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Popularly called the “Jewel of the Alps”, the Nordkette mountain range is a part of the  Karwendel Nature Park, which is Austria’s largest nature park. This range is located in the Austrian city of Innsbruck. 

All round year, the Nordkette mountain range makes for a wonderful destination for locals and tourists alike. With gorgeous panoramic views, multiple adventure sports and amazing weather, the Nordkette is certainly a place to visit. 


Here you can explore a complete guide to visit Nordkette.

Essential Information to Visit Nordkette Mountains


Nordkette is a mountain range located in the Austrian state of Tyrol, overlooking the city of Innsbruck, and is part of the Karwendel Nature Park.

Nordkette cable cars

Getting up to the range is quite simple, the cable cars provide the most convenient way to get up to the top. With three different cable railways, that are less than 30 minutes, transportation is straightforward. Modern architecture also plays a role in transportation. 

Zaha Hadid, a well-known architect has designed the Hungerburg funicular stations. These enable you to reach the Hungerburg in about 8 minutes. There are many stops along the way, including the Alpine zoo, which we will talk about in a bit. Once you’ve reached the Hungerburg, a short walk will take you to the cable car station. 


Parking at Nordkette is available at the City or Congress parking garage, where you can park for free from 8 AM until 6 PM when you purchase a ski ticket.


When planning a visit to the Nordkette Mountains, various tours and activities are available to enhance your experience. Expedia offers tours to Nordkette Mountains, allowing you to enjoy activities like skiing and exploring the mountain views and shops in this family-friendly area.

Musement provides tours and tickets for Nordkette, highlighting the fantastic views and numerous activities suitable for families and adventure seekers.

Innsbruck Tickets offers insightful tours to Nordkette, emphasizing its accessibility from the city center via cable car, breathtaking views, and activities like hiking, skiing, and paragliding.


The Nordkette has got pieces of history along the way as well. The Hermann Buhl square is dedicated to Innsbruck’s native, Hermann Buhl

He is often called the “mountain man”, due to his reputation of being an excellent mountaineer and climber. He specialised in the alpine style of climbing, where high mountains can be climbed with a one-line rope team. 

In 1957, Hermann Buhl went missing. He was climbing to reach the summit of Chogolisa, and unfortunately, fell. He has not been found since. The Hermann Buhl Square at the Nordkette is named after him. 

Another interesting piece of history is the cable railway museum. It is the lower station at the Nordkette. If you are someone who is fascinated by the story of the Nordkette Cable Railways, you must visit the museum. 

Cable car in Nordkette Mountains

It also gives you a glimpse into old Innsbruck. There is an authentic replica of the first cable car that went to the top of the mountain. This takes you back in time. 

Cultural Significance

The Nordkette Mountains hold cultural significance beyond their natural beauty and outdoor activities. The history of Nordkette dates back to the 1920s, making it an integral part of Innsbruck’s heritage and a significant attraction for both tourists and locals.

The modern architecture of the enclosures and cable cars in Nordkette, including the Hungerburg funicular designed by Zaha Hadid, adds a contemporary touch to the mountain experience, blending nature with innovative design.

Things to do in Innsbruck

While Innsbruck is known for landmarks like the “Goldenes Dachl,” the Nordkette mountains stand as a symbol of natural grandeur and adventure, embodying the spirit of exploration and outdoor pursuits in the region.

Hiking Trails

Nordkette Mountains offer a variety of hiking trails suitable for different skill levels and preferences.

Goethe Trail: This medium-difficult hiking route is known for its panoramic views and direct connection to the city of Innsbruck. The trail is technically easy and relatively low in altitude, with some sections secured by ropes.

Höttinger Trench or Höttinger Bach: This trail is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars and offers a scenic hiking experience. The trail is located at Roßfallweg 20, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Aussichtsplatz Steigerruhe: This trail is rated 3.5 out of 5 stars and provides a picturesque hiking experience. The trail is located at Rosnerweg, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Lawinendamm: This trail is rated 5 out of 5 stars and is known for its scenic beauty. The trail is located at Garneid 6, 6063 Rum, Austria.

Arzler Alm Trail: This trail is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars and offers a serene hiking experience. The trail is located at 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Perspektivenweg: This trail is rated 4.9 out of 5 stars and is known for its stunning views. The trail is located at 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Seegrube: This trail is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars and provides a rewarding hiking experience with captivating views. The trail is located at 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Things to Do in Nordkette

Skiing and Snowboarding

In the winter, skiing and snowboarding are extremely popular. There are 6 main slopes, that vary in difficulty levels. So, whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s a slope for everybody. 

