When our daughter turned five months old, we decided to pack our bags and head for a one-week hiking trip to Austria with our baby. It was our first vacation as a family, and we wanted it to be a mix of exploring nature and enjoying the perks of city life.
Where better to stay than Innsbruck – the capital of the Alps. Always surrounded by mountains, we had dozens of shops and restaurants right at our doorstep in the historic old town while being only a short cable car ride away from taking long hikes with breathtaking views. It was ideal for new parents traveling with a baby for the first time.
What can we say: our family trip to Austria was a huge success and we can highly recommend coming to Austria with a baby or toddler.
Innsbruck, Austria with a Baby
- Getting to Innsbruck with a Baby or Toddler by Train
- Where to Stay in Innsbruck with a Baby
- Getting Around Innsbruck with a Baby or Toddler
- Tips for Family Vacation Austria
- Best Things to do in Innsbruck with a Baby or Toddler
- Explore Innsbruck Old Town
- Best Baby Friendly Hikes Around Innsbruck
- What with a Baby or Toddler in Innsbruck on a Rainy Day?
- What to Pack for Austria with a Baby or Toddler
- Final Travel Tips for Innsbruck with a Baby or Toddler
- Other Best Places to Travel with a Baby
- Pin It For Later!
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Getting to Innsbruck with a Baby or Toddler by Train
On our way to Innsbruck, we stopped in München for a night. It is easy to reach Innsbruck from there via eurocity train. There are frequent direct connections that take less than two hours. Plus, children up to 14 years travel free of charge.
Travel Tip: Reserve your seats in advance to benefit from cheaper ‘Sparpreis’ tickets. Note that they are usually train-specific and non-refundable. If available, choose seats in a family cabin or parent-and-child compartment to travel more comfortably on your family trip to Austria.
Where to Stay in Innsbruck with a Baby
We stayed at the Hotel Innsbruck in the heart of the old town. It took us 15 minutes to walk with our bags and travel stroller from the main train station to our hotel. It is also possible to take a tram or taxi.
From our hotel room at the Hotel Innsbruck, we had a beautiful view on the river Inn and some mountains covered by fog. A baby cot was provided for us free of charge. If your hotel doesn’t provide a baby bed, here are the best baby travel cribs.
We especially enjoyed the breakfast buffet and relaxing in the indoor pool after a long day of hiking.
Babies are allowed to enter the pool under adult supervision and our daughter had much fun splashing water at us.
Our baby sleeps early and thanks to the Baby Monitor 3G app, one of the best baby monitor apps, we could spend our evenings at the nearby hotel bar. For bigger families, it might be more comfortable to rent an airbnb apartment with multiple rooms.
Either way, we always recommend staying in the center of Innsbruck for Austria family holidays because you have access to a lot of restaurants and shops in walking distance and can easily reach the nearby mountains.
Getting Around Innsbruck with a Baby or Toddler
We relied only on public transportation for our family holidays to Austria. There are many bus and tram lines connecting the city center with nearby attractions and hiking destinations.
Your accommodation will give you a Welcome Card plus when staying at least three nights, which gives you access to free public transportation for the duration of your stay and free rides with selected cable cars and lifts. We planned our hikes around these options.
If you are wondering if you need a travel car seat for Austria, it’s best to bring one. It is required by law in Austria to secure anyone under the age of 14 with an appropriate child safety seat in cars.
Just to be on the safe side, we brought our Joie i-Snug baby car seat which fits on our stroller with an adapter. For those above nine kilos, the urban kanga car seat is a good alternative. It is portable and foldable and safes you the worry about whether or not your taxi or private transfer will remember the requested child seat (the WayB Pico is a good choice if shopping from the US). We bring it on all vacations since our daughter outgrew her baby seat.
Tips for Family Vacation Austria
Does a baby carrier or stroller work best in Innsbruck?
The city center of Innsbruck can easily be explored by stroller. Even the walk from the train station to the city center is stroller friendly.
