Top 4 ideas to Cool Off in Innsbruck region
The southern ambiance and high summer temperatures in the Innsbruck region mean that people are quick to seek places to cool off: and the area, nestling in a valley basin and surrounded by majestic mountains, has plenty of shaded, relaxing spots. Whether it is that old favourite, by the lakeside, or at a summer retreat up in the mountains, or sheltered by the vaults and alleyways of the old town, or perhaps even surfing on the River Inn – in and around Innsbruck, you are sure to find somewhere to cool off!
1. Refreshingly cool walls, fascinating histories
Palace, castle and church: these walls not only let history and architecture buffs keep their cool – the Imperial Palace lets fans of European royalty walk in the footsteps of the Empress Maria Theresa or of the Empress Elisabeth, known as “Sissi”. Another monument to the Habsburgs is located directly opposite the Palace: the Court Church, rather plain-looking from the outside, not only offers a refreshing welcome but also, with its imposing 28 black figures in bronze and the empty tomb of Emperor Maximilian I, a wealth of historical impressions. Just outside the city centre stands Ambras Castle with its extraordinary gardens where imposing peacocks freely roam and further places of shade are to be found: visitors can learn all about the delightful love story of Archduke Ferdinand II and Philippine Welser in Europe’s oldest museum, or enjoy a stroll through the large park. The Imperial Gardens and the arcades in the historic old town also offer soothing shade on the royal discovery tour through Innsbruck, while an ice cream from one of the many cafés inside the historic walls is a tasty way to cool off.
Tip: The Innsbruck Card, valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours, includes free admission to the Imperial Palace, the Court Church and Ambras Castle.
2. The mountains of the Innsbruck region can truly claim “it’s nice and cool up here”.
The mountain landscape of the Innsbruck region is hugely popular throughout the summer, especially on hot days. its variety offers sports enthusiasts, families and those of a more leisurely disposition the welcome chance to cool down at higher altitudes. The hut-to-hut hiking tour in the Sellrain Valley is not only a substantial trek with fantastic panoramic views, but also the chance to feel the fresh breeze at a height of over 2,000 metres. The region’s impressive mountain scenery can also be conquered in a more relaxed fashion, by taking the gondola from Innsbruck’s old town directly up to the Nordkette range and the Restaurant Seegrube, where gourmets can toast the finest days of the year against a breathtaking backdrop of mountains and valleys. On the other hand, the guided hikes – a feature of the free summer activity programme included in the Welcome Card for guests – have an invigorating effect: groups can discover the meadows, forests and mountains in the company of a certified guide.
Tip: If you want a direct route to the cooling breezes to be found on high, take one of the selected cable cars and lifts included in the free Welcome Card for guests, available for stays of three nights or more.
3. Floating on the cooling waters: surfing and rafting in the Innsbruck region
Rafting boats and surfers on the River Inn? What might sound far-fetched to some is actually part of the leisure activities available on summer days in Innsbruck, the capital of the Alps. With the mountains as a backdrop and the river as a stage, these two popular water sports are a unique source of fun for both the young and the young at heart. Innsbruck’s top locations for these wet and wild adventures are Up Stream Surfing and City Rafting Innsbruck at the Source To Sea kayak school. To find out more about water sports in the Alps, read the post in the myInnsbruck blog: Upstream Surfing – Action am Inn.
4. Cooling guaranteed: panoramic (sun)bathing in the Innsbruck region
A dip in the cooling waters never goes out of fashion, and the variety of bathing spots in the Innsbruck region – whether (mountain) lakes or swimming pools – never fails to impress. The Rossau bathing lake, known to locals as the “Baggersee [quarry lake]”, not to mention the Tivoli and Olympic Village outdoor pools, are ideal for cooling off in Innsbruck. Outside the city, you can swim and splash around at the Völser Badl or at the Axams leisure centre. The region’s bathing lakes offer outstanding scenery, delicious cuisine and exceptional accommodation: for example at the Natterer See lake, a paradise for families, where the large campsite, glamping accommodation and Aqua Park are all sure to mean unforgettable holidays. Not far away, the idyllic atmosphere of the Koi Bar at the Lanser See lake is perfect for those who love summer to enjoy Asian cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. And, for keep-fit fans and anyone looking for yet more fun, the lakes and pools also boast a variety of (water) sports such as water volleyball, water trampolines, beach volleyball, table tennis and much more besides.
Tip: Irrespective of where you fancy a dip, the Welcome Card for guests offers half-price admission to selected lakes and open-air pools, plus free travel on public transport throughout the area of validity.
Relaxing travel by train, bus or tram in and across the region
If you want to explore Innsbruck without your car, the train is the best way to travel. In addition to the reliable services provided by Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) and the WESTbahn, you can also get here in your sleep, as it were: the ÖBB’s “Nightjet to the mountains” offer includes transfers between the station and your accommodation, allowing you to reach the Innsbruck region in a climate-friendly, comfortable fashion – overnight. Once you have arrived, train, bus and tram all make it easy to get around, especially with the Welcome Card for guests: available free of charge at partner establishments for stays of two nights or more, it includes the use of all public transport in the area of validity.