In making my way from Scandinavia to the Balkans on my Blonde Gypsy Ambition Tour (yes, I’m still thinking about that mother of trip – it was a large one and there will probably be posts about it for years to come), I wanted to be more strategic about how I was going to get from Interlaken, Switzerland to Ljubljana, Slovenia. As I had a Eurail Global Pass at my disposal, it was important that I take full advantage of the unlimited travel in one day that it affords since I was passing through a couple of countries where train tickets are some of the most expensive on the continent. It was also important that I get between Interlaken and Ljubljana in a little under 30 hours which meant I’d have very limited time in every place I stopped on the way, particularly wherever I decided to stay overnight.
When looking at the map, it was a toss up between taking the southern, more direct route via Italy or the the northern, more Alp-y route via Austria. Lake Como or Milan could be pretty sexy but I knew I’d really regret giving myself just one evening in either, so the latter, seemingly more quiet route won. And as the largest city about halfway – one night in Innsbruck it would be.
Innsbruck is about as pretty as you can get for a city. As the capital of the Tyrol region, it has the same kind of beauty as Vienna though more compact and seated right at the foot of the glorious Austrian Alps. I can imagine a stay here for a few days in conjunction with some mountain excursions or skiing would make for one of the most aesthetically appealing European vacations 100% approved by the man, Clark Griswold himself. I, however, only had 16 hours to spend.
Sixteen hours and eight of which would be spent sleeping after a pretty intense travel day that included stops for a couple of hours in both Bern AND Zurich before arriving INNS the BRUCK.. Luckily I had anticipated this and did some research beforehand on a cool place to stay in order to get the most enjoyment out of my time there. Whereas I usually look at hotels/apartments/hostels as just a place to sleep and keep my things while I am out exploring a city, on some occasions like this, I like to look for a place that is more of an experience which is how I found The Penz.
Located right in the center of town and within walking distance of the train station, The Penz met all of my criteria for “Cool Hotels in Cool Places to Recommend to Cool People” (obviously if you’re reading this blog, you’re cool, so this means you). Sexy atmosphere, great location, comfortable beds, cool bar, amazing breakfast buffet. As Innsbruck’s first design hotel, its gorgeous glass design definitely stands out amongst the surrounding baroque and historical buildings, though fits right in with the modern architecture movement that has been growing there over the past fifteen years.
By the time I got all checked in and settled, you bet I was ready for a chilled glass of rosé before heading out to see as much of the city as I could before it got dark. In all honesty, I could have probably sat staring at the views from their rooftop bar for the rest of the day, the American Bar, but that would just be so…American of me. So I necked the glass as classy as I could and hit the streets.
With only one hour of sunlight left at most, all I could really fit in were some laps around the Altstadt (Old Town) and a stroll along the Inn River. I passed by the Hofburg Imperial Palace as well as the gothic Hofkirche. I looked at other tourists looking at Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof). I definitely felt enough Tyrolean vibes to satisfy my Western Austria wanderlust on this particular trainsetting mission.
One night in any city is never enough time to get to know it well, but who ever said you need to get to know every city well? Sometimes they are just as lovely to look at, like a painting. Innsbruck for me was a ‘painting city’ so whether or not I ever make a trip back to see all that I missed, I’m happy with the experience I had and will always say that one night INNS the BRUCK was just perfect for me.
Ever been perfectly satisfied with an extremely limited amount of time in one city? Any other ‘painting cities’ you recommend? And how random is it that Murray Head gives a shoutout to Tyrolean spas in “One Night in Bangkok”? This post was meant to be.
*Danke shön to The Penz for hosting me as a guest on my one night in Innsbruck. As usual, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.