Innsbruck in winter offers the perfect combination of urban city life and exciting winter sports opportunities in the winter wonderland of the surrounding mountains. Staying the night in the middle of snow and ice in an igloo hotel, relaxing in a 360-degree sky pool or a slow-paced hike with cuddly llamas are just a few of the unforgettable experiences that await you away from the ski slopes in the diverse region of the Tyrolean capital.
Watch the hustle and bustle on the slopes from the 360 degree sky pool
Only a three-quarters of an hour’s drive from Innsbruck, Austria’s highest and most snow-sure ski area lures with unlimited winter sports opportunities. Beginners and professionals can let off steam on over 40 kilometers of slopes and enjoy the alpine mountain panorama. A wonderful place to relax and with direct access to the slopes is the Hotel Mooshaus, from whose modern rooms you have a direct view of the ski slopes. But wait until you are on the top floor at the 360 degree sky pool. This highest infinity pool in the Alps at +2,000 meters is definitely a unique attraction, because here you can swim in pleasant water temperatures and enjoy a magnificent panoramic view. You could watch the skiers and snowboarders for hours, completely unobserved and unnoticed.
In the wellness area, various saunas and pools warm and invigorate the body. Different relaxation areas offer relaxation and recovery from activities in the fresh mountain air. In the 4* superior hotel, which can draw on the experience of three generations, hospitality and enjoyment are not neglected. At the rich, tempting breakfast buffet you can strengthen yourself for the day and in the evening a 6-course menu will spoil your palate. The Gerber Card offers you numerous advantages such as a discount on ski rentals in the two Gerber Sports Shops or 10 percent on all dishes in the other Gerber hotels and restaurants in Kühtai. It also serves as a ski pass and means of payment in the Gerber businesses.
Innsbruck Winter: Spend the night in an igloo village at 2,020 meters
An unforgettable experience awaits you in the igloo village of Kühtai: a night in a world of ice and snow. The igloo hotel – embedded in the Tyrolean mountains – with a bar, a restaurant and a sauna offers every comfort you could wish for for a night in the hotel, except that everything here consists of impressive snow art, which was created in 2,000 hours of work by talented people artists arose. The adventure in the igloo village starts at 5 p.m. with check-in and a welcome drink in the cozy lounge. This is followed by some information about the procedure and around 6 p.m. the snowshoes are strapped on. Here you have the choice of going for a little lap or, for a surcharge of 39 euros per person, hike to a hut and whiz down with the toboggan from there. Both variants warm up the body,Discovering Canada’s Secret Gems: The Unique Attractions that Will Surprise You(Opens in a new browser tab)
The menu includes an appetizer board with cheese, gherkins and the like, as well as an original Swiss cheese fondue that tastes divine, especially the slightly burnt residue on the bottom, the so-called grandmother! Even without an overnight stay you can enjoy this culinary delight. Better to reserve a table beforehand. If you want to warm up again before going to bed, then off to the sauna and then quickly into your pajamas or long ski underwear. All igloo rooms are equipped with thermal mats and expedition sleeping bags down to -40 degrees. However, they only keep you warm if you are not wearing too much clothing so that body heat can escape. So, even if it’s hard, don’t keep too many clothes on! Equipped with a hot water bottle and hand warmers, I was actually comfortably warm.
Sunrise in the mountains & warming breakfast
In the morning you will be woken up around 8 a.m. with a hot tea in bed and you can freshen up in the heated baths or take a shower. Then it’s off to a very fine breakfast in the warm Dorfstadl, which tastes particularly good this morning! Incidentally, the Kaiserschmarrn is also divine here – the fluffiest I’ve ever eaten! All information about an overnight stay in the Iglu Hotel Kühtai or one of the other locations can be found here. For two people, the night costs from 398 euros including all the above services, a Family & Friends igloo for up to four people from 447 euros.
Try cross-country skiing in the idyllic Sellraintal
When I tried cross-country skiing for the first time a few years ago in Ramsau am Dachstein, I was immediately enthusiastic. The slopes are often too busy and hectic for me, and my fear of icy patches has increased. For me, the perfect alternative to experience the magical mountain world on skis in winter is cross-country skiing, which is really easy and quick to learn. The only difficult thing about it is keeping your balance on the narrow skis. But after a short introductory course, I threw myself into the cross-country ski run and loved this sport.
21 kilometers from Kühtai, the Sellrain Valley offers ideal conditions for this relaxed sport. Surrounded by the imposing Stubai Alps, you will find several cross-country trails of different lengths and levels of difficulty. The fact that the sun shines in this narrow, natural valley from morning to afternoon makes this winter wonderland particularly attractive. And best of all: You don’t pay any trail fee here, only the Moos car park in Lüsens costs 5 euros per day. It is best to park right next to the trail and start with the 0.7 km long, flat training trail. It is ideal for practicing, whether in classic or skating style. The Tyrolean trail is also ideal for beginners at 5.5 kilometers and just 69 meters in altitude. The Fernerboden trail with 5.5 kilometers and 137 meters in altitude requires a little more fitness,
My tip: You can hire equipment for cross-country skiing, skiing or snowboarding from Sport Seppl in Gries or Kühtai. The extremely friendly staff will choose the best shoes, cross-country skis and poles for you, so that you can start your winter adventure well-equipped. The fee for the Cross Country cross-country ski set is 24 euros per day. Here you can also rent snowshoes or toboggans and book private lessons and ski taster courses.