Visit Nordkette Skylinepark

The Nordkette Skylinepark offers a snow park, which attracts several skiers and snowboarders. One of Europe’s steepest ski routes, the Hafelekar Run is located here.

With an incline of about 70%, this route is guaranteed to give you the free ride of a lifetime. If you are an advanced skier and are looking for a major thrill, the Hafelekar Run is for you. 

Slowing it down a bit, winter hikes for solo travellers, small groups or large families are also available. The Hafelekar, which is the top of Innsbruck is located at a height of 2300 metres.

You can take in the magnificent views of the mountain range, and watch the courageous skiers go about their routes. 

Innsbruck, Austria

Hand Gliding and Paragliding

If you’ve still got a thirst for adventure, Nordkette has you covered. In the Winter and Summer, hand gliding and paragliding also give amazing views.

With three designated take-off areas varying in height and distance, gliders can make their choice. This place does not hold back when it comes to an adrenaline rush!

things to do in Austria

Visit Alpine zoo

Now, adventure sports aren’t for everyone, and that’s okay. There are also activities that don’t make your heart beat a million times faster. The Alpine zoo is at the foot of the Nordkette, on the sunny side of the Inn Valley. 

Nordkette, Innsbruck

It is Europe’s highest-lying zoo, at a height of 750 metres. Getting there is easy, it is a short walk from the city centre. You can also take a bus if walking isn’t something you’d like to do. It is the perfect way to spend your day with your family. 

The zoo is huge, and variety is all you see. With 2000 animals and 150 species, you won’t be bored. You will certainly learn a thing or two on your visit to the Alpine zoo. 

Restaurants in Nordkette

Seegrub Restaurant

Let’s talk about food. The Seegrub restaurant at the Nordkette is high above the rooftops at the Innsbruck. Tyrolean cuisine is the speciality, and these come with breathtaking views of the mountain range.

At a height of 1905 metres, you’ll feel like you’re dining on top of the world. It is open all through the year and offers everything from breakfast to 4-course meals. You’ll never go hungry. 

Something unique that the Seagrub restaurant offers are the Nordkette picnic. You can book a picnic backpack in advance, pick it up from the restaurant and take it with you on your hike. It is the perfect little plan. 

Seebruge Restauraunt, Innsbruck

Cloud-9 Restaurant

The Nordkette has got the snow aspect covered, but it also has the sun aspect. From January to April, visitors can take in the sun in all its glory. The Norkette has its very own sun-terrace called “Cloud-9”. 

The name is very telling of how you will feel when you’re up there. With comfortable seating and drinks at the bar, it is just a place for some relaxation. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best time to visit Nordkette?

The best time to visit Nordkette depends on the activities you plan to engage in. For hiking, the late spring to early fall period is recommended, as the weather is pleasant and there is little precipitation.

If you are interested in skiing, the winter months are ideal. In July and August, the temperature is pleasant, and there is little precipitation, making it a good time to visit for both hiking and skiing.

How much time to spend in Nordkette?

The amount of time to spend in Nordkette can vary based on your interests and activities. For a comprehensive visit, allowing a full day is recommended to explore the mountain range, engage in activities like hiking or skiing, and enjoy the panoramic views.

Is Nordkette worth visiting?

Nordkette in Innsbruck is definitely worth visiting for its breathtaking views, outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and paragliding, as well as its modern architecture and rotating cable cars.

How much does it cost to visit Nordkette?

Visiting Nordkette comes at a cost, with a round trip to the Top of Innsbruck for an adult priced at €36.50. However, if you purchase the Innsbruck Card, which costs around €43.00, you can ride the cable car for free, making it a more economical option especially if you plan to visit other attractions as well.

However, for up-to-date information, I highly recommend you visit this website.


There’s something for everyone at the Nordkette. It is truly a place you must visit on your trip to Austria. It is a fantastic culmination of breathtaking views, Austrian culture and modern architecture. If you’ve been to the Nordkette, do tell me about your experience in the comments. 

If you’re planning to visit the Nordkette anytime soon, do tell me what you’re most excited about. Here’s another useful resource for you to explore amazing things to do in Austria. And if you want to know the best time to visit Austria, check out our article.

Hope you guys have a great day, and I’ll talk to you in the next one!

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