The Travelettes guide to Innsbruck
You may have heard of Innsbruck as the ski and snowboard capital of the Alps and the perfect place to stay for those who are up for a more urban environment after some hours in the slopes. What you might not realise is that it’s also a sweet destination in summer for anyone enjoying a great outdoor holiday complete with hiking tours, mountain biking, rafting, horseback-riding, rock-climbing and many more fun activities.
Innsbruck’s city centre is quite compact making it easy to navigate on foot. We had 4 days to research some of the best shops, bars and restaurants for you and knowing that locals know the best places, we gathered the best tips from friends, bartenders, shop employees and the Austrian experts from Tripwolf. So let’s cut to the chase, here is our personal guide to Innsbruck.
A board shop just for girls was our very first stop on our shopping spree. Sweet Dream (Leopoldstr. 31) has a all the gear you need as a skater girl, snowboarder or longboarder. The store has its own café inside where girls frequently hang out crocheting headbands while drinking coffee. It also hosts occasional longboard workshops.
We love some good vintage and antique shopping, and we found a few favorites in Innsbruck. Fesch & Vams Vintage (Innrain 30b) has a huge selection of clothes, shoes and other vintage things. Inside the store there is also a “shop within the shop” with redesigned pieces from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Next to Fesch and Vams there is an Antiquarian worth checking out, with amazing books, old postcards and posters.
Ziggy Vintage (Bürgerstr. 15) has an array of amazing dresses and designer originals attreaosnable prices. We spent what felt like hours there trying on different gowns. This is definitely the place to go if you’re looking for unusual and exclusive pieces from the past decades.
If you’re not staying at the Penz, which could well have the world’s best hotel breakfast buffet, you might be looking for the perfect place for brunch. The Crumble is famous for its delicious brunch and coffee, and is a charming place to start the day. It is located next to Sweet Dreams in Leopoldstr. 27. Keep in mind that this places closes on Mondays and Sundays.
Café Retro (Adolf Pichler Platz 2) is a kitch but cozy café, suitable for a light snack. It’s a bit smoky inside, but if the weather is good it has nice outdoor seating. Plus is was very close to our hotel.
Stiftskeller (Burggraben 31) serves traditional Austrian cuisine. With a huge beer garden, incredibly fast service and great food this is a place to stop by. I recommend the Tyrolean dumplings, they’re pure awesomeness.
A classic choice for visitors to Innsbruck is Cafe Sacher (Rennweg 1), where you get to taste the pride of Austrian patissery – Sachertorte. It is best enjoyed together with a so-called Melange – a mix of half coffee and half milk and a rather tasty and rich way to explore Austrian culture.
The choice between our beauty sleep (who needs that anyway, right?) and finding the best place to go out in Innsbruck wasn’t hard to make. Since the distances are quite small, Innsbruck is the perfect place for barhopping.
Our first night in Innsbruck we went to Moustache (Herzog-Otto-Straße 8) to meet with the other conference participants. This bar is popular among the town’s many students and this is where we were introduced to our new favorite drink: Hugo.
360º has like the name promises, an amazing panorama view to the Alps. It’s a good place to start your evening, as you’ll probably enjoy the view the most before you’ve had more Hugos.
Die Bäckerei is an alternative location which is a cultural club, a Sunday café, a bar and a club. Make sure you stop by!
Hofgarten Imperial Gardens has live concerts from May to September in its music pavilion. There are also changing exhibitions and benches to chill on.
Project Innsbruck was one of our favorite bars, located under the arches of a train station this bar had good music for dancing, good-looking boys and reasonable prices.
For the perfect spot to cool down on a hot summer day, head to Baggersee, the nearby lake and everybody’s favorite hangout during the hot days. It is just a 15 minute ride on the local bus from the city centre, and is great for a beach volley or badminton session in between swimming and chilling within a stunning mountain panorama.
Snowboarding and Skiing
If you do happen to come here during winter season, you must not miss to step on a snowboard or skis at one point. The best place to do that is Nordpark Innsbruck, the closest ski area to Innsbruck. Boarders might be pleased to know that they have a pretty good superpipe you can play around in. The Nordkettebahn (cable railway) transports visitors directly from the city center of Innsbruck to high mountain terrain in just twenty minutes, a service provided during this both winter- and summertime. Azamer Lizum isn’t too far away either, and there are free busses from the Innsbruck central station going there.
If you have any other favorite spots in Innsbruck, please let us know!
She loves cities with imperfect facades, photography, traveling by bike, vintage hunting, and everything that comes with cheese. Follow her visual diary at anchoredpaperplane.com.