There are several spots in Innsbruck that certainly should be on your list of things to ‘see’ during your visit. The bonus? As Innsbruck isn’t an overwhelmingly big place, it’s possible to cover a lot of ground in a short time by foot – the sightseeing lover’s dream! Here’s my Top 4:
1. GOLDEN ROOF
2,657 fire-gilt copper tiles make up one of Innsbruck’s main attractions: the infamous Golden Roof. Feel as if you have been transported back to the Middle Ages while gazing upon the roof’s golden facade, situated in the heart of Innsbruck’s Gothic old town. If wishing to soak up the roof’s glory at leisure, why not pull up a chair at one of the pleasant nearby cafes or restaurants in this pretty square?
2. IMPERIAL GARDENS
While most royal gardens (and most gardens in general in the UK) have signs that say “Keep off the grass!”, Innsbruck’s Imperial Gardens actively welcome residents and visitors alike to take refuge in its lush surroundings. Despite being in existence since 15th century, the gardens definitely don’t betray their age – thanks, no doubt, to the diligent gardeners who keep the grounds immaculate despite extensive use by the public. If visiting in summer, your siesta in the shade may well be accompanied by some sweet sounds drifting from the Music pavilion, which sits at the garden’s centre.
Innsbruck is a veritable medley of architectural styles, but the colourful, ornate Baroque Mara-Theresien Strasse is a standout spot. You will undoubtedly wander down this pedestrianised street on your way to the Golden Roof, but make sure to take time to enjoy the street itself – palatial residences, cute cafes, stylish shops, and benches (to admire the impressive mountain backdrop), abound.
4. BURGISEL SKI JUMP STADIUM
If you’re tiring of all the historic architectural beauty (who are you?!), then take a break and wander to the Burgisel Ski Jump Stadium to add a dash of modern to your day. Another Zaha Hadid masterpiece, the ski jump towers over the city from its spot on top of the Bergisel. As I had limited time, I admired the jump from outside the gates – and unless you are an enthusiast and absolutely want to go to the top, then that will no doubt suffice for you too. It’s worth walking up the Bergisel to the ski jump because the hill itself offers up some pleasant views of the city along the way. On your way down, reap a reward at the Bierstindl beer garden and grab an Augustiner – or whatever else takes your fancy.