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Innsbruck, The College Town (Innsbrucklyn)

When researching Innsbruck as a travel destination, you read about the Alps and their ski resorts accommodating family trips and couples looking for a romantic mountain getaway. You’ll also come across accounts of the charming old town being completely surrounded by peaks jutting out of the ground and its cutesy buildings featuring bright colors and rococo ornamentation. The history buffs will indulge in the old town, Gothic style castles, cathedrals, museums and multiple historic monuments throughout the town. You may also hear mention of Innsbruck being a college town. In fact, 25,000 residents are enrolled in the Universität Innsbruck (Innsbruck University). The total population is only estimated at 120,000. I imagine there has to be a substantial amount of people that decided to stay here after finishing school or dropping out due to the distractions a young student may be confronted with while living here. Welcome to Innsbrucklyn!

The term “college town” refers to much more than a town with a university in it. It’s got to have multiple factors clicking all together. It’s got to have the “cool factor”. So, what’s cool about Innsbruck? Let’s find out!!!


The only danger is being attacked by a cow. [2]

It’s real out here


Get outside and enjoy the fresh air [3]

Innsbruck and it’s surroundings are dressed in lush greenery.


A trip Norrdkettebahn almost pays for the price of the Innsbruck card. The perfect day trip if you want to relax or explore the top of the Alps.

Innsbruck from above

A bird’s eye view of Innsbruck


Having drinks at Sonnendeck [6]

University students and Innsbruck residents gather at the “Sonnendeck” every Wednesday afternoon for drinks, good company and DJ sets.

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Chill out at The 5th Floor Rooftop Bar [8]

The 5th Floor is a cool lounge style bar atop The Penz Hotel

If you’re anything like me, I have to issue a serious warning. It’s really easy to feel like you’re back in your early 20’s and go all “Old School” as you pound a tall boy before entering the club for a live performance or while chugging wine straight from the bottle as you join your friends for “a drink by the river”. For example, “a drink by the river” to me, means that we’re going to catch up with friends while we sip on some of Austria’s fine wine. In reality, they meant what I can best describe as a scene out of an electronic music festival. DJ’s bumping, clouds of smoke billowing, and hundreds of students and old timers like myself trying to blend into the crowd. Everyone has a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other as they fraternize with friends and unknowns. I’ve had to exercise some serious restraint to keep from experiencing too many “Frank the Tank [9]” moments. Once it hits your lips, it’s so good…  You’ve been warned.

All photos by Carlos Melgar