Innsbruck in Winter: What to do in Innsbruck during the winter?

Written by: Christina Pichler, Oct 5, 2023

A lot is happening in Innsbruck in winter. No matter what the weather is like and what you are in the mood for, we have the perfect winter activity for you. In this article, we are going to answer the question “What to do in Innsbruck in winter?”. Different types of winter sport disciplines, sights, cultural events, arts exhibitions, viewpoints in the surrounding area and wellness experiences await you!

Winter sports: A wide range of winter activities

Frosty temperatures are not a valid excuse to stay at home and snuggle under your blanket. On the contrary, in winter the best sports disciplines are waiting for you in Innsbruck! So grab you skiers, your snowboard, your toboggan, your skates or your snow boots and make the best out of that cold weather! Winter sports are the way to go!

1. Skiing

Whether you prefer to ski or snowboard down the hill, the mountains and slopes are waiting for you as soon as the first snow falls. Thanks to the surrounding mountains, Innsbruck is the perfect starting point for your next ski tour. Here are a few skiing areas that you can easily reach by car or the shuttle bus from Innsbruck:

  • Nordkette: 20min from Innsbruck, 6 ski lifts
  • Oberperfuss: 20min from Innsbruck, 6 ski lifts
  • Muttereralm: 20min from Innsbruck, 6 ski lifts
  • Patscherkofel: 6.5km from Innsbruck, 5 ski lifts
  • Axamer Lizum: 19km from Innsbruck, 9 ski lifts

You can find information on all skiing areas, the free ski shuttle bus and slopes here!

STUWO tip: It only takes 20min by car to get to the closest skiing area from STUWO student accommodation Innsbruck. There is also a ski storage in the dormitory!

2. Snowshoeing tours

On your snowshoeing tours, you can explore a true winter wonderland thanks to special equipment. You can discover the landscape around Innsbruck and marvel at the wintery scenery off the cleaned pathways. For a snowshoeing tour you will need snowshoes, warm winter clothes and possibly skiing sticks.

You can find several snowshoeing tours around Innsbruck here! There are tours for beginners, experienced walkers and everything in-between!

3. Tobogganing

Not only skiers and snowboarders will have fun at the skiing areas close to Innsbruck, but also enthusiastic toboggan riders will have a great time off the slopes. By the way, tobogganing is a very budget-friendly winter sport. At a luge rental, you can get a toboggan or sleigh for the day. The only other equipment you need are warm clothes. Here are some toboggan paradises close to Innsbruck:

  • Axams: 3 toboggan runs
  • Birgitz: 2 toboggan runs
  • Mutters: 2 toboggan runs
  • Oberperfuss: 3 toboggan runs

All these toboggan runs are fairly easy to reach by car from Innsbruck! You can find an extensive list of toboggan runs as well as up-to-date information about the weather and opening hours here!

4. Cross-country skiing

Cross-country skiing is a very popular Nordic sport. There are two types: classic cross-country skiing (it looks like a diagonal running motion) and skating (it looks like ice skating). You need the right equipment for both types of cross-country skiing, which you can get at a rental. Then you can go off and explore the ski trails close to Innsbruck:

  • Axams: 3 ski trails
  • Gries im Sellrain: 2 ski trails
  • Kühtai Hochoetz: 4 ski trails
  • Oberperfuss: 4 ski trails
  • Praxmar-Lüsens: 6 ski trails

To guarantee the best possible winter experience, there are numerous ski trails surrounding Innsbruck for beginners and experienced athletes of both types of cross-country skiing. The best thing about this is that you can enjoy the gorgeous winter scenery and viewpoints everywhere! Here is a list of all the opened cross-country ski trails!

5. Ice sports

A classic winter sport is ice skating! There are also numerous opportunities in Innsbruck in winter to put on the ice skates and glide a few relaxing hours over the ice. In Innsbruck, there are five ice rinks (Eiszauber Sillpark, Olympia Eishalle, Eislaufplatz Baggersee, Eislaufplatz Hötting West, Eisschießplatz Olympiahalle Außen, Eisstockplatz) and in the surrounding winter sports resorts (Axams, Gries im Sellrain, Götzens, Telfs, Zirl) there are also icy oases waiting for you. An overview of the open ice-skating facilities can be found here!

