Day-Trips from Innsbruck, Tyrol
Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, is among the most popular destinations for international visitors of Austria. I honestly don′t quite understand that - there is nothing wrong with Innsbruck, in fact, it is a nice city with great access to the surrounding mountains. However, I do feel that there are plenty of other towns in Tyrol and elsewhere in Austria that could easily rival Innsbruck's Alpine charms.
In case that you make Innsbruck a base for exploring more of Tyrol, I collected some recommendations and reviews of popular day-trip destinations. The arrangement of Tyrol makes travelling along the Inn Valley easy, but tricky once you want to explore the side-valleys. For the latter, renting a car is probably a good idea. However, public transportation in Tyrol is excellent and if you have some time to spend, a rental car is my no means a necessity.
The following suggestions for day-trips from Innsbruck are arranged into three groups: Some in the immediate vicinity to Innsbruck, some that are slightly further away and finally a few that are quite a distance to get to. Note that distances in Tyrol can be quite misleading, since the mountains often prevent a direct approach.
Day-Trips near Innsbruck
1.) Schloss Ambras Castle: The very unusual Renaissance palace on the outskirts of Innsbruck is a very popular destination, even for those visitors who have only a few hours to spend. It is run as a side-branch of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and apart from its architectural significance, it is the contents of its Wunderkammer that draw the crowds. Schloss Ambras is an unusual testimony of the Renaissance north of the Alps.
2.) Seefeld: The small town of Seefeld has a pretty core, but it is the skiing in the winter and even moreso the hiking in the summer that make it really attractive. It is quite easy to reach from Innsbruck and ideal for those who are tired of hiking up and down the Hafelekar in Tyrol′s capital itself. Seefeld will be good for a change - expect vast crowds of tourists pretty much all year round, though.
3.) Stams: The monastery of Stams is situated on an slightly elevated spot in the Inn River Valley. Its picturesque Baroque twin-tower and the pretty village that surround it - combined with the vicinity to Innsbruck - make it one of the most popular day-trip destinations of Tyrol.
4.) Hall: The ancient mining town of Hall in Tyrol makes a wonderful introduction to the mining history of the Alps. It is not only a pretty town, Hall also has show-mines that are popular especially with children and on rainy days. Very easy to reach from Innsbruck and clearly a winner in terms of destinations near Innsbruck.
5.) Wattens & Swarovski Crystal Worlds: This is a rather odd one - the industrial / commercial town of Wattens wouldn′t have anything to shout about, if it wasn′t for the headquarter of Swarovski, the manufacturer of tacky glass crystals. In order to create something like a "Swarovski Theme Park", the hired the Viennese ‘artist′ Andre Heller to create the "Crytal Worlds". Within a few years, the "Kristallwelten Wattens" rocketed away to become one of Austria′s most expensive…sorry, most popular day-trip destinations. For whatever reason - anyway, it is easy to access from Innsbruck.
Continue with "Day-Trips from Innsbruck - Part II"
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