So you’ve got only one day in Innsbruck? Don’t worry, 24 hours is enough to experience the main hotspots of the city. Discover the sights and attractions of this holiday destination – rightfully nicknamed ‘Capital of the Alps’.
Here’s my 24 hour Innsbruck itinerary with a mix of old town sightseeing and urban alpine experience!
Travel Tips for Innsbruck
- Getting Around: Buy a 24 Hour Innsbruck Card, priced at € 39 its complete value for money. This gives you free transport on Sightseer Innsbruck & 24 hour ticket for IVB transport routes. Also included – free one-time admission to all museums and visitor attractions! (Available for 48 & 72 hours too)
- Where to Stay: My stay was made even more comfortable due to the hospitality at Hotel Grauer Bär. It’s located right in the city centre, and all major attractions are walking distance from the hotel, including the station for accessing Nordkette Mountain Range!
- Credit Cards & Cash: Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Innsbruck, but I’d recommend taking some local currency along if you plan to eat/shop in the local markets.
- Best time to go: Innsbruck is a destination for all seasons. In winters its a major destination for skiers. Weather-wise the best temperatures occur between May & September.
Start the day with a sumptuous breakfast buffet at Hotel Grauer Bär while enjoying view of the Alps through large French windows. Don’t forget to buy your 24 Hour Innsbruck Card from the hotel reception.
We will begin with a walking tour of the Old Town. Travel back in time strolling through the 800 year old city centre of Innsbruck.
1. Imperial Palace
Take a journey back through the centuries into the private lives of the Habsburgs. A complete tour of the palace would take you about one and a half hour. And make sure you visit the 31 meter long Riesensaal or ‘Giant’s Hall’.
Other attractions nearby: Tyrolean State Theatre, Imperial Gardens & Court Church.
2. Innsbruck Cathedral
Spot famous religious artworks and iconic Baroque architecture at this church. Hear the unmistakable sound of over 57 bells and a combined weight of 4,100 kilograms, the largest of their kind in Austria!! The Innsbruck peace bells ring out daily at noon.
3. Golden Roof
Admire Innsbruck’s famous shining landmark, the Golden Roof, surrounded by colourful facades, bay windows and charming arcades. Also one of the most photographed site in Innsbruck.
Other attraction nearby: City tower (optional)
TIP: This itinerary includes the Nordkette Range, you can skip City Tower as the views from the mountain top will be way better!
After you are done exploring Old Town, head to the nearest bus stop, catch the ‘Sightseer’ and head to the next attraction.
4. Ambras Castle
It is one of the most beautiful castles perched on a hill high above Innsbruck. Archduke Ferdinand II, accommodated his world-famous art collections here, making this castle the oldest museum in the world. Do not miss the Spanish Hall, it’s stunning! (check image below) Although Ambras Castle is a little far from the city, it’s a must visit.
TIP: When getting down from the ‘Sightseer’, check the bus shuttle timings at the bus stop – so that you can manage your time better.
5. Lunch in the City Centre
Now that you have worked up an appetite – thanks to walking too much, head back to the city centre & grab some quick, hot food! I ate at McDonald’s, as I was sure I would get food swiftly and won’t lose out on any time. Their menu has a lot of different/local items too, try those. Make sure you are done with lunch by 03, in order to enjoy your time in the mountains.
6. Nordkette Mountain
After lunch, walk to the station and board the Hungerburg funicular & Nordkettenbahnen cable cars, in order to reach the mountain top. At 2,000+ metres above sea level, it offers the most spectacular views of Innsbruck!
TIP: If time permits one can visit Alpine Zoo on the way back into town.
7. See the Sunset at Inn River
The view from the Inn river is breathtaking. The colourful houses along the river with the mountains as a gorgeous natural backdrop – look even more beautiful during sunset!
8. Wander on Maria Theresien Street
As the day nears end, simply relax and enjoy on Maria Theresien Street, as you walk past little cafes, bookshops and boutiques. Once you’ve done a fair bit of walking, treat yourself to an exquisite, traditional Austrian meal at one of the local eateries.
9. Enjoy an Apple Strudel
Before you retire for the night, make sure you reward yourself for successfully finishing this jam-packed itinerary with a straight out of oven Apple Strudel.
Choose a café you like, grab a table and enjoy an Apple Strudel, as you watch the world go by… 👣