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Here’s a step-by-step guide to an Innsbruck day trip from Munich, including how to get there and the best things to do in Innsbruck.
So, full disclosure: I’m publishing this blog post purely so I can share all the pretty photos I took on my Innsbruck day trip from Munich 💁♀️. I had four nights in Munich on my most recent solo trip around Europe and to be honest, I didn’t fall head over heels for Munich. Hence I decided to spend my last day doing a Munich to Innsbruck day trip, which I’m officially proclaiming the best day trip from Munich. It’s a long day trip at two hours each way on the bus, but picturesque Innsbruck is definitely worth the extra bus time. Here’s how I organised my Innsbruck day trip from Munich, plus the best things to do in Innsbruck once you arrive.
How to get from Munich to Innsbruck (and back again)
Firstly, if you’re unaware, I would estimate I’ve been a FlixBus passenger over 50 times by now. I’ve used FlixBus to travel across Europe twice now and I’ve only had one bus cancelled on me. Otherwise, they’re such an efficient and cheap mode of transport for travelling across Europe. So, in case it wasn’t obvious, for this particular Munich to Innsbruck day trip I took a FlixBus. The bus station was walking distance from my hostel in Munich and the bus drops you just outside the city centre in Innsbruck.
As I visited in November, the Munich to Innsbruck bus journey was a snowy winter wonderland (I, for one, was in heaven). With snow-covered villages backdropped by mountains, it was like I’d stepped into a fairytale. I tried to take a few photos but let’s just say, Austrian bus journeys are the prettiest.
Here are my other tips for travelling across Europe on a budget
Things to do in Innsbruck on an Innsbruck day trip from Munich
Begin your Innsbruck day trip from Munich with a stroll through Old Town Innsbruck
Okay, first things first. On your Innsbruck day trip from Munich, I suggest starting in the Old Town area (downtown or Innenstadt on Google Maps). It’s home to laneways, cafes and shops. I went for a wander down Maria-Theresien-Straße, which is the city’s main pedestrian thoroughfare. It offers both baroque architecture and colourful buildings.
Down the street’s southern end you will also find the Triumphpforte. The Roman-style arch was built by Empress Maria Theresa in the 18th century in honour of her son’s wedding (talk about a nice wedding present). There was construction surrounding the Triumphpforte when I visited, otherwise I’d share a pretty photo 😂.
Photograph the colourful houses by the Inn River
This is one of the most photogenic spots in Innsbruck and a must-visit destination on your Innsbruck day trip from Munich. Standing on the downtown side of the river, you can capture this row of colourful buildings on the other side; backdropped by snow-capped mountains (if you visit in autumn/winter like me, that is). I actually had to sneak behind some huts being set up at the Christmas market to get this shot, but it was most definitely worth the struggle. Here’s the Google Maps link.
Do a spot of shopping in Innsbruck
If you’d like to pick up a souvenir in Innsbruck or, you know, need to buy a beanie because you left yours in Munich (🙄), there are quite a few shopping centres located walking distance from downtown. In the centre of town is Kaufhaus Tyrol, the city’s largest department store. Across the street is RathausGalerien, which is an upscale shopping destination. Meanwhile, behind the train station is SILLPARK. Innsbruck’s largest shopping centre, SILLPARK is home to over 70 retailers, as well as plenty of food options.
If you want to get really fancy, the Swarovski flagship store is also located in Innsbruck. Even if you don’t have the cash to splash on Swarovski crystals, there are several modern art installations inside the store too.
Enjoy sachertorte for morning tea at Strudel Cafe Kröll
For morning tea, I definitely recommend popping into Strudel Cafe Kröll. Although they’re known for their strudel and sachertorte (chocolate cake of Austrian origin and a Viennese specialty), the cafe has plenty of other freshly handmade and delicious pastries to choose from as well. As an escape from the cold, I enjoyed a mini sachertorte and it was the perfect size for me.
Visit Hofburg Innsbruck
The Hofburg (Imperial Palace) in Innsbruck is a former Habsburg Palace, built for Emperor Maximilian I in the 16th century. The Imperial Tour is a guided tour that happens every day at 11 am. Some of the places open to the public inside Hofburg Innsbruck include the Imperial apartments, the extravagant Giant Hall and the Chapel.
Go for a stroll through Innsbruck Hofgarten
Next door to the Old Town you will find the Hofgarten – an early 15-century landscaped royal garden. When I visited in November I was actually scared of getting hit on the head by clumps of snow melting off tree branches 🙈. Nevertheless, the Hofgarten is home to the Palm House, historic landmarks and a restaurant. It would be a great place to visit in Innsbruck in summer.
Climb to the top of the City Tower (Stadtturm) for incredibly scenic views
Located in the heart of Innsbruck, seeing the views from the top of the City Tower is my top recommendation for things to do on an Innsbruck day trip from Munich. When I visited it cost €4.50 to climb the 133 steps to the viewing platform at the top. I’m not usually one to spend money on viewpoints, but I am so glad I did in this instance. The views from the top are incredible, as you can see the city from all angles; backdropped by picturesque snow-capped mountains.
Fun fact: starting in the Middle Ages, tower guards kept a lookout over the city from this very spot for almost 450 years. I also just want to mention that if you’re scared of heights, you do have to climb up a spiral staircase to get to the top. I was even a little wary climbing down but I just took my time as there were no other tourists.
Enjoy a traditional lunch at Weisses Rössl
Located in the Old Town, Weisses Rössl is a family-owned inn and restaurant. It’s known for its traditional Tyrolean cuisine, like Tiroler Gröstl (sautéed meat and potatoes) and Kaiserschmarrn (famous minced pancakes). I decided on pasta instead (see below) but this is a very popular lunchtime option in Innsbruck.
Alternatively, feast on pizza or pasta at Vapiano on your Innsbruck day trip from Munich
So before this Europe trip, I’d never been to Vapiano before. There’s actually a franchise in Melbourne, but I never went there. Anyway, once I had my first Vapiano experience I was hooked and proceeded to have it whenever I stumbled upon it (like in Warsaw, Heidelberg and then Innsbruck).
They have English menus available and an extensive list of pizza and pasta options. There’s nothing quite like a comforting bowl of pasta on a freezing cold day in Innsbruck. Vapiano has good portion sizes and everything is cooked to order (you can even watch the chefs prepare your meal). So if you’re also craving pasta while visiting Innsbruck, check out Vapiano.
After lunch, I didn’t have too much extra time until I had to get the bus back to Munich, so that’s a wrap on my Innsbruck day trip from Munich.
I hope this post and these photos have convinced you to plan an Innsbruck day trip from Munich.
Speaking of the best day trips from Munich, if you have time I would also recommend heading to Salzburg in Austria for the day as well. I spent four nights there because I wanted to do a day trip to Hallstatt. Whichever Munich day trip you choose, I hope you enjoy your time in Austria!