Innsbruck Winter: Slow down on a llama hike around Obsteig
On the west side of the sunny Mieminger Plateau lies the small village of Obsteig, surrounded by natural forests and meadows. Nine animal residents from the Andes also live in the community, which has around 1,260 inhabitants. When the cute llamas at Pension Aschlandhof are not grazing in their spacious paddock, they are strolling through the picturesque landscape with enthusiastic visitors.
My llama lady Cosma conquers my heart after just a few seconds with her fluffy, long banana ears and cuddly fur. For an hour I experience the decelerating effect of the llamas up close and listen to the soft whimpering that the animals use to communicate with each other. I also learn interesting things about Cosma, Singa and Co. from owner Marco, such as how wonderful cushions and blankets are made from their wool. Incidentally, llamas are extremely friendly animals with a gentle disposition, so nobody has to fear being spat on. The hike of around one hour costs 30 euros per llama or family.
Innsbruck Winter: Stroll through the medieval old town
What I like so much about Innsbruck, along with many other things, is the fact that all the recommended sights in the city center are not far from each other. The most well-known crowd puller is the impressive Goldenes Dachl , a late Gothic bay window with over 2,600 gilded copper shingles. The Helblinghaus , diagonally opposite, also draws attention with its impressive, historic facade, decorated with baroque stucco and many ornate oriels. The city tower offers a wonderful panoramic view from a height of 31 meters, including the Nordkette, the Bergisel ski jump and the medieval old town.
My favorite motif is the Mariahilfzeile with its colorful houses, whose facades come from different centuries and which are one of the symbols of Innsbruck. In the foreground, the Inn meanders past them, in the background the imposing Nordkette rises into the sky. If you walk back the Hofgasse, you will reach the imposing Imperial Hofburg , which together with the Imperial Court Church is absolutely worth seeing. And of course there is also a charming promenade, the Maria-Theresien-Strasse and the Herzog-Friedrich Strasse, which invite you to shop, stroll and linger.
For a stop, I can recommend the Strudel Café with its overwhelming selection of sweet and salty strudels or the Café Central in the coffee house style like in Vienna. Healthy bowls and fluffy bao buns are on the menu at Woosabi . And if you prefer something hearty when you visit Innsbruck in winter, the dumpling trio and the cheese spaetzle in the Weißen Rössl are a treat.
Tip: Fascinating magic lights in the courtyard garden
In winter, usually from November to January, you can immerse yourself in a magical world of thousands of lights in the courtyard garden at Lumagica . The light park with the magic of a wide variety of light installations takes place in numerous cities in Germany, Austria and Europe, with the theme varying every year.
Enjoy the fantastic view of Innsbruck from almost 2,400 meters
During my visit in the summer, I was already impressed by the speed with which you can get from the lively center of the old town to an altitude of almost 2,400 meters in Innsbruck. With the help of the three Nordkette cable cars, you can conquer almost 2,000 meters in altitude in about half an hour. The station is right next to the Innsbruck Congress, a few meters away from the Hofburg. The end point of the first train is the Hungerburg, from where you can already enjoy a wonderful view of the city. With the Seegrubenbahn you go further up until you reach the Hafelekar after changing to the last train.
Arrived on the Top of Innsbruck, a breathtaking panorama welcomes you and, so close to the sky, awakens a feeling of boundless freedom. Below us the Inn meandering through the valley, the roofs of the city, the pulsating life, around us nothing but silence, stone and ice. On the back of the hill, the striking peaks of the Karwendel mountains rise up and come together to form a barren natural landscape. What a mystical, magical world up here – especially in winter!
Since an icy wind was blowing during our visit, we quickly fled back into the warm after a short tour. On a beautiful, windless day, you can wrap up warm but safely enjoy the view for hours – for example in the Cloud 9 igloo or on the panorama terrace of the Seegrube restaurant, which also has a pleasantly warm indoor area.
Tipp: Hol dir die Innsbruck Card
With the Innsbruck Card you get, among other things, free entry to museums, the city tower, the hop-on hop-off bus or a return trip with the Nordkette cable cars. The rental of a city bike for three hours is also included. The Innsbruck Card costs 53 euros for one day and 63 euros for 48 hours. If you consider that the journey with the Nordkette cable car alone requires 40 euros, this offer is definitely worth it if you want to go sightseeing.
My hotel tip for Innsbruck in winter: the central Hotel Grauer Bär
A beautiful boutique and design hotel in the center of Innsbruck is the Grauer Bär . Just a few meters walk from the imperial Hofburg and the old town with the Golden Roof, the hotel is the ideal starting point for exploring the city. The congress stop of the Nordkettenbahnen can also be reached in a few minutes. But not only the location of the hotel is convincing. The rooms are modern and comfortably furnished, making them an ideal place to retreat to put up your tired legs and spend a good night’s sleep. In the wellness area you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city in different ways, warm up in the sauna or relax in the outdoor jacuzzi. The breakfast leaves nothing to be desired and invites you to extensive feasting. I can highly recommend the hotel.
Whether in winter or in summer, Innsbruck really has an incredible amount to offer. Both in the city itself and in the surrounding area there are a variety of activities to experience that will be remembered forever. Have you ever been to Innsbruck and do you perhaps have more tips? Then feel free to share them with us. We look forward to your comment here on our travel blog!
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*This article was created as part of a paid collaboration with Innsbruck Tourismus. However, I was completely free in the implementation of the journalistic content and my opinion is, as always, my own. There are promotional links in the post. If you book or buy something through them, we get a pro rata commission. This does not change the total amount for you. Thank you!