Innsbruck, A Winter Wonderland

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Winter is a magic season. It is a period of great celebrations, presents, surprises, winter sports, and much snow. We know for sure that Austria is in the list of the top countries which are the most interesting and unforgettable for spending winter holidays. It is an enigmatic country with a long history and amazing nature.

Today we would like to open the door to the world of Innsbruck, architectural miracle at the very heart of the Western Alps on the bank of the River Inn. Due to its well-developed infrastructure, clear Alpine air, and popular ski resorts, a lot of tourists visit it every year, big families come with their children and really enjoy the time spent.

Winters in Innsbruck are mild. The coldest month is February; there’re not so many snowy and sunny days in this period. Anyway, the weather is very stable, a wind speed seldom goes beyond 2 m/s. The ski season opens at the beginning of December, and all the places of interest are open the whole year. You will find where to go and what to see.

The Roman Empire left a memory behind in Innsbruck due to the Hofburg Palace. The snow-white facades with elements of the Baroque and Rococo, the richest collection of sculptures, paintings and interior items collected by Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Maria Theresa, a portrait gallery of the Habsburgs – this palace is really worth to be visited.

If you will walk around the city, don’t forget to go to the Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse, 15 and look at the architectural landmark of Innsbruck – Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl). There is also a museum inside the building with a golden roof of the balcony, where Maximilian I used to watch titling matches.

The highest-mountain zoo in Europe, the Alpine Zoo, is also situated in Innsbruck. It’s located at a height of 727 meters. You definitely have to go there, if you are with children. Your kids will never forget it. There are more than 150 animal species. It is better to come at 9 o’clock in the morning and walk the whole day till closing – till 17:00.

Connoisseurs of beauty and women, who like fancy and shiny things, need to visit the museum Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, a town nearby Innsbruck. It will take not much time to get by car or by bus there. You will be met by a giant; the entrance is topped with a head of giant, a grassy hill decorated with crystal eyes and mouth, from which the water fountain falls down. Are you already intrigued? Just wait, you’ll be much more amazed with the biggest bounded crystal in the world, Jim Whiting’s Mechanical Theatre, Crystal Cathedral. Crystal Theatre, and wonderful art gallery full of paintings, photographs, and reproductions of Marc Chagall, Zhoano Miro, Peter Kogler, Walter Navratil, Andy Warhol and many other masters. The Crystal Worlds hold exhibitions and festival to one or another county every year. So don’t be surprised if you will find a part of your motherland in this sparkle museum.

The main place for walking, shopping and resting at the comfortable cafes in Innsbruck is Maria Theresia Street (Maria Theresien Strasse). The hotel of the same name – Maria Theresia Hotel – may be found here. You can stay there and be in the center of the city’s life. If you don’t imagine your trip without shopping and buying souvenirs, then Kaufhaus Tyrol and Rathaus Passage will help you. The last one may offer to look over the whole city on the observation deck. There is a panorama café, a visit to which will be unforgettable. Sky Bar with a 360 ° panorama view has a varied menu, but attracts people more with spectacular views of the city, rather than food.

If you want to stay at the place where you can not only have a sleep, but eat a rich dish of the Tyrol or international cuisine, we would like to recommend you the Hupp Restaurant with 11 rooms and really tasty dishes. Candy men and women will be unable to resist sweet things from the Confectionery Capriccio. It is situated near the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum (Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum). An interesting thing is that it belongs to the Meraeers, and they are also the founders of the first confectionery business in Innsbruck. The menu presents different chocolate and fruit cakes, candies, sweet rolls, cookies and more.

If you would like to spend evening at the place with an interesting history and special atmosphere, you should go to the Golden Eagle (Goldener Adler). This restaurant is a local point of interest. It’s located inside the medieval house that was renovated many times and has a historical value. It is the oldest restaurant in Tirol; it was founded in 1390. Its walls and floor are saturated with the city history. Emperor Maximilian, Goethe, Heine, Mozart, and even Paganini were guests there.

But don’t forget that Innsbruck is an ideal place for skiing. Bergisel Sky Jump is the Olympic ski jump that was renewed in 2002 and was again opened for sportsmen and tourists. It looks like a flying saucer against the mountain background. Bergisel is also a popular place for walks. Sunsets and sunrises are unique and inspiring here. If it’s a day time, one can have a cup of coffee or tea, breath fresh air, and look at the city, Inntal Valley and Nordkette Chain.

Innsbruck is so beautiful and so welcoming for tourists every year. There’re so many places of interest where one can go and be astonished, that there are no doubts that every self-respecting traveller has to come here and leave a part of the city in the heart.

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