From mountains to Imperial Austrian architecture… 10 reasons to visit Innsbruck

From summer walks to winter skiing, Innsbruck makes a great year-round destination. Here are our top 10 visitor attractions…Austria Attractions

1. Take your breath away as you look down from the scary jumping platform at Innsbruck’s Bergisel Ski Jump Stadium. Towering above the city, it was originally built for the 1964 Olympics. Recently, it has was redesigned by architect Zaha Hadid who designed London’s Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park.

2. Be dazzled by the sparking crystals at Swarovski Crystal World (Swarovski Kristallwelten, Wattens, near Innsbruck). The centre has 14 underground ‘Chambers of Wonder’ to explore and was created by Daniel Swarovski in 1895 when he arrived with his newly-invented machine for cutting and polishing crystal jewellery stones.

3. See spectacular views over Innsbruck from the highest zoo in Europe, the Alpenzoo. It has over 2,000 animals and is easily reached by the Hungerburgbahn funicular from the city centre.

4. Surround yourself with 28 larger-than-life bronze statutes, all relatives of Emperor Maximillian I, at the Hofkirche (Court Church). He was one of Austria’s most famous Habsburgs, who laid the foundations for his family dynasty to become a major world power and this Gothic-style memorial was built in 1555.

5. See the sparkle from the 2,657 shining copper tiles on one of Innsbruck’s most recognisable landmarks, the Golden Roof. It was commissioned by Emperor Maximilian I in 1500 to watch events taking place in the city below.

6. Climb The 148 spiral steps to the top of the viewing platform of the Stadtturm Innsbruck (City Tower). Completed in 1450, Innsbruck’s City Tower gives magnificent 360-degree view of the historic rooftops, spires and surrounding mountains of the city.

7. Delve 800m underground to discover the fascinating silver mine at Silberbergwerk which dates back to the Middle ages when it produced 85% of the world’s silver production.

8. Enjoy the ornate ceremonial room in the Hofburg (Imperial Palace). It’s one of a number of rooms added by Empress Maria Theresa, together with a chapel and exhibition room containing paintings of her 16 children.

9. Grab a map from the Tourist Office and wander the streets of the old town. Start at the Maria-Theresien-Strasse. It’s full of beautiful buildings, has lots of cafes, with views of the wonderful mountains that surround the city in the distance.

10. Snap up a 24-hour Innsbruck Card from the Tourist Office. It costs €31 but provides free entrance to Innsbruck sights, museums and some transport.

Source:http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/travel/430708/From-mountains-to-Imperial-Austrian-architecture-10-reasons-to-visit-Innsbruck

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