Just try not to fall in love with the rainbow-coloured houses and mountainous landscape of Innsbruck, capital of the Tyrol state in western Austria. This incredibly photogenic city in the Alps is a top destination for winter sports, but there are plenty of activities in the summertime, too. Hiking, sightseeing and checking out the food scene should be at the top of your list.
Innsbruck was the location for the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics, and there are plenty of ski-themed sites to discover. One of these is the Bergisel Ski Jump, a tower designed by star architect Zaha Hadid. There’s even a restaurant at the top with stunning views of the mountains and town below.
For a sense of Innsbruck’s past, take a tour of the grand Hofburg Imperial palace. And the Goldenes Dachl, with its gold-tiled roof, is probably the most recognisable landmark in the city. This is the place where, in the 1500s, Emperor Maximilian I and his wife would stand to observe festivals and other events taking place in the square below.
Fresh produce, dumpling dishes and hearty meals dominate the cuisine in this region. To get a taste of what it's all about, head to a local restaurant and order speckknoedel (boiled bread dumplings filled with bacon) and kasspatzln (egg noodles mixed with cheese and fried onion). Finish off your meal with a kiachl (sugar-coated fried dough).