Last week I had the pleasure of playing tour guide for a famous blogger in London (A Lady in London) and a videographer from Vienna as they worked on a national tourism campaign. With only three days to work with, we had to be precise with our scheduling. We embarked on three of the seven “Walks to Explore”. The walks helped us achieve so much in very little time by organizing routes and helping us plan ahead for activities, scenic stops, and even our meals. It was also a great opportunity for me to experience more of the city, I was surprised to discover new adventures myself.
Innsbruck’s diverse lifestyles and scenery can be experienced through the Walks to Explore. Seven urban-alpine adventures revolving around culture, nature, architecture, foodie stops and hidden gems. Walks can last anywhere from a couple of hours to day-long experiences and they’re all family-friendly walks. All you need is the Innsbruck Card to access all the highlights.
WALK 1: ALPINE & URBAN PERSPECTIVES – CITY AND MOUNTAIN IN ONE TOUR
Reaching alpine peaks at Nordkette isn’t as daunting as it sounds. A twenty-minute ride zips you from the imperial gardens to astonishing views from Nordkette. Get to the mountain tops without hiking there! This walk is a great opportunity for families with young kids to experience the views and sense of accomplishment waiting atop Nordkette. Spectacular views of Innsbruck from above and the Karwendel National Reserve are only minutes away from the Hafelekar station. You can get to the top of Norkette, take in the views from at least four scenic viewpoints, have a meal at Seegrube and be back in town within a few hours.
The tour begins at the Congress station and leads directly to Hungerburg. It is definitely worth missing the first gondola to spend a few minutes snapping photos from the viewing platform directly in front of the funicular exit. After a few minutes, we headed to the gondola station and made the connection straight to Hafelekar. Once at the top of Nordkette, we spent time walking to different scenic viewing platforms. Despite living here and having visited Nordkete on countless occasions, that was my first time walking to these platforms. It’s so easy to take things like this for granted when you live here. After taking in the scenery and snapping photos and video, we headed back down to Restaurant Seegrube for lunch.
What’s better than a rooftop bar and restaurant? A mountain top bar and restaurant. If you like your meals with a side of awe-inspiring views, Restaurant Seegrube has something for you. The menu features a mix of regional specialties and international classics. Arguably one of the best views while dining and its gondola leaves you right at the doorstep.
I had the Cordon Bleu, it was crunchy and stuffed with gooey cheese that oozes out the moment you cut into it. After a meal here, you’ll be happy knowing that you don’t have to hike back into town or even to the lift. Just waddle a few meters and you’re on your way back to the city center.
After a Tyrolean style meal, you’re going to need a few minutes, even hours, to digest before you get on your feet again. Unless you’re in a rush to get back to town for another activity. I recommend spending some time here. You might even make some room for dessert and coffee. You’re in Austria, don’t resist the strudel.
- Temperatures can vary greatly between the city and the mountains, even in the peak of summer.
- Bring extra layers to keep warm while on the mountains. Even the slightest breeze can make you feel cold.
- Although hiking boots are not necessary to explore the top of Innsbruck, make sure to wear sturdy, flat, closed-toe shoes. Any pair of sneakers will do.
- You can find many lounge chairs and benches on Hafelekar and Seegrube, feel free to spend as long as you want to enjoy the views, but don’t forget to apply sunblock.
All you need to reach all of the highlights included in the Walks to Explore is the Innsbruck Card. It is available for 1, 2, and 3 days. It includes all the lifts and entry to all the highlights in the Walks to Explore.