Best hikes in Innsbruck
Innsbruck is the secret capital of the Alps – nestled in the mountains close to the city, wonderful hikes are waiting to be discovered.
Here are the 6 most beautiful hikes in and around Innsbruck – 3 hikes for beginners and families and 3 wonderful day hikes for passionate mountain hikers.
In and around Innsbruck, the classic city trip programme with sightseeing, culture and culinary delights can easily be combined with an intensive nature experience.
The capital of the Alps offers a multitude of wonderful hikes: In the morning in the museum or on the Golden Roof and half an hour later already enjoying mountain hiking and alpine idyll is what makes Innsbruck unique worldwide.
About the Autor
Hey! I am Marius, founder of Mountain Moments, photographer and mountain lover! Get to know the Mountain Moments team and read our tips, tricks and photo adventure stories in the blog.
After many years in Innsbruck, where the author has done hundreds of tours and photographed even more photo spots at different times of the day, these hand-picked hikes are the most beautiful nature to be found in and around Innsbruck.
Innsbruck Hiking Guide Hints
It is important to us that you observe the following basic rules when hiking and photographing: leave no rubbish behind! Leave the nature cleaner than you have found it.
- Follow the rules on the spot: Some of the photo spots mentioned are on private property. Respect the property and treat the owners with respect and gratitude. There are some specific rules for publishing these locations, please follow them.
- Respect others! Hikers, photographers, people, animals and nature. We have only one life and one planet. It would be a pity if we could not enjoy the beauty of nature together and not preserve it for posterity.
- Nature = Sustainability! We experience and photograph the natural spectacles of this earth, please do your part to keep it as beautiful as it is. In particular your journey and your consumption harm the environment, try to keep this pollution as low as possible: Use public transport, car sharing, avoid disposable products etc. and share this attitude with your friends.
Those who follow these basic rules not only secure a beautiful nature experience for himself but can also enjoy and enjoy the most beautiful landscapes in the Alps together with others.
3 Easy hikes in Innsbruck (suitable for families)
1. The Nordkette hut route (Arzler Hut – Hungerburg)
A city-based hut experience with typical Tyrolean delicacies – ideal for families
Not far above the city and at the foot of the Nordkette, the Innsbrucker Alpine Huts are a popular excursion destination for the whole family and can often be reached on foot in winter.
This easy hike offers easy hiking trails, local and original Tyrolean cuisine at the Arzler Alm and a modern hut architecture of the rebuilt Umbrüggler Hut. For a short, enjoyable walk it is recommended to hike only one of the two alpine pastures.
Tip: The German translation for “Alpine hut” is “Alm”
From the Hungerburg (valley station Nordkettenbahn) uphill to the Arzler Alm. Here along the road to the Umbrüggler Alm. Tip for families: If you want to hike with a pram, follow the driveway after the car park and do not turn into the hiking trail – the driveway is also signposted to the Arzler Alm.
Duration: approx. 2 hours, 5.4 km
2. Innsbrucks Canyon and Bergisel Ski Jumping
Simple hike through Innsbruck’s canyon with a visit to Innsbruck’s landmark
This easy hike combines sightseeing with a nature-oriented walk through a genuine alpine gorge. Only a few meters behind the city limits you hike through an alpine canyon – a tributary to the Inn – flows (beware of high water!).
After a relaxing walk you can enjoy the view of the gorge from above, visit the historic Tyrolean panorama and finally have the ultimate view of Innsbruck from the Bergisel ski jump!
You can have a picnic in the Sill canyon, have a coffee at one of the vantage points in the Bergisel Ski Jumping (photo tip!) or at the Tirolpanorama or reward yourself after the round in the only real beer garden in Innsbruck, the Bierstindl.
From the Bergisel/Tirol Panorama stop through the Sill Canyon. At the second bridge up towards Bergisel. Visit the Tirol Panorama and the Bergisel ski jump and finally return to the starting point.
Duration: approx. 1.5 hours, 4 km
3. Innsbruck city tour
A walk through Innsbruck’s sights and a short alpine excursion
Sightseeing and mountain flair in one tour? In Innsbruck this is easily possible.
On this city tour with mountain flair you will discover the most important highlights in Innsbruck and experience the real Innsbruck mountain flair. From the main station you stroll comfortably through the city and 30 minutes later at the very top of the Nordkette you discover the alpine landscape that makes Innsbruck so famous.
From the main station to the country house square and right next door to the triumphal arch. Continue along Maria-Theresienstraße to the Golden Roof. From here along the Hofburg to the Hofgarten and up to the Nordkette with the Hungerburg cable car.
