Innsbruck Itinerary

While Vienna and Salzburg are the most-visited cities by tourists in Austria, I was surprised and charmed during my visit to Innsbruck. It’s such a small, cute, and magical city that it quickly became my favourite place in Austria. I hope to be able to show you its beauty in this Innsbruck 2 day itinerary. Located in the Alps, this is a popular destination for winter sports. It also features some wonderful modern and imperial architecture. In this post I’m going to share with you how to better spend two days in Innsbruck.

Innsbruck is a real alpine gem of a city and is renowned worldwide for its ski resorts. It’s considered to be the center of the Tyrol region and draws winter sports fanatics from all around the world each year. If you are spending a couple of weeks traveling around Austria, I’d highly encourage you to add Innsbruck into your plans. I promise that you will be delighted and charmed by this beautiful city for sure.

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Innsbruck Itinerary

When is the best time to visit Innsbruck?

If you love winter sports, you won’t want to miss the chance to visit between November and March. At this time of the year, the city is packed with skiers and snowboarders. Be prepared for some high winds during your visit, as winds here can reach up to 90 miles per hour!

However, I visited Innsbruck in December and the weather was nice, sunny, and warm every single day while I was there.

Visiting Innsbruck during the Christmas time was even more special as it adds even more magic to this already wonderful city.

Summer is also a wonderful time to visit Innsbruck, where days are warm, and the temperatures are known to reach the mid-70s.

If you are traveling on a budget, fall is the cheapest time to visit, before the winter tourists come. If you would like to ski but don’t want to pay the high winter prices, consider March or April, where the Alps are still capped with snow. The weather in the downtown area can actually be quite different from that on the mountains, as the ski resorts are at a higher elevation.

Also, during spring and fall time, there will be fewer tourists and the prices will be a bit lower.

In general, there is no bad time to visit Innsbruck, it simply depends on what you’re looking for.

Innsbruck Golden Roof

How much time to spend in Innsbruck?

If you are just looking to sightsee and not participate in winter sports here, I believe 48 hours is the perfect amount of time to spend in Innsbruck. You will be able to see all of the main, popular sights at that time and get a general feeling about the city.

Of course, the more you can stay the better as you can take several day trips to other places around Innsbruck.

Streets of Innsbruck

Is the Innsbruck Card worth it?

This is my own personal opinion. I paid for the card myself and this is not a collaboration. I just genuinely love it.

I would highly recommend buying the Innsbruck Card if you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing. I bought one while I was in Vienna and in Salzburg and was surprised by the amount of money I was able to save.

The Innsbruck Card includes tickets to most of the museums in the city and upward-downward journeys on the lifts and cable cars. It gives you one entry for free.

The hop-on-hop-off bus and public transport (except the STB) are also included, which is a great perk. It also includes Swarovski Crystal Worlds and the shuttle to get there.

You can buy a card for 24 hours for €49, 48 hours for €55, and 72 hours for €66 (during the winter season the prices a bit lower).

There is also another card for 24 hours for €32 but it doesn’t include the Nordkettenbahnen lifts and Swarovski Crystal World. So, it’s a good idea but only if you’re staying in Innsbruck the whole time.

You can get your card on the official website.

I think the one for 48 hours will be enough to do all the main things. The card is validated when it’s used for the first time, not when it’s bought.

In 48 hours, I was able to use the Innsbruck card to its fullest. Even if you use it only for the Nordkettenbahnen and one other attraction it will still be worth it, because the lift by itself will cost you €38!

Pro Tip: If you’re traveling during the Christmas season especially, don’t forget to check out the tourist information office. They will give you lots of information about the seasonal activities going on around the city including parades, concerts, and the Krampus Run.

Innsbruck Tourist Office

How to get around Innsbruck?

The city center of Innsbruck is very compact and easy to walk around. Most of the sights can be accessed by foot with no issues.

Again, if you purchase the Innsbruck Card, you get free transport on the city’s trams and buses, as well as free cable car rides!

Otherwise, single bus tickets cost €3.10 if purchased from the driver, or €2.50 if purchased in advance from a ticket machine, tourist information office, or tobacco shop. The single-day ticket is much better value for the buses at just €5.80 for a full day of journeys.

If you want to learn more valuable tips about traveling in Austria, I’ve got you covered. Click here to read an in-depth post of all the things you should know before your trip!

Innsbruck Christmas Decorations

What to eat in Austria?

I recently posted another blog post about my favorite Austrian delicacies that you simply must try on your next trip, so make sure to check it out!

