Innsbruck is the capital of Tyrol. It is located in western Austria. Its name means "bridge over the Inn". The Inn is the river which runs through the city.
This city has a beautiful old core and several attractions to enjoy.
It is a pleasure walking under the porticoes of the old core of Innsbruck. You can find various kinds of shops, several cafes and some restaurant under these porticoes.
Herzog Friedrich Strasse; one of the main street in the old center is lined with porticoes.
The Golden Roof; in German; Goldenes Dachl is practically a three storey balcony with a roof made of 2657 gold plated tiles.
Archduke Friedrick IV ordered the construction of the palace where the balcony is located in the early fifteen century.
Maximilian I commissioned the Golden Roof in 1493. It was built to honour Maximilian' s second marriage to Bianca Sforza of Milan.
The Goldenes Dachl served as a royal box where he could sit and enjoy tournaments and other street performances in the square below.
The city tower (Stadtturm) was built between 1442 and 1450. It was completed with its roof fifty years later. Its lower storey once served as prison.
Until 1964 inside the tower there was a sentry day and night, to warn the inhabitants about fires and other dangers.
When you' re on the top of this tower you' ll enjoy a wonderful landscape over the city center. You' ll also see the houses on the river Inn. You have to climb 148 stairs to go to the top.
The Imperial Palace (Hofburg) was originally built by archduke Siegmund the Rich in Gothic style around 1460. It was remodelled in Baroque style by emperess Maria Theresa between 1754 and 1773.
Inside the palace 25 state apartments are opened to visitors. These are dating from 18th and the 19th centuries. There is also the a large banquet room with lots of portraits of the Habsburgs; the Giants' Hall.
Some years ago it was allowed to take pictures inside the palace. Today it is not permitted any more.
The Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum (the Tyrolean museum of popular art) is located in the Neues Stift (the new abbey). It adjoins the Hofkirche.
There you can see a rich collections of households, farming tools, furniture, typical dresses and some stube. These are living rooms covered with wood panels.
You can buy a combined ticket to visit the museum and the Hofchirche.
This church was built between 1553 and 1563 by Ferdinand I as a burial place for Maximilian I. Inside there is his cenotaph (but he is buried in Vienna) encircled by 28 huge statues.
Walde Kerzenzieherzei and Lebzelterei is a small shop full of nice things. It is run by the same family for 235 years. You can find it opposite the cathedral
Here you can find candles of every kinds, soaps, shampoos, bath foams and cleaning products. There is even a good choice of decorations.
You will surely not miss the Baroque 16th century palace; the Helblinghaus. It is a Gothic mansion. The stucco decorations on its facade date back to the 1730. It was named after Sebastian Helbling who owned a cafe inside this building in 1833.
At Hofgasse n. 12 you can see an arch with a special acoustic; the Fluesterbogen.
If you stand at one end of it and whisper something, another person at the opposite end can understand clearly what you are saying.
Not far from the Helblinghaus you could look for the Ottoburg.
This tower like palace was documented since 1476. Today it houses a restaurant.
There is a park near the Hofburg; the imperial palace. The Hofgarten. This park was originally laid out as a hunting ground in the 16th century. Later it was declared a public garden.
There are various plants, a palms house, a small lake and a children playground there. At one of the entrances of the park there is a cafe-restaurant.
One of my favourite restaurant in the old town is surely Stiftskeller. It has six dining rooms and also an outdoor area where you can sit if the weather is fine.
The palace where this restaurant was built was a convent for noble girls long ago.
At Stiftskeller hey have a menu with mostly typical Austrian dishes.
The first time I visited this restaurant I had spaetzle (small dumplings) with cheese and fried onions. Another time I had pasta (noodles) with minced meat. Everything I ate there was good.
Maria Theresien Strasse is one of the main streets in the city. It is partly pedestrianized. It is bordered with 17th and 18th centuries houses, lots of shops, cafes and restaurants.
In the middle of this street stands the Saint Anne' s column (Annasaule). It was erected in 1706 to commemorate the withdrawal of the Bavarian troops on Saint Anne' s Day in 1703.
At its southern end of this street there a thriumphal gateway (Triumphpforte) stands. It was built in 1765 on the occasion of the wedding of archduke Leopold of Tuscany; son of empress Maria Theresia with princess Maria Ludovica of Spain, but also to commemorate the death of emperor Franz I; Maria Theresia' s husband.
This large covered market is situated on the banks of the Inn river.
It houses various stalls. Here you can find the butcher, the fishmonger and a farmers market with fresh fruits and vegetables. There is also a supermarket and several cafes inside this market.
This market is open from monday to friday; from 7 a. m. to 6.30 p. m. On saturday it is open from 7 a. m to 1 a. m.
I think the area along the river Inn is one of the quitest places in the city.
I booked a twin room at Bistrò bed and breakfast and I had a large triple room with bathroom en suite.
There are not communal rooms at this bed and breakfast. It is housed in a small building. It is far from the old center of Insbruck, but it is easily reachable by bus from the train station.
Breakfast was buffet style. Every morning there were jam, yoghurt, several kinds of bread; ham and cheese. There was also a bowl full of fresh fruit. Hot drinks as coffee and milk were served at our table.
There few eateries near this hotel. I usually had dinner at hotel Alpin Park' s restaurant. This hotel is a few meters from Bistro' s bed and breakfast.
It is a restaurant of a four stars hotel, but it is not an expensive place to have a meal. There are various typical Austrian dishes on the menu at this restaurant, but also some Italian ones. I always had a good dinner there.
Cafe conditorei Walter is not the oldest confectionery in the city, but I' ve read it has been opened since the late 50's. It is a popular place as I could see from the many customers who went there to buy pieces of cakes to take home, have one there or have a drink.
This cafe-confectionery has two rooms. One is the confectionery itself and the other the cafe.
At Walter' s you can find many kinds of cakes, pastries and other kinds of sweet treats. There also serve sandwiches.
Every time I went there I had an ice cream with whipped cream. These were very good. My mother tried some cakes. She said the Sacher torte (chocolate cake with apricot jam) was really good.
The Wilten basilica; also called basilica of our Lady under the four pillars is a yellow church with two towers that was built between 1751 and 1755 in Rococo style.
A first church had been erected in the 13th century on that site. This has been a site of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages.
Unfortunately I only could admire the interior of the church thought a gate. When I went there it was the closing time.
Castle Ambras is a reinassance castle built by archduke Ferdinand II in the 16th century on the remains of a 10 century fortress. It is located some miles from the city center. You can go there by bus.
In 1855 it was remodeled to serve as a summer residence for archduke Karl Ludwig. It is divided into lower and upper castle.
The castle has a very large room called Spanish Hall; a paintings gallery, a collections of armours and weapons and a room with many exotic things.
There is a restaurant in one of the buildings of this castle. I suppose it is in the stables. It is not expensive.
If you are going to visit several attractions in the city I suggest you to buy an Innsbruck card.
This card gives you (a one time) free admission to all main sights of Innsbruck. You can also travel by the city buses and trams for free (also to Igls, Rum, Hall in Tirol, Nattes and Mutters); even by the Sightseer; the tourist bus.
You can buy it at the information office in the main train station (Hauptbahnhof). There are cards valid for 24, 48 and for 72 hours.
The Sightseer is a small, red tourist bus that stops near the main sights in Innsbruck. You can use it free of charge if you buy an Innsbruck card.
Once you bought your ticket you can hop on and off this bus as many times as you like. On the sightseer there is a pair of headphones per persons to listen to some information in various languages about the places you see passing by.
Tickets are sold on the bus.
Unfortunately in the winter the Sightseers don' t operate ferquently!