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Guide to culture in Innsbruck

Innsbruck, the "Capital of the Alps", can look back on a very eventful history, from its time as the seat of an empire to its three stints as host to Olympic Games. With its gorgeous panorama, numerous museums, magnificent historic buildings and its annual Festival for Early Music it offers plenty for the culture lover. For more information about this enchanting city please visit the Innsbruck Tourismus official website
The Innsbruck Card gives you access to 19 city sights, numerous museums and galleries, the Ambras Castle and much more. You also travel free on the hop-on hop-off bus.
Ambras Castle © Innsbruck Tourismus
Ambras Castle
© Innsbruck Tourismus
Another imperial highlight of Innsbruck is the beautiful and romantic Renaissance Ambras Castle from the 16th century, which lies in the southern part of the city. It features extensive collections of art and curiosities, as well as the so-called “chamber of wonders,” which gives romantic and wondrous insights into medieval times. In summer, the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music at Ambras Castle revives the courtly musical life of the Middle Ages in an impressive historic setting.
City Tower © Innsbruck Tourismus
City Tower
© Innsbruck Tourismus
The Old Town of Innsbruck is a colorful mix of medieval buildings that house small shops, restaurants and coffee houses. One of the most intriguing buildings is the 14th century city tower. Located right next to the Old Town hall, it received its current Renaissance look back in in 1560. At 56m/184 ft high, it affords great views of the Old Town, a new perspective of the historic structure of the city, and the mountains in the background – worth climbing the 148 steps to reach the top.
Old Town and Goldenes Dachl © Innsbruck Tourismus
Old Town and Goldenes Dachl
© Innsbruck Tourismus
Innsbruck’s glittering landmark – the Golden Roof – is the undisputed heart of the alpine city. Built by Emperor Maximilian I and completed in 1500, the balcony was used by Maximilian and his wife to watch tournaments and festivities on the square below. It has shaped the image of Innsbruck ever since. The powerful emperor chose Innsbruck as his main residence, turning it into the capital of a realm that encompassed a vast area of Europe.
Imperial Palace: Promenade Concerts © Innsbruck Tourismus
Imperial Palace: Promenade Concerts
© Innsbruck Tourismus
The grand Hofburg Imperial Palace, located next to the Golden Roof, was the seat of numerous rulers throughout the centuries and has been rebuilt over the ages. Today the Baroque version stands, which is the result of renovations commissioned by another iconic Habsburg ruler, Empress Maria Theresia. First stop should be the state-room, followed by a tour of Emperor Maximilian’s artfully designed tomb in the Hofkirche Court Church. It features 28 larger-than-life bronze figures of his ancestors and heroes. Each evening in July, the courtyard of the Hofburg is the location of the free Promenade Concerts, which feature classical music from all over Europe.
Nordkette: Furnicular station Hungerburg © Innsbruck Tourismus
Nordkette: Furnicular station Hungerburg
© Innsbruck Tourismus
Innsbruck is surrounded by majestic Alpine peaks, which, not surprisingly, are central to every aspect of life in Innsbruck. Nothing visualizes this connection more than the Nordkettenbahnen Cable Cars, which have a station directly in the heart of the Old Town. It takes just 20 minutes to reach the Seegrube at 2000m/6,500 ft altitude. Another 10 minutes later and you can reach the Hafele Kar, the top of the Nordkette Mountain on 2400m/7,500 ft for beautiful views over Innsbruck and the nature reserve Alpine Park Karwendel, the biggest nature park of Austria. From the Seegrube and Hafele Kar travelers have access to great hiking and skiing areas, as well. With the Nordkettenbahnen, you’ll also reach the Innsbruck Alpine Zoo, the highest-altitude zoo in Europe. The futuristic design of the cable car stations by Zaha Hadid shows that Innsbruck is not only steeped in history, but also has a penchant for modern architecture.
Tirol Panorama © Innsbruck Tourismus
Tirol Panorama
© Innsbruck Tourismus
looking back at...

Innsbruck Festival of Early Music 2017

Pygmalion © Stefan Gloede
The 41st Festival focuses on the voice, with a myriad of operatic, sacred and secular offerings, as well as a sprinkling of notable instrumental concerts.
Upcoming eventsSee more...

InnsbruckWest Side Story

Bernstein: West Side Story
Seokwon Hong, Conductor

InnsbruckSchubert - Ligeti

Schubert, Ligeti
B'Rock Orchestra; René Jacobs; Robin Johannsen


Bach, Boismortier, Graupner, Mozart, Bach C.P.E.
Barthold Kuijken; Lars Ulrik Mortensen

InnsbruckNordkette und Vesuv

Nordkette und Vesuv
Falconieri, Mealli
Ensemble Kavka

InnsbruckTraumland Arkadien

Traumland Arkadien
Stradella, Kapsperger, Carissimi, Cesti, Salvatore, Storace, Pasquini
Emőke Baráth; Margret Köll; Michele Pasotti