Go up the Nordkette Cable Car
Starting at the Congress Haus in Innsbruck near the old town, you can take the cable car up the mountain for breathtaking views over Innsbruck and the surrounding valleys. There are three stops along the way. First is Hungerburg, Innsbruck’s most expensive real estate with a nice view over the city. It’s great for easy walks into the forest and for hiking up to some guest houses with traditional Austrian food. The second stop is the Seegrube. It also has a great view over Innsbruck and from here you should be able to see pretty far on a clear day. The last stop, at the very top of the Nordkette mountain chain, is Hafelekar. You can go on a short or on a serious hike along the Götheweg (the way of Göthe) from here and potentially see mountain goats and alpine ibex. Cost to the very top (round-trip): 29.50 Euros.
Stroll around the Old Town
Innsbruck’s old town is pretty compact and features the main historical site, the Golden Roof, a small city tower, and all sorts of small alleyways. Combine it with a delicious Strudel, some beer, or a carb-rich dinner.
Bergisel Skijump and Tyrol Panorama (Kaiserjäger Museum)
One of Innsbruck’s distinguishing architectural features, the Bergisel skijump, makes for a nice visit on the southern side of town. It was designed by Zaha Hadid, a world famous Iranian architect. Visiting the stadium, you can ponder the sheer craziness of ski jumping while enjoying a rather spooky view over the city’s largest cemetery. There is a cafe at the top of the tower. Costs: 9.50 Euros.
Close by is the Tyrol Panorama, a museum containing a huge panoramic painting depicting Tyrol’s freedom fight against the French army (Napoleon) in 1809. It was reopened in a modern building and displays the somewhat mythical story surrounding local hero Andreas Hofer. Costs: Combiticket with all city museums 11 Euros.
Volkskunstmuseum (Museum of Tyrolean Heritage)
Argueably the best museum in Innsbruck, the Volkskunstmuseum shows artifacts of Tyrolean daily life over the centuries. It includes an entire floor of original wooden living rooms which they moved from houses around the area to the museum. Regional festive costumes, pottery, and a changing temporary exhibits round out this beautiful and informative museum. Costs: Combiticket with all city museums 11 Euros.
Culinary Delights In and Around the Old Town
Stiftskeller (Augustiner Bräu): Bavarian brewery with excellent traditional food (lots of carbs and plenty of meat). Opposite the Hofburg, passing all the souvenir stands. Stiftgasse 1.
Cafe Munding: old coffehouse with a 1960s furnishing. Serves fantastic cakes and sweets. Has a small lunch menu. Kiebachgasse 16.
Cafe Kröll: tiny cafe serving nothing but Strudel in all varieties. Found opposite the Hofburg where all the souvenir stands are located, Hofgasse 6.
Burger Ludwig: a hipster place serving burgers and salad. Good food for lunch. Museumstraße 3.
Masi Innsbruck: has a great terrace to enjoy a quiet lunch. Serves a variety of food including pizza, fish and salads. Lunch menu available. Museumsstraße 24.
L’osteria: serves Italian food with gigantic pizzas. Erlerstraße 17.