City life: Innsbruck offers a wealth of historic and cultural sites for a city of modest size. Its picturesque cobbled streets are bursting with Gothic and Baroque architecture, colorful medieval houses, museums, theatres, galleries, street bars, and boutiques. It is a city of famous landmarks like the Golden Roof built for Emperor Maximilian I, the 15th-century Hofburg (Imperial Palace), and Ambras Castle which houses the oldest museum of Europe.
Since Maximilian I based his Imperial court here in 1490, it has been, to a greater or lesser extent, at the center of European political life. Innsbruck is also one of the coolest cities in the world and probably the only place where skiers and snowboarders can walk side-by-side with business people in the morning and neither will receive a strange look.
Innsbruck, with its pedestrian-friendly centre, is very easy to explore and its attractions are only a few paces apart, so lots of sightseeing can be achieved in a short space of time. Leading up to the Altstadt is Innsbruck's main street - Maria-Theresien-Strasse - offering a magnificent view towards the Nordkette range.
The city is linked by a comprehensive tram and bus network. A 24-hour ticket costs just €3.40. Another option is the Sightseer Bus, which is free with the Innsbruck Card.
Skiing on the doorstep: In no other place in the world is the dividing line between urban life and mountain terrain so thin. It's just a 20-minute ride from the city center on the state-of-the art funicular up to the Nordpark - Seegrube ski area. The Bergisel Ski Jump built on Bergisel hill overlooking the city has also become a major sporting, tourist and cultural attraction.
It's no surprise that skiing is big news here with the Tyrol's largest concentration of mountain resorts in such close proximity. Innsbruck is home to the Austrian Ski Federation and hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976. It will host the first Youth Winter Olympic Games in 2012, making it the only city in the world to host three winter Olympics.
Snowboarders flock to Innsbruck for the Air & Style Snowboard Contest, the Austrian Masters finals, or take on the challenge of the infamous 120-meter-long superpipe at the Nitro Propark overlooking the city. Half-pipes and jumps are also found at the Stubai Glacier, Axamer Lizum, Kuehtai, as well as most of the other 18 resorts listed in the ski safari concept.
Innsbruck is surrounded by world-renowned resorts offering all facets of modern skiing, including gentle slopes for beginners, extreme runs for pros, and unspoiled nature for ski tourers.
After skiing in a top Tyrolean resort by day, hit the city's bars, restaurants, casinos, and clubs by night or take in an opera or theatre performance.