Dreaming of a city break in Innsbruck with kids? This guide will take you through everything you need to know including the best things to do in Innsbruck with kids, the best places to stay in Innsbruck, where to stay and day trips!
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Is Innsbruck Child-Friendly?
Innsbruck is a gorgeous Austrian city to visit in Europe with kids and the capital of the Tyrol region. You can enjoy Innsbruck with kids whatever the season, from exploring the old city and hiking in the mountains to skiing, sledging and having fun at the Christmas markets.
On our family trip to Austria, the backdrop of the Tyrolean mountains, elaborate architecture in the historical centre and best scenery we saw in Austria made Innsbruck an unforgettable family experience.
When is the best time to visit Innsbruck?
Austria for kids is great, whether you chose to visit in Summer or Winter there are lots of activities for you to enjoy in a city like Innsbruck.
The location is ideal to explore the surrounding mountainous regions, taking a trip to Salzburg or Bavaria and even enjoying a family skiing break.
Innsbruck in July
Summer is a great time to visit Innsbruck, and the temperature averages around 25ºC in July, so it’s great for outdoor activities in the alpine meadows and Tyrolean mountains.
There is a fair bit of rainfall that can come out of nowhere so best to plan for sun and rain when you are packing.
Innsbruck in December
This is a truly magical month to visit Innsbruck. The mountains are covered in snow, breathtaking Christmas markets across the city and many ski resorts for the family to enjoy.
The kids will love the Austrian Christmas markets, including amazing food, carousel rides, crafts, music, parades and of course Santa Claus!
How to Get to Innsbruck
Getting to Innsbruck is relatively straightforward, whether you are traveling from within Europe or from the United States.
From the United States, there are no direct flights to Innsbruck, so travelers will typically fly into a major European hub like Frankfurt, Munich, or Vienna and then take a connecting flight or train to Innsbruck.
The train journey from Munich or Vienna to Innsbruck is particularly scenic, passing through beautiful alpine landscapes. Additionally, the motorway runs up and down the Inn valley, making it convenient for those who prefer to travel by car.
Innsbruck Airport is located very close to the city, about 3km to the west of the city centre. From the airport, you can take a bus transfer to the city which takes about 20 minutes (€2). View flight prices and availability for your dates here >>>
A great option for a family is to buy the Innsbruck Card when you arrive, this offers you free public transport, admission to lots of attractions, cable car rides and more (€24 Child 6-15 years / €49 Adult).
The main railway station is about 10 minutes walk from the historic part of the city and from there you can take the train to local villages/towns, Salzburg, Vienna or even travel into Italy and Germany.
Where to Stay in Innsbruck with Kids
Hotels in the city centre are ideal as we found this a good base to explore the city and use the Innsbruck Card to get around on public transport. If you visit for a purely skiing holiday, you may prefer accommodation closer to the slopes.
Budget: MEININGER Hotel Innsbruck Zentrum
The MEININGER Hotel offers clean, comfortable and well-equipped family rooms at budget prices. The hotel is only 750 yards from the Golden Roof and the Bergisel Ski Jump and Maria Theresien Street are very close by.
There is a convenient public transport bus stop just opposite the location.
Mid-Range: Hotel Innsbruck
Hotel Innsbruck is in the centre of the Old Town and on the banks of the River Inn, with stunning views of the soaring mountains.
The Hungerburgbahn cable car is a five-minute walk, the Golden Roof is only 200 yards away, and many other attractions and great restaurants are close to the hotel. There is also an indoor pool which the kids can enjoy!
Splashing Out: Relais & Châteaux Spa-Hotel Jagdhof
This 5-star spa hotel offers a truly luxurious experience and great kids’ facilities. The scenic Tyrolean mountains surround the hotel, the rooms are spectacular, and the Stubai Glacier location is perfect for winter skiing.
There is an indoor and outdoor pool, kids club, children’s playground, games room, evening entertainment and a superb restaurant.
The hotel has cots, strollers and outdoor play equipment on request so a good location if you are visiting Austria with a baby/small children.
Top Things to Do in Innsbruck with Kids
Innsbruck is one of the most beautiful cities in Austria and offers a diverse range of activities for families, so it’s an ideal city break with kids.
There are activities that will engage toddlers up to teenagers, ranging from active and adventurous days out to interactive museums and exploring the old city. Here are the top ten things we enjoyed in Innsbruck.
1. Old Town (Altstadt)
The old town of Innsbruck is full of charming old buildings dating back to the Middle Ages and lots of cobbled streets to explore.
Visit the iconic Golden Roof decorated with 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles built for Emperor Maximilian and St Jacob’s Cathedral is very impressive with a stunning Baroque interior and a magnificent altar.
2. Swarovski Crystal Worlds
A must-see experience, just outside of Innsbruck in the village of Wattens, is the glittering world of Swarovski. On arrival ‘The Giant’ with crystal eyes embedded into the mountain greets you!
Followed by 17 rooms with wonderful crystal worlds and a huge indoor play area (minimum age 4) with slides, trampolines, climbing net and balance games.