As with anywhere in Austria, if you are traveling in December, make sure you eat as much as you can at the Christmas markets. The food is delicious there, you can try more things that way and the whole atmosphere is simply magical. I loved spending every evening wandering around these markets, getting into the holiday spirit, and enjoying all the Christmas decorations.

Innsbruck Christmas Tree

Where to stay in Innsbruck?

Like most of the time, your accommodation options will be dictated by your budget. Austria isn’t a particularly cheap country to visit, so hostels are a great choice, and there are a few available in Innsbruck, such as the Youth Hostel Innsbruck and the Montagu Hostel.

Of course, the city also has many traditional hotel options, which you can find on Booking or you could consider renting an apartment through a site such as Airbnb. Apartments are a great option for large travel groups, or even if you simply want to save money on food, as you can prepare meals in your own kitchen.

Innsbruck Hotels

Now let’s get to our Innsbruck 2 Day itinerary

If you have two days to spend in Innsbruck, this is how I recommend spending your time.

Day 1 of our Innsbruck itinerary

All of the places mentioned below in this Innsbruck itinerary are included in your Innsbruck Card, however, I’m still going to mention the ticket price for each place for one adult, in case you don’t want to buy the card.

This morning, start the day by visiting the Markthalle to grab something quick to eat for breakfast. They serve plenty of local fresh produce here, and it’s a great spot for breakfast to fill you up for a busy day of sightseeing.

Innsbruck Markthalle

This morning’s first activity is the hop-on-hop-off bus, and I’d recommend trying to catch the first bus which leaves at 9:55. It will stop near the Markthalle at Marktplatz. The Sightseer is included for free in your Innsbruck Card. Hop on and off at the various sites along the route and I’ll recommend below the ones to create a perfect day of sightseeing. The bus passes every 40 minutes. Don’t feel you have to stop at every place, simply choose the ones that appeal most to you and your travel party.

The ticket price for the bus itself is €18.

You can learn more about the route, stops included, and the timetable on its official website.

Innsbruck City Bus

Stay on the bust until it reaches our first stop which is the Ambras Castle.

Ambras Castle (Schloss Ambras Innsbruck) is one of the most famous sights in Innsbruck, the world’s oldest museum and it stays 1,925 feet (587 meters) above sea level. It’s a Renaissance castle and palace and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tyrol. You can explore different Armouries, the Chamber of Art and Wonders, the Portrait Gallery, and its beautiful courtyard. Don’t forget to take a look at the wonderful courtyard, Chapel of St. Nicholas, and the Spanish Hall which is amongst the most beautiful halls built during the Renaissance.

Ticket Price: €12

Spanish Call Ambras Castle
Ambras Castle Innsbruck

After visiting the Ambras Castle hop on the Sightseer bus to get to our next stop. One of the must-see museums in Innsbruck is the Tirol Panorama Museum (Das Tirol Panorama).  This museum offers a journey through the history of Tyrol. Don’t forget to check out the Tyrolean Imperial Infantry Museum. It highlights the key events, including the battle between Napoleonic troops and the Tyrolean rebels, that took place where the museum is located today. The museum’s building is also a masterpiece in its own right.

Das Tirol Panorama is closed on Tuesday

Ticket Price: €11 (combo ticket)

Innsbruck Panorama Museum
Innsbruck Panorama Museum

After you finish your visit to the Panorama Museum continue to see another important sight of Innsbruck – Bergisel Ski Jump (Bergisel – Sprungstadion). Located only 5-10 minute walk away the Bergisel Ski Jump is one of the most famous venues in Ski Jumping competition history. It’s an important venue in the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup and has a capacity of a whopping 26,000 people in its stadium. Also, the Olympic events have been hosted here, the Olympic Games in 1964 and 1976.

When we got to the top it started snowing a little bit which made it even more magical and special!

On top of the ski tower, you can also find a restaurant, where you can have your lunch.

Bergisel Ski Jump is closed on Tuesday

Ticket Price: €10

Bergisel Ski
Bergisel Ski Top View

There is also an amazing restaurant located near the panorama museum, and I had a delicious vegetable soup there while waiting for the bus to come to continue my journey.

Next up on our itinerary is the Kaiserliche Hofburg, the Imperial Palace. It is one of the three major historical and cultural monuments in Austria. It’s now an extensive museum, and the Palace itself has been restored to its previous 18th-Century glory. You can walk through 25 imperial rooms from the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the Giants’ Hall was my favorite. It is for sure the most magnificent festival and ceremony hall in the alpine region. The beauty and richness of this place are undeniable. You will really feel a sense of wealth and history throughout the palace.

