Only in the Tyrolean capital can you go directly from the pedestrian zone to one of the most spectacular ski resorts in the Alps: and, after a day’s skiing, Innsbruck can offer hip bars and restaurants, with everything from steakhouses to vegan burger joints. Here matters are more casual – for example, straight from the slopes to the beer garden.
Innsbruck’s legendary local mountain, the Nordkette, is so much more than just a classic ski area. Boasting a sunny location on the southern slopes of the Karwendel range, it is nevertheless one of the snowiest peaks in the Alps.
Up here on the Seegrube, you can swish your way down the slopes – yet most people up here describe themselves as freeriders and freestylers rather than skiers or snowboarders.
Instead of carving, they look for lines in the steep gullies below the cable car up to the Hafelekar or perform spectacular tricks on the kickers of the Skyline Snowpark.
In the last two months of the ski season in particular, the Seegrube is transformed from a small yet delightful skiing area into a sunny theatre high above the capital of the Alps.
As the springtime sun slowly sinks behind the peak known as the Vordere Brandjochspitze, the highest in the area of the Nordkette, you can head down to Innsbruck itself, your ski boots open and wearing just a T-shirt under your ski jacket, from the Karwendel Nature Park and directly into the urban ambience of the Tyrolean capital. And even skiers who prefer a classic ski area such as Kühtai (Innsbruck’s local ski resort located at over 2,000 metres above sea level) can simply hop on a bus for Innsbruck’s old town after a day’s skiing.
Because, although the snow is still piled metres high up on the Nordkette and in Kühtai, early summer has arrived in the city. The first skiers are already sitting on the terrace outside the Café Bar Hungerburg, from where the Hungerburg funicular takes you down the last stretch to Innsbruck.
Their eyes wander over the city as they chat about the day’s best lines and tricks. From here it’s just a few steps to the funicular and the trip back to the city and, once you arrive at the bottom station by the Congress, the old town with its numerous cafés, restaurants and beer gardens is not far away.
Perfect places to enjoy a refreshing break after a day’s skiing:
- Cloud 9
The best view of the city can be had as you sip a drink in the Cloud 9 igloo bar on the Seegrube. The sun loungers make an ideal place to relax after a day’s skiing.
- Café Bar Hungerburg
Bistro, café and bar: the Café Bar Hungerburg is located right by the bottom station of the Nordkettenbahn funicular, serving snacks and cakes to hungry winter sports enthusiasts.
- Glorious Bastards / Glorious Butcher – The Little Bastard
Burgers, pizzas and dry-aged steak, all cooked to perfection: the Glorious Bastards restaurant serves delicious creations to meat fans, with a wide range of craft beers and sparkling aperitifs to try out in a hip and cosy ambience.
New: the Glorious Butcher, the restaurant chain’s first Little Bastard. Located directly on the market square in Innsbruck’s old town, it serves burgers, fries, salads, beer and more – all with the same passion as the big Glorious Bastard.
- Marktbar am Inn
The Marktbar is Innsbruck’s meeting place for sun lovers, serving delicious homemade cakes as well as seasonal and regional dishes. Located right on the river, not far from the market hall, it offers magnificent views of the Nordkette as well as plenty to enjoy.
- the naked indigo
The countless inspirations and taste experiences gathered by the two owners on their travels around the world come together in the naked indigo. Sample tasty vegan and vegetarian bowls, soups, hot pods, salads and porridge variations, enhanced by fiery spices and exotic flavours.
- John Montagu
A sandwich bistro that also stages exhibitions? Only at John Montagu. Guests can also visit the café on the upper floor or the bar in the basement.
- Kater Noster
Just when you decide to stop at Kater Noster is entirely up to you. There is in any case plenty on offer: a café during the day, serving a variety of waffles, cakes and desserts, while in the evening it turns into a bar with a fine selection of beers, long drinks and cocktails.
- Machete – Burrito Kartell
Worked up a proper hunger after a hard day’s skiing? The best place for holidaymakers and winter sports fans alike is the Machete – Burrito Kartell. Here you can find Tyrolean burritos and tacos made from regional ingredients, not to mention craft beer, lemonades and long drinks.
- Moustache Café Bar
The Moustache Café Bar is a popular Innsbruck hangout located just a short way from the Congress station. Here you can enjoy small snacks and play table football while still wearing your ski boots, or perhaps savour a selection from the excellent drinks menu.
Tyrolean specialities meet Bavarian beer: the Stiftskeller is located in the middle of the old town, within easy walking distance of the Congress station. After a hard day’s skiing, this is the place for winter sports fans to enjoy springtime in the beer garden.
A café, bar and cultural centre: the Treibhaus is just a few minutes on foot from the Congress and offers snacks and meals as well as a wide selection of drinks. It is also the venue for concerts, readings and theatre performances.
For more information see www.innsbruck.info