Our kids really loved the outdoor play area, with interesting art installations, a crazy maze, marble runs and a quirky carousel.
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3. Alpine Zoo
Take the Hungerburgbahn funicular, then jump on the Nordkette Cable Car for some outstanding views and the zoo is a few stops later.
The zoo houses around 2000 animals. We saw wolves, lynx, ibexes, owls, a brown bear and alpine animals. There is also a small aquarium, playground and café.
4. Audioversum Science Centre
An interactive museum where you learn about the science of sound. The kids enjoyed identifying and mimicking animal sounds (involving a lot of shouting!), light-activated walkways, voice changer machines and creating sounds for future visitors. It’s a great way to spend an hour on a rainy day.
We took the cable car up to the foothills of the mountain (1400m) and there are great views over the city of Innsbruck. There is a large park with walkways through the trees and play areas, small lake, outdoor water play and sand play area.
This kids loved watching the cattle grazing, you can hire bikes and it’s also a ski resort perfect for families with a handy rental shop on site.
Aqua Dome is spectacular. It is expensive but out of this world in terms of the setting. Surrounded by the Tyrolean mountains, you can enjoy the steam baths, indoor and outdoor pools, kids pool, slides and play area.
There is a hotel on-site or you can take the day pass options.
7. Bergisil Olympic Ski Jump
Visit the Bergisel area for a trip to see the Olympic Ski Jump, an iconic venue in the world of winter sports. You can take a tram or Sightseer bus to Bergisel and then take the funicular up to the top of the ski jump.
This location has hosted several Winter Olympics events, and is particularly famous for ski jumping competitions. It is a wonderful experience for both sports enthusiasts and tourists alike.
There is a 360° viewing platform above the 50m ski ramp and a café at the top where you can watch jumpers practice.
From the platform, you can take in breathtaking views of the surrounding area
8. Ambras Castle
Originally a medieval fortress, Ambras Castle was transformed into a Renaissance castle in the 15th century by Emperor Ferdinand I. The castle is spectacular from the outside with gardens overlooking the River Inn.
Inside the castle there are many interesting exhibits for the kids, notably the knight’s armoury and wonders cabinet.
The main shopping street in Innsbruck and a beautiful place to wander around with great food, drinks, shopping and gelato.
There are many street artists and entertainment to enjoy and you can also see the majestic Triumphal Arch to the South of the street.
There are many parks across Innsbruck that the kids can enjoy. Hofgarten is located near the old part of the city and has open grassy areas, children’s play areas, ponds with ducks, chess games and a lovely restaurant to enjoy some food
11. Adventure Sports for Older Kids
Innsbruck, located in the heart of the Tyrol region, is a paradise for adventure seekers. Older kids and teenagers will find a plethora of adventure sports to indulge in.
From skiing and snowboarding in the winter to mountain biking and hiking in the summer, there is something for every adrenaline junkie.
The Nordkette mountain range, easily accessible from the city center, offers thrilling activities such as paragliding, rock climbing, and via ferratas.
The surrounding Tyrolean mountains provide the perfect backdrop for a day of rafting, canyoning, or zip-lining.
12. Shop for Souvenirs
Souvenirs: Innsbruck, being a city rich in culture and tradition, offers a wide range of souvenirs to take back home.
Traditional Austrian souvenirs such as Mozartkugeln (chocolate-covered marzipan balls), schnapps, and hand-painted Christmas ornaments can be found in many shops in the old town.
For something uniquely Tyrolean, consider purchasing a piece of traditional Tracht, like a Dirndl or Lederhosen. Swarovski Crystal, founded in the nearby village of Wattens, also makes for a sparkling souvenir.
Additionally, local crafts, Tyrolean mountain honey, and regional specialties are popular choices.
Where to Eat in Innsbruck with Kids
Austrian food for kids is delicious. Kasspatzln is tasty dumplings coated in cheese and then baked, Grostl is like an English fry-up with bacon, onion, potatoes and fried egg, and Kiachl is a tasty Austrian doughnut with sweet fillings.
Café Central is the oldest café in town, serving Austrian/European breakfast, lunch and dinner. Extremely child-friendly, the café will accommodate special requests from the menu. We tried the schnitzel, apple strudel and chocolate torte which were fabulous. View on TripAdvisor >>
Fischerhausl is one of the best Innsbruck restaurants that serves Austrian, German and European dishes and has a lovely courtyard. There is plenty of choice on the menu, from goulash and grostl to homemade burgers and tasty desserts. View on TripAdvisor >>
High Panorama Café is at the top of the Bergisel ski jump where you can watch the skiers practice their jumps. We enjoyed some cake and drinks as it is quite expensive. View on TripAdvisor >>
How to Spend 2 Days in Innsbruck
We visited Innsbruck for a European city break with kids in the summer and then travelled to Italy to visit our family. There are lots of things to see and do, and on our first trip time was limited. The following are the highlights of our trip and what the kids really enjoyed.
Day 1: One Day in Innsbruck with Kids
Morning: Take a city tour of Innsbruck to see the Altstadt (Old Town). Enjoy the Golden Roof and learn about Emperor Maximilian in the museum, climb the Stadtturm watchtower and admire the view, then visit the magnificent St Jacobs Cathedral and Triumphant Arch
Why not book onto this Innsbruck walking tour?