Ticket Price: €9.50

Hofburg Giants Hall

After that, I suggest you continue to The Museum of Tyrolean Folk Art / The Museum of Tyrolean Regional Heritage / Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum (many names the same place) which is also very close by. It contains an extensive collection of cultural displays from Tyrol. Enjoy seeing folk art, household items, Christmas cribs, and traditional masks and costumes here.

Tyrolean Museum

While you’re here don’t forget to go inside the Court Church (Hofkirche), the most magnificent cenotaph in the western world. A place where you can see the tomb of Emperor Maximilian I and 28 bronze statues.

Ticket Price: €11

Hofkirche Court Church

This afternoon I’d recommend catching a shuttle to go to the Swarovski Crystal Worlds.  It’s located 12 miles (20 km) east of Innsbruck

Visiting the Swarovski Crystal Worlds is better in the second part of the day, so you can stay there until the night light show and admire all of its beauty.

The best timing for this would be to catch the 2:40 pm shuttle which arrives at 3:08 pm at Swarovski. The shuttle stops at the bus stop near the museum and will drop you off right at the entrance where you’ll be able to buy your tickets.

Swarovski Crystal Worlds

The center allows you to experience dazzling Swarovski crystals in real life, with incredible displays and ever-changing designs. There are so many magical rooms and installations that you’ll see during your visit. I particularly enjoyed the Chambers of Wonder and the Crystal Cloud outside, made from 800,000 hand-mounted floating crystals. There is of course a huge shop on site, and a great café and restaurant.

Swarovski Crystal Worlds

Before heading back to the city, watch the evening show there, if you’re hungry grab something to eat at the restaurant and then catch the 5:35 pm shuttle back in time for our next exciting activity.

Ticket Price for the Swarovski Crystal Worlds: €19 + shuttle bus €9,50

Swarovski Decorations
Swarovski Crystal Worlds

Another one of the highlights of my time in Innsbruck was the watching “Mount Magic” Light show. It was so interesting and fun to watch that I didn’t feel the cold at all. It takes place twice every evening I went with the 6:30 pm option, there is also a 5:30 pm option. This show uses the Innsbruck Imperial Palace as a backdrop and takes you on an incredible journey of a little marmot around the globe. Thanks to the 3D mapping technology the whole experience is even more exciting. The show lasts approximately 20 minutes.

It’s a seasonal event which I was able to see in December.

The dates of the show: 27 November – 19 January

Ticket Price: €10

Mount Magic Light Show

To end this night I’d suggest having dinner at Ludwig. I ordered myself the most delicious vegan burger and crispy sweet potato fries. They have a lot of high-quality non-vegan options as well. I think it’s the perfect comfort food after a busy day exploring the city! Then have a drink or head back to your hotel to rest before another busy day in Innsbruck tomorrow.

Vegan Burger: €9.40

Sweet potato fries: €4.90

Innsbruck Christmas Market

Day 2 of our Innsbruck itinerary

This morning, start your day by going to Strudel Cafe Kroll. It was the place where I ate my favorite strudel in the whole of Austria. You have to try their plum and poppy seed strudel served with vanilla sauce – it’s so unique and delicious!

Kroll Strudel Cafe
Poppy seed strudel

After having your breakfast, catch a Nordkette cable car to get to the top of the mountain. It’s a must-do activity in Innsbruck! The views that you will see from the top are unbelievable.

This morning, start your day by going to Strudel Cafe Kroll. It was the place where I ate my favorite strudel in the whole of Austria. You have to try their plum and poppy seed strudel served with vanilla sauce – it’s so unique and delicious!

Innsbruck view

Nordkettenbahnen will take you from the city center and get you to the top of Austria’s largest nature park in minutes. This cable car is a gondola style lift that travels from Innsbruck to the top of Nordkette, which are the southernmost mountains of the Karwendel. The cable car runs in different sections.

Hungerburgbahn:

Congress 1,837 ft (560 m) – Lowenhaus – Alpenzoo – Hungenburg 2,820 ft (860m)

Opening Times 7:15 – 19:15

Here you can see the Small Cable Car Museum and the Church of St Theresa. After that you will have to switch to another cable car which goes:

Hungerburg – Seegrube 6,250 ft (1905 m) – Hafelekar 7,400 ft (2256 m)

Opening Times 8:70 – 17:30

Congress cable car station

When you arrive at the Top of Innsbruck the views that you’re gonna see from there will feel surreal. You will literally feel like you are standing on top of the world, above the clouds surrounded by snow. The impressive panorama includes the Capital of the Alps on one side and Austria’s largest nature park, the Karwendel, on the other. Because it’s so easy to reach those viewing points, it’s a must-visit place for everybody.

