Matt and I went to Austria and Germany on our honeymoon and saw some amazing places, but Innsbruck was our favorite city that we saw! It was absolutely beautiful and so colorful, it wasn’t too crowded, and the backdrop of the Alps was spectacular. So it was the perfect place for our honeymoon photoshoot! We spent day exploring the pretty city, and if you’re looking for some sights to see, these are some of the beautiful historic sights you can see in old town Innsbruck!
History of Innsbruck
Innsbruck actually dates all the way back to the Stone Age! There were settlements in the areas for centuries, and in the 4th century, the Romans used the area as a military base. The town started being built up around 1180 when the Counts of Andechs acquired the area. The river and route through the Alps was vital for transport across the region, so Innsbruck was built up and became more populated. It became the capital of Tyrol in 1429, and Emperor Maximilian I lived in Innsbruck in the 1490s.
Historic sights in old town Innsbruck
There is SO much to see in old town Innsbruck! There are lots of walking streets with shops and restaurants (we may have done a little shopping while we were there). I loved the variety of colorful architecture, and it was cool to see the mix of everything from Renaissance to Victorian buildings. If you have time to meander around the streets and take in the sights, I recommend it!
The Hapsburgs began ruling the area in 1361, and they started purchasing land and buildings in Innsbruck. They built the Hofburg in the 1400s in the Baroque style, and later it was expanded and enlarged in the Gothic style. And even later, the style changed during the Renaissance period.
We didn’t have time to take a tour of the Hofburg (I want to go back for a tour though!), but we did get to check out the courtyard! And if you have time, there’s a cafe in the palace that I was told has some great cakes and pastries.
The Golden Roof
I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of the Golden Roof before we planned our trip, but it’s one of the most famous sights in Innsbruck! The Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl) is an ornate balcony in the old town. The building was constructed under Archduke Friedrich IV, and Emperor Maximilian I commissioned the balcony in 1493 from Nikolaus Turing the Elder, who added the 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles to the Golden Roof. Maximilian I and his wife would sit in the balcony and watch tournaments and events in the square below.
The Golden Roof is a very popular site in Innsbruck, so there was quite a crowd taking pictures below. It was near impossible to get a picture of the whole building without people in it, so you might want to try taking pictures of it from different angles.
Colorful houses of Innsbruck
I can’t write about Innsbruck without mentioning the colorful houses! This was the main attraction that I knew about Innsbruck before visiting, and it was amazing to see in person. Interestingly, I couldn’t really find any history of the houses, so I’m not sure when they were built. But I’m sure they’re at least a couple hundred years old!
The colorful houses are so pretty, and I love the backdrop against the Alps. I was hoping that you could see a reflection of the houses in the water, but sadly, it was pretty cloudy (I checked photos other people had taken and it always seems to be that color). But even if the river isn’t the prettiest, the houses and mountains make up for it!
If you’re taking a stroll through old town Innsbruck, these are the beautiful sights you can’t miss! If you have more time, Innsbruck does have museums to tour (and you can tour the Hofburg), so there are lots of things to do in this small city 🙂