and emperor tomb. There is also another talked about attraction which is the Swarovski crystal world which is quite far, actually 19 kms from the city centre, which you could only go if you have good 3 to 4 days’ time.
How do you travel inside this city? Traveling inside Innsbruck is pretty straight forward. You can easily walk up to the main attractions without using any public transport if you are close to the main station. To reach the Hafelekar you have to go to the Hungerbergbahn station from train station/city centre (Approx. 14 mins walk), then take Funicular to Seebruge, and further take funicular to Hafelekar stop. It takes about 20 to 25 mins to reach the top and trust me the journey itself is mesmerizing. Check out the spectacular views! The adventure does not stop here, you can further hike to different points. The time we reached it was raining and most of the times I could not feel my fingers, even though we all had woollen gloves on.
We did explore most of the places. And what can you do later? You can relax in this old town, grab some beer and try few famous cuisines in Austria.What are the top dishes to try? The recommended dishes here are Tiroler Gröstl, Tiroler Speckknödel, Kaspressknödel, and desserts Kiachl, Moosbeernocken, Apfelradln/ Apple wheels. Take a look at the delicacies. Obviously we were too busy to hog that we forgot a click, but this is all we ate!!
Travel advice to you: You do not need to pre-book sightseeing places. You can get the Innsbruck card from train station/bus station in the city centre with maps. This card is a 24 to 48 hr travel card, with access to public transport and most of the attractions, including the funicular ride to Nordkette. Basically, you are sorted for a day or two. We may choose not to take this card also. We bought the entry tickets separately and did not use the buses internally as we preferred walking down the streets of Innsbruck. You can choose either ways, to get more info visit their official site:http://www.nordkette.com/en/home.htmlYou can also contact us at Been there, done that to get a detailed itinerary especially customized for you. So, don’t wait and get Innsbrucked now!!