One aspect of our trip that I had worried about was trying to see too much in the two weeks we’d allotted and moving too quickly from city to city. For a few months before the trip I momentarily contemplated skipping Innsbruck all together, but after a lovely two hour train ride from Salzburg we arrived in Innsbruck and I immediately laughed at myself for even thinking about skipping this beautiful stop.
We were amazed by the beauty of this region and were pleasantly surprised as to how vibrant Innsbruck immediately felt. Though a bit smaller than Salzburg, it has a great mixture of feeling like a hip urban area while set in the footsteps of some of the most beautiful mountains we have seen to date. We thoroughly enjoyed looking at the mountains on our 10 minute walk to our home for two nights; the Grauer Bär (Grizzly Bear) hotel.
The Grauer Bär was a charming hotel at the foot of the mountains just outside of the old town. The hotel recently underwent a beautiful lobby renovation. Our room was very small by American standards but comfortable enough and had a nice view looking of the Alps. The hotel offered a great breakfast buffet that was included with our rate and it also featured a nice indoor pool and sauna. The location was perfect for walking around the city as it was close to bus and tram stops for easy access to areas that were too far to walk.
The highlight of our time in Innsbruck was taking the funicular up the mountain to spend about 5 hours exploring and hiking the Hungerburg area of Innsbruck. This area was located above the city but below the main skiing area which required further gondola rides up the alps. The neighborhoods in this area feature beautiful old wooden chalets next to modern looking renovated homes, creating a look straight out of architectural magazines. Everything about the area was charming and awe inspiring.
After a few hours up in the mountains we took the funicular back down to Innsbruck proper and continued to explore the city which was in full swing with tourists. Innsbruck is a prime winter sports destination and has hosted two winter olympics; it regularly attracts thousands of visitors looking for ski holidays which fuels the atmosphere and energy of the city especially over the holiday season.
Innsbruck was an amazing city and we had a lovely time exploring this city in the alps. I would put this in the category of a must visit on any trip to Austria, or even as a day trip from Munich which is a 90 minute train ride away. After two nights in Innsbruck we again made our way back to the train station to board for our final stop in Munich. Before we left, we decided to definitely make it a point to come back to Innsbruck in the future.