Saturday, September 29, 2012

The A-Z of Innsbruck

Austrian Alps            Innsbruck is located in the west of Austria, in an Alpine valley. It is the capital of the Tyrol region.

Buying things           Innsbruck has a great variety of shops, with several shopping malls within the town and a short distance outside it. There are also pedestrian shopping areas in the town. There are a number of tourist shops in the old town, but these can be overpriced so it's best to buy souvenirs in one of the surrounding villages.

Churches                  There are churches of various ages, styles and denominations in Innsbruck, some of which are very popular with tourists, as they are really beautiful. Hofkirche, which houses the tomb monument of Emperor Maximillian I, and St Jacob Cathedral are most commonly included on sightseeing trips.

Drinking and eating            Full of places to eat, from the cheap Magic Pizza Kebab, to the expensive Cammerlander. Italian food is very popular in Innsbruck but it isn't difficult to find good local food either. There are lots of bars, many of which have live music, dancing, or other entertainment.

Events                        There are a number of events which are held every year. These include The Four Hills Tournament (a ski-jumping event), Bergsilvester (New Year's Eve), Weeks of Ancient Music, the New Orleans Festival, the Christmas Market, and Tyrolean events. In addition other events are held during the peak skiing season, as well as in the summer months.

Ferdinand II              Ferdinand II ruled parts of Austria from Innsbruck and Schloss Ambras was built for him. Many of the artworks and possessions he collected can now be viewed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Geography                Innsbruck is situated in the Inn Valley, with high mountains either side, including Patscherkofel and Serles.

Hotels                         With a variety of hotels to suit all price ranges, as well as other accommodation options, it shouldn't be too difficult to find accommodation in Innsbruck if you book ahead. One of the most highly rated hotels in the city is The Grand Hotel Europa, but there are many hotels available.

Innsbruck                  Innsbruck gets its name from the river Inn and the word bruck which means bridge. So it is located on the site of a bridge over the river.

Jumping                    Ski-jumping is very popular in Innsbruck, and one of the jumps of the Four Hills Tournament is held here. The Winter Olympics have been held in Innsbruck twice, and the world championships have also taken place in the Innsbruck area.

Kranebitten               The suburb of Innsbruck where the airport is situated. It is approximately 2.5 miles from the center of the city and handles domestic and international flights, depending on the season.

Limerick Bill's           One of two Irish Bars in Innsbruck, the other being The Galway Bay Pub.  Both have staff who can speak English, and sometimes have entertainment including open mic nights.

Museums                  As with most cities which rely largely on tourism for their income, Innsbruck has a number of museums and galleries.

Nightlife                     Innsbruck has a great après-ski atmosphere in the winter, and the pubs and clubs are open throughout the year. In the late spring there is an event called Sound City where DJs play in many of the venues, and buses transport people between them.

Old Town                   The city center of Innsbruck is 800 years old. Featuring the landmark "Golden Roof" built for Emperor Maximillian I, the area is now full of boutiques, cafes and galleries in the pastel-colored medieval buildings.

Panoramic Views     The Tyrol is one of the most scenically spectacular regions in Austria. From the surrounding mountains the views are incredible. Whether you are skiing, hiking, or just taking a trip to the top of the mountain the views will astound you.

Quiet                          Innsbruck can be a lively city, but there are quiet hotels, quiet restaurants, and for real peace, head out on an excursion into the surrounding countryside.

Relaxation                 If sitting in a pavement café with a coffee or a beer isn't your idea of relaxation, then why not try some of the spa facilities in the city. The Romantik Hotel Schwarzer Adler and Grand Hotel Europa both have spa facilities, and further outside the city is the Aqua Dome, with extensive facilities.

Skiing                         Ski resorts surround Innsbruck, and you can get to the Nordpark ski area by underground train from the Old Town. This way you can stay in a lively centre and have easy access to great skiing facilities. Whilst Nordpark is great for experienced skiers, Igls is very near and is really good for those with less experience.

Transport                   With an airport and a major train station, Innsbruck is very easily accessible. Transport within the city includes buses, trams and an underground train system.

Unusual                    A slightly more unusual museum in Innsbruck is the Swarovski Crystal Worlds where you will see some very unusual pieces, including some designed by Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali.

Villages                      The villages around Innsbruck are home to some great skiing. They are often called the "Innsbruck Ski Villages"

Weather                     The climate in Innsbruck is probably as you'd expect. Winters are cold, and can be very cold at night, and due to the central position, and the altitude, it can often snow. Summer temperatures vary. They can be as low as 17 degrees C or as high as 34 degrees.

eXercise                   If skiing or snowboarding aren't to your taste, then there are other activities available. There are gyms, but the best forms of exercise in Austria are outdoor ones. Biking and hiking are extremely popular and tourist information centres will have details of trails.

Youth Olympics        The Winter Youth Olympic Games will be held in Innsbruck in 2012. They are expected to draw great numbers of tourists, so if you are planning to go during that time, book accommodation early.

Zimmers                     If you prefer a more personal touch to your accommodation then why not book a zimmer in an Austrian house? Value for money, and convenient they are an excellent alternative to hotels.