Innsbruck is the provincial capital of Tyrol and with a population of around 120,000, the fifth biggest city in Austria.
It has hosted the Winter Olympics twice, and though renowned for the extensive snowsports options, it’s also growing in stature as a spot for summer hiking, mountain biking and road cycling.
Geographically, the city is close to both Northern Italy and Munich, in Germany. Travellers can reach Innsbruck in around two hours on a train from Munich or can fly into Innsbruck direct. With mountains surrounding the city (and thus the airport) on every side, the latter is an experience to remember.
The moment you get your first look at Innsbruck you’ll be absolutely blown away.
If you land in the airport your descent will take you into a landing strip flanked by snowy mountain tops and stunning ridges, and if you arrive from the train or the bus station, you’ll be able to see the mountains through the wide-roads as soon as you step onto the street.
Innsbruck is cold in winter and hot in summer. This means it’s perfect for all kinds of adventure sports. It’s most famous, of course, for the skiing and snowboarding.
In Patscherkogel you’ll find skiing based around the Olympic downhill course, a snowboard park, floodlit runs and a bobsleigh track too, of course, if that’s your thing.
Mutterhalm offers wide runs bordered by forests. You’ll have great views way down the valley and are likely to get a cracking tan while you ride. Nordpark has one of Europe’s steepest runs for skiiers meanwhile and a terrain park for snowboarders, and Kutai is the higher resort in Innsbruck with technical skiing but reliable snow.
In the summer temperatures can get above 30 degrees. For mountain bikers, Innsbruck Bike Park offers some flowy, rooty, rocky trails capable of keeping the best in the world happy (it was host to Crankworx Innsbruck in June), and there are an abundance of natural mountain bike trails lower down around Innsbruck city centre.
The city is small enough to walk or cycle around with very little effort, and the buses even has spaces for bikes if you’re looking to head up to the bike park.
There’s no shortage of hiking options either. We’d recommend hiking up the nearly 8000ft Nordkette (previously mentioned in our skiing recommendations).