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Innsbruck: snow activities and an outing to Venice

Santiago, Chile
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Innsbruck: snow activities and an outing to Venice

Hi,

I will be in Innsbruck for about 10 days starting the 6th of February. I have already posted a few questions about getting there by train in the Paris forum. I have a few questions about the town itself.

I live in Santiago, Chile, and I've got 3 ski centers 40 minutes from my front door. It's not at all uncommon just to hitch a ride up during the ski season, rent some equipment and have some fun.

1) Can the same be done in Innsbruck? By "the same" I mean: find cheap, regular, no-reservation-needed transport, cheap ok-quality (high quality would be lost on me since I have little experience) snowboarding equipment (boots, gloves, goggles, trousers and board), and a reasonably-priced learner's slope? How much do you think I might have to spend to do this for one day?

2) Would a train trip from Innsbruck to Venice be feasible? How far in advance might I have to book it?

3) This might be best posted in the Venice forum, but would a train trip through Milan-Turin-Lyon to Paris be feasible? By feasible I mean not too out of the ordinary in terms of routes. It might be nice to vary my route back to Paris.

4) Any other suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Santiago, Chile
7 posts
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1. Re: Innsbruck: snow activities and an outing to Venice

Sorry for replying to my own post, but this page (oebb.at)

http://tinyurl.com/9pvpp

lists the trip time as 5 or 6 hours. Unfortunately I couldn't find any prices. Any estimates?

Thanks.

d.

Indiana
2 posts
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2. Re: Innsbruck: snow activities and an outing to Venice

It has been a couple years since I was there. Yes there are buses that run to the ski areas, these can be boarded several places in town. Price?? Can't recall if it was free or a small fee. Yes anything can be rented at the ski resort. I have found all equipment to be top of the line and or new, but affordable to rent. I found that the train was an over night trip at best, and expensive. I took a bus trip offered at the hotel for a full one day trip. I have done this every time I visit and had serveral hours in Venice. I also took day trips to castles in Germany and St. Mortiz Switzerland for shopping and sking. I am returning to Innsbruck this Feb. please forward any comments on your trip.

Mannheim, Germany
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for Zurich, Mannheim
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3. Re: Innsbruck: snow activities and an outing to Venice

Hi,

Innsbruck is right at the foot of several mountains that have large skiing areas on them (when you are in the center you have to tilt your head up high enough and then you will see the skiing areas). Patscherkofel south of the city is the site of Olympic skiing runs, and of course the skiing area is accessible by cable car. One of the city tram lines is going from the center to the bottom station of the Patscherkofel cable car. Another tram line goes to the bottom station of the Nordkette cable car. You can imagine that a city tram ride won't take too long. For the tram and bus network of Innsbruck see www.ivb.at.

Renting trousers might be a problem - most people have their own, they can be quite cheap. As to the rest, a board, boots and goggles can be rented anywhere on short notice.

A train from Innsbruck to Venice is not really a problem, there is a connection every 2 hours, some of them direct, others with change in Verona. Takes about the same time. I don't know the cost, you can just look up the cost within Austria on OeBB (www.oebb.at) from Innsbruck to Brenner and at Trenitalia (www.trenitalia.it) from Brennero to Venezia S. Lucia. Add the prices together and you get the upper limit of the ticket price. However, you will need 5-6 hours one way, so it is definitely not a day trip. Don't believe when the hotel advertises the bus trip; first, you will see Venice for 2-3 hours, which means you won't see anything; and secondly, the Brenner pass road is notorious for it's traffic jams and slow lorries that go up at 50 km/h and block the traffic.

The Venice-Milan-Turin-Paris trip is not only feasible, it is the shortest route by train. There are several daily TGV connections from Milan to Paris via Turin, which need about 6 hours. Add 2.5 hours for Venice-Milan.

If you want to break up the trip I would suggest going a slight detour, take a train from Milan to Visp or Brig (in Switzerland) and go to Zermatt or Saas Fee for a day. Then return to Visp. From there you are in 1 h in Lausanne, which has regular TGV connections to Paris.

I hope you enjoy your trip - you have planned quite a lot.

