Top 10 things to do off the piste in the Tirol

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Here’s a rundown of the off-piste tourist attractions in Western Austria – no skis required!

With world-famous alpine ski resorts like Kitzbühel, Ischgl and St. Anton, many unsurprisingly see the Tirol in Western Austria as just a mountain sport destination.

But there’s a lot more to the region than skiing and snowboarding in winter, and walking and mountain biking in summer. Here’s a rundown of the Tirol’s top 10 off-piste tourist attractions. (Our featured image is by Alex Holzknecht.)

_Top 10 things to do in Tirol
Swarovski Kristallwelten

1) Swarovski Kristallwelten – Wattens, near Innsbruck

  • Admission: €11 adults, under 15 free

Daniel Swarovski set up his crystal cutting and polishing business in Wattens way back in 1895. Today, Swarovski’s an international byword for high-end jewellery, fashion and design.

Its crystal worlds (Kristallwelten) attraction in Wattens has 14 underground chambers filled with modern art installations, each with a different take on the beauty (and, dare we say, opulence) of crystal. The giant head entrance is somewhat of an insight into the eccentricity that lies within.

Top 10 things to do in Tirol

Cheap Flights To Innsbruck

2) Alpenzoo – Innsbruck

  • Admission: €9 adults, €4,50 children, under 3 free

Alpenzoo is the highest zoo in Europe. Take the Hungerburgbahn funicular up to the Alpenzoo Station for great views over Innsbruck.

The zoo’s 2,000 furry (and not so furry) residents span 150 species. The collection places a particular emphasis on the animal world of the Alps.

Top 10 things to do in Tirol
Kufstein Fortress

3) Kufstein Fortress

  • Admission: €11 adults, €6,50 children, under 5 free

Built in the 13th century under Bavarian rule, Kufstein first became part of Tirol in 1342. The next 500 years saw many battles for its control. It returned to Tirol rule, for the last time, in 1814.

Check out the Kaiserturm tower, which served as a state prison, the 60-metre deep “Deep Well” and the underground rock-cut passage.

Top 10 things to do in Tirol

4) Bergisel Ski Jump Stadium – Innsbruck

  • Admission: €9 adults, €4 children, under 6 free

Towering above the city of Innsbruck, the Olympic Ski Jump on Bergisel was used in the 1964 and 1976 Olympics.

The view down to Innsbruck from the jumping platform is breathtaking, in more ways than one.

Top 10 things to do in Tirol

5) The Tirol Panorama with Kaiserjägermuseum – Bergisel Innsbruck

  • Admission: Adults from €7

Opened in 1880, the original museum of the Tirolean Imperial Infantry (Kaiserjäger) sits on the site of the famous battle in 1809, where local hero Andreas Hofer and Tirolean freedom fighters defeated French and Bavarian troops fighting for Napoleon.

A gigantic 1,000 square metre panorama painting, depicting the battle for freedom, is located in a new building next door. The museum also has fantastic views over Innsbruck and the Nordkette mountain chain.

Top 10 things to do in Tirol

6) Hofkirche (Court Church) – Innsbruck

  • Admission: Free

Built in Gothic style in 1555, the Hofkirche (Court Church) serves as a memorial to Emperor Maximilian I, who was a major world power in his time. Taking more than 80 years to complete, the ornate white marble cenotaph is surrounded by 28 larger-than-life bronze statues of Maximilian’s ancestors, relatives and heroes.

The Hofkirche is located in Innsbruck’s Old Town, a few steps away from the city’s most recognisable landmark – the Golden Roof.

Top 10 things to do in Tirol

7) Hofburg (Imperial Residence) – Innsbruck

  • Admission: €8 adults, children under 19 free

Along with the Schönbrunn Palace and the Hofburg in Vienna, the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) in Innsbruck is one of Austria’s three most important historical buildings. Once a favourite residence of the Habsburgs, the Hofburg now comprises five themed museum exhibitions that detail the political and cultural history of the former imperial residence.

Top 10 things to do in Tirol
Schloss Ambras

8) Schloss Ambras (Castle Ambras) – Innsbruck

  • Admission: €10 adults, children under 19 free

Perched dramatically above Innsbruck, Ambras Castle was originally a fortress of the Counts of Andechs 1,000 years ago. It was under the rule of Archduke Ferdinand II from 1564, that the castle was transformed into the palace of today.

He commissioned the splendid Spanish Hall, one of the finest examples of German Renaissance interiors in the world.

Top 10 things to do in Tirol

9) Silberbergwerk (Silver Mine) – Schwaz

  • Admission: €16 adults, €8 children, under 5 free

In the Middle Ages, the town of Schwaz was the mining centre of Europe, providing more than 85% of the world’s silver production. With over 10,000 miners searching for silver and copper, Tirol became one of the richest states in Europe.

Here you can delve 800m underground and gain a fascinating insight into what it was like to mine silver.

Top 10 things to do in Tirol
Stadtturm Innsbruck

10) Stadtturm Innsbruck (City Tower) – Innsbruck

  • Admission: €3 adults, €1,50 children

Innsbruck’s City Tower was built in 1450. Its 148 spiral steps lead to a viewing platform where you get a great 360-degree view of the Innsbruck’s historic rooftops, spires and the mountains that surround the city.

Images courtesy of Visit Tyrol.

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

Top 10 things to do off the piste in the Tirol was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (631 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to