Tyrol and Vorarlberg: Traditional Austria at its best
Collected by Zac Steger, AFAR Local Expert
Traditional villages meet luxury resorts in two of Austria's most beautiful Alpine regions: Tyrol and Vorarlberg. Plush resorts like those at medieval Kitzbühel and St. Anton offer some of Austria's best skiing in Tyrol, while Vorarlberg offers a more authentic experience with rural Austria, complete with traditional costumes and architecture. Western Austria's largest city, Innsbruck, has a charming medieval old town, a lively student population and spectacular Alpine views.
Several lift and gondola options are found in and around Innsbruck to take travelers higher into the Alps. From the Congress Station (designed by Zaha Hadid) in the old town near the river, the Nordkettenbahnen brings visitors to the top of the...
Weiherburggasse 37a, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Said to be Europe’s highest altitude zoo, Innsbruck’s Alpenzoo, or Alpine Zoo, sits on the lower part of the Nordkette mountain range across the river from the old town. It features around 150 species, some endangered, who call the Alps home, like...
Hofgasse 1, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
At the end of Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse stands the symbol of Innsbruck, the Goldenes Dachl, or Golden Roof. It was believed to have been added to the building by Maximilian I to celebrate his second marriage. However, it's not actually gold, but...
Herzog-Friedrich-Straße, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
With majestic views of the Alps and a medieval old town, Innsbruck is not short on charm. Get lost among the colorful Baroque buildings of Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse, see the famous Golden Roof, view Lucas Cranach the Elder's "Madonna and Child" at...
Herzog-Friedrich-Straße 16, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Just steps away from the landmark Goldenes Dachl, Cafe Katzung is arguably the best place in the old town for coffee and sweets. Grab one of the pink and green tables outside for people watching, or eat in the sleek, modern dining area to wind...
Universitätsstraße 2, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Even in a time where it was common practice for great men to erect great monuments for their contemporaries, the church and tomb that Ferdinand I built for the Holy Roman Emperor was received with awe. The Hofkirche in Innsbruck dazzles the eye...
Kiebachgasse 16, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Dating back to its opening by Johann Nepomuk Munding in 1803, it's said to be Tyrol's oldest Konditorei-Café. Mundig offers a nice selection of delectable cakes and pastries, as well as chocolates and macarons. This is one place to skip the coffee...
Schloßstraße 20, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Ambras Castle was built by Archduke Ferdinand II (1529–1595), the second son of Emperor Ferdinand I, for his commoner wife, Philippine Welser, who was not allowed to live in the official residence in the town. A few notable items make Ambras worth...
Leopoldstraße 53, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
A museum devoted to bells at first doesn't seem terribly exciting. But, since Grassmayr is Austria's oldest family-run handicraft company, it seemed like it'd be worth a visit. It also helped that my guide in the city was the family matriarch. The...
Bergiselweg 3, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Innsbruck has twice hosted the Olympic Winter Games the most visited piece of that history is the Bergisel Ski Jump. But, that's not the only reason to visit the Bergisel. The new ski jump installation includes a shining tower designed by the...
Kristallweltenstraße 1, 6112 Wattens, Austria
Swarovski, world-famous Austrian crystal maker, has made it its mission to amaze. While the glittering creations do that on their own, the family has also built a whole world of wonder for you to enjoy. The Crystal World is a dream-like place of...
6867 Schwarzenberg, Austria
The Bregenz Forest holds tight to its regional identity, maintaining its traditional wooden architecture and costumes. While German speakers may have trouble understanding their dialect, they'll have no trouble appreciating this beautiful forest...
Karl-Tizian-Platz, 6900 Bregenz, Austria
The ultra-modern Kunsthaus Bregenz (KUB), designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, opened in 1997 and hosts temporary exhibitions of contemporary art from across the globe. Its etched glass shingles on the exterior stands not far from the...
Stubaital, 6167 Neustift im Stubaital, Austria
Just a short trip from Innsbruck, the Stubaital is beautiful valley that is perfect for unwinding in one of the most parts of Tyrol. This unspoiled landscape is filled with cool streams and lush Alpine fauna, along with a few charming little...
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