Innsbruck and Salzburg!
September 17, 2017 9:11 AM   Subscribe

My Smizmar and I are popping to Innsbruck next week for 4 nights (Sat-Wed), with a day trip to Salzburg. Please give me your tips, especially for a day's walking in the mountains.

We arrive on Saturday afternoon, so hope (weather permitting) to spend Sunday walking in the mountains, perhaps a circular walk of 5-10km (easy-moderate difficulty, no special equipment), maybe with a cable car ride to the starting point. I'm a bit overwhelmed by options - what's the best way to do this?

Monday or Tuesday we'd like to take the train to Salzburg for the day. Is it best to book tickets ahead or can we do it on the day? What shall we do in Salzburg apart from walking around and eating and drinking delicious things?

Monday or Tuesday is just for Innsbruck: anything in particular to see or do?

Wednesday we just have the morning (need to be at the airport around 13:00) - is there anything neato we could fit into that morning?

Vielen Dank!
posted by Carravanquelo to Travel & Transportation around Austria (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Innsbruck native here!

Hiking: In my opinion, the great thing about the city is that you can start right in the city centre, walk uphill through more suburban neighbourhoods, and end up in Alpine territory in less than an hour. Among the people who live here, the usual destination is an Alm (a high-altitude pasture with a chalet that usually serves food to the public). Arzler Alm is a classic if you start from the bottom of the valley. Höttinger Alm and Bodensteinalm are situated in more impressive environments, but require longer hikes (worth it for the great views of the city, in my opinion); for those it'll be a good idea to start at Hungerburg (northern terminus of bus route J, or use the overpriced funicular). It's easy to turn those hikes into round trips; consider an ascent via Hungerburg and a descent via Gramart/Hötting, or Höttinger Bild/Planötzenhof. If you do take the cable car, you can take it all the way to the top (Hafelekar), be amazed at the difference of human influence on the landscape when you simply turn around, and think about walking Goetheweg to Pfeishütte! Compared to the other suggestions, that one is a proper Alpine hike—the scenery is stunning, but stay safe. (And don't do that one if there's snow! I haven't been home in a while, so I don't know what it looks like right now, but a snow cover is not at all unusual in September.) In any case, eat Knödel.

City: See the old town and Maria-Theresien-Straße. Take a photo of the colourful buildings (Mariahilf) on the other side of the river Inn. Have a hot chocolate and some cake at Munding. Take a stroll through Hofgarten and Saggen; visit Hofburg if you feel like it. Go to Schloss Ambras, an odd castle/palace with a lovely park in the southeast. Take tram no. 6 through the forest to get there (if the route is still operational; as far as I know, the council is planning to shut it down soon) and hopefully spot some deer through the tram windows. If you get bored, catch a no. 4 bus to Hall, Unterer Stadtplatz to see a frankly much better old town.

Train to Salzburg: If you can still find Sparschiene tickets, buy them online at, they're a bargain. If those are already sold out for when you'd like to go, it doesn't make a difference whether you buy them before, or at the station on the day.

Not an expert on Salzburg, but surely there is one on this website ;-)

Have fun! Innsbruck is a great place.
posted by wachhundfisch at 11:06 AM on September 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

I've been to Salzburg a few times and never found it to be super exciting but one day should be easy to fill. Wandering in the old town is nice, and you should get coffee and cake in one of the lovely cafes. The castle (Festung Hohensalzburg)is one of the biggest in the world and enjoys very good views. Take the funicular up, but it is easy to walk down.
posted by biffa at 11:36 AM on September 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I love Salzburg! I was there for the running of the Krampus and the holiday markets. The old town is nice. We saw a performance of some Mozart music with a chamber orchestra, if that interests you.

There is a pretty awesome modern art museum that sits on a bluff over the town, and it has a nice restaurant with a gorgeous view. From there you can hike the ridge to the castle which is also worth a visit. Petersfriedhof is interesting too.

There is also a nice craft cocktail bar there called Little Grain.
posted by Brittanie at 11:45 AM on September 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Buy the famous Venus' Nipples in Salzburg! They're pretty delicious. Even Mozart thought so!
posted by Omnomnom at 11:53 AM on September 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

My post sounded really miserable. I do like Salzburg and it is lovely for a wander round for a day!
posted by biffa at 2:31 PM on September 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Go to the Augustiner Braustubl in Salzburg. Sit outside under the chestnut trees if the weather is nice, or if not, in one of the five halls inside. People-watch and translate all the hand-painted signs marking the reserved tables for the various groups of "regulars" - everything from car clubs to religious organisations to "super seniors" and tons of others that are just untranslatable. Eat radishes, fried fish, sausages, pretzels, and cakes from the many food stalls inside. And when you line up for beer, which involves buying a ticket first and then taking the ticket to get your big ceramic beer mug filled, don't get flustered and somehow lose your ticket in the 20 seconds it takes to get from the ticket queue to the beer queue because, while the beer man will give you your beer anyway, the look of absolute withering disgust he gives you for being so dumb will stick with you.
posted by cilantro at 2:47 PM on September 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Schloss Hellbrunn is super cool (presuming you're into water powered automata from the 1700s). I'm not sure how long their season is, though.
posted by crumbly at 6:34 AM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

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