Innsbruck has everything a lively, vibrant city needs, and yet it is just a ten-minute journey into the high mountains which dominate the skyline.
Innsbruck’s residents like to say that the regional capital of Tirol is, in fact, nothing more than an oversized village. This reflects both their pride and love for the fourth-largest city in Austria and their self-deprecating humour and natural reluctance to get too big-headed about the place they call home.
The fact is that Innsbruck is small enough to get around on foot, yet large enough to be expanding outwards towards the villages on its periphery. Innsbruck is small enough for the petty bourgeoisie, yet large enough to satisfy the joie de vivre of 30,000 students and house a diverse arts scene and numerous restaurants catering for a wide range of tastes and interests.
When the working day is done, many locals hop on their mountain bike and ride up to one of the nearby huts overlooking the city. In winter you may well meet somebody during a ski tour and then see them again the same evening at the opera in the Tiroler Landestheater or dancing the night away to a band or DJ playing in one of the many clubs under the railway arches.
Innsbruck has everything which a modern city needs – and yet it is so compact that the funicular railway in the centre of the city will whisk you up into the high mountains within just 10 minutes.