The Beautiful Center of Innsbruck

What to Do When the Rain Spoils Your Ski Trip

Living in Germany allows us some very cool opportunities, so whenever we have a three day weekend we are out and about. This past winter we had a long weekend in February, the perfect time for skiing in the Austrian Alps!
Center Innsbruck

Of course, we weren’t the only ones thinking this, and as usual we had stumbled upon a not so original idea well after the rest of Europe. It was unbelievably difficult to find a hotel near a decent ski area at such short notice (we didn’t start looking until January)!

Our great friends and traveling companions uncovered the perfect place with availability so we all met up at the Hotel Haflingerhof in MühltalAustria on a (uh oh!) warm Friday night. The hotel was a lit beacon on the side of the road with a crackling fire and Austrian charm. It turns out, however, that it is more of a weeklong, full board destination. When we sat down in the restaurant for some late dinner we told the restaurant was only for guests on full pension. Yikes! We were starving and there didn’t seem to be anything else open for miles around.

But the hotel staff proved to be friendly and helpful, “Don’t fear, I will check with the chef and see what is still available for you.” We enjoyed a nice dinner and drinks while we waited for our friends to arrive.

The next morning we awoke to crystal clear blue skies and green fields all around. Where was the snow? Was our ski trip doomed from the start? The gentleman at the front desk calmed our fears letting us know the snow at the top of the mountain was perfect, but the ski run that comes down from the mountain and directly to the hotel was unfortunately closed. We struggled with the decision of skiing that day or waiting till Sunday, but luckily wiser heads prevailed and we spent the day at the gorgeous Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau with its well planned long intermediate runs and comfortable, high speed lifts. The snow and weather was, indeed, perfect!

We woke on the next morning, though, to socked in rain and snow mixed filling the valley. The more intrepid guests at the hotel were gearing up for what was promising to be a wet day of skiing. No thanks, we said, this gives us time to explore the area. Innsbruck was only a short drive away so we made that our destination.

Innsbruck is a lovely city that straddles the river Inn. It is best known for hosting the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics and the iconic ski jump venue still hangs over the city. The old quarter of the city is a beautiful collection of Baroque buildings with warm and cozy cafes, schnapps shops, and of course, the ubiquitous souvenir store. We had an enjoyable rainy day, meeting up with other friends, sipping coffee in a café  and nibbling on delicious homemade strudels and Sacher Torte. Overall, it had been another perfect Austrian weekend.

Have you been skiing in Austria? What was your favorite ski area?

12 thoughts on “The Beautiful Center of Innsbruck”

  1. Hi Corinne! Nice to meet a fellow “Deutschlander” :) Innsbruck looks great, we will visit in a few weeks and I am looking forward to it!

    1. Hi Emma! Yes, We love living here. We’re actually moving a little north this summer, but we’ll still be in Deutschland…just closer to the Czech border. Innsbruck is beautiful. You will enjoy it, I’m sure!

  2. We love skiing but never ventured to Austria, is too far from California. I heard is so beautiful, though. After reading your post I’m seriously thinking we should go there.

    1. Anda, It’s so easy. You find a place that you want to stay and many of them have door to lift access. I would recommend somewhere around St. Johann in Tyrol. They have such awesome deals, good food, and lots of skiing choices! You would love it.

  3. That’s odd that they only feed people on full pension. I guess I get it, but the American in me wants to eat conveniently!

    I was just in Innsbruck for the first time earlier this month. I really enjoyed the city. The day we were there it was sunny and not too cool or warm. We’ve made a decision to travel to Garmisch anytime my folks visit so I know Innsbruck will be a repeat visit for us in the future.

  4. I’ve been to Innsbruck, and it is so quaint! I loved the old town. It was cloudy when we were there, so I missed taking photos of the town and mountains. Austria really surprised me – I loved every area we went to. Not much of a skier, myself (I’m more of a heat and humidity kinda gal), but I imagine Austria has some wonderful spots for it!

    1. Katie, I think we’ve barely scratched the Austrian surface, but yeah, we’ll go back. It’s only a few hours from here, and really it’s been a great place to explore, so far!

    1. Paula, I have bad knees now, so I don’t ski anymore but Jim still loves it. Innsbruck is gorgeous! Let me know if you guys go next year. We can meet up!

  5. I am dying to go to Innsbruck. I have never been skiing, have no interest in learning. But Innsbruck just looks like a fairy tale and I must see it one day.

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