Sights & cultural diversity: Getting to know Innsbruck in winter

Innsbruck is a city that has much to offer. You won’t get fed up with all of the sights. The “Goldenes Dachl” (Golden Roof), Court Church and Imperial Palace will take your breath away. The capital of Tyrol also celebrates art and culture by offering a varied programme!

6. Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof)

Address: Herzog-Friedrich-Straße 15, 6020 Innsbruck

In the city centre of Innsbruck, the Golden Roof is fighting the sun for all the golden rays of light! 2,657 gilded copper shingles are an attraction and the selling point of the architectural landscape in Innsbruck. Emperor Maximilian I. had the Golden Roof built in 1497. By the way, the golden masterpiece decorates the alcove balcony.

The Golden Roof Museum is inside the building with the Golden Roof. There you can take a look behind the facade of this famous sight and discover how this masterpiece was made. The museum puts these century old exhibition pieces into the spotlight with innovative technology. The museum is open from Monday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm. (Exception: From October to April the museum is closed on Mondays.)

7. Court Church

Address: Universitätsstraße 2, 6020 Innsbruck

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm; Sunday 12:30am to 5pm

The tomb of Emperor Maximilian I, which is guarded by 28 life-sized black bronze statues, is inside the Court Church. Interestingly eight of these male guards are actually women. Nevertheless, the church is sometimes called “Schwarzmanderkirche” (which roughly translates to “black man church”) by locals. Before his death, Emperor Maximilian I planned who should guard his tomb. Among the statues are his wives and famous people of the time.

Fun fact: The emperor’s sarcophagus is empty because Emperor Maximilian I is actually buried in Wiener Neustadt, close to Vienna. However, you can still marvel at the gorgeous sarcophagus.

8. Imperial Palace

Address: Rennweg 1, 6020 Innsbruck

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9am to 5pm

Once upon a time, the Imperial Palace was the home of the most important members of the royal family in Tyrol. In 1765 Leopold III, son of Maria Theresia, held his wedding with Maria Ludivica of Bourbon there. The state rooms, imperial apartments, chapel, sacristy and the weapon tour are architectural and artsy masterpieces portraying the changes over time as some elements are still from the time of Emperor Maximilian I (around 1500), whereas other parts of the palace were modernised under Marai Theresia (around 1700). By the way, the Giant Hall is still used as an event location.

9. Discover art & culture in Innsbruck

The diversity of art and culture brings beautiful colours, sounds and sights to the Tyrolean capital. Innsbruck has a museum for just about every field of interest: Archaeological Museum, Audiovserum (Science Museum), Radio Museum, Ambras Castle, City Museum, Taxispalais (Art Hall), Folk Art Museum and many more. Especially rainy days are perfect for a museum visit.

Architecture fans will love to discover Innsbruck because the city has numerous historic buildings and masterpieces of modern architecture. A tour of the old town will take you to the Golden Roof, Leopold’s Fountain, Helbling House, the old Landhaus, Anna’s Column and the Imperial Palace. Keep your eyes open during your walk because there are also many places with public art, where street artists decorate selected facades and walls with graffiti.

If you have a little bookworm in you, you will feel especially at home in Innsbruck’s public library, the “Wagner’sche” bookstore (including a cute café) or the Tyrolia bookstore. Take some time to wander through the hundreds of shelves with books from all genres and find your next favourite book. In addition, poetry slams are always held in these locations, where people recite their poetic texts.

Innsbruck is also a regular venue for various music festivals, such as the New Orleans Jazz Festival or the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. The Tyrolean Regional Theatre treats its guests to musical theatre, drama and dance. There are also many small theatres that offer a diverse and exciting program. Let yourself be carried away into another world in one evening!

You can find the complete cultural programme in Innsbruck here!

