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Innsbruck - Capital of the Alps

The city of Innsbruck presides over the beautiful Tirolean region of the Alps. Its medieval centre has a spectacular mix of colourful stone buildings and cobbled passageways, and a fair few impressive sights lie within the bounds of the city: the Imperial Palace and Ambras Castle, to name just two.

But one of Innsbruck’s main draws is its surroundings. You only have to hop onto the Zaha Hadid-designed Hungerburg Funicular or climb into a cable car to rise above the city and into an alpine paradise. For half the year, Innsbruck is the winter sports capital of Europe – but in summer it becomes a completely different world: wildflowers bloom in alpine meadows and the mountains become your playground: hit the chairlifts for a day of paragliding, mountain biking or hiking. Fly in to Innsbruck and begin your adventure in the Nordkette mountain range.

Holidays in the Austrian Tirol

Holidays in Innsbruck and beyond

Innsbruck
Innsbruck.

Innsbruck’s 800-year-old Old Town is lovely any time of year. In summer you can enjoy lovely promenade concerts in the courtyard at the Imperial Palace, swim at Lake Lans and Lake Natters, and discover Pine Martens in the city’s alpine zoo. In winter, there are six Christmas markets in the town, and magical ski slopes just a free shuttle bus away. With nine extensive ski areas and guaranteed snow on its glacier, it’s no wonder the city has hosted two Winter Olympic Games. Innsbruck-Igls, just six kilometres from central Innsbruck, is a good starting point for beginners. High-altitude Kühtai, just 30 minutes west, has an even greater variety of slopes.

Kitzbühel
Kitzbühel.

Kitzbühel is Innsbruck’s fashionable neighbour, easily reached from Innsbruck airport with a 90-minute transfer. This chic alpine town sits at the foot of the formidable Hahnenkamm mountain, the site of a thrilling annual downhill ski race. The piste map – consisting of a massive 215km of skiing and more than 50 lifts – has a lot to excite intermediate and expert skiers. In summer you can play golf on four courses in town, hike, bike and climb – or cool off in nearby Schwarzsee, a pretty lake.

St Anton
St Anton.

This upmarket village resort has a lovely, quaint medieval centre, with cobbled streets and a handsome onion-domed church – but even this is dwarfed by the impressive mountain range behind the village. St Anton has a great claim to fame: it’s considered the birthplace of modern skiing. The ski school here is well-regarded, but St Anton’s steep terrain is best for intermediate and expert skiers, and it has fewer beginner slopes than other resorts in the area. In summer, Hikers are in walking heaven, and race bikers are in their element: you can watch the Arlberg Giro in August – a terrific road cycling race.

Seefeld
Seefeld.

Just half an hour from Innsbruck by train or by car, the beautiful village of Seefeld is a popular base for a cosmopolitan crowd. There’s a pedestrianised city centre brim-full of quaint shops and bars – and Innsbruck’s flashier wares are just a short visit away. The surroundings of Seefeld are very, very pretty, making it the perfect Tirolean holiday bolthole. In summer, visitors can come and make the most of the Olympiaregion Seefeld: 650 kilometres of marked trails for hikers, mountain bikers and climbers looking to tackle some via ferrata. In winter there are floodlit slopes for late-shift skiers, plus there’s excellent terrain for winter walking and cross-country skiing.

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