Just when I thought I couldn't choose my favorite city in Europe, I discover in the heart of the Alps Innsbruck, Austria.
My journey started with taking a flixbus (really cheap way of traveling around Europe, I recommend it) from Bolzano straight to Innsbruck. I was traveling with my good friend and fellow Au Pair Raelene. Getting to Innsbruck was a breeze but getting back was total chaos, but more on that later. Also, all photos credit to Raelene Samuelson and my dead iPhone.
Things we did and what we saw
- The Golden Roof: This is considered Innsbruck's most iconic landmark in the Old Town. Built in 1500 as a wedding present for Emperor Maximilian and Bianca Sforza. The roof was used to watch festivals and shows in the old town and is made with 2,657 cooper tiles.
- Colorful houses of Nordkette: If you type in Innsbruck Austria into Google Images, you'll see an array of colorful houses along a river. It's right next to the old town and it's worth going over and admiring the view!
- Cathedral of St.James: Anytime I see an old church, I make sure to walk in. This is by far my favorite old church ever and you can see why in the pictures. The cathedral was built in 1717 and is considered one of the most important buildings in Tyrol.
- City tower: Built in the 1400s, this observation deck has a beautiful view of Innsbruck and is totally worth the four euros it took to get up there! It's also a great workout climbing the stairs to the top!
- Swarovski: The diamond and crystal store also doubles as a cool display! Swarovski is based in Austria so they went all out with this store! Plus it's a little fun to look at $15,000 crystal bird statues and wonder who would buy something like it.
- Eat all the strudel you can: At any cafe you go to you'll be able to find strudel which is a dessert common in Austria. Comparing it to a toaster strudel doesn't do it justice! Eat all the strudel you can (with vanilla ice cream)
After a long day of seeing all that we could before having to catch the bus back, we finally see our flixbus arrive. Only problem was our ticket back to Bolzano was for the next day. This was all happening at 8:30 and it takes two hours to get back to Bolzano so needless to say, Raelene and I freaked out a little. I asked the driver if I could just buy two tickets for this bus but he said no (still bitter). So Raelene looked up the train schedule and saw a train for Bolzano leaving at 9. It was 8:40 at this point. If we didn't make the train, our last resort would be a bus leaving at 11:30 pm and getting back at 1 am. We ran to the train station, bought a ticket, and ran to the train terminal (yes we actually ran)
On the bright side, I got to ride my first train and see an incredible city that will always have a special place in my heart!