Afternoon: Visit Maria-Theresien-Strasse from the Triumphant Arch for some lunch, gelato, shopping and enjoy the live music and street artists. Hofgarten is a great city park for the kids to play and there are many other parks around the city. Fischerhausl restaurant is close to Hofgarten, so head there for dinner later.
Day 2: 48 Hours in Innsbruck with Kids
Morning: Swarovski Crystal Worlds is heaven for kids! It’s quirky, wild and wonderful and very child-friendly so definitely worth a visit. You could easily spend four hours here seeing the Rooms of Wonder and the kids can enjoy the amazing indoor/outdoor play areas and art installations.
This half-day tour of Swarovski Chrisyal worlds features a private guide, who previously had worked for Swarovski itself. View prices and availability here.
Afternoon: Take the tram and funicular up to the Bergisel Olympic Ski Jump, then relax and enjoy the amazing views. The kids will love the trip up to the top of the ski jump, which overlooks Innsbruck. Visit the High Panorama Café for some lunch and cake, while watching the athletes practice on the 50m ski ramp.
3 Days in Innsbruck
We really enjoyed the Alpine Zoo, and the Nordkette Cable Car trip made this a memorable experience. The kids loved seeing the different animals, and enjoyed the play area and then we headed back into Innsbruck to the Café Central for a great lunch.
The Aqua Dome was a real treat for us, adults and kids, in the afternoon. It’s a breathtaking place, and you can get an evening pass if you want to stay later to enjoy the pools, slides, children’s play area and an evening meal in the restaurant.
Day Trips from Innsbruck for Families
Innsbruck sits in the perfect location in Europe to explore Austria, Germany, and Italy. There are beautiful towns and villages to see near Innsbruck, Salzburg and Munich are accessible by train, and you can drive to Italy in 30 minutes!
Salzburg is stunning and takes 1 hour 40 minutes via direct train from Innsbruck. There are lots of options for families when you arrive, you can explore the picturesque old city, visit the Hohensalzburg Fortress (castle), experience the Mirabell Palace and Gardens from the Sound of Music or see the animals at Salzburg zoo
Built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, this medieval fairytale castle is the most visited castles in Europe. Disney modelled their Cinderella’s Caste on Neuschwanstein so it’s a truly magical experience.
kids will love this private full-day tour of the castle which comes over many movies and famous cartoons from Disney.
The largest glacier in Austria, the Stubai Glacier, offers skiing from October until June. The glacier is about 40 minutes from Innsbruck via car or you can take the bus from Innsbruck main station (Line 590). The Big Family Ski Camp offers ski lessons to children from four, the kids will love the 30m deep Ice Grotto and the amazing view from the ‘Top of Tyrol’. Related Post: Copenhagen with Kids Innsbruck boasts a well-organized public transportation system, making it easy to get around the city and explore the surrounding areas. The best way to get around Innsbruck is on foot. It’s a compact city with many of the top attractions in the old town or within walking distance from one another. There is also plenty of hiking opportunities in the mountains if you have the energy! You can use the Sightseer bus, trams, funicular and cable cars to travel around the city and to the higher mountainous areas. Hiring a car is another option to explore the surrounding areas. The Innsbruck Card offers free public transport, including trams, buses, and even the Sightseer bus which takes you to the city’s main attractions. It also includes a one-time ascent and descent on each of the cable cars operating in the Innsbruck region. Public transportation in Innsbruck is child-friendly, with discounted fares for children between 6-15 years and free travel for those under 6. The main railway station in Innsbruck provides excellent connections to nearby towns, cities, and even neighboring countries like Germany and Italy. Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.
Getting Around Innsbruck
Plan Your City Break to Innsbruck
The largest glacier in Austria, the Stubai Glacier, offers skiing from October until June. The glacier is about 40 minutes from Innsbruck via car or you can take the bus from Innsbruck main station (Line 590).
The Big Family Ski Camp offers ski lessons to children from four, the kids will love the 30m deep Ice Grotto and the amazing view from the ‘Top of Tyrol’.
Related Post: Copenhagen with Kids
Innsbruck boasts a well-organized public transportation system, making it easy to get around the city and explore the surrounding areas.
The best way to get around Innsbruck is on foot. It’s a compact city with many of the top attractions in the old town or within walking distance from one another. There is also plenty of hiking opportunities in the mountains if you have the energy!
You can use the Sightseer bus, trams, funicular and cable cars to travel around the city and to the higher mountainous areas. Hiring a car is another option to explore the surrounding areas.
The Innsbruck Card offers free public transport, including trams, buses, and even the Sightseer bus which takes you to the city’s main attractions. It also includes a one-time ascent and descent on each of the cable cars operating in the Innsbruck region.
Public transportation in Innsbruck is child-friendly, with discounted fares for children between 6-15 years and free travel for those under 6.
The main railway station in Innsbruck provides excellent connections to nearby towns, cities, and even neighboring countries like Germany and Italy.
Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.