Why Innsbruck is the Crown Jewel of the Alpine Region – Borrowing Britain

In case you’re just now tuning in to our 72 hours in Austria, follow the links to view my past 2 stories about Hallstatt and Salzburg! Day 3 brought us to Innsbruck, much anticipated for the colorful facades along Herzog Friedrich Street, the Golden Roof and a cable car we thought would bring a pretty decent view of the city. This day trip exceeded all our expectations, and the Nordketternbahnen took us all the way up into the snow-covered Austrian alps!

The first leg of this panoramic journey is a funicular on a track, but the second half takes you soaring through the sky in a petite little cable car. Once we made it to the top (6000ft above the city!), we took a good half hour to just marvel at the soft blankets of snow. The powder was fresh and the air was thin, so maybe that’s why I was running around like a 5 year old with snowballs in hand. I couldn’t believe people were actually brave crazy enough to ski down these treacherous slopes, but the scene itself was certainly a dream.

On our way back down, we stopped at a wooden cafe for some hot chocolate with whipped cream and pastel colored marshmallows, and the sudden warmth in our bellies was tonic for the soul. We even got to run by the Alpenzoo on the next stop down, as the cable car takes you practically to the entrance. I don’t know why, but this was my first time seeing a brown bear in real life — and perhaps even a moose! Reverted back to 5 year old self all over again.

Maria-Therese Street is known for its shopping, but as it was a Sunday, almost every shop was closed. This is pretty typical for all of Europe so be prepared to have other activities planned! Still, it was nice to peek through the windows at the fluffy lambskin socks, chocolates + Mozart shaped candies and even some modern lederhosen. Luckily a few stores kept their doors open for tourists, and we were able to pick up some sausages, ornaments and apricot flavored schnapps.

We ended the day with some fine apfelstrudel from Strudelcafe Kroell before heading back to Salzburg, and all in all this was one of our favorite memories from the entire week through Italy, Switzerland and Austria. Moral of the story, don’t miss Innsbruck!