Cool Innsbruck: We reveal the region’s five coolest places
Last updated on 25.07.2022
When it’s 30 degrees in the shade, it’s best to go in search of a place to cool off. Classic destinations are lakes and outdoor pools, at a summer retreat in the mountains or at “cool spots” in the middle of the city. The Innsbruck region offers a wide variety of refreshing options when temperatures soar in summer: up on mountain peaks, down in gorges, along river meadows and in pools – Innsbruck in summer is really cool! We show you where to go.
High up: the mountains around Innsbruck offer cool temperatures and panoramic views
Can you keep your cool as the temperatures rise, all while keeping a sense of perspective? Then head for the high mountains! Whether it’s for a summer retreat in Kühtai at 2,020 metres above sea level, where the summer temperatures are often 10 to 15 degrees lower than in the city, or for a “siesta” on the Nordkette range, where there’s always a fresh breeze: the higher, the cooler. The rule of thumb in the mountains is that, for every 100 metres of altitude gained, the temperature drops by one degree. So in summer in Innsbruck – almost uniquely among the world’s cities – you can in practice choose your own daytime temperature. In just 30 minutes you are up on the Nordkette range and the 2,334-metre Hafelekar peak. Today’s temperature up there? Work it out for yourself!
Inns-Bruck and its cool zones: “Aloha in the Alps”
As the name suggests, the city lies on the River Inn. Flowing down from the mountains, the water temperature seldom budges above single digits: while hardly suitable for swimming, the sandbanks, meadows and squares that line the green riverbanks are ideal for chilling out or putting your feet up. The magical attraction of the Inn begins to have its effect in the cafés of the centrally located Marktplatz; a little to the west, with mostly students lingering by the river on summer evenings. To the far west of the city the Innauen meadows let you get “up close and personal” with the river. There can be found plane spotters and sun worshippers, but sports enthusiasts will find a special type of action: the chance – unusual for an Alpine town – to go surfing, namely upstream surfing, where you are propelled by the natural force of the water and can reach speeds of up to 35 km/h over a distance of more than 300 metres. Even further out west, the river’s secluded sandbanks are perfect for (in some places nude) sunbathing. By the way, local people call the area “Hawaii” because of its beauty – meaning all you have to say is “Aloha in the Alps”!
Cool off in the “secret gorges”: the finest gorges around the city
A short walk for the chance to cool down: summer in Innsbruck offers a refreshing selection of easily “hikable” gorges. We present three of them here: the Mühlauer Klamm is located within the city limits. Its entrance is in the Mühlau district, at the foot of the Nordkette range, where there is a well signposted path. It is easy to reach by bike, by public transport or on foot. The Ehnbachklamm in the little town of Zirl is a true natural gem, just a short journey from the city by car or public transport. The entrance is directly below the Calvary, which features a chapel that can be seen from far and wide. A little further away, but all the more spectacular for that, is the Klammsteig (gorge trail), which includes a stairway cut through the rock. The starting point is in the market town of Telfs, a drive of just under 30 minutes from Innsbruck. You can of course also take a bus or train directly to the start of the hike. A little time may be needed to visit the gorges of Innsbruck, but they provide a very refreshing break!
Historic or modern: relax as in Imperial times or enjoy fun and games in the park
Very close to the historic old town, Innsbruck’s Imperial Gardens are an island of tranquillity in the midst of the urban bustle: laid out during Habsburg times and lovingly maintained to this day, they are a sight in themselves at any temperature or any time of year. In summer, however, this beautiful park is one of the best places to take a short break. Enjoy a moment or two of relaxation as in Imperial times, whether in the shade of the age-old chestnut trees, on the banks of the pond or on a bench under the large pine tree. Not far from the city centre and right next to the popular Sillpark shopping centre is the Rapoldi Park in the Pradl district – its “green heart”, so to speak. Young and old head for the park as soon as it starts to get warmer: sun-seekers spread their blankets, workers from the surrounding businesses and schoolkids enjoy their lunch breaks on the park benches, while frisbees and footballs fly through the air and children race around the playgrounds.
Hot in the city – cool at the lake and poolside
For those looking to cool down more quickly, there are numerous bathing spots in and around Innsbruck where you can enjoy a refreshing break. The Rossau bathing lake, known to locals as the “Baggersee [quarry lake]”, has plenty of room for splashing around and swimming. The Tivoli and Olympic Village outdoor pools are also ideal for (sun)bathing, as is the glittering green of the Natterer See lake. Swimming is also possible at the Axams leisure centre, the Völser Badl and the Lanser See lake, all refreshing places just a few minutes away by bike or public transport.
About Innsbruck Tourismus
Innsbruck Tourismus is the official destination management organisation for the Innsbruck region, encompassing the capital of Tyrol and over 40 localities in the surrounding area, from the Inntal valley to the Mieming Plateau via Kühtai and as far as the Sellraintal valley. With almost 3.5 million overnight stays (as of 2019), the Innsbruck region is one of Austria’s largest tourism institutions – a unique symbiosis of pulsating urban space and fascinating Alpine world. The vibrant city atmosphere and sightseeing highlights are just a stone’s throw from your next biking or hiking tour, your next ski adventure or winter walk. The Welcome Card, free for visitors, is the key to the region’s boundless opportunities: public transport, usable at no cost, means that the area’s numerous highlights can be enjoyed both sustainably and comfortably. Visitor enjoyment is the focus of the thoughts and actions of each of the organisation’s 90 or so staff: they pass on their passion and enthusiasm for this alpine-urban space to guests, ensuring unforgettable holiday experiences for all in harmony with both people and nature. With a total of twelve tourist information offices, Innsbruck Tourismus can stay close to visitors, be right in the action and keep a finger on the pulse of events – a true hub for the authentic stories and personal impressions of local characters that can be found on the popular blog and social media channels at #myinnsbruck.