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Innsbruck and the Austrian Alps

Updated on July 3, 2011

Welcome to Innsbruck

Innsbruck is a town in the West of Austria in the state of Tyrol. It was in July 2007 that we spent a fantastic few days there, exploring not only the town of Innsbruck but the heights of Austria's famous Alpine range of mountains.

Innsbruck Town Centre

The Town of Innsbruck

The name, "Innsbruck," comes quite literally from the German for "bridge" or "crossing" over the River Inn. The river is a slate grey colour, due to the chalk in the area and flows right through the centre of the town.

The town has known a rich and vibrant history, from Roman times and even before, due to its strategic importance as a crossing point of the Alpine range. As we can see from the photographs, the centre of the town has a Medieval look and feel to it and the many churches and museums can take some time to explore. 

A Videographic Guide to Innsbruck and its Alpine peaks

Eating Out in Innsbruck

There is an amusing tale which we still often refer to and relate regarding our experiences of eating out in Innsbruck.

On the evening we arrived, we sat outside a large restaurant/cafe in the town centre and were attended to by an extremely competent and friendly young waiter. We noticed at the time that he appeared to be the only waiter on duty but the efficiency with which he conducted his many tasks was remarkable, considering how busy the cafe was.

Over the course of our stay, we visited this outlet several times, to use its Internet cafe, its bar, its restaurant again and even its ice cream parlour. On each and every occasion, we were attended to in the various areas by the same waiter! It appeared to be the case that he ran the establishment himself but not once did we see anyone receiving poor service.

This young man was extremely thin in stature - no wonder! It remains the most perfect example of multi-tasking we have ever witnessed. We wondered whether he was actually cooking the food he served, as well...?

Staying in Innsbruck

There are a great many hotels and guesthouses both in Innsbruck and the surrounding areas, largely due to its popularity as a Winter Sports' centre. We stayed in a guesthouse some half hour's walk outside the town itself, in an uphill direction, and the photo to the right shows the town from just around the corner from said guesthouse.

The walk downhill to the town was very pleasant, either by road or through the woodland trail, but the steep climb back up ensured that the bus service was on occasion very welcome!



The Cable Car to an Alpine Peak

Whatever time of the year you visit Innsbruck, it is virtually essential that you take a trip up one of the Alpine peaks in a cable car. The day that we chose to do so was scorchingly hot at the foot of the mountain - but it wasn't long before we stepped out into a world of snow...

Going Up - Cable Car Ride (First Leg)

Innsbruck getting further away as our first cable car climbs
Innsbruck getting further away as our first cable car climbs
Innsbruck from the cafe/restaurant at the top station of the first leg of the cable car ride
Innsbruck from the cafe/restaurant at the top station of the first leg of the cable car ride

Going Up - Almost Vertically! Cable Car Ride (Second Leg)

Not a trip for those with vertigo
Not a trip for those with vertigo
How did they get here!?
How did they get here!?
A bleak but stunning landscape
A bleak but stunning landscape
The majesty of this area has to be seen to be believed...
The majesty of this area has to be seen to be believed...

Going Down - On Foot

As we had plenty of time, we decided to go down the mountain from the stage of the restaurant on foot. There was a clear, zig-zagging path, which appeared to go all the way to the bottom.

Unfortunately, it was only as we neared the bottom that we hit problems. The path branched off in many directions and we had to ask for guidance on several occasions. Eventually, the path ended altogether and the final part of our descent was made down a very unstable, scree slope.

The morale of this story is: cable cars are provided for a reason!

The restaurant from which we made our on foot descent
The restaurant from which we made our on foot descent
Looking down the mountain from the balcony of the restaurant
Looking down the mountain from the balcony of the restaurant

Have you ever visited Innsbruck or the Austrian Alps?

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    • profile image

      Rob 7 years ago

      Amazing views, good weather (for me) and friendly people makes austrian alps my favorite place every winter.

    • euro-pen profile image

      euro-pen 8 years ago from Europe

      Fine that you enjoyed your stay in Innsbruck. Truly a nice place to visit. So much to do in and around Innsbruck. Those sheeps are really good climbers. So not surprising to see them in rocky slopes searching for tasty grass.

    • Curious Traveller profile image

      Curious Traveller 8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks all - and for the nomination! The story about the waiter is absolutely true. He truly was quite incredible.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      What a beautiful place! I loved the pictures and your story of the waiter!

    • GeneriqueMedia profile image

      GeneriqueMedia 8 years ago from Earth


      Franz would be proud...

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hello Curious Traveller, nope I've never been to Austria. Whenever I hear the word Austria, the Sound of Music comes to my mind. So I was reading your hub eagerly. LOL What beautiful photos you have here. And I was grinning at your tale about the same waiter serving you, doing fantastic multi-tasking job!

      Congratulations!!!! Did you know this hub is a hubnugget nominee for this week? Click this link and you will see for yourself:

      Yes, if you want many people to know about the beauty of Innsbruck and the Austrian Alps, better get a move on and get as many people to vote for this hub. :-) Enjoy the Hubnugget Fun! Take care... :-)

    • K.D. Clement profile image

      K.D. Clement 8 years ago from USA

      Lovely photos. Makes me miss Europe. What is amazing about Austria is how green it is. Very fun hub-I liked the video too.

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Dame Scribe 8 years ago from Canada

      I have been on mountains in BC, Canada and agree, the views are fantastic. Innsbruck looks absolutely gorgeous too, thank you! :)