By Plane -- Innsbruck's airport, Flughafen Innsbruck-Kranebitten, Fürstenweg 180 (tel. 0512/22525; www.Innsbruck-airport.com), is 3km (2 miles) west of the city. It offers regularly scheduled air service from all major Austrian airports, as well as from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Paris, and Zurich. Tyrolean Airways (tel. 51789) serves the airport exclusively, although some foreign carriers will charter flights.
The best gateways from New York are Frankfurt and Vienna (from there to Innsbruck on Tyrolean Airways). Flying time from Zurich and Frankfurt is 50 to 70 minutes. From the airport, bus F leads to the city center. Tickets cost 1.80€ ($2.90). Taxis take about 10 minutes and cost 10€ ($16) or more.
There are six car-rental kiosks at the Innsbruck Airport: Budget (tel. 0512/588468); ARAC Autovermietung (tel. 0512/206360); Avis (tel. 0512/5717540); Denzeldrive-National-Alamo (tel. 0512/582060); Hertz (tel. 0512/580901); and Sixt GmbH (tel. 0512/2929390).
To drive from the airport to downtown Innsbruck, take the Fürstenweg (which becomes Mariahilfstrasse) for 2km (1 1/4 miles), following the signs to Innsbruck Centrum.
By Train -- Innsbruck is connected with all parts of Europe by railway links. Trains arrive at the main railway station, the Hauptbahnhof, Südtiroler Platz (tel. 05/1717; www.oebb.at). There are at least five daily trains from Munich (trip time: 3 hr.) and eight daily trains from Salzburg (1 hr.).
By Bus -- Bus service to all Austrian cities is provided by both Postal Buses and Federal Railway Buses. You can take a bus from Salzburg, although the train is quicker. For information about various bus routings through Tyrol, call tel. 0512/585155.
By Car -- If you're driving down from Salzburg in the northeast, take Autobahn A8 west, which joins Autobahn A93 (later it becomes the A12), heading southwest to Innsbruck. This latter Autobahn (A93/A12) is the main artery from Munich. From the south, you can take the Brenner toll motorway.
A network of three tram and 25 bus lines covers all of Innsbruck and its close environs, and buses and trams use the same tickets. Single tickets in the central area cost 1.70€ ($2.70), and a booklet of four tickets goes for 5.70€ ($9.10). The tram is called either Strassenbahn or Trambahn. On the left bank of the Inn, the main tram and bus arteries are Museumstrasse and Mariahilfstrasse. On the right bank, trams and buses aren't routed into the pedestrian zone, but to their main stop in Marktgraben. For information about various routes, call the Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe (tel. 0512/5307102; www.ivb.at). Most tickets can be purchased at the Innsbruck tourist office, tobacco shops, and automated vending machines. A tageskarte (day pass) is available only from the tourist information office, tobacco shops, and cafes. A 24-hour pass costs 3.80€ ($6.10).
Postal Buses leave from the Autobushof (Central Bus Station), adjacent to the Hauptbahnhof. Here buses head for all parts of Tyrol. The station is open Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 6pm and Saturday from 7am to 1pm. For information about bus schedules, call tel. 0512/585155.
Taxi stands are scattered at strategic points throughout the city, or you can call a radio car (tel. 0512/5311). For a nostalgic ride, you can hire a fiaker (horse-drawn carriage) from a spot adjacent to the Tiroler Landestheater, Rennweg; clip-clopping along costs around 30€ ($48) for 30 minutes.
You might consider renting a bike at the Hauptbahnhof. Rentals cost 24€ ($38) per day. You can return these bikes to any rail station in Austria if you don't plan on returning to Innsbruck. Rentals are available from April to early November only. For more information, call Radsport Neuner (tel. 0512/561501; www.radsport-neuner.com).
Although you can make a better deal renting a car before leaving North America, it's also possible to rent cars in Innsbruck. You might try Avis, Salurner Strasse 15 (tel. 0512/571754), or Hertz, Südtirolerplatz 1 (tel. 0512/580901), across from the Hauptbahnhof. Although paperwork and billing errors are harder to resolve whenever you rent from a non-U.S.-based car rental outfit, you might also check the rates at local car outfitter, Ajax, Defreggerstrasse 8 (tel. 0512/341385).
The center of Innsbruck is peppered with parking lots, many concealed underground. One of the largest and best positioned is at the Tourist Center, Salurnerstrasse 15 (tel. 0512/572353). It charges 2.20€ ($3.50) per hour, day and night. Otherwise, parking in the city center's short-term parking zones (marked by special signs) is 1.10€ ($1.80) for each 30 minutes. Parking within these zones is limited to a maximum of 120 minutes. If you're parking in a limited-parking zone, you must purchase a voucher (sold at banks, gas stations, or tobacconists). Write down the time you parked the car, and place the voucher on the dashboard inside the windshield.
The main street of the Altstadt (Old Town) historic district is Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse, which becomes Maria-Theresien-Strasse, the main axis of the postmedieval New Town. Altstadt developed on the right bank of the River Inn, site of the baroque and medieval buildings that give the city its architectural flair. To the south, Altstadt's boundaries end at Burggraben and Marktgraben. After 10:30am, it becomes strictly pedestrian, but that's all right, since the best way to see that part of Innsbruck is on foot.
Most of your explorations will be in Altstadt because (with a few exceptions) the New Town contains mostly residential neighborhoods. The dividing line between the old and new towns is Egger Lienz Strasse.
The Inn River divides this historic city into left- and right-bank districts, and many of the attractions, including the Hofkirche and the Goldenes Dachl, are on the right bank (in Altstadt). There are two major crossing points over the river: the Universitätssbrücke and the Alte Innsbrücke.
If you arrive at the Hauptbahnhof (main railway station), take Salurner Strasse and Brixner Strasse to Maria-Theresien-Strasse, which will take you into the very heart of Innsbruck.
The Innsbruck Tourist Office, Burggraben 3 (tel. 512/59850; www.innsbruck-tourism.at), is open daily 8am to 6pm. You can stock up on printed information about Innsbruck (and other parts of Tyrol) and ask questions about virtually any touristic feature of the town.