However, some of the most scenic trails up in the mountains are only partly or not at all accessible with a travel stroller. Taking only a baby carrier for travel opens the door to a lot more hiking trails. We used the Marsupi and the Koala Cuddle Band. If we had to choose between bringing a stroller or a baby carrier for family holidays to Austria, we would always choose the baby carrier.
Changing diapers on the go!
It is easy to find changing tables in the city center, for example in the shopping center Kaufhaus Tyrol. Most mountain huts offer changing tables. When travelling in summer like us, the easiest option is to bring a portable changing pad and change diapers anywhere.
How accessible is baby food in Austria?
You do not have to worry about this at all when staying in the city center of Innsbruck. It is possible to buy baby food, formula, and diapers in the central dm, Rossman shops or in pharmacies. However, there is a much bigger variety of options in the shops and it is usually much cheaper.
Where to eat with a baby in Innsbruck:
Most cafés and restaurants in the center are happy to welcome young families, though not all offer high chairs. So you might want to pack your own travel high chair if your baby is eating solid foods on vacation. Some restaurants in mountain huts have great kids play areas. The most baby friendly hut that we visited was the Roßkugelhütte.
Best Things to do in Innsbruck with a Baby or Toddler
Explore Innsbruck Old Town
When taking a stroll in the historic old town, you truly feel like you travelled back in time. Many of the buildings have been there more than half a millennia.
Make sure to admire the Golden roof. It was built by the Emperor Maximilian I and is the landmark of the city.
It doesn’t take more than an hour to see all of Innsbruck’s old town. That is, if you do not stop in one of the countless small cafés and restaurants on the side of the street. And that would be a shame, as you can witness the hustle and bustle around you while peacefully sipping a coffee, tea or Almdudler – a popular Austrian soft drink.
Best Baby Friendly Hikes Around Innsbruck
We loved hiking with a baby in Austria. If you have a similar trip planned including hiking with a baby or toddler around Innsbruck, be sure to check the website of the cable cars and mountain huts when planning your hikes. Some cable cars only operate on certain days of the weeks, in certain seasons or on good weather days.
1. Hiking in Oberperfuss / Rangger Köpfl with a Baby or Toddler
To reach the destination of our favorite hike around Innsbruck, we took a bus from Innsbruck Finanzamt to Oberperfuss Rangger-Köpfl-Lift. The ride takes about half an hour and brings you right to the cable car. When presenting your Welcome Card plus, you can access the cable car for free.
First, the Achtergondelbahn Peter Anich takes you to Stigelreith (1363m), from where another cable car brings you to the top, Sulzstich (1560m). It is about a 40 minute walk up to the Roßkugelhütte and it is possible to walk it with a stroller. Some families choose to take a break at the hut and hike back to the cable car.
We headed further up the mountains, passing by lots of cows and unstaffed huts while our baby was in our baby hiking carrier, sleeping peacefully most of the time. Occasionally we stopped to breastfeed her with the most amazing views.
On our way back, we passed by the summit cross of Rangger Köpfl at 1939m. From there, we hiked down the beautiful Alpenrosensteig, which offers amazing views. You will need a baby carrier for this path. We took a late lunch at the Roßkugelhütte. It was probably the most baby friendly hut we encountered in our Austria family holidays and we enjoyed our break a lot.
Don’t miss our post on flying with a hiking carrier!
2. Hiking to Finstertaler Stausee in Kühtai with a Baby or Toddler
We started the day with a one hour bus ride from Innsbruck Finanzamt to Kühtai Jagdschloss, from where a cable car called DreiSeenBahn takes you up to 2420 meters. Drei Seen means three lakes in German and this is what we wanted to see.
You pass by the first lake called Oberer Plenderlessee on your way down to a hut called DreiSeen-Hütte, which is located right next to the second lake (Unterer Plenderlessee). So far, the total walk was around 10 minutes. From here, it is another 20 minutes to reach the biggest of the three lakes: the Finsttertaler Stausee.
