Today we spent a wonderful day using the Nordkettenbahnen to explore the mountainous district that towers above Innsbruck. We were able to catch a cable car right from city centre, at the Congress building station which then took us to the Hungerburg station, both very funky and modern looking stations.
From Hungerburg you were already able to see some beautiful views across Innsbruck and the surrounding mountains, at 860 metres above sea level. After a brief stop to take pictures we continued up to the Seegrube station, via cable car.
The views were really spectacular from this point, 1900 metres above sea level. The sun continued to shine and we spent a while walking around, taking in our surroundings. I felt incredibly content!
The Seegrube station has a restaurant and we had made a reservation for their jazz brunch. Throughout July and August they hold a jazz brunch every Sunday, from 11am to 1pm.
It was a buffet style brunch with a hot section with delicious sausages and bacon, a section with lots of meats and cheese and another with breads and spreads. There was a drinks station and a glass of prosecco was also included. The price was 32 euros per couple and I thought this was really fantastic value. We chose to sit inside as the sun was quite intense but it was a lovely atmosphere.
From Seegrube there is the option to go up even further by cable car, up to Hafelekar stop at 2200 metres above sea level. We decided against it. The cable car up to Seegrube had been very hot and I had felt quite sick as a consequence. I felt a belly full of food and prosecco wouldn’t help the situation and didn’t really want to spend any more time than necessary in a cable car.
Instead we headed back down and just by the Hungerburg station there was the alpine zoo, one of the highest zoos in Europe. Our ticket was included in the Innsbruck card (as was all the travel done on the Nordkettenbahnen) so today worked out really good value.
I enjoyed the alpine zoo but there were both positives and negatives about the experience. The zoo is quite a physically challenging zoo to get around, as being built into the mountain means there are a lot of steep hills. It was very hot weather when we went but I consider myself reasonable fitness and I struggled. Another negative for me is the majority of the animals displayed are birds. I found in a lot of enclosures I couldn’t see anything, it was just a bunch of trees.
However I also got to see animals I’m not so used to seeing in zoos, such as moose, wolves and bison. The enclosures allowed us to see the animals close up, which was amazing. They also had a really cool reptile enclosure of local snakes and lizards. They had a little cafe as well where we stopped for a drink and an ice cream and tried to cool down a bit.
We were hoping to be able to rent some bikes today, 3 hours free bike rental is included with the Innsbruck card, however due to the heat we decided against it. It was high 30’s and we didn’t think we’d feel that comfortable. The heat had made us a bit lethargic.
That evening for dinner we were quite tired and didn’t fancy going out to eat however due to it being a Sunday many shops were closed. That’s when its handy to be so close to the station, we popped in and grabbed some snacks and a kebab. A lovely Sunday all in all!