What brought you to your corner of Austria?
I’ve now lived in Austria for almost four years, having spent two in Vienna and now two in Innsbruck, however I never planned to come to Austria at all! I work as a professional opera singer and took the audition in Vienna only as my parents had never been to Austria and fancied a holiday! After being in Vienna for two years, I was then offered an audition (then a job!) here in Innsbruck and currently work at the Tiroler Landestheater.
What tradition or custom is typical for your corner of Austria?
Here in Innsbruck, there are many rich traditions and I’ve really enjoyed exploring some of them! One of my favourite traditions is the celebration of the Summer Solstice, which occurs in late June, and involves beautiful bonfire-parades all over the Alps! You can see many burning shapes from the centre of town and these glowing pictures make a fantastic background to al fresco dinners in the very heart of Innsbruck-Stadt! There are lots of local events around the Alpine huts too, with many group hikes to the bonfires, complete with live music and of course great local food! If you’re in the Innsbruck area in June, I highly recommend checking it out!
If you’re here over late November/early December, you may also find yourself surrounded by the more sinister tradition of Krampus! Normally on the 6th December (although events can be scheduled on neighbouring weekends), people dress up in gruesome masks of Krampus and parade through the villages to ‘drive away the evil spirits of winter!’. The tradition is still performed in many local areas of Innsbruck-Land such as Imst and Hall, both short bus rides away from the city of Innsbruck, and are normally daytime family-focused affairs. Just remember to warn young children that the costumes aren’t real!
What would you recommend to a visitor who was visiting to see and do?
If you’re here for a weekend, I would always recommend a coffee trip to Bergisel, the Olympic ski jump in Wilten. It’s about a twenty-minute uphill walk, but is very accessible by bus (590a/590b) or by tram (1/STB) and there is a car park onsite. Bergisel is about €10 for adults but this includes the funicular railway to the top of the jump and often on the weekends you can watch jumpers practice! The views are amazing from the café and the coffee is good. They do a big breakfast on the weekends too, but I haven’t yet got up early enough to try it!
Another thing which is most charming in Innsbruck Stadt is the Alpenzoo. It’s very focused on conserving local wildlife and helping local populations, and they currently have two brown bears who are a big attraction! There is an onsite petting zoo with cows, sheep and pigs, and young visitors will love being able to feed the locals! The zoo is nestled up a hill, but again, local bus transportation is frequent and well connected (Linie W goes direct from Innsbruck Markthalle) or alternatively why not take the Hungerburgbahn – a funicular railway, featuring stations designed by Zaha Hadid which has a stop at Alpenzoo. During the week, the zoo is quiet and perfect for an unusual midweek date!
Where do you recommend to go to eat or to have a drink?
Wilten Brunch+Bar is one of the best new brunch spots in the centre, having been closed for much of the pandemic, they are finally re-open and serve only fresh and local produce. The coffee is excellent and they make everything onsite. The staff are lovely and it is very reasonably priced.
For the pizza lovers, Die Pizzerei is a beautiful, authentic Italian as well, with a cosy atmosphere and always a seasonal menu. The ingredients are also local (some from South Tirol even!) and there is a small shop to buy your favourite pasta of the night after dinner. They cater for gluten free pasta lovers too, however phoning to confirm in advance is advised.
For dinner and drinks, Das Brahms is ideal (especially pre-theatre!) and is an excellent date night setting. The drinks selection is large and varied and the food is also very good. It is also open late almost every night of the week.
If you’re searching for somewhere in town post-ski, Café Moustache is an all-round winner and has extra late hours for any night owls you may visit with. They have food, coffee and drinks and the laid-back Vienna coffeehouse style means you can chill for as long as you’d like, undisturbed!
How can your corner of Austria be reached (by car or public transport)?
Innsbruck is well connected with two central train stations, Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof and Westbahnhof. These connect directly to Vienna, Munich, Zürich, Graz and even Venice! The city has a small airport, where direct flights to London fly several times a week, with flights to Germany and other cities in the UK being less regular but still available.
There are several car hire companies available 7 days a week at the airport and the roads in and out of the city are well sign-posted. If travelling by car, Innsbruck is just off the A12 (Inntalautobahn) which runs from Landeck to Kufstein, and which continues via the Deutsches Eck to Salzburg as part of the E60.
Does anyone famous come from your corner of Austria?
One of the most famous families in Innsbruck are, of course, the Swarovski family! Daniel Swarovski was born in Vienna in 1885, however he moved to Wattens, Tirol in 1885 and his Swarovski Crystal World is a famous local attraction and working factory even now. His work with crystal glass is a recognised international luxury product and renowned for featuring annually at the Vienna State Opera ball.
Enjoyed reading this “My Corner of Austria”?
Laura is an opera singer based at the Landestheater in Innsbruck.
Want to tell us about your corner of Austria?
Drop us a line here.