24 hours in Innsbruck
Innsbruck's location in the Alps has a big impact on the daily routine - the mountains, nature, and the beautiful views are central to many of the activities. But before you get going towards the mountains, it is best to focus on what the locals are doing: among Innsbruckers, a breakfast at the Cafe Central in the center of the city has become a weekend ritual.
From the Convention Hall, or Kongresshaus, located right next to the Old Town, you can take the new "mini-subway" to the Hungerburg, a slightly higher part of town. Those not afraid of heights can take the cable car to the Hafelekar, the peak of the northern chain of the Karwendel Mountains. The stunning panorama looks over not only the city of Innsbruck but also all of the adjacent valleys and mountains. The athletically inclined can take a little walking tour on the high plateau. An alternative excursion leads to Buzihütte Gasthaus, where the famous "carbuncle" dish (the recipe is a closely guarded secret) can be sampled. Traditional Tyrolean cuisine is generally served on Innsbruck's northern plateau. Make sure to sample a shot or two of Hüttenzauber – also known as schnapps.Back in the Old Town, the Hofgarten is well worth a visit. In the summer it has a pleasant atmosphere that invariably enhances an afternoon coffee in the courtyard cafe. A visit to one of the many bakeries is recommended for a small snack. Once amply energized, you can try to navigate the many narrow old lanes. In the cold winter, hot chocolate or mulled wine make for warm breaks in the myriad cafes; in the summer, the Old Town flair comes to the fore. The magnificent halls of the Hofburg are evidence of the golden days of the Habsburg monarchy. The "Black Men" in the court church immediately adjacent date from this time; each king and hero was commemorated with a metal statue here. Anyone who would like to delve deeper into the world of the kings, knights, and ladies of the court should work in a detour to Ambras Castle, southeast of Innsbruck - there are guided tours all year long. If you prefer contemporary activities, pass through the Maria-Theresien-Strasse (also good fo
r shopping, by the way) on the way to the Bergisel Stadium - the new ski jump facility, built in 2002, has won international acclaim for its architecture.For dinner, back to the Old Town with its many restaurants. You should treat yourself to an aperitif on the top of the galleries at City Hall, where with a little luck, you can experience a romantic sunset. For party animals, the fun begins - Innsbruck, thanks to its high number of students, has a very lively nightlife scene. The classics are the Irish pub in the Maria-Theresien-Strasse, Bacchus, the City Café at the Landestheatre, the Blue Chip at the Landhausplatz, and the Weekender on the Südring near the cineplex. Those who want something more unusual, however, should check out the greenhouse near the Stadtsälen or the goings-on in the Saggen neighborhood.