A Call To Innsbruck: A City of Ski & Culture
Innsbruck has been a long-standing centre for winter sports – with nine ski areas just 30 minutes from the centre – and is known for its history, food and culture. The city’s architecture has an eclectic mix of 500-year-old imperial buildings and contemporary landmarks. It draws visitors from all over the world to walk the cobbled streets, eat pastries in the traditional konditorei and discover the impressive art collections in the many galleries.
So why wouldn’t we combine the culture and skiing in one ultimate winter break?
The Hasburg Empire that ruled Europe for nearly 800 years is to thank for the Imperial Palace with its golden roof, the Court Church and the Ambras Castle. Maximilian I made Innsbruck in the Tirolean Alps the centre of his vast empire c.1500. The Hofkirche on the edge of the historic district has 40 bronze statues of heroes commissioned for the emperor. The car-free streets of the Old Town are cobbled and lined with pastel-painted medieval houses for wandering. Through the arched gate and along Maria Theresien str. discover the cathedral and the symbolic ‘Goldenes Dachl’ that overlooks the main square – once the royal box from where to watch the jousting.
The Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum is devoted to Tirolean folk art. Ferdinandeum holds art of the country’s own Klimt as well as Dutch master, Rembrandt and the Schloss Ambras, once a Hasburgh fortress, has more by the likes Velázquez and Titian.
Perhaps most beautiful of all are the mountains rising powerful behind the cityscape. And to see Innsbruck from all angles, take the funicular and cable car up to the Hafelekar peak of the Nordkette for panorama perfection.
Avoid the big-name, expensive ski resorts of St Anton and Val d’Isere and get off the beaten ski-track. The nine ski resorts surrounding the city are Nordkette/Seegrube, Patscherkofel, Axamer Lizum, Muttereralm, Kühtai, Rangger Köpfl, Glungezer, Schlick 2000 and the Stubai Glacier, all easily accessible on the free ski bus.
An all-in-one lift pass for Olympia Skiworld (all nine resorts and 300km of pistes to explore) costs just €136 for three days, or, to take it a little easier, €118 for three days at just Patscherkofel and the Stubai Glacier.
Austria is known for its apres ski so anywhere there’s skiing you’ll find the famous hospitality and party scene. Or come back to town for some night time city sophistication (or debauchery…).
Innsbruck is a travel hub and easily accessible (not to mention affordable) by rail and plane from most European destinations.
Buy an Innsbruck Card – €39 for three-days of free transport on buses, cable cars and the hop-on, hop-off sightseer buses, plus entry to the major attractions.
It’s worth checking out if you’re around for the Air+Style Festival, too, featuring freestyle skiers and boarders, good music and dramatic scenery.
Try Café Valier in town for a cake and coffee break.
Are you about to embark on the trip of a lifetime? Study Abroad Apartments offers some great options for students planning to study abroad. Just get in touch with us if you need any help finding somewhere to stay and we’ll make sure you have one of the best options out there!