Innsbruck is a secret capital in the Alps. From the city’s edges, many wonderful hikes lead off into the mountains just waiting to be discovered by you.
Please enjoy this selection of our 6 most favourite hikes in and around Innsbruck – three hikes for beginners and families and an amazing 3 day hike for passionate mountain hikers such as ourselves.
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: Through the museum and on to the Golden Roof in the morning, then in only half an hours walk, you find yourself enjoying some mountain hiking. This accessability to the alpine idyll is what makes Innsbruck unique to the rest of the world.
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
Best hikes in Innsbruck
It is very important that you observe the following basic rules when hiking and photographing: leave no rubbish behind! Leave the nature cleaner than you 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 other Hikers, photographers, people in general, 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 remaining 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. Share this attitude with your friends.
Those who follow these basic rules when hiking through these amazing landscapes will not only ensure a beautiful nature experience for themselves, they will ensure joy for their fellow hikers aswell.
3 Easy hikes in Innsbruck for families
1. The Nordkette hut route (Arzler Hut – Hungerburg)
A hut experience near the city with typical Tyrolean delicacies that are ideal for the family
The Innsbrucker alpine huts lie At the foot of the Nordkette mountain range, not far above the city. It’s a popular destination for a family excursion and can be reached by foot in winter when the conditions are right.
This beginner hike offers easy trail hiking, original Tyrolean cuisine at the Arzler Alm and a look into the modern hut architecture of the rebuilt Umbrüggler Hut. If you in the area and you are looking for a short, enjoyable walk, we recommended that you hike to only one of the two alpine pastures in the area.
Tip: The German translation for alpine pasture is ‘Alm‘.
From Hungerburg’s Nordkettenbahn station, walk uphill to the Arzler Alm. You can follow this road further to the Umbrüggler Alm.
Tip for families: If you want to hike with a pram, use the driveway after the car park and do not turn onto the hiking trail – the driveway has a signpost pointing to the Arzler Alm.
Duration: approx. 2 hours, 5.4 km
2. Innsbruck Canyon and Bergisel Ski Jump
A simple hike through Innsbruck’s canyon with a visit to one of Innsbruck’s most famous landmarks
This easy hike combines sightseeing with a nature-oriented walk through a genuine alpine gorge. A few meters beyond the city limits and you will be on your way to hiking through the alpine canyon. Beware of the high water that can sometimes flow through this tributary to the Inn river.
Take a relaxing walk to Bergisel ski jump and emmerse yourself from above in the ultimate tyrolean panorama of the gorge and Innsbruck.
We recommend having a picnic in the Sill canyon or a coffee at the vantage point of either theBergisel Ski Jump or the Tirolpanorama. After a hard day’s hiking, theres also nothing like a tasty beer in the only real beergarden in Innsbruck, the Bierstindl.
From the Bergisel/Tirol Panorama station make your way through to Sill Canyon. Take the second bridge up towards the Bergisel ski jump. 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 achievable. With this city tour in Innsbruck, you will discover the most important highlights and experiences the real Innsbruck mountain flair has to offer. From the main station, you can comfortably stroll through the city, and 30 minutes later you are at the very top of the Nordkette mountain range. From here you can relax and enjoy the alpine landscape that makes Innsbruck so famous.
From the main station walk to the country house square, it’s right next door to the triumphal arch. Continue along the street called Maria-Theresienstraße to the Golden Roof. After the Golden Roof, move along to Hofburg palace and then to its perfectly landscaped Hofgarten. Next go up to the Nordkette mountain range with the Hungerburg cable car.
On your return move from the cable car station, along the Inn river to the Marktplatz (marketplace in english), a large market square with a yellow house. You can take the bus/train back to the main station directly from here or you can stroll on for bit further and there is another bus stop, 100 meters further on Maria-Theresienstraße.
Duration: approx. 3 hours, 5 km
The 3 most beautiful hikes around Innsbruck (day tours)
Goethe Path – Pfeishütte(huts)
With direct access to Innsbruck’s city centre, the Goethe path (in German, Goetheweg) is undoubtedly the most beautiful and panoramic trail. In 30 minutes you will be beamed from shopping into an alpine adventure!
Suddenly, you are in the calm wild nature, the wind whistling around your ears – on one side you hold on to the rock face, on the other the deep abyss yawns, 1600 metres down to the Inn river.
From the Hafelekar mountain station, turn right and walk directly into Goetheweg street. Follow the signs to the Pfeishütte(huts).
Tip: Stay overnight in the Pfeis hut (German= Pfeishütte) and then link onto another mountain tour in the Karwendel.
Difficulty: medium (risk of falling)
Duration: approx. 4 hours, 11 km
5. Guarenteed Summit satisfaction between Patscherkofel and Glungezer mountains.
The highest mountain hut around Innsbruck with an outstanding Tyrolean panorama
Another exquisite tyrolean panorama can be found when standing victoriously on the top of Glungezer mountain. This beautiful summit hike combines easy access to Innsbruck’s local Patscherkofel mountain with diverse alpine nature and is one of Tyrol’s most special vantage points.
This classic mountain hike offers everything you need to relaxing and recharge: enjoyable mountain trails with medium-difficulty; Cozy rustic huts to rest your head; Contrasting views from the Gigantic Karwendel mountain range to the bustling provincial capital of Innsbruck as well as the lonely tributaries of the Wupper river.
Tip: Accommodation at the Glungezer with breathtaking sunset and sunrise.
From the Patscherkofel mountain railway station hike up to the Patscherkofel summit. When you are ready to move on, find the Zirbenweg trail and continue to Glungezer mountain. The Zirbenweg trail 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
Take a magnificent hike up to Austria’s impressive Kalkkögel mountain range, and indulge in one of the most breathtaking views of the Dolomite mountains in North Tyrol.
Many quiet mountain hiking trails lead up towards the four small peaks. Its a simple yet wonderful climb to Salfeins Lake where compostions like the one above are possible when the lake has gathered enough water.
From the car park in Senders valley, walk to Salfeins hut, which lies on the edge of Salfeins Lake. From here on, travel up and over the four small peaks of Kalkkögel and then descend down the valley to the Kemater Alm. From the Kemater Alm get on the path 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 happens between June and October. However, snow can fall in the mountains at any time. Thunderstorms are typical in the summer months and usually take place in the afternoon. The easy tours on the Nordkette mountain range can usually be done all year round, if there is not too much snow. In very snowy winters always follow the safety instructions on site.
Usually it’s t-shirt weather in the Innsbruck summer. Sometimes a light jacket is necessary. The weather can change quickly in summer so please observe the weather over the course of the day and aswell as in your preperation 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 online in advance(bus, train) or at the following train station when you arive: 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. A car is not actually helpfull in Innsbruck. Everything is in walking distance, and you can also rent bikes and scooters in the city.
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
Many of the huts on the alpine pastures usually serve mouth-watering and traditional local foods, but a pre-prepared snack to refuel on the way is still useful as well. For vegetarians and vegans it’s a bit more complicated, most meals here are prepared with either meat, cheese or milk. You will probably find something.
Cash (Euro) is necessary for some of the huts and bus tickets on these hikes .
Depending on the year and season, there are natural springs, all along the way – not so much on the Goetheweg trail. It’s usually ok to drink this water when there is no lake above or a meadows with too many cows in it above you. On any of these tours its best is to take a 1liter bottle of water with you.
Hi, i am Marius, i love exploring the mountains and nature. Friends say, i know the mountains better than most locals, but actually i get lost all the time while photographing ;). Read more about the Mountain Moments Team.