Wichita, Kansas
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4. Re: Innsbruck: snow activities and an outing to Venice

Excellent advise from “altamiro”

The three main ski areas around Innsbruck are Nordpark, Patscherkofel and Axamer Lizum. Nordpark has limited beginner’s areas so Patscherkofel would be a good slope to start at. General information can be found at www.ski-europe.com/resorts/innsbruck.php

There is a very good overview map at: alpineskimaps.com/htm/…holidayvillage.html

You can reach Nordpark by taking the #1 Tram to the north turn around point and then ride the Hungerburg Funicular Railway and the Nordkette Cableway. http://www.nordpark.at/en/index.html

The Skiers bus or Tram J goes from downtown to the Parscherkofelbahn cable car and the Olympic Express chairlift at Patscherkofel in Igls. At Patscherkofel you could also take a bobsled ride down the Olympic run for 30 € each. http://www.patscherkofelbahnen.at/start.htm

Axamer Lizum is reached by Skier bus. http://www.axamer-lizum.at/winter/index.htm

Inquire at you hotel about equipment rental locations.

Avoca, Australia
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5. Re: Innsbruck: snow activities and an outing to Venice

Also take the train to Seefeld (about 20 minutes).

Santiago, Chile
7 posts
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6. Re: Innsbruck: snow activities and an outing to Venice

pvand: Good to hear that about the skiing experience. I will look into travelling to Venice by bus, in case it is cheaper. I had not thought of the option of day trips into CH and DE; thinking in terms of small European countries gets taking used to, I suppose.

altamiro: Thanks, it seems like getting to the ski centers will be no problem at all. Regarding the trousers, if you say renting that part of the kit is not so common, I may take my own, though these redefine the concept of "cheap"; they were bought at a local supermarket for peanuts, and will keep you dry as long as you don't spend too much time sliding down the mountain on your backside. I wanted to avoid taking them for bulk, but it's one thing vs. the other.

Thanks for the tip regarding the split train service to Venice. Looking up a random train from Brenner to Venezia, I see that the price is €24 and it takes 5-6 hours, no problem. Innsbruck to Brenner is 45 minutes at €6.50 or so. Given your advice on the road pass into Italy, I will probably overlook the bus.

Great tip on the TGV, thanks.

Regarding your suggested detour, I may consider it, though I may feel more comfortable spending more time in Italy. I don't know italian, but I speak spanish and french, and would probably have less of a language problem there (also I feel closer to the culture). Would you say that in mid-winter, Switzerland is a better destination (sights, activities, experience) than the north of Italy?

doubg: Thanks for the links and tram info. I hadn't thought of asking at the hotel. Also, the people I am going to see will doubtless have advice on this, too.

blutek: Thanks, is there anything in Seefeld that you think I shouldn't miss?

Thanks everyone!

Santiago, Chile
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7. Re: Innsbruck: snow activities and an outing to Venice

I have another question. My contact in Innsbruck has just told me that he has set up a reservation at the Kolpinghaus-Innsbruck. I couldn't find it on TA, and it's web page is a spartan foray into the wonderful world of the World Wide Web circa 1995:

http://www.kolpinghaus-innsbruck.at/

Any comments?

d.

Mannheim, Germany
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8. Re: Innsbruck: snow activities and an outing to Venice

> altamiro: Thanks, it seems like getting to the ski centers will be no problem at all. Regarding the trousers, if you say renting that part of the kit is not so common, I may take my own, though these redefine the concept of "cheap"; they were bought at a local supermarket for peanuts, and will keep you dry as long as you don't spend too much time sliding down the mountain on your backside. I wanted to avoid taking them for bulk, but it's one thing vs. the other.

Oh well, I mean for skiing it wouldn't be a problem at all, but boarders (maybe only here) have an awful habit of stopping at the steepest, narrowest place of the prepared slope and sitting in the snow there. I guess, for this your trousers might need additional padding :-)

> Regarding your suggested detour, I may consider it, though I may feel more comfortable spending more time in Italy. I don't know italian, but I speak spanish and french, and would probably have less of a language problem there (also I feel closer to the culture). Would you say that in mid-winter, Switzerland is a better destination (sights, activities, experience) than the north of Italy?

OK, I'm biased. Zürich is a nice city and many other towns are equally or even more beautiful, but culturally, I think Northern Italy might provide slightly more. Landscape-wise Switzerland offers more, I think. You might try to combine both (if you take the route via Brig) to be able to compare. In summer I would seriously consider Switzerland to be better for visiting.

If you go along the suggested route, Brig is a German-speaking area (well, kind of...) but 20 km down the valley French is spoken. If you take a postal bus into one of the branch valleys from there you might find a slightly less touristy and nicer setting for a day than in Zermatt, with an additional advantage (for you) of speaking French. I recommend Grimentz, in Val d'Anniviers...