Pronounced Hell im Tirol, the town is just 10kms east of Innsbruck. It's one of my favourite places in Tyrol. First settled in the 9th century, it developed as an important trading town in the 13th century due to the rise in the demand of salt/industries related to servicing salt works etc as well as becoming the city for the Royal Mint (literally,money making) in Tyrol.
Surrounded by mountains, the river Inn running through the centre, a small centre makes is the perfect condensed Tyrolean town - the superb churches, the Altstadt and its narrow streets and alleys, the rathaus etc all provide a great expereince and 20 minutes by train or bus from Innsbruck.
A few kilometres outside Innsbruck In the direction of Wattens, lies the small village of Schwaz which seems to have nothing to offer except a well hidden old Silver Mine which we found really interesting.
With a short bus ride of Innsbruck or its neaby camping ground, the silver mine is worth visiting.
They load you onto a mini-train that takes about 4 carriages, each catering for 10 people, all squeezed in like sardines, a mile underground.
The train stops every few hundred metres to hear a conductor (foreign language headsets are available at each stop) explain the history of silver mining in this area.
Reputed to be the only silver mine in Austria open to the public, this is a fascinating experience.
Take care to keep your knees inside the boundaries of the carriage. Otherwise, like me, you will get your kneecap smashed on the rock wall as the train speeds through the ultra-narrow tunnels.
Hall is a wonderful medieval centre right outside of Innsbruck. The streets are small and romantic, and lined with old beautiful houses.
Take a walk around in the city and enjoy the fantastic views here. Not so many tourists come here, so you get a more 'real' feeling than you sometimes get in the Old Town of Innsbruck where there are more tourists.
If you have the chance you should absolutely visit this place. It's just 10 km from Innsbruck, so it can easily be done on a daytrip out of the city.
Click here to look at my Hall in Tirol pages.
Igls is a very famous winterresort and has great possibilites for both crosscountry skiing, slalom and downhill. But there is also a lot to do here in summer, so it's a great place to visit all of the year.
It's situated at 900m above the sea, and is very close to Innsbruck. It's a beautiful city, and worth a stop if you are nearby. Close to the city is the mountain Patscherkofel, and there are cablecars that takes you to the top. In winter you can ski in the olympic skislopes, and in summer there are lots of trails for hiking. There are also other mountains in the area where you can go hiking.
Mutters is another small and incredible beautiful village close to Innsbruck. The scenery here is really beautiful, and it's wonderful to go walking around in this little village. It's so charming and peaceful, and the people are so friendly.
This area is most famous as a skiresort with the many possibilites of doing both slalom, crosscountry skiing, skating, sledding and so on. But there are also lots of things to do in the summer. If you like hiking you will love this area. You can also go mountain climbing, rafting, swimming, play tennis and many other things.
Seefeld is a fantastic beautiful little town! It's incredible to walk around there, it feels like you are in a old fairytale or something... :) The landscape is stunning, the houses are beautiful and the people are so nice.
It's very popular for the many hikingtrails in the area, and the lake where you can go for a walk, feed the ducks and relax on a nice little restaurant. But Seefeld is maybe most famous for the skiing in wintertime. The city is a popular winterresort and it has also hosted several competitions in the Olympic Winter Games (1964 and 1976).
Natters is a small village in the forest, right outside Innsbruck. The scenery here is incredible beautiful! It's a wonderful place for hiking, and there's also a lake where you can walk around or just sit down and relax.
If you're in Innsbruck you can take the train or drive on the autobahn to get here
Stams is a very small and beautiful village in the Tirolean Oberland region, and it's located about 34 km west of Innsbruck. This is a wonderful place for hiking and looking at the incredible scenery. The city is so charming and peaceful, and it's great to go walking around here.
The most famous building of Stams is the Cistercian monastery from the 13th century. It's a beautiful building, and it dominates the small village. You can visit the church or the museum in the convent, and there is also a school and skigymnasium here.
I've never stayed in Stams, I've only been on daytrips from Innsbruck. I don't think there is so much to do here in the evenings, but it's great for a daytrip.
A spectacular hunting lodge built high above the River Inn in 1500 by Maximillian 1. Typical of the region, the building loks somewhat plain from the outside, revealing its grandeur only after entering through the main gates and the wonderful courtyard.
It was expanded in the late 17th century and has been privately owned since the 1850s. Its open to the public from March-November.
Mutters is a small village approx 6kms south west of Innsbruck. Reached easily by a city tram, its a few hundred metres above the city, thus providing the perfect starting point for one of many mountain treks (easy, moderate or difficult), all with fantastic views down the Inn valley.
Go to the tiny town of Rattenberg. No it's got no channels, but like Venice it's famous for it's glass products.
It's tiny but a pictoresque medival town. You can climb up to the small fortress or go into one of the glass makers shops where you can watch some of the exhibits and often see them working. A better show than Swarovsky. And unless you go to the monastery museum there's no entry fee...
and what most of my friends liked: most shops engrave for you in the glass (you bought there of course) for free.
getting there is easy: it's next to the Autobahn (exit Kramsach) or there is a trainstation in town.
If you happen to be staying West Austria, try (if you can) to spend some time in Zell am See. It's a gorgeous deep-blue lake high up the Alps. Absolutely stunning views. I took this photo on the Innsbruck-bound train, so the quality isnt great.
From what I learned about the place, it's a great spot for skiing and watersports.
While we were in Innsbruck there was hardly any snow on the mountains even though it was January. We definitely didn't want to go home without having been in the snow somewhere so we went to Axamer Lizum for a few hours.
This place is the ski resort of a town called Axams, west of Innsbruck. It used to host the Olympic skiing competitions in 1976.
We went up the Hoadl with the Olympic funicular railway and just spent some time in the snow and on the terrace among all the skiers and snowboarders. Unfortunately the weather was grey up there so we couldn't stay for very long to get a suntan as planned ;-)
Hall in Tirol is a town just a few kilometres east of Innsbruck. It's a beautiful place full of old houses and lovely small lanes. The old town is much bigger than Innsbruck's and it is at least as beautiful. Plus there are hardly any tourists in Hall.
Make sure to go here for a few hours when you're Innsbruck. It's too close to miss it!
On a sunny plateau above Innsbruck is the popular resort of SEEFELD dominated by the Hohe Munde mountain. The colourful centre is traffic-free with a typical tirolean onion-domed church and there's a lovely lake to stroll around. Alternatively take the Rosshutte Mountain railway to the peaks or take the chairlift to the top of the Geschwandkopf Mountain for wonderful views.