From the station Congress along the Inn to the marketplace (larger square with yellow house). Directly here or 100m further at the stop Maria-Theresienstraße by bus/train back to the main station.
Duration: approx. 3 hours, 5 km
The 3 most beautiful hikes around Innsbruck (day tours)
4. Goethe Path – Pfeis Hut
The Goethe Path (German= Goetheweg) is undoubtedly the most beautiful and panoramic trail with direct access to Innsbruck’s city centre. In 30 minutes you will be beamed from shopping into an alpine adventure!
Suddenly you are in the calm nature, the wind whistles around your ears – on one side you hold on to the rock, on the other the deep abyss yawns 1600 metres down to the Inn.
From the mountain station of the Nordkettenbahn – Hafelekar turn right directly into the Goetheweg and always follow the signs to the Pfeishütte.
Tip: Stay overnight in the Pfeishut (German= Pfeishütte) and follow another mountain tour in the Karwendel.
Difficulty: medium (risk of falling)
Duration: approx. 4 hours, 11 km
5. Summit happiness between Patscherkofel and Glungezer
The highest mountain hut around Innsbruck with an outstanding Tyrolean panorama.
The probably most beautiful Tyrolean panorama can be found on the Glungezer. This beautiful summit hike combines easy access to Innsbruck’s local mountain Patscherkofel with alpine nature and one of Tyrol’s most beautiful vantage points.
This classic mountain hike offers everything that makes mountain hiking so relaxing: enjoyable, medium-difficulty mountain trails, rustic huts and contrasting views from the striking Karwendel to the bustling provincial capital of Innsbruck and the lonely side arms of the Wipptal valley.
Tip: Accommodation at the Glungezer with breathtaking sunset and sunrise.
From the Patscherkofel mountain railway to the Patscherkofel summit, the Zirbenweg and the Glungezer. The Zirbenweg ticket limits the ascent and descent to around 900 metres.
Duration: approx. 6 hours, 16 km
6. Dolomites of Tyrol – Salfeins Lake
Enchanting hike with breathtaking views of the Dolomites of North Tyrol
Magnificent hike to the famous Austria photo spot with constant views of the Dolomites of North Tyrol: The Kalkkögel.
Four small peaks are climbed on simple but wonderful and quiet mountain hiking trails and the picturesquely situated and famous photo spot Salfeins Lake is visited.
From the car park in Senders valley to Salfeins hut, on to Salfeins Lake. From here on over four small peaks and down into the valley to the Kemater Hut. On the road back to the car park.
Duration: approx. 6 hours, 16 km
Travel tips: Hiking in Innsbruck
Best travel period
The best time for mountain hiking is June to October. However, snow can fall in the mountains at any time. Typical in the summer months are thunderstorms, which usually take place in the afternoon. The easy tours on the Nordkette can usually be done all year round, if there is not too much snow. In snowy winters follow the safety instructions on site.
Usually it’s t-shirt weather in the summer in Innsbruck. Sometimes a light jacket is necessary. The weather can change quickly in summer also during a day, definitely observe the weather and check before a tour. Best local weather service: www.zamg.ac.at
How to get there
Innsbruck is easily accessible by train and bus. The airport also offers good connections. Buy your train and bus tickets in advance online (bus, train) or at the train station (train): Munich, Memmingen, Zurich, Milan, Milan-Bergamo.
Do you need a car to get around? Definitely not. All these hiking routes are perfectly doable with public transportation. It’s even usually cheaper and less of a hassle. But please keep in mind most older locals do not speak english!
If you need to ask something it’s better to ask young people – they usually are students, speak quite good english and know where to go with busses and trams. In Innsbruck a car actually is not helpfull. Everything is in walking distance, you can also rent city bikes and scooters.
In general, we recommend sportswear that is adapted to the weather (in the mountains it can easily be 15° colder and felt 25° colder than in the valley!
Shoes with a good profile (hiking shoes or running shoes with a good and thick profile), a hiking map and enough drinking are also important.
Food and Water
There is usually excellent and traditional local food on the way in the huts, but a snack on the way is still useful. For vegetarians and vegans it’s a bit more complicated, most meals are with meat and/or cheese/milk but you will find something.
For some of the huts and bus tickets on these hikes cash (Euro) is necessary.
Depending on the year and season usually there are natural springs somewhere along the way (not so on Goetheweg). It’s usually ok to drink this water when there is no lake above and not too many cows in the meadows above you. Best is to take 1l water with you on any of these tours.