Riding the Hungerburgbahn in Innsbruck, Austria

With only 24 hours in Innsbruck, we didn’t really have any set plan in place for how we’d spend our time there. Instead, we decided to just show up and wing it! When we arrived, it was cloudy and a bit chilly so we spent the morning and early afternoon checking out places where we could spend most of our time indoors, like the Hofkirche and the Goldenes Dachl museum. But then Mother Nature decided to show us a little mercy and after lunch the clouds parted and the sun finally started shining. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with our few remaining hours of daylight – ride the funicular to Hungerburg!

Locally known as the Hungerburgbahn, the funicular is a railway connecting Innsbruck to Hungerburg in the Nordkette Mountains. Combined with the cable cars that carry on further up the mountain, it’s how skiers in Innsbruck reach the slopes. There are a couple different places where you can hitch a ride on the Hungerburgbahn – we got on at the station next to the Congress building and across from the Hofgarten in Old Town since it was closest to us.

Luckily, there was a person manning the desk when we arrived, because we noticed there seemed to be a practically unlimited number of ticket types that we could purchase – all going to different locations at different altitudes. Very confusing. We decided we had enough time to take the funicular and the cable cars, so we told the lady at the desk to take us straight to the top! She smiled and told us that would be €75 for all three of us. €75! After blinking at her open-mouthed for a few seconds, we regrouped and decided we would be perfectly content to end our trip in Hungerburg, where the funicular ends, for a much more reasonable €19 round-trip. We are cheap frugal travelers, after all.

Riding The Hungerburgbahn In Innsbruck, Austria

Riding The Hungerburgbahn In Innsbruck, Austria

Riding The Hungerburgbahn In Innsbruck, Austria

Riding The Hungerburgbahn In Innsbruck, Austria

The funicular leaves every fifteen minutes, so we didn’t have to wait long to get on. We chose the car in the very front so we’d be able to watch as we climbed the mountain. If you plan on taking photos during the ride, that’s where I would recommend sitting. Our ride began underground, but after a few minutes of weaving through tunnels, the funicular burst out into the sunshine. It was a beautiful ride up – we crossed over the Inn River and steadily climbed higher and higher, stopping a few times along the way, before reaching our destination in Hungerburg. At this point, you can go no further on the funicular. If you want to go higher up the mountain, you’ll need to buy separate tickets for the cable cars, available at the Hungerburg station if you didn’t purchase them at your starting location.

Riding The Hungerburgbahn In Innsbruck, Austria

Riding The Hungerburgbahn In Innsbruck, Austria

Riding The Hungerburgbahn In Innsbruck, Austria

Riding The Hungerburgbahn In Innsbruck, Austria

A wide viewing platform stretches the length of the station at Hungerburg, overlooking the Nordkette mountain range and the town of Innsbruck below. We had a beautiful, panoramic view of both the city and the Inn River from the viewing platform. Using the free telescopes, we were able to see everything in perfect detail, including the tips of the mountains in the distance.

The sun was just beginning to set when we were there, so any photos I took facing west had a hazy glow about them – not my favorite. I was a bit disappointed, but what can you do? It’s impossible to be everywhere on vacation at the perfect time of day. We still got some lovely shots, and when we were tired of standing and looking at the mountains (because honestly, how long can you stare at the same landscape?), we decided to take a walk through the town of Hungerburg.

Riding The Hungerburgbahn In Innsbruck, Austria

Riding The Hungerburgbahn In Innsbruck, Austria

Riding The Hungerburgbahn In Innsbruck, Austria

Riding The Hungerburgbahn In Innsbruck, Austria

We discovered that Hungerburg is way more than just a stop up the mountain for tourists and skiers. People actually live here! Can you imagine having the view from your breakfast table that the people in the house with the glass walls have? Incredible. I like to think the people I saw leaving their homes nestled among the pine trees, decked out in full ski attire, were those that had just come home from work and were trying to get a few hours of skiing in before the lifts shut down for the evening. (It’s probably not too far from the truth! If you live here, you’re literally minutes from the top of the mountain!)

