With the stunning backdrop of snow-clad mountains from November to April on both sides of the valley, Innsbruck is one of the best placed cities in the world for a combined ski and city break. The historic city’s Old Town with its medieval houses and brightly painted, elegant Baroque buildings is within easy reach of nine ski areas, all served by free ski buses that run each morning from the centre of town. Just think, in less than two hours’ flying time from the UK and with the airport pretty much in the city, you can arrive here in the morning and be on the slopes by lunchtime.
This city life will appeal to both skiers and non-skiers. Walk along the river Inn and explore the beautiful, traffic free Old Town and its cobbled, narrow streets filled with boutique shops, Bierkellers and cosy, warm cafes. The Golden Roof with its 2,738 gold-plated copper tiles built in the early 15th century for Emperor Maximilian is certainly a glittering highlight – unless of course it is covered in fresh snow! The grandeur of the Gothic style Imperial Palace, known locally as the Hofburg, was once home to the Habsburgs and should not be missed but then again neither should the strudel shop or the cities numerous coffee shops – Kaffee and Kuchen here are also cultural experiences!
Innsbruck has an impressive array of modern architecture. Take the funicular up to the futuristic Bergisel ski jump to admire the courage of the Olympic ski jumpers and the amazing 360 degree views over Innsbruck and its surrounding mountains – or if you are feeling fit feel free to climb the 455 steps! Plus ride up the new and stunning steel-and-glass-concrete Hungerburgbahn funicular from the city centre up to the Nordkette ski area at 2330m on the Karwendel mountain range. It looks like it belongs more in a sci-fi movie than a city centre. Pedestrians can enjoy lunch with splendid views across to the Patscherkofel mountains or advanced skiers can test themselves on the steep terrain with the city below them.
Whilst the non-skiers hit the shops, skiers will get easily kitted out with equipment in order to hit the slopes. Not only will the ski hire shop pick you up from your hotel but will also collect your skis & boots from the hotel once you have flown home meaning no last minute dash to the ski hire shop is required. Plus, our hotels are all central and very close to the free ski bus routes making access to the slopes as easy as possible.
Nordkette - with access directly from the city centre by a funicular and cable car, these steep slopes are the most easily reached and are a definite favourite with the locals. Advanced skiers will love the challenging terrain and the amazing views over the city and the Alps. Try the Hafelkarrinne, one of Europe’s steepest runs.
Axamer Lizum - host twice to the Winter Olympics, Axamer Lizum is just 18km from Innsbruck. With amazing scenery similar to the dramatic Dolomites and great snow conditions, these 40km of pistes are suitable for all levels.
Kühtai - Austria’s highest ski resort at 2,020m means a snow guarantee and a long season. A 30 minute drive is rewarded with stunning scenery and skiing mainly above tree line. Perfect for beginners and intermediates. Plenty of off piste with excellent guides for those more advanced.
Patscherkofel - twice home to the Winter Olympics Men’s Downhill and Franz Klammer’s Olympic gold, the Patscherkofel is great for beginners and early intermediates.
Stubai Glacier - with a snow guarantee from October to June due to its top lift at 3,200m, the Stubai Glacier, Austria’s largest, is 45 minutes from Innsbruck and has a huge variety of runs, mostly reds and blues, between 2,300m and 3,200m. Time yourself too on the 100m downhill run.