One of the great things about Innsbruck is that almost every corner you turn affords spectacular views of lofty Nordkette Range, the city’s natural skyscrapers. Walking, skiing, rock climbing or partying—urban meets outdoors in Tirol’s capital, where the Alpine playground of Nordkette, Seegrube and Hafelekar begins where the sidewalks end.
Standing guard over Innsbruck, the Nordkette Mountain Range offers skiing, hiking, fabulous views and more. Getting up is easy – a 20-minute ride speeds you from the heart of town up to the southern rim of lofty Karwendel Range. Stage one is Zaha Hadid’s space-age Nordkette funicular, a short ride to the Hungerburg station. Change at Hungerburg for the cable car to Seegrube, 1,905 meters above sea level. But don’t stop there. The next cable car continues to the top of Hafelekar: at 2,256 meters, the vistas are the sort enjoyed by mountaineers. Watching a continuous reel of premiere showings starring Innsbruck and Inntal Valley below will leave you breathless. If that’s not enough to slack your jaw, the Stubai and Zillertal Alps and Wipptal Valley as well as Karwendel Mountain Range will most certainly captivate you. When you have had your fill of one of Europe’s grandest panoramas, return to the city.
At all times of year, Nordkette is a popular Alpine playground for Innsbruck locals and visitors alike. In the summer months, you can see courageous downhill mountain bikers taking on the infamous Nordkette Singletrail, considered the most difficult trail of its kind in Europe, while rock climbers scale the area’s craggy faces and cliffs. In the winter, Hafelekar Gully rakes in hard-core honours for being one of Europe’s steepest trails. This is a no-fear zone for expert skiers and boarders only. Last but not least, the “Cloud 9” Igloo Bar at Seegrube is the highest nightclub in the Alps during the winter months—and the very place where all the cool kids meet to party hard after a long day of shredding.