Innsbruck, Austria’s fifth-largest city, is affectionately known as the capital of the Alps, and with good reason: in just 20 minutes travellers can be transported from the city centre to the heart of the nearby mountains where they can whoosh down Nordpark’s snowy slopes. There’s much more to Innsbruck than skiing and skating, however; those travelling outside winter are sure to be captivated by Innsbruck during the sunny season too, when the flowering, verdant landscape of the Tyrol region comes into its own. The city’s airport welcomes flights to Innsbruck from the UK all year round.
Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the enchanting city of Innsbruck is a first-rate destination for winter sports of all kinds. For ultra-cool skiing and snowboarding, book your return flights to Innsbruck between November and April, when the season hits its peak. Savvy sports enthusiasts can make real savings if they get their skates on early enough; January is a particularly good bet for finding cheap tickets to Innsbruck. This cosy university town has plenty to offer tourists during the summer months too; it’s brimming with architectural treasures, from imperial monuments to contemporary designs. The highlight is probably the awe-inspiring Schloss Ambras, a former fortress transformed into a magnificent palace by Archduke Ferdinand II. And the sports-mad will still have their pick of an array of outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, rafting and mountain biking.
The only airline offering British tourists direct flights to Innsbruck all year round is EasyJet. Twice a week the orange-tailed planes jet off from London Gatwick and come in to land two hours later in Innsbruck. During the snowy season from December to April, British Airways operates a direct route to Innsbruck five times a week, also from London Gatwick. Check out airlines such as Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines to find connecting flights (with flexible prices and flight times) from other UK airports such as London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
If you want to relax on arrival at Innsbruck airport, then booking a door-to-door airport transfer before you travel is the way to go. The drive time to your hotel or alpine resort should take upwards of 25 minutes depending on the destination. A taxi from the airport to the city centre costs around €11 and you’ll cover the three-mile journey from the airport in roughly 15 minutes. You can also pay €3 to hop on the route F bus, which runs every 15 minutes, and admire the views on the 20-minute trip to the city’s main station.
If skiing down Nordpark’s slopes has you craving more excitement, there’s one activity that is guaranteed to get your pulse racing. Head to the Olympic bobsleigh run in the little village of Innsbruck-Igls if you fancy hurtling down the slopes at supersonic speed. You’ll be tingling with anticipation as you prepare to experience the high-octane thrills that only whizzing down an ice track in a racing bobsleigh at speeds of up to 70 mph can bring.
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