Ticket Price: €36,50 all the way to the top and back

That’s why I consider that it’s worth it to buy the Innsbruck Card. The one for 24 hours costs €43, for 48 hours €50, and 72 hours €59 in winter time. As you can see you simply have to pick any other place to visit in Innsbruck and it will be worth the money.

Innsbruck top view
Nordkette mountain
Innsbruck top bar

After you get down to the main ground, head to the main Swarovski Store. Even if you’re not planning on buying anything the beautiful “Ordinary Life” installation that they have there is worth checking out. You should also grab your small present by showing your Innsbruck Card.

Swarovski Store Innsbruck

There are many great choices for how to spend the rest of your day. It will all depend on how tired you are and what things you still would you like to explore. Don’t feel obliged to visit everything on your first visit. Travel is all about tailoring a city to your interests, so pick and choose the best ones for your travel party.

Museum Goldenes Dachl tells the story of the unique Golden Roof Building that you’ll see in the city center which became Innsbruck’s most famous landmark. It was built by Emperor Maximilian I, and the museum uses interactive exhibits to help you learn more about the history of Innsbruck’s emblem.

Golden Roof museum
  • Stadtturm (Town Tower) This watchtower was built in the 1450, and its lower storeys once served as a prison. Nowadays, it’s an observation deck that will offer you breathtaking views over rooftops of Innsbruck. Be prepared to climb 133 steps leading up to the 101-feet (31 m) high viewing platform.I highly recommend visiting it! Ticket Price: €4,50https://www.innsbruck.info/en/sightseeing/sightseeing/historical-buildings/detail/infrastruktur/city-tower-innsbruck-1.html
Stadtturm Innsbruck
City Tower Innsbruck
  • Hofkirche (Court Church)
    If you didn’t get a chance to explore it on the first day of our itinerary, visit the Court Church. It’s located between the Imperial Court and the Museum of Tyrolean Regional Heritage. The church is a memorial to Emperor Maximilian I. Combo Ticket: €11
  • Stadtmuseum
    The City Museum venue celebrates the city’s development with paintings, artifacts and photos. I didn’t visit personally, however, it might be something you would want to look at to learn more about the victories and defeats of the City of Innsbruck’s 800-year history. Ticket Price €3,80
  • Audioversum – science center
    This is a very cool museum to visit, especially for families traveling with kids. The interactive museum lets you investigate sound, with unique interactive and “ears-on” exhibits. I had a lot of fun there myself. You can enjoy a virtual tour of the ears and interactive audio installations to discover how hearing works.Ticket Price: €9

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Audioversum is closed on Monday

Audioversum Science Center
  • A walking tour of the city
    Free with your Innsbruck Card.I’d recommend taking the 14:00 walking tour on your second day. I find walking tours to be an excellent way to hear from a local guide about their experience living in the city. If you have found you have questions about Innsbruck and its culture and history over the last two days, this is a great chance to get them answered. Also, you can meet more people that way.
Innsbruck architecture
  • Triumphpforte (Triumphal Arch) – this is one of the most-visited sights in the city and is located at the southern end of the Maria-Theresien-Straße. It’s a Roman-inspired arch, that’s now contrasted by the delicious pastry.
  • If you are visiting around Christmas time, don’t forget to factor in plenty of time to see the city’s decorations, events and visit the Christmas markets. All the food that is available is so delicious that I didn’t even have enough time to try out the restaurants, which I for sure don’t regret. The food at the markets is authentic and most delicious. Remember that each Christmas market has its own unique mug that you can collect, and if you are traveling between the major cities, it’s a fun souvenir to take home.

Don’t forget to check out other places and discounts included in your Innsbruck Card either in the tourist office or on their official website.

Innsbruck Christmas Market

I hope this Innsbruck 2 Day Itinerary, travel tips and suggestions have made you excited to visit Innsbruck in the future. If you want to learn more tips about visiting Austria as a whole, click here. Austria is such a delightful European country, and I highly recommend it to any traveler. After traveling through four different cities, I was so surprised to find that Innsbruck quickly became my favorite. It’s a delightful and charming city, and there are a lot of active and cultural activities to take part in. Are you planning a visit to Austria and Innsbruck? Let me know in the comments below.

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