Wellington Travel Guide
Innsbruck is a winter sports mecca of international renown, with two Olympic Winter Games under its belt, in 1964 and 1976, and no fewer than 15 world-class ski resorts on its doorstep. There are year-round glacial slopes such as Hintertux, impressive Olympic venues such as Axamer Lizum, and spirited aprés-ski party towns such as Sölden and Mayrhofen, all within a stone's throw of Innsbruck. But besides the abounding ski slopes and summertime outdoor recreation venues, Innsbruck itself is bubbling with visitor interest, with a 17th-century university, an atmospheric old town (Altstadt) with cobblestone streets and well-preserved historic buildings and churches, a good number of museums, abundant lush parks and gardens, a centuries-old bridge across the river Inn, a picturesque old castle overlooking the town, and a lively café and bar scene and humming nightlife that come with the youthful verve of a university town.
Innsbruck, the capital and hub of the Tyrol, is situated in western Austria, along the banks of the Inn River at the intersection of the Wipptal and Inntal valleys. To its north the Nordkette mountains rise in a cluster of lofty peaks, and to its south the Ötztal, Stubaital, and Zillertal Alps unfold in all their majesty. There are two autobahns that converge just south of town, the A12 and the A13: the A12 links Innsbruck to Salzburg, which lies 87 miles (140 km) to the east, and Landeck, which lies 44 miles (71 km) to the west; and the A13 dashes off southward some 19 miles (31 km) to the Brenner Pass and into Italy.
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