Skiing isn’t the only thing you can do up here, though. We watched two hang-gliders weave over and around the snow-capped mountains and tried not to be sad that it wasn’t us. Hang-gliding is something we’ve both wanted to do for years. In fact, it was supposed to be Cory’s 30th birthday gift, but he’s now 32 and still hasn’t cashed in on that promise. One day!

The Hungerburgbahn runs in both summer and winter. Taking the funicular is also a good way to access the Alpine Zoo and a few hiking trails if you’re looking to get out of town for awhile. A ticket to Hungerburg will allow you to get off at any stop along the way and then continue on to Hungerburg when you’re ready. The last funicular back to Innsbruck leaves around 7pm, so make sure you don’t miss it!

Hungerburgbahn: Website
Address: Rennweg 3, 6020 Innsbruck

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Riding The Hungerburgbahn In Innsbruck, Austria

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  • Leah S.
    April 17, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    Beautiful photos!

  • Mandy Southgate
    April 14, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Oh my gosh, these photos are incredible! I went back and tried to spot the hazy glow but they just look perfect to me. I think you made the right choice going for the €19 option not the €75 one!!!

    • Sarah Shumate
      April 17, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      I didn’t post the ones with the hazy glow – it was too hard to distinguish what was in the pictures. :)

      €75…can you imagine?! Just to go up a mountain? Maybe if I were skiing it’d be worth it, but just to go up and take photos, no thank you.

  • Mrs. Match
    April 12, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Absolutely breathtaking! I would love to live in the mountains. I’ve always been a pretty big fan of the cold, but then again I’ve never lived in a snowy location before. I just can’t imagine getting tired of that view!

    • Sarah Shumate
      April 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      Lexie and Cory would LOVE to live somewhere cold. Me, I’d prefer the coast. :) London is about as cold as I’ll go for a long length of time, and it’s not even that cold here. I’m a wimp.

  • Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe
    April 11, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    I love riding on funiculars!! What beautiful views!!

    • Sarah Shumate
      April 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      This was my first time! I don’t think I’ve ever visited anywhere else that had one!

      • Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe
        April 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        Prague has one. It take you up to a gorgeous view over Prague! And it’s part of your regular transportation pass. We’ll go when we take that trip together! ;)

  • Alyx
    April 10, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Man! Those views are amazing!

  • Ashley | Domestic Fashionista
    April 10, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    So beautiful! And I am so impressed at the photos you were able to get on it! I love any type of tram that allows you to both site see but also have a new experience. In towns where you just cannot see it all, getting a glimpse of all it has to offer, is one of my favorite travel experiences!

  • Katrin
    April 10, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Oh wow, I could imagine living there. :) What a view! 75 euros seems a bit much for both rides! Sometimes things are just unbelievably expensive!

  • Mar
    April 10, 2014 at 1:47 AM

    Those mountains are beautiful! One of my favourite sights is snow covered mountains and a sunny blue sky.

  • Natalie
    April 9, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    Seriously gorgeous! What great life experiences and memories you are creating!

  • Quyen Nguyen
    April 9, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    There is nothing wrong with being a cheap traveler! :) Awesome place.

  • Stacie Stamper
    April 9, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    Love the views, I would never make it hang gliding, but this would be an awesome sight to behold from up top.

  • Jo
    April 9, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    O my word! The views! incredible!

    • Sarah Shumate
      April 10, 2014 at 7:39 AM

      You know, I really like living in London, but if I had to choose, I’d want to live near either the mountains or the coast just for views like these!

      • Jo
        April 10, 2014 at 7:57 AM

        The coast, hands down … only down side is that your windows get really dirty from the salt :)

        • Sarah Shumate
          April 10, 2014 at 8:17 AM

          Well, my windows are pretty dirty right now from pollution, so I’d say salt would be an improvement. :)

  • rorybore
    April 9, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    the views are incredible. I cannot imagine looking out at those mountains every day from my kitchen window. and being able to ski from your front door practically? what a life it must be.

  • Van @ Snow in Tromso
    April 9, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    Stunning views and pictures!! Unfortunately I didn’t know the Bahn existed when I was in Innsbruck. Must have been pretty awesome!