For the majority of well-trodden travelers, Austria may not seem like a particularly exotic country. When we think about this European destination, it's likely that Vienna is the first word that pops into our head.
However, Innsbruck is also worth visiting, and here is precisely why:
Why Visit Innsbruck?
I would like to encourage you to visit Innsbruck, which is the capital city of Tyrol. Situated in the Inn valley, about halfway between Munich and Italian Verona, it is an absolutely perfect place for a 2-3 day trip.
Things to Do in Innsbruck
Innsbruck not only offers breathtaking views but also a variety of cultural events. I should also mention that Tirol is Tirol, neither wholly Austrian nor Italian in its cultural influences. The city was shaped by various cultural factors. There are beautiful, imperial buildings (Imperial Palace, City Tower, Maria Theresien Street) and also nature, sports and shopping centers to see.
As one of the most expensive cities of Austria (and probably the most crowded one), it is hectic as well. Even for very advanced travelers, there are many things that will astound them.
First of all, it is a perfect combination of nature, ecology, history and modernity. There aren't many places in Europe where modern buildings are so well fitted into historic surroundings and nature. One of my first impressions could be recalled to the peaceful, yet hectic atmosphere of Maria Theresien Street. Although it sounds as if it was impossible, even after 5 hours of walking or shopping, you won`t feel bored or tired.
When visiting Tyrol you should spend at least 30 minutes in one of the oldest bakeries in Innsbruck. Without any doubt, everybody will enjoy visiting 'Der Backer Ruetz', situated next to 'Tyrol Kaufhaus' (Marie Theresien Street 18). You will not only find baked goods but also local delicacies. I should mention that prices aren't very high and very often this place is forgotten by guides.
Where to Stay in Innsbruck
When you are full after eating all these baked treats, you probably will think about taking a rest in a comfortable and affordable hotel. I would recommend 'Dollinger' (Hallerstrasse 7), which is situated about 1.5 km from the city center. In each room you can find shower, satellite TV, radio, telephone, hair dryer, room safe and an Internet connection. Hotel service responds to all the questions and needs. The reception offers free Innsbruck maps enabling you to not get lost in the city. It`s possible to buy bus tickets or call a taxi. Another vital factor is a hotel restaurant. Breakfast is served from 7 am to 9 am and is plentiful. Dinners and suppers offer a great variety of local dishes served in a hotel restaurant.
Top Tip for Visiting Innsbruck
If you are interested in visiting Innsbruck, you might find the 'Innsbruck Card' useful, providing ski passes, transport services, guided city tours and ticket services. The prices start from 39 Euros (valid for 24 hours). It is also possible to choose from amongst various museum entries on offer. There are two museums worth mentioning. First, is the Bell Museum, where you can see a 400-year old bell foundry. The tickets cost 5-8 euros. For those who love crystals and jewelry, an absolute must see is Swarovski Kristallwelten. However, it hasn't impressed me much. Despite lots of shopping on offer, there are various crystal exhibitions, mostly representing art inspired by the 60's and 70's.