InnsbruckA human settlement since the Stone Age, this area became an important stop on the Roman Road from Verona into Germanic areas circa 350 A.D. Around 1167, a bridge was built across the river Inn, which was a huge navigational barrier to that point, giving the city its current name (Inn, name of river, Bruck, Crossing). It became the center of the Tyrolian empire and the subject of many excursions from its more aggressive neighbors, a favorite spot of the Hapsburgs, and home to two winter Olympics. Innsbruck is a fairly idyllic city in the Alps with 200+ days of sunlight a year and 7 months of skiing available. I have run across many expats from England who made this technology and banking hub their home.
The ArrivalWe drove in from Fussen, Germany through the lower Alps. If you're not driving, it's a very scenic trip. The water is a deep blue-green, which I suspect comes from copper deposits in the mountains. After a couple of hours, we arrived in Innsbruck. Having been here before, I knew the route to the Hilton was difficult to navigate. (What? A Hilton? Yep. They didn't have any Marriott properties there and I still had a lot of Hilton points left over. Besides I've stayed there before; it's a good hotel) We got settled in and walked down the street to Burger King. Don't knock it, I love BK, and it was convenient and reasonable.
InnsbruckThe next morning everyone woke to a stunning view of the Alps.
The Next DayHaving walked our legs off the day before, it was decided we'd take a drive up to Igls in the mountains, and see old-school quaint Austria with a visit to where I had taken my oldest son in 2012 to ski on Patzerkopf.
The Way OutWe went back to the hotel and then left the next morning for Liechtenstein and Switzerland, but on the way, we passed by Imst, where they have the longest alpine coaster in the world, multiple miles long, and you can reach speeds of 70mph. The kids were definitely up for that challenge!
SummaryInnsbruck is a small but pristine city in the Alps. Well-off and well-kept, it has many expats who fell in love with the skiing and the job market. Costs are reasonable by European standards. Public transportation does exist in the form of street cars, but you really need a car to get around. Major train service is available from east, west and south. It's a very short drive south to Italy, and a more significant one east to Vienna or west to Switzerland.
The Alps are immediately outside the city, and the villages seem to go back to at least the 1600s. Picturesque is an understatement.