The myriad attractions of Innsbruck, the captivating capital of the Austrian Tyrol region, have been well documented. This charming city is a pocket-rocket of culture, shopping and winter sports, not to mention some absolutely jaw-dropping mountain scenery. But aside from getting into some skiing or hiking (depending on the season), if you’re heading here for a weekend getaway you’d be selling yourself short if you didn’t take every opportunity to sample the wonderful cuisine.
Not sure where to start? We are! So loosen up a belt notch or two and eat your way through these five top tips.
Is it strange to recommend a Himalayan restaurant in Austria? Not if it’s as good as this one! Himal is popular with the younger set and it’s got a really great vibe, with seating both inside and out. You can relax on cushions on the floor in the communal area or opt for a romantic table on your own. Either way you’ll be dining on exotic Nepali cuisine like Vegetarian Momos, Dahl Bhat and Butter Chicken – all with complimentary naan and rice. Great value and fantastic ambience.
Find it: Universitätsstr. 13. Ph: 43 0512 588588. Open Mon-Sat for lunch and dinner, Sunday dinner only.
Goldenes Dachl Restaurant
With an eclectic clientele of tourists, locals and creative types (it’s very close to a theatre), this old-style Tyrolean establishment is right next door to one of the city’s most high-profile landmarks, the Goldenes Dachl (in case you hadn’t worked it out from the name). With a cosy timber décor and seating on recessed wooden benches, the menu is predominantly hearty Bavarian dishes like mouth-watering goulash (the specialty Dachl Gulash) and the world famous Sacher Torte. Wash it down with a generous serving of local beer. Traditional hearty fare for a great price.
Find it: Gasthaus Goldenes Dachl, Hofgasse 1 Ph: 43 512 58 93 70. Open seven days 7.30pm- midnight.
With a nod to its nearby neighbours, the Ristorante Rosengarten is a family-run Italian establishment that might make you think you’ve strayed over the border for the evening. Serving up authentic Italian cuisine, the restaurant specialises in seafood (try the highly recommended whole grilled fish) and cured meats, along with, naturally, excellent accompanying wines. It’s got a casual, friendly atmosphere and the terrace is the perfect setting for a romantic interlude.
Find it: Claudiastraße 8. Ph: 43 (0)512 583362. Open Mon-Sat 11.30-14.30, 17.30-24.00
If you want to experience a real ‘local’ vibe, head down to Stiftskeller, in the historic Old Town. This character-filled beer garden and restaurant spills into the streets and park and is a vibrant meeting place in summer and a magical snow garden in the winter (don’t miss the Christmas Garden). With a menu overflowing with comfort food like schnitzel, goulash, bacon dumplings and the house speciality, Bauern Gröstl, it offers fantastic value and is a great place to come for lunch or dinner to sit and people watch over a shared litre or two of beer. The best beer garden in Innsbruck? Possibly.
Find it: Stiftgasse 1. Ph: 43(0) 512 570 706. Open daily 10.00-24.00.
This last one is another true locals’ haunt, with many people coming after work and sitting around socialising until late in the evening. With an unhurried pace and a simple, rustic menu of authentic Tyrolean recipes, dining amidst the cosy, traditional décor and making friends with the locals could actually end up being the highlight of your Innsbruck gastronomic experiences. Liven up your taste buds with the mouth-watering Kaspressknödelsuppe – a cheese dumpling soup – and you’ll understand why the locals have kept this place in business for decades.
Find it: Anichstrasse 15. Ph: 43 0512 582986. Open Mon-Sat 9.00-24.00.
How to Get to Innsbruck
Getting to Innsbruck Airport from the UK takes just over fours hours on a direct fight from London Gatwick and longer with one-stop flights from Heathrow or Stansted airports. There are plenty of cheap flights with budget carriers, and easyJet’s fares start at under £50 each way. Once you land at the airport, the most convenient way of getting to your accommodation is with Shuttle Direct’s shared or private transfers straight to your door.
There is no direct train service from the UK, but if you have the time it’s a pleasant journey. Take the Eurostar to Paris, then connect to the TGV to Zurich. After an overnight stay you can take a regional train to Innsbruck, travelling through the breathtaking Alberg Pass. Prebook a Shuttle Direct transfer and we’ll meet you at the train station and take you straight to your accommodation.
Where to Stay
Hotel Sailer – Minutes from the Old Town and some of the city’s best attractions, the Hotel Sailer offers a luxurious stay in charming traditional surrounds. With an onsite spa including sauna and steam room, free Wi-Fi, a free ski bus stop right out the front and an inhouse restaurant serving up wonderful Tyrolean cuisine, you’ll experience the best of Innsbruck in absolute style.
Hotel Zach – The quirky, colourful Hotel Zach offers a warm and friendly home from home in the heart of the city. With spacious and cheerful rooms, free Wi-Fi and a fantastic Tyrolean buffet breakfast, the Hotel Zach is in a perfect tucked-away position just a few minutes from the historic Old Town.
Hotel Tauterman – Ideally situated for exploring the gorgeous city centre, the Hotel Tauterman is a wonderful place to relax and take in panoramic views without breaking the budget. With free Wi-Fi throughout the entire hotel and within walking distance of everything, this lovely friendly hotel makes the perfect base to ski or hike all day and sample the restaurants of the city every night.
About Shuttle Direct
Wherever you’re travelling to and from, the team at Shuttle Direct can help you with all your onward travel arrangements. With the most extensive range of airport transfers in Europe and North Africa, our shared and private services provide convenient, fixed priced transfers from train stations, airports and cruise terminals, with the least amount of stress. Our easy to use online booking system makes it simple to organise your transfers before you leave home.