The views are breathtaking, and it is possible to learn more about how energy is generated from hydropower in a house called Sperrenhaus. It is located right next to the lake and is open to the general public daily from 9am to 5pm. On our way back we ate in the DreiSeen-Hütte.
From there, it is possible to hike back down to Kühtai in around one hour.
3. Hiking Around Mutterer Alm with a Baby or Toddler
We took a tram from Innsbruck Anichstraße/Rathausgalerie, just a few minutes’ walk from our hotel, which brought us within half an hour to a cable car called Muttereralm Bahn. We had read about a stroller friendly walk (Innsbrucker Almenweg) and headed there with our infant travel stroller full of optimism.
We enjoyed our ride up to Mutterer Alm (1620m) and it was easy to find the beginning of our walk. However, due to the rain of the previous days, the road was very muddy, making it necessary to go off-road for a few meters every now and then.
The view was limited due to fog and clouds and we took much longer than the expected hour to reach Kreither Alm (1492m). They offered us coffee and cake and we happily accepted. We would have loved to continue on one of the many roads from there, but unfortunately this was impossible with a stroller.
Our only option was to head down the asphalted road to Kreith and took the tram (Stubaitalbahn) back to Innsbruck. With better weather and without the stroller, this is a great hiking destination from Innsbruck.
What with a Baby or Toddler in Innsbruck on a Rainy Day?
Visit the Alpenzoo Innsbruck
On our first day in Innsbruck, we woke up to heavy rainfall. Instead of heading for a hike, we decided to visit the Alpenzoo Innsbruck. It is located up in the mountains, just a kilometer from the old town.
It is possible to walk to the Alpenzoo, take a bus or take a lift called Nordkettenbahn. Alpenzoo Innsbruck is known for hosting more than 150 different Alpine species and offers beautiful sights of Innsbruck in between.
At five months old, our daughter remained unimpressed by the animals but enjoyed a good nap in our stroller-friendly walk. When visiting Austria with toddlers or older babies, the Alpenzoo is a great destination for them to witness different animals and play on their adventure playground.
Explore the World of Sound at the Audioversum Science Center
We still had a few hours before our train back, so we visited the Audioversum Science Center. It is an interactive museum around the theme of hearing located close to the main station. We left our luggage at the entrance with the reception and had fun investigating our perception of sounds and testing our hearing senses at different exhibits.
What to Pack for Austria with a Baby or Toddler
While we didn’t need too many baby travel essentials for our time in Austria, here are some items to consider:
- Baby Carrier or Toddler Carrier
- Hiking Backpack Carrier
- Travel High Chair
- Travel Stroller
- Travel Car Seat
- Baby Travel Crib or Inflatable Toddler Bed
- Diaper Change Mat
- Backpack Diaper Bag
- Wipes Container
- Baby Travel Monitor
Final Travel Tips for Innsbruck with a Baby or Toddler
Hiking in Austria with a baby is a beautiful experience. You will encounter likeminded families, spend much time in nature and make memories that last a lifetime.
Our most important tip for you is to bring a good baby carrier – it will open the door to much more hiking trails for you. You can still carry a diaper bag backpack on your back for all your essentials.
When staying in a central hotel, it is perfectly possible to get around by foot and public transportation – no need to bring a car seat. We used Google Maps to find our way around the bus and tram lines. Just make sure to check the opening hours of cable cars and mountain huts.
The sun can get intense up in the mountains, so pack sunscreen and a sun hat when traveling to Austria with a baby.
This post was written by Vanessa
Vanessa is a German research associate working on her phd in business informatics. Her husband, an Egyptian software engineer, shares her love for traveling. The young family explored eight countries in three different continents in their daughters first year of life and want to show how enjoyable traveling much with a baby can be.
Also by Vanessa: Egypt with a Baby