Going back to Innsbruck |

Returning to Innsbruck at this time of year has been enchanting. This small city, nestled between the soaring snow-capped mountains of the Austrian Alps has always had the ability to make one feel at home. And returning in the lead up to Christmas has been no exception.

Innsbruck is always wonderful for just wandering and exploring due to its relative smallness in size compared to other Austrian cites. The crisp winter air is perfect for grabbing a coffee and pastry from one of the many bakeries dotted around town and taking a walk along the river. Admire the array of pastel coloured building as you approach the Alte-Innbrucke Bridge and catch a glimpse of the glittering Swarovski Christmas tree at the Christkindlmarkt on Marktplatz.

From Marktplatz you can cross into the beautiful old town, where under the famous Goldenes Dachl you will find another Christkindlmarkt hosting more typical Tyrolean and Christmas themed delights, from driftwood angel sculptures to home made preserves, and of course more than enough glühwein to keep the chill at bay.

After the hustle and bustle of the Christmas markets its nice to take moment to relax with a warm drink or a glass of wine, and where better than at café 360°. Situated on the 7th floor of the Rathaus Galerien, it boasts a fantastic panoramic view of Innsbruck and its surrounding mountains from the comfort of a sophisticated café/bar.

Although Innsbruck is a thriving a city, It's also phenomenally easy to get near instant access out and up into the pastoral mountainside. To truly get a sense of this enchanting city, you need to get higher. There is a lovely little bandstand viewpoint next to Das Tirol Panorma on the South side of the city, and from there you can find a quiet leafy circuit around the Bergisel ski jump if you fancy a woodland walk. At the Bergisel itself those feeling up to the challenge can walk up its 455 steps, or instead you can also take a funicular and then a lift to the top. However you chose to get up there the views are more than worth the effort, and you can also reward yourself with a drink or meal in the restaurant.

Whatever time of year you find yourself visiting Innsbruck there is always something lovely to do, but Christmas is certainly one of the most magical times to be in a city like this one.

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