The best viewpoints: Exploring Innsbruck’s winter nature

Winter turns Innsbruck into a magical winter wonderland. Nature offers you breathtaking viewpoints and beautiful surroundings. That’s why you should pack your warm winter clothes and some snacks right away and take advantage of sunny winter days to spend time outdoors. We will show you which places in and around Innsbruck are especially beautiful in winter.

10. Nordkette: the most beautiful viewpoint in Innsbruck

The Nordkette is the intersection between the Alps and the Tyrolean capital. The Hungerburgbahn takes you directly from Innsbruck’s old town to the popular Alpine Zoo and on to the Hafelekar, Innsbruck’s 2,344 m high local mountain. There you will be rewarded with a breathtaking 360° panoramic view. You can also visit the Karwendel Nature Park, Tyrol’s largest protected area, on the Nordkette. Whether you are going for a walk, hiking, having a little picnic or just enjoying the view, this destination is always worth the trip.

11. “Bergisel-Schanze”

Address: Bergiselweg 3, 6020 Innsbruck

Opening hours (winter): Wednesday to Monday 9am to 5pm

The Bergisel ski jump is an impressive destination in Innsbruck. Especially in winter, the ski jump is worth a visit. A total of 455 steps leads you from the east entrance to the ski jump tower. As an alternative, you can also use the inclined elevator. The panorama restaurant “Bergisel Sky” not only spoils your eyes with a breathtaking view, but also your taste buds with excellent food. Architecture fans and those interested in technology should not miss this masterpiece! By the way, cool events take place at the Bergisel ski jump!

Indulgence in Innsbruck: Culinary delights, relaxation & wellness

Relaxation and rest are also part of a balanced student life. Especially in winter, sometimes we just want to find a particularly cozy warm place and also in this area Innsbruck offers numerous activities and destinations. Epicures and connoisseurs can treat themselves to time out and wellness or pass the time with a delicious dinner.

12. Culinary specialties in winter in Innsbruck

When it’s cold outside, the delicious Tyrolean specialties that you can find everywhere in Innsbruck will warm you up. Tyrolean Speckknödel, Tiroler Gröstl, Kaspressknödel, Kasspatzeln, Tiroler Marend, Schüttelbrot, Schlutzkrapfen and Strauben can be found on the menu in Innsbruck restaurants. For example, you can get the best Austrian classics at the Weissen Rössl in the old town. Of course, Innsbruck also has countless breakfast restaurants, cafés, bars and restaurants waiting to be discovered by you. Here you can find an overview of the culinary map of Innsbruck!

13. Quality time at the spa

When the temperatures outside are freezing, wellness facilities entice you with soothing and warm baths and saunas. Let yourself be pampered in a day spa with a massage, a beauty treatment, saltwater bathing or sauna infusion. The Olympic Village indoor pool in Innsbruck combines indoor swimming and sauna relaxation. The indoor swimming pool Amraser Straße in Innsbruck also offers you all the benefits of a swimming pool and a wellness area with various sweat rooms, saunas and steam baths. Some wellness hotels offer “day entry cards” with which you can use the hotel’s wellness area for one day. There is also a sauna area with two sweat rooms, a steam bath and an ice crusher at the University Sports Institute Innsbruck. A one-day ticket costs 5€. You can also make massage appointments during opening hours.

STUWO tip: In the STUWO dormitory in Innsbruck, a sauna and a relaxation room in the wellness area are available to all residents free of charge!

Conclusion: Enjoy unforgettable moments in Innsbruck during the winter

Innsbruck in winter is the perfect starting point for winter sports activities, sightseeing tours, cultural programs, sports and wellness, art exhibitions and restaurant visits! Absolutely nothing stands in the way of a varied winter program and there is something for everyone! Everything you should see and do in Innsbruck, from excursion destinations to restaurants and events, are also recorded here!

Are you looking for more tips for a balanced student life in Innsbruck? Then we have countless information on educational institutions, financial aid, housing options, and recreational tips on our blog!

Finally, a brief look into the future: Innsbruck also has a lot to offer in the summer. When the temperatures rise again or even the heat tortures you, visit the most beautiful swimming lakes around Innsbruck!


We are happy to help!