The capital of Austria’s Tyrol region, Innsbruck gets its name from the Inn River, which runs through the city. Located in an Alpine valley between two large mountains, Innsbruck is the country’s fifth-largest city with a population of just over 130,000 people. Because of its location in the Alps, Innsbruck is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. The city and its surrounding area are home to several winter resorts. Innsbruck was also the location of the 1964 and 1976 Olympic Winter Games.
Flights to Innsbruck arrive at Innsbruck Airport, which is located in the nearby town of Kranebitten, about three miles from Innsbruck’s city center. Innsbruck Airport is the largest airport in the Tyrol region and in western Austria. Direct flights to Innsbruck, Austria, are available from several locations in Europe include Frankfurt, Germany; London, England; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Vienna, Austria. Passengers who fly to Innsbruck Airport can make connections there to regional flights that will take them to locations in the Alps.
As in many Austrian cities, visitors to Innsbruck will find that they don’t need a car to get around. Innsbruck is home to extensive public bus, trolleybus, and tram systems that connect the city to its surrounding suburbs and to the airport.
High-speed train service is also available from Innsbruck to other locations in Europe via Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof, the city’s railway station. One of the busiest train stations in Europe, Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof offers service to Italy and Germany through the Alps as well as to other cities in Austria.
Many of the people who fly to Innsbruck are winter athletes who come to the region to train. Because the city has hosted two Winter Olympic Games and several other large sporting events, it is still home to some of the infrastructure required by certain types of athletes to practice their sports. Among these are the Bergiselschanze ski jumping facility, a professional ice hockey rink, and several ski resorts that maintain competition-level runs.
Most of the people who fly to Innsbruck for business reasons work in the tourism industry, on which the city’s economy is based. Other important industries in the greater Innsbruck area include hydroelectric energy production, insurance and financial services, and medical device design and manufacturing. Innsbruck is also the home of the Swarovski crystal company, makers of fine glassware, jewelry, and gift items that are sold around the world.
Another reason travelers book cheap flights to Innsbruck is to attend one of the popular annual events hosted by the city. These include a large Christmas market; the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music, which features music written between 1500 and 1750 and draws visitors from across the globe; and the Bergsilvester New Year's Eve festival.
Perhaps the most unique annual event in the city is Towel Day, which is celebrated on May 25. On this day, fans of Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, carry a towel as described in the book. Adams supposedly came up with idea to write The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while he was visiting Innsbruck.