Swarovski Crystal, Innsbruck
Do NOT buy your Swarovski Crystal anywhere but the real Swarovski shop (there are 2 in the city center..a big one full of Japanese tourists and a smaller one with the same stuff!) or at the factory. All the little shops with Swarovski mark it up..sometimes astronomically. The Swarovski Crystal Worlds is located in Wattens, approx. 30 minutes from Innsbruck. There are frequent trains to Wattens as well as busses which stop in front of Swarovski.
Unique Suggestions: Leave all cash instruments at home! No money..no plastic..no crystal!
Fun Alternatives: Window shopping is always fun.
It's a tiny museum for glassware this firm produces - ok quite artistic but not exciting. And the entrance fee is really expensive (since you'll be done with it easily within 30mins).
Fun Alternatives: Go to the nice town of Rattenberg - you'll see more (and nicer glassware) and can even watch the glass makers.
AVOID, AVOID, AVOID the SWAROSKI CRYSTAL SHOP here in Innsbruck like a plague! I'm serious. There is seriously something wrong in the attitude of the sales staff working here. ALL my friends came back with the SAME tale to tell i.e. these sales girls at the store will ONLY serve their own kind (Europeans) and WILL ignore ALL Asians. I really hope the Management of Swaroski will re-educate all their sales staff to be more in tune with today's current events. Without the well-to-do Asians (Japanese, Hongkongers, Indonesians, Singaporeans etc), Swaroski wouldn't be where they are today. Oh well....
The best part of the visit was the trip by the public bus from Innsbruck Railway Station to The Swarovski Crystal World, as one could enjoy the beautiful Innsbruck suburbs. We took the public bus as we had just missed the free shuttle and did not have time to wait for another shuttle which was after 2 hrs.
Once we got off the main road, the signs to Sworovski World were not clear and if one follows the huge Swarovski sign atop the factory, then one is misled as we did. A detour of 500 meters was to follow.
Had to wait for 1 hr in the queue even though we had purchased the ticket from the train station. The wait would have been worthwhile if our expectations were met....alas..a big let down. Not much of crystals but more of illuminati theme and some bizarre modern art. Not much enjoyment, neither for the kids nor the adults. Not worth the time and money. Wonder why CNN has pronounced this as akin to "the 7 wonders of the world".
Unique Suggestions: Avoid.