Innsbruck is encircled either by snowcapped peaks or wild-flower-strewn meadows, depending on the season…and is one of Europe’s most scenic places. For much of its history, Innsbruck was the capital of Tyrol and a major crossroads of the Roman Empire. Today, almost anyone traveling from Munich to Rome, or Zurich to Vienna will pass through Innsbruck. The INN RIVER divides the city into right and left banks. Most of OLD INSBRUCK, including the HOFKIRCHE, GOLDENES DACHL, and the main Train Station, are on the right bank. The major street is MARIA-THERESIENSTRASSE. Tourists generally spend most of their time in the neighborhood of the OLD CITY. It’s bounded on the south by Markgrabben and Bruggraben and to the north by the Inn River. The city is easy to navigate on foot.
TRANSPORTATION: The HAUPTBAHNHOF (Central Station) is located in the city center. From here you can catch streetcars, buses, or taxis. Just outside the station to your left is the INNSBRUCK INFORMATION OFFICE (8A-lOP) for maps and general information. To use public transportation, you can purchase a ticket from the driver, and can save money by buying a one-day pass from the tourist office. You probably won’t need a taxi.
LAUNDRY: There’s a coin-operated laundry in central Innsbruck on AMRASER STRASSE 15…named MUNZWASCHEREI HELL. Mon-Fri 8-6. Sat 8-1. There’s another one (WASCHEREI DELLERMANN) at Colin Grasse 9. Shorter hours.
TIPPING: A service charge will be included in hotel and restaurant bills, as well as in Taxi fares. It’s customary to round up to the nearest 10S for restaurants and taxis. If you feel a tip is necessary…add 10%.
GOLDENES DACHL (Golden Roof): Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse 15. This landmark is located in the heart of Old City…and is a gleaming, gold-roofed balcony made of 2,657 gilded tiles. Built in the late 15th century for Emperor Maximilian to celebrate his marriage to Bianca Maria Sforza. It was used as a royal box for watching civic events in the square below.
DOM SANKT JAKOB: Innsbruck’s cathedral, on Domplatz, was built in the Baroque style in the 18th century, and features a painting by Lucas Cranach. The bells are heard daily at 12:15 and 4 or 4:15 PM.
HOFBURG: This royal residence, located at Rennweg 1, was originally constructed by Emperor Maximilian in the 1500’s. It is to Innsbruck what Versailles is to Paris, but on a smaller scale. The style is Rococo, and was reconstructed by Empress Maria Theresia in the 18th centruy. Of particular note is the main hall, lavishly decorated with elaborate designs and painted ceilings. Also on view are the private living quarters. One of the most fascinating rooms is the FESTIVAL HALL. Daily 9-4. Closed Sun.
HOFKIRCHE (COURT CHURCH): This royal Court Church, near the Hofburg, on Universitatsstrase, was built in the mid-16th century. It contains the tombs of Emperor Maximilian I and Tyrolean freedom fighter Andreas Hofer. Surrounding the emperor’s tomb are 28 larger-than-life bronze statues of his ancestors and relatives. Be sure and see the Silberne Kapelle (SILVER CHAPEL), the final resting place of Archduke Ferdinand II and his wife.
(Note: The Hofkirche is located through the same entryway as the VOLKSKUNSTMUSEUM, and there is a combination ticket for both). Mon-Sat 9-5/Sun 12-5. Very Interesting.
TIROLER VOLKSUNSTMUSEUM (Tyrolean Folkoric Museum). Universitatsstrasse 2. Definited one of the best folkloric museums in the country…with a collection of items used by common folk from the middle ages to the present. Included are sleighs, a collection of furniture, and a grand collection of ornamental bells for sheep, goats, and cows. Mon-Sat 9-5. Sun 9-12.
SCHLOSS AHBRAS: This fortresslike castle was built in the 16th century and is in a district called AMRAS, two miles east of Innsbruck. It’s surrounded by a beautiful park. Inside is a large collection of arms, armor, Renaissance paintings, and manuscripts. May-Sep Wed-Mon 10-5. Tram 3 or 6 from Station.
PARKS: The largest and most famous are THE HOFGARTEN in the Old City, and the AMRASER SCHLOSSPARK, two miles east of town.
STADTTURM: Built in 1442-50, this is one of the most unique town hall towers. The pointed roofs were replaced with rounded ones in 1560. Mar-Oct IOA-5P.
HELBLINGHAUS: Originally a Gothic town residence…built in 15th century. The facade was decorated with late Gothic stuccowork in 1730.
OLYMPIAMUSEUM: Scenes from the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics.
LEOPOLDSBRUNNEN: Equestrian statue of Archduke Leopold V…and the oldest depiction of a rearing horse north of the Alps.
ANNASAULE: This column was erected between 1704 and 1706 by the provincial legislature in commemoration of the Tyroleans’ successful resistance to a Bavarian invasion during the War of Spanish Succession. It’s the town’s symbol.
FERDINANDEUM: Impressive collection of prehistoric artifacts. 10-5. Clo Mon.
LANDHAUS:: Baroque palace built between 1725 and 1728. Today – Government Bldg.
BASILIKA WILTEN: Built between 1751 and 55…Tyrol’s most beautiful Rococostyle church. Famous for pilgrimages.