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Destination Guide | Things To Do In The Innsbruck Region

With the SKI Plus CITY Pass Stubai Innsbruck in your pocket, you'll be ready to make the most of this amazing city

13 ski resorts, 22 sights, ski bus, sightseer bus and three spas – all in one pass. We’re getting ahead of ourselves though. It’s that time of year again when you start mindlessly scrolling through Instagram only to realise a few hours later that you must have just seen at least 15 rad clips of someone doing a knuckle drag, 20 trailers for new ski films you are dying to see, 20 trailers for new snowboarding films you are dying to see, and about a million “take me back there” mountain photos. It’s time, in other words, to drain that savings account once more and book yourself another trip to the snow. But where to go?

Booking yourself a one-week trip to the alps is pretty straightforward. After all, Europe’s a big place with plenty of resorts to choose from. But if, like us, you’ve reached that stage in life when you’ve realised there’s (slightly) more to life than riding snow and getting on it après style… we think you’ll love Innsbruck – a winter sports mecca in the mountains that also offers all the cultural and various other delights that come as a result of it being a 21st century city.

Innsbruck has 13 ski resorts situated within a stone’s throw of the city. This place, however, isn’t just for the snow-addicts. First up, there’s plenty of bars and restaurants offering a much wider range of food and beverage options than you ever hope to get your hands on in a resort (good news vegans, you won’t have to live off chips and bread for the entirety of your visit).

Second up, there’s culture and lots of it. If the clouds roll in, or you get tired of the shred, you 100% need to get yourself to the castle and catch up on all that history you missed out on at school because you were too busy staring at the back of your crush’s head. Or, alternatively, get yourself to one of Innsbruck’s excellent museums (the Tirol Panorama Museum is well worth a look).

“A winter sports mecca in the mountains”

Last but by no means least, Innsbruck’s got some really good swimming pools in which you can unwind. Is there anything better, after a few days of riding from first lift to last, than recovering in a spa?

While doing all that on ski trip might sound nice, alarm bells are probably ringing from a cost point of view. But trust us when we say, you can make it a cheaper – a lot cheaper. First off, budget airlines fly into Innsbruck’s local airport (yes, Innsbruck has it’s own airport so no bank-emptying transfers for you). Secondly, Innsbruck has cheap hostels, and affordable apartments and hotels if you’re looking to stay on a budget (especially if you come during the weekdays). Thirdly, and most importantly, there’s the SKI Plus CITY Pass .

Even if ‘Innsbruck Ski Plus City Pass’ doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, it’s more or less the easiest and most affordable way for anyone looking to explore the Innsbruck region to its full potential. This thing holds a lot of power for a tiny card – 13 ski resorts, 22 touristic sites, three indoor pools and transport. Whether you’re planning to stay in Innsbruck for a weekend break or a whole week – this Holy Grail has got you covered.

The Resorts

As already mentioned, Innsbruck is surrounded by plenty of ridiculously good resorts – with this City Pass giving you access to the creme de la creme of them: Stubai glacier, Axamer Lizum, Skizentrum Schlick 2000, Kühtai, Hochoetz, Muttereralm, Bergeralm, Nordkette, Serlesbahnen, Elferbahnen, Patscherkofel, Rangger Köpfl and Glungezer – something for everyone, in other words. All resorts combined offer more than 300km of pistes, and 111 lifts and cable cars. There’s also a free ski bus service going to all of them from the city.

It’s not that we find some of these resorts better than others (we totally do), it’s just that we thought it’d be less of an information overload if we broke down a few of them for you – in case you were struggling to make a decision on where to go.

 

Stubai Glacier

Stubai Glacier is beautiful. It’s also the biggest glacier ski area in Austria. Not only is it big, and stunning you can also almost always count on the slopes to be in top form too. Stubai is good for beginners, intermediates, and advanced riders – serving up plenty of slope to pick from as well as a sick snow park too. The Stubai Zoo, as it’s known, has got a variety of options for you to enjoy and something for riders of every level. If you visit in October, be sure to check out the pros in action at the Prime Sessions.

Nordkette

Nordkette is another must visit resort when staying in Innsbruck. It’s where the locals go (always a good sign) and is an ideal place to hit for a number of reasons. First things first, it only takes you half an hour to get up there from the city centre. Secondly, the view over the city itself is something that you’ll never forget. Thirdly, it’s just rad. Really rad.

“All resorts combined offer more than 300km of pistes”

If you’ve come to Innsbruck with freeriding in mind, this is the spot you want to head to. Be careful mind, this isn’t the place to be if you’ve only just learned to make your turns. If you go all the way to the very top, you’ll face a 70% declination slope – making getting down no joke. Nordkette also has one of the sickest parks for you to enjoy. Oh, and if skiing / riding ain’t your thing… the restaurant up here makes a damn fine Aperol Spritz (get one, pull up a deckchair, and enjoy that view we were telling you about).

Kühtai

Sitting at 2,020 metres, Kühtai is the highest ski village in Austria. As well as being home to some of the region’s most spectacular views, there’s also ski in ski out hotels here and easy access to the ski area Hochoetz (a free bus takes you from one area to the other in five minutes).

Glungezer

If you like a quieter life, Glungezer is a real hidden gem. This family friendly resort isn’t far from Innsbruck, and is a favourite amongst the locals. Ideal for beginners, Glungezer has long mellow slopes and is the perfect place to bring the kids. If you’re looking for a backcountry session, head over to the other side of the valley or make your way into the woods. It’s by no means the steepest of resorts, but if mellow powder lines float your boat come sail that boat here.

 

Activities In Innsbruck

As we’ve touched upon already, the beauty of Innsbruck is that there’s literally loads to do besides just skiing and snowboarding. If you feel like you’ve spent too many nights guzzling beer and feasting on schnitzels, and maybe your trousers are a little too tight now, you can always go night sledding.

Rangger Köpfl has the longest tobbogan run in the Tyrol, and you can go down it under floodlights until midnight (good one for the night owls out there).

On down days, why not head to the Alpine Zoo? It’s a bit up the hill, so you’ll get a nice view over the city while hanging out with the animals. If you’ve had a massive night out the day before and don’t fancy too much walking, instead of curling up on your bed feeling sorry for yourself, maybe pop over to the impressive Imperial Palace or any other of the 22 sights that are included in your SKI plus CITY pass. With the Sightseer bus included, your hangover day will be much more fun than a hangover day has any right to be. After all that sightseeing and skiing, you might want to relax. With your SKI plus CITY pass, you can do exactly that as it includes entrance to three spas in Neustift, Fulpmes and Axams.

This city has got it all. On top of the world class resorts its got on its doorstep, there’s mellow cafés, restaurants, bars and the friendliest people you’ll ever come across. Just make an effort to say “danke” now and then, and you’ll instantly win the locals over.

For more information on the Innsbruck Ski Plus City Pass, visit the website.

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