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Austrian Alps, Innsbruck

Known as a supreme centre for winter sports and nestled among the Austrian Alps, Innsbruck is the place to have your soul refreshed and your lungs cleansed with crisp mountain air. This gorgeous city is home to plenty of attractions besides snow-based pursuits: a maze of medieval streets house historical buildings and a lively cultural scene competes for attention alongside the party scene.

The capital of the state of Tyrol (also spelled Tirol), Innsbruck sits on the arm of western Austria that thrusts out to reach Switzerland, with Germany to the north and Italy to the south. It's nestled into a deep valley and surrounded by towering mountains. A reflection in a shop window, in view from your hotel balcony, or sneaking in as you marvel at the architecture, it's almost impossible to take a photograph without capturing the majesty of the Alps within the frame.

The city's attractions are clustered in the Old Town, and this is the place to book Innsbruck hotels to be at the heart of the historic centre. You'll find five-star hotels in this popular district, as well as a good number of mid-range accommodation, which offer facilities without frills.

Just across the Inn River from the Old Town are the districts of Mariahilf and Hotting, which offer more in the way of typically Alpine lodge hotels.

Several well-known brands have hotels in town. Check out offerings from the likes of Ramada, Hilton and Best Western.

The villages around Innsbruck are also popular with visitors who desire to have a view of Alpine meadows and winter-time snow-topped peaks. Consider Hall, Thaur or Igls, consider car hire to visit these villages.

Book hotels in Innsbruck to enjoy a diverse and delightfully different Austrian holiday destination: be sure to see the sights as well as the slopes and check out the folk art before forking out for catwalk-worthy fashion in the city's boutiques.

Top five attractions

The Golden Roof

One of Innsbruck's true landmarks, this seemingly-innocuous building sports a roof decorated with 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles. Try to look at it from the adjacent Stadtturm building to get the best view of this 500-year-old attraction.

Tyrolean Folk Art Museum

Get an insight into the heritage of Austria as well as challenging your mind with one of the finest museums of its genre. From the contemporary to the curious - this place has it all.

Hofburg Palace

Inside this hugely impressive building, you can hear informative English audio tours that provide information on Austria as well as Hofburg. The lavish rooms are a sight to behold but beware - strictly no photos inside.

Hungerburg Funicular

There are several ways to scale a mountain, but this has to be one of the best. Designed from the imagination of architect Zaha Hadid, you will find yourself in a tunnel, then crossing an imposing bridge before gently ascending the Seegrube in a spacious gondola with breath-taking views.

Hofgarten

On the outskirts of the Old Town lies this protected park in the style of an English landscape garden. Wander the dreamy paths, take a picnic under a tree or enjoy the popular garden café.

Events

Four Hills Tournament; January: A spellbinding contest that attracts the world's best ski jumpers. Feel the tension in the atmosphere as the competition unfolds around you.

Innsbruck Festival; August: Join the throngs of music purists as they flock to a multitude of stylish concerts and fringe performances.

Christmas Market; December: Young and old alike can get caught up in the joy of Christmas as tradition and shopping combine to deliver a purely magical experience