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Europe’s ski towns are scattered across the Alps and serve as ideal winter getaways for those living up north. Innsbruck, Austria is one of the favorites and one of the cheapest. It’s bigger than surrounding towns, with a larger population and thus a lot more to offer in terms of quality and prices.
Here are some tips for visiting Innsbruck on a budget:
1. Fly there
Innsbruck is one of the few ski towns with an airport, and in my opinion the only affordable one. Low-cost airlines fly in and out of the valley numerous times a day, which beats the frequent changes and possible weather delays travelers encounter when taking the train (and rarely are there special rail offers coming from surrounding countries).
2. Ski there
Another plus is Innsbruck’s convenient location to ski areas. Over a dozen different resorts surround the town and are accessible by car and public bus. Terrain varies from steep back country to easygoing trails and many freestyle parks.
Cheapo Tip: Buy the half-day tickets for the best rate. Rental stores are not only abundant, but also offer competitive prices.
3 Drink there
Innsbruck is one of those legendary European locations where beer flows cheaper than water, and I recommend taking advantage of it. Stiegl, Ottakringer, Zillertal and the local brewery Theresienbrau are some of the best beers on tap.
Beware, however, that Austrian beer sizes follow that of their Bavarian cousins: The average size is a half-liter stein.
4. Sled there
The old-fashioned wooden sleds are cheap, easy to handle and a lot of fun. Any winter sports rental store will carry sleds, and it’s a perfect activity for when the streets are snowed over. Watch out for the cars, stick to the daytime and bundle up—these mini race cars can move it!
5. Sleep there
On top of being a good deal for winter sports and food, Innsbruck has a lot to choose from for accommodation. There are a handful of Innsbruck hostels that stay cozy at a low cost and plentiful cheap hotels in Innbruck. Even bed and breakfasts can be found at a lower price than other more touristy Austrian ski towns. Do a search in the box above to see options.