German Sights

Day Trip - Munich to Innsbruck

A Munich to Innsbruck day trip is an excellent choice for anyone looking to add something different to their city break.

It's only a short journey down to the beauty of the Austrian Alps and is a big contrast to the bustling city life of Munich.

Innsbruck, the capital of the Austrian Tyrol region, is renowned for its alpine charm, fascinating cultural heritage, exceptional winter sports opportunities, and a breathtaking location nestled amidst the stunning Alps.

Innsbruck, the capital of the Austrian Tyrol
Innsbruck, the capital of the Austrian Tyrol

Wander through the city's enchanting streets, taking in the splendid architecture, such as the iconic Golden Roof and the Imperial Church. Be sure to explore the bustling Maria-Theresien Strasse main shopping street which leads into the charming old town.

Innsbruck really comes into its own in the winter months.

With numerous ski resorts nearby, the city becomes a centre for winter sports enthusiasts.

You can even take the funicular and cable car up to the Nordkette ski area from the centre of the city.

And the Bergisel ski jump - site of the annual competition which brings in the New Year - towers over the city centre.



Taking the train offers the most comfortable and scenic journey. You can book connections with the cheap Werdenfels + Innsbruck ticket or travel on the regular route via Kufstein.

Trains run frequently in both directions, making it a convenient option for your day trip. The journey usually takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the specific route and train type.

The Werdenfels ticket is aimed at people wanting to travel to the German mountain resorts of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Mittenwald on the regional train service.

You will not only pass the lovely Starnberger See south of Munich but also get to catch a glimpse of the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain, if the weather is good.

But buy the special (and not particularly well-advertised) Werdenfels + Innsbruck train ticket and it opens up the whole route over the Seefeld plateau with a spectacular descent to Innsbruck.

A change of trains is usually needed in Garmisch or Mittenwald.

At the time of writing the Werdenfels + Innsbruck train ticket costs under 30 Euros for a single person, with every extra person costing around half that up to a limit of five adults. Travel is for a whole day on regional trains.

Like the Bayern Ticket, the Werdenfels + Innsbruck ticket is only valid on the slower regional trains and not on the occasional InterCity train which takes this route.

Most railway timetables will send you round via Kufstein to Innsbruck as this is the main train connection, with plenty of faster services via Rosenheim and Kufstein.

If you know in advance when you plan to travel to Innsbruck, you can see if there are any of the cheaper Europa Sparpreis offers available on the Munich to Innsbruck route. These are not available on the day of travel.

Otherwise, standard single EC tickets on this route cost just under 50 Euros at the time of writing.

Both services start from Munich central station (Munich Hbf) and arrive at the main Innsbruck station (Innsbruck Hbf). The Innsbruck train station is around 15 minutes' walk from the old town.


Travelling by bus is another possibility. Prices are usually considerably cheaper than the regular train tickets (but not compared to the special deals mentioned above). The bus ride will take around 2.5 hours, although this depends on traffic conditions.

Flixbus offer regular services from Munich bus station (ZOB), which is not far from the Munich Hauptbahnhof.

Bus services usually travel directly south from Munich on the motorway to near Garmisch-Partenkirchen and then via Mittenwald and over the Seefeld plateau down to Innsbruck.

The Flixbus stop is about five minutes' walk from the main Innsbruck train station.


Lastly, you can opt for driving from Munich to Innsbruck. This option gives you more flexibility and the chance to stop and explore some picturesque spots along the way.

The distance between the two cities is approximately 160 kilometres,. The journey takes around two hours, although this depends of course on traffic conditions.

The more direct route south through Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Mittenwald is more scenic, but can require snow chains in the winter months.

Driving into Austria via Kufstein is motorway virtually all the way, although this route can be very busy on summer holiday weekends.

Possible Innsbruck Itinerary

Old Town

Begin your Innsbruck city tour by visiting the historic old town, home to the famous Golden Roof. This was once part of the Imperial Palace complex, which is just around the corner.

The famous Golden Roof in Innsbruck old town
The famous Golden Roof in Innsbruck old town

The Helbling house is a beautiful old merchant's dwelling from the 15th century. It is diagonally opposite the Golden Roof.

The Imperial Church (the 'Hofkirche') can be reached through an archway from the old town. It houses the tomb of Tyrolean freedom fighter Andreas Hofer and the cenotaph of the Emperor Maximilian I, with its black Renaissance statues standing guard around it.

Even though you are near Innsbruck city centre, it is easy enough to get up into the mountains...


Next, make your way to the Nordkette mountain range via the Hungerburg funicular and the Nordkette cable car.

The closest funicular stop is just outside the Innsbruck Congress Centre next to the Imperial Palace. (The entrances to the funicular stations wer designed by famous architect Zaha Hadid. They are supposed to resemble the glacier crevasses in the mountains surrounding Innsbruck.)

The funicular runs up to the Hungerberg area above the city. There is a well-known Alpine Zoo located here, but most visitors switch to the cable car and the spectacular ride up to the Seegrube.

Hikers on the Nordkette above Innsbruck
Hikers on the Nordkette above Innsbruck

There is a panoramic restaurant here with stunning views down onto the city centre. In the winter this is part of the Nordkette ski area. In summer walking trails along the Karwendel mountains start from here.

Another cable car will take you higher to the Hafelekar - the top point at 2,256 metres. The rocky ridge has fabulous views to the north into the Karwendel mountain ranges.

Bergisel Ski Jump

End your city tour with a visit to the iconic Bergisel ski jump, also designed by famed architect Zaha Hadid.

The ski jump on the southern side of the city can be reached on foot, through the trendy Wilten area of Innsbruck, or by local bus service.

The Bergisel ski jump in Innsbruck
The Bergisel ski jump in Innsbruck

After entering the grounds of the ski jump, walk out to the Olympic rings on the edge of the spectator section for a good view back down to the city.

Then take the short funicular ride to the ski jump tower itself. There are walkways around the base, with views of the Europa bridge and the Stubai Alps. A lift takes visitors up to a panoramic terrace, with restaurant facilities.

Ambras Castle

Those who aren't that interested in the mountains and winter sports might like to take the short trip out to Ambras castle on the outskirts of Innsbruck.

Ambras castle in Innsbruck
Ambras castle in Innsbruck

It was once the residence of the Tyrolean rulers in the 16th century. They built collections of art, armour and rareties, which is why Ambras is thought of as one of the first museums in Europe.

The castle is set in extensive grounds which are also pleasant for a relaxing afternoon stroll.