Innsbruck Diaries: Of Church Bells, Tram Bells, and Cow Bells in the Mountains

Although we found it difficult to leave the pretty Ferienhaus Panorama every morning, and looked forward to returning to the apartment in the evening, it was a joy to discover the sights and sounds of Innsbruck during the day.

The highlights of our trip included our first visit to a Bell Museum, a wonderful tour of the Tram Museum and a spectacular journey up the mountain by the Nordkettenbahnen.

Grassmayr Bell Museum:

Ding Dong Bell!

The Grassmayr family, with a 400-year old bell-making tradition, has vast experience in the domain, and the bells cast in their foundry toll far and wide. This small and unique museum showcases bells of various sizes and outlines the history and process of bell-making.

We were fascinated by the Sound Room, where Junior explored the cling-clang tones to his heart’s content, and the Foundry, where the castings take place.

LocalBahn Museum (Tram Museum):

Ring The Tram Bell!

We LOVE trams! Especially, the charming historical cars, with a bell to alert others of its presence.

The LocalBahn Museum (at a picturesque location at the foot of the hills) has several such trams for your viewing pleasure! We enjoyed the experience of being able to enter a Tyrolean tram, walk inside it, touch the controls, ring the bell! Junior was on cloud nine, it was his day! As a bonus, we even got the opportunity to ride one of these trams for a city tour – could we ask for more?

These old trams are restored and maintained by a non-profit society, and they are doing a commendable job.

Up in the Mountains, Nordkettenbahnen:

Ding Dong Moo! The Sound of Cow Bells in the mountains 🙂

The majestic mountain ranges around Innsbruck beckon one and all. And for the folks who are not of the “mountaineering” mindset 🙂 (we belong to this group), the Nordkettenbahnen offers a simple and exciting way to head to the summit and admire the splendid vistas.

A 3-step journey (in a funicular and 2 cable cars) can transport you from Innsbruck city to a height of 2256 m in the mountains in approximately 20 minutes. Needless to say, a complete change of scenery. And what a change it is!

From Innsbruck’s old town to Hungerburg, Seegrube, and finally, Hafelekar, the Nordkettenbahnen took us on a journey that we will not forget. At every halt, we were treated to gorgeous city views and spectacular sights of the mountains and valleys. At Hafelekar, we hiked the short distance to the mountain top, with Junior enthusiastically marching ahead. In fact, it took us considerable effort to convince him to join us on the descent. He was keen on staying at the summit! Cafes, play areas, mountain goats and cows were part of the thrilling experience.

A trip in winter would offer a completely different perspective.

Late that evening, back at Ferienhaus Panorama, we gazed at Nordkette from the balcony, grateful for the experience, creating memories for a lifetime.


Useful Information:

– We bought the Innsbruck Card, which includes free travel on public transport and discounts on museums and other attractions.

– Where we stayed: Ferienhaus Panorama


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