Innsbruck - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Innsbruck


Though less well-known than Vienna and Salzburg, Innsbruck is one of Austria's largest and most interesting cities, home to more than 100,000 people. Despite its size though, the Alpine city oozes small-town charm and makes a great base for exploring the many popular mountain and ski resorts in the Alps. Visitors to Innsbruck will be struck by its picturesque location, affording spectacular views of the region, and by the dazzling displays of sparkling stones at Swarovski Crystal World, one of its most popular attractions.

Established in the Stone Age, Innsbruck has at various times been the property of Rome, Bavaria, Germany and finally Austria. The capital of the Tirol province, the city's beautiful buildings are reminders of its history with Renaissance-style castles, Baroque cathedrals and Gothic monuments, including the Imperial Palace, Ambras Castle, and the Cathedral St Jacob.

There is much to see and do in Innsbruck. The city boasts a number of museums dedicated to art, history and science; many parks and zoos; and plenty of shopping malls and markets. Innsbruck is the cultural heart of the Austrian Alps, and hosts a world-class opera along with a wide range of restaurants, live music venues, bars and clubs. The two universities and numerous colleges in town ensure a lively nightlife.

For many tourists, however, Innsbruck is simply a port of call on the road to the powdery slopes of the Alps. Its location near Alpine ski resorts like Kaunertal, Stubaier and St Anton. Innsbruck has hosted the Winter Olympics twice, and sponsors many winter sports events each year.

Information & Facts

The official language in Austria is German.

The unit of currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. Currency can be exchanged at banks and bureaux de change available in all towns, but it may be easier to use the ATMs. Banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays, but exchange offices at airports and major city rail terminals are open seven days a week. Major credit and debit cards are widely accepted though some small hotels and restaurants may only accept cash. Travellers cheques are also accepted.

Local time in Austria is GMT +1 (GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).

Guarded by a water-spouting giant, Swarovski Crystal World is one of the most popular attractions in Tirol. The museum is underground, featuring14 interconnected rooms with an eclectic multimedia gallery showcasing dazzling work by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, and Marc Chagall, among others, all featuring the distinctive glint of the famous Austrian crystals. Another popular sight is the largest crystal in the world, located in the first room. Just a 15-minute drive from Innsbruck, Swarovski is one of the city's most popular excursions. The Swarovski Crystal World gift shop has an equally sparkling array of souvenirs available at lower prices than in town, with the opportunity for a tax rebate for foreign visitors.

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