Seefeld - Innsbruck Rail Excursion
Duration: full day
Innsbruck, the capital of the Tyrol, is a recommended train journey for anyone staying on the Seefeld plateau. Even car drivers should make the time to savour the rail trip, which winds through tunnels in rock faces, across gorges and drops 500 metres in altitude during the journey to the valley floor.
The villages with train access on the plateau are Scharnitz, Seefeld and Reith. Trains leave at roughly 90 minute intervals and the journey takes under an hour to arrive at the main railway station in Innsbruck (sit on the right going down for the best views).
There are four railway stations within the Innsbruck area - the easiest way to ensure that the main railway station has been reached is to stay on the train for a few minutes after it has stopped. The Hauptbahnhof (main station) is the end of the Seefeld line and the train will not move if it has arrived there!
The Hauptbahnhof is about 15 minutes walk away from the main tourist attractions in the city. Cross the road outside the main entrance and take any of the side roads leading directly way from the station (towards the west). These will eventually cross Maria-Theresien-Strasse, which is the main central street running from north to south.
At one end is the Triumphal Arch, built in the 18th century to commemorate the death of Maria's husband and the marriage of her son, and at the other, the historic pedestrian centre of the Altstadt ("old town"). In between, and on the side streets just off the main thoroughfare, lie many of the best shops in the city.
The tourist office is located just outside the pedestrian centre on Burggraben (to the right approaching the pedestrian centre from the Triumphal Arch direction). They sell the Innsbruck card, which gives free entry or reductions to many attractions for a 24, 48 or 72-hour period.
Many of the sights are located in the pedestrian centre - the Imperial Church ("Hofkirche"), Imperial Palace ("Hofburg"), Cathedral ("Dom"), and, of course, the Golden Roof ("Goldene Dachl") - a loggia looking out on the Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse whose roof is covered with 2657 gold-plated tiles. However time should also be taken to drink up the atmosphere of Innsbruck- either on the banks of the river Inn lined with the old merchants' houses, or in the imperial gardens opposite the palace.
A good way to see Innsbruck is from the top of the Stadtturm ("town tower") in the pedestrian centre near the Golden Roof. Outside the centre there are also great views from the top of the Hungerburg mountain railway or the Bergisel (site of the ski-jump and, as all local schoolchildren know, victories against the French in the days of Napoleon).
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