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This summer we did a week trip to the Austrian state of Tyrol as it combines the possibilities of doing a city trip and enjoy some of the most beautiful nature of the Alps. We visited Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol and went to the Paznaun Valley afterwards to do some hiking.
The stages of our trip:
Innsbruck is the capital and largest city in Tyrol with a population of about 130,000. In winter it is a center for Alpine sports such as ski jumping and it was host city of the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976. It is located in a valley which offers you a great panorama onto the surrounding mountains from within the city and gives you the possibility to go up the mountains by cable car and enjoy the view down onto the city.
As Innsbruck has a long history there are a lot of interesting sights within the city such as the Imperial Hofburg, the Golden Roof, the Triumphal Arch and the riverfront at the Inn river.
We stayed in Innsbruck for three nights and that was actually enough time to see the city. We stayed at the Hilton Innsbruck where we had a good stay in the heart of Innsbruck so we were able to go everywhere by foot. We didn’t use public transport except for the trips to and from the airport.
In The city center, the main sights are not far away from each other. There are a lot of cafés and restaurants, we actually like to check out the streets away from the tourist attractions as it was a little cheaper there. Prices for a meal including drinks in normal restaurants range between 10 and 20 EUR, some takeaway and kebab shops are also offering cheaper meals. We can definitely recommend to go to “Ludwig”, a Burger restaurant in the city center we liked a lot (Tripadvisor) and the “Breakfast Club” if you want to have some good breakfast or brunch with local food (Tripadvisor).
After spending one day checking out the city center of Innsbruck we also did a trip up to Hungerburg with the Hungerburgbahn (a funicular railway). The ticket is not really expensive (unfortunately I don’t have the price in mind anymore) but you have a great view onto the city from up there. There are also a café and a restaurant where you can enjoy the view during good weather. We had some Radler (beer with lemonade) up there and went back down to the city again. If you want to get a little more up the mountains, you can also take the cable car even more up the mountains.
Those three nights we stayed here were totally enough to see the city. If you want to explore the surrounding or go hiking in the mountains you should plan to stay here for some more days for sure.
After our last night here, we went back to the airport were we rented a car to get to our next destination:
- Kappl, Paznaun Valley
As we wanted to do some hiking in the mountains, as we did on La Palma last winter, we planned to stay in Kappl, a small village in the Paznaun Valley, right next to Ischgl, one of the most famous Winter Sports and Aprés Ski destinations in Austria.
During the summer time the valley is quite calm, most people coming here want to relax in nature and do hikes or mountainbiking. We did a couple of hiking tours here for which we used the Paznaun – Ischgl Hiking map from Alpenwelt (find it on Amazon) which actually helped us a lot to find good tours and tracks.
Unfortunately one of the 4 days we stayed here it was raining all day long. It was no problem actually as if you stay at hotel in Kappl during the summer season, you can take the cable car up to the top station for free (it’s quite expensive in winter time). So we first did a trip through the valley. Ischgl is almost dead during summer, but there is an Alpinarium, a museum about the valleys history and the Alps in Galtür. Unfortunately there are almost no parking lots there so if you can, take the bus there.
Afterwards you can go up to the restaurants on the mountains, where you can enjoy some Austrian specialties such as Kaiserschmarrn (sugared pancakes with raisins and powdered sugar) or frittata soup.
A trip to Landeck, the capital of the district and located at the entrance to the Paznaun Valley, is also worth it. It’s a small town, but there are some small cafés and restaurants in the city center and you can visit the castle of Landeck there.
Actually if you love nature and want to relax or do some sports, you can have a perfect vacation here. There’s a lot to discover and explore within the valley, the people are friendly and the hiking and mountainbiking paths are perfectly marked so you have no problem to find your way. Just great to take a break from everyday life.
Where we stayed:
- Hilton Hotel in Innsbruck (Tripadvisor) – A good hotel in the heart of Innsbruck. Clean and comfortable rooms, friendly staff, a good value actually.
- Apart Hotel Sonne in Kappl (Tripadvisor) – small Appartements with everything you need, even a small kitchen in every room so you can cook and don’t need to go to restaurants every day. Great value as it’s quite cheap in summer. The view onto the valley is just great. Booking can only be made through their homepage: http://www.apartsonne.at
Good restaurants we visited:
- Burgers: Ludwig das Burger Restaurant (Tripadvisor)
- Breakfast: The Breakfast Club (Tripadvisor)
- Asian: My Indigo (Tripadvisor)
- Local and international dishes: Hotel Post (Tripadvisor)
- Local dishes: Alpengasthof Dias (Tripadvisor)
How to get to Tyrol:
From within Europe you can easily get to Innsbruck and Landeck by Bus or Train.
If you come from farther away, you should fly to Innsbruck Airport (INN) and start your trip there, as we did. During winter season there are a lot of charter flights to Innsbruck due to the skiing season, in summer there is not such a big choice of airlines flying there.
The only options are Austrian Airlines (via Vienna), Lufthansa (via Frankfurt) and British Airways (via London). Transavia is offering non-stop flights from Eindhoven and Amsterdam besides that.
We took a flew there on Lufthansa and Austrian through Frankfurt and back on Austrian through Vienna. The transfer times are good and the service as well.
You can also fly to Vienna or Munich and take a train to Innsbruck from there.
Thank you for reading, we hope we were able to give you some interesting insight into our trip 🙂
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