Published on November 24, 2010 | by Francy0
Innsbruck: snow, and more
There are as many as 280 kilometers of trails and nearly a hundred lifts at the Olympia SkiWorld, the ski resort in the Austrian Tyrol which includes eight smaller districts among which that of Innsbruck. But Innsbruck is also a marvellous cultural and artistic town.
The capital city of this region is one of the most important tourist destinations of the country. Here you can ski almost all year round – in summer over the Stubai and Schlick Glaciers – and you can practice all disciplines, from cross-country skiing to snowboarding, from freestyle to off-piste, from dog sledding to ice skating, from downhill skiing at high altitude to sledding and bobsleigh.
The snow is guaranteed also at intermediate altitudes thanks to artificial snow. The mountains around Innsbruck in the summer are transformed into spaces where to enjoy wonderful hiking, trekking, mountain bike rides or for sunbathing along the Inn River.
But this Austrian city is not only a ski resort, as it is even a place of culture and social life. There are many attractions and places of architectural interest which worth a visit. Like the famous Goldenes Dachl, the Golden Roof, a balcony of a residential palace of Maximilian made of gilt copper and decorated with frescoes. Ambras Castle, now a museum of history of art, with works by Titian, Velazquez and Van Dyck, or the Hofburg Imperial Palace and the nearby Hofgarten park.
All the old town is a must, with buildings from the late Middle Ages: in the Altstadt, the ancient city, an area closed to traffic, the evening is filled with young people and tourists who crowd restaurants and clubs on Herzog Friedrich Strasse. Another very busy area in the evening for the presence of bars, restaurants and nightclubs is called Viaduct (Bögen) with some popular places such as the Plateau, the Babalon or the Down Under.
Innsbruck has also a casino, close to the Hilton Hotel. For families with children not to be missed is the Alpenzoo, a zoo with alpine animal species, but also fish, reptiles and birds. It is open all year and houses over 2,000 animals of 150 species.
Photo of Innsbruck by James Cridland