Innsbruck, Tyrolean capital, makes for both a perfect city break and a perfect ski break. Or you could just explore grand Habsburg palaces one day and ski the next, in this relaxed and exceptionally beautiful city surrounded by spectacular mountains.
The best places to stay in Innsbruck depend on why you're here, but there's plenty of choice, from grand dame hotels to city chic modern pads to ski lodges.
Innsbruck's medieval old town is fairytale perfection, with a grand Baroque cathedral, charming squares and the fancy palace. And the surrounding mountains, peaking at 2000m, help with the magical backdrop. In winter these are coated with a healthy layer of snow, but in summer they're fodder for cows with cowbells, whose milk probably goes into making delicious chocolate or something equally as charming.
The palace is called Schloss Ambras, beautiful on the outside, but also worth going inside - for the amour and the portrait collection. Around the palace you'll find several impressive churches; there's the St. Jacob Cathedral, the Hofkirche, with its tomb of Emperor Maximilian I, and other emperors in bronze and the Wiltener Basilika.
Then there's the museums. The Hofburg, a 15th Century castle made over by Empress Maria Theresia in the 18th Century, and now a museum, is definitely worth visiting - it's another castle with an impressive portrait collection. There's an Alpinist Association Museum, an Anatomical Museum, and several museums about Innsbruck itself. Innsbruck also has Europe's highest zoo, specialising in alpine animals.
All the main highlights of the old town are within an easy walking distance, but if you're staying for longer it's worth getting a grip of the local tram system.
Because of its proximity to the slopes, Innsbruck is actually classed as the largest ski resort in the Austrian alps. It's also twice been host to the Winter Olympics, so it's got pretty good facilities - including a spectacular, and famous ski jump - which also has its own cafe on top. The annual Ski Jump Context is a really popular event here.
This is a pretty big university town, which keeps the nightlife lively. You'll find there's more younger visitors in winter and older visitors in summer.
Funky, contemporary and modern hotel in Austria's skiing capital Innsbruck. Rooms comfortable, spacious, individually decorated and some have balconies and kitchen facilities. With a gym, ski storage, restaurant, bar. Eco-friendly with great views to the Tyrolean mountains. Good value.
In picturesque "Old Town" this 16th century property is close to the attractions of Innsbruck. A rooftop restaurant serves seasonal cuisine and features a cable car dining experience. Light filled rooms are furnished with pine furniture, fireplaces and huge modern bathrooms. There is also a spa.
Five Star luxury and Michelin award-winning cuisine. Rooms and suites blend contemporary comforts and elegant tradition. Beautiful restaurant setting and a casino. Italian design throughout. A sumptuous spot for the luxury traveller.
Chic, gourmet, and highly sophisticated. A contemporary style hotel with large sleek rooms and suites, two lively roof terraces, and fantastic breakfasts to top it all off. A trendy spot for couples.