Guide to Innsbruck mountain biking holidays: Best MTB city break?

Apr 07, 2017 BY Luke Rees

In the summer Innsbruck transforms from a skiers paradise into a mountain bike Mecca. Read this guide to Innsbruck mountain biking holidays, to find out why Bike City Innsbruck is probably the world’s best MTB city break destination.

Best MTB city break Crankworx Bikepark Innsbruck copyright Innsbruck Tourismus

Guide to Innsbruck mountain biking holidays

In addition to hiking and other summer activities, the city of Innsbruck has invested a huge amount to make itself a hub for MTB. From gentle sightseeing routes for all the family, to some of the most extreme downhill single track in the world – it’s got trails suitable for all levels.

Mountain in the city – Nordkette

Innsbruck logoIn Innsbruck, the riding and mountain bike trails start in the city itself. You can jump on your bike right outside your hotel, start riding and within a few minutes you’re on the trail. Plus, there are some handy gondolas and lifts taking you up to the start of downhills.

Nordkette trail

Located within the city centre, the Nordkette cable cars – a funicular and gondola – take you up to 1,900m and the start of the course.

The Nordkette has got to be one of the best vertical playgrounds in the world, with a 70% gradient downhill single track trail it’s a challenge even for pro riders. Starting at around 2,000m above sea level at Seegrube, it plunges down along the fall line to Hungerburg.

Guide to Innsbruck mountain biking holidays Best MTB city break Nordkette Biketrail

The four kilometre track drops around 1,000m from high alpine territory to the heart of the town. You’ll have to tackle a selection of steep curves, rock jumps and rooty turns. And some of the big drops and northshore sections will get your heart racing.

Afterwards add the Hungerburg trail. Or you can choose to divert and tackle the Arzler Alm trail, which passes one of the city’s most popular mountain inns, which is well worth a visit during Innsbruck mountain biking holidays.

Hungerburg trail or Arzler Alm trail

The Hungerburg trail starts on the northern edge of the city with a signposted entry just 400m from the Hungerburg station of the Nordkette cable cars. From here you ride a 1.3km downhill course that finishes back in the city, with some steep sections and flowing turns to tackle on the way down.

The Arzler Alm trail is an intermediate single track full of jumps and short route options. It begins 300m east of the Arzler Alm mountain hut and starts off with constant gradient changes and steep curves, so it can get pretty demanding. It has alternative jumps for pros and intermediates and is 3km long with 400 metres of descent.

Guide to Innsbruck mountain biking holidays Best MTB city break Crankworx (c) Tommy_Bause

If you’re in the mood for a climb, the Achselwald starts in the downtown area and works its way up into the hills from there, climbing 510m over 4.4km.

Nordkette Uphill

In addition to the downhill options, there are plenty of other uphill and downhill possibilities for bikers. The well-developed track from Hungerburg to Seegrube is a favourite all-mountain ride. Just make sure you bring enough water with you.

The Nordkette Almen Runde is a big 20km route that starts on the northern bank of the river. You’ll climb up to an altitude of 1,270m before riding back down into the city. The downhill section includes some technical and steep single track.

There are jaw-dropping views of the city and good transport links to and from the centre. It’s little wonder sections of this trail was used as the course for the Innsbruck Downhill Cup in 2016.

Guide to Innsbruck mountain biking holidays Best MTB city break Innsbruck - Capital of the Alps

Bikepark Innsbruck at Muttereralm Park

Located at the Muttereralm Park, Bikepark Innsbruck offers a wide range of downhill riding for all ability levels. Catch the lift to the top and you’re faced with a choice of trails. Four cool routes, easy-to-difficult: all riders find what they seek as part of the best MTB city break.

Innsbruck logoExperts can look forward to intense trails with stacked berms and steep curves with jumps offering plenty of airtime – if you like that kind of thing – roots to negotiate and challenges around every corner. The easy trails have been designed to flow, with less gradient they are perfect for your first foray into downhill.

There is a Bike Center offering bike and gear rental, a shop, workshops and guiding. Plus there are designated training trails for anyone looking to improve their downhill riding. And if you’ve really found your feet, Götzens is a tough downhill trail that’s served by a modern gondola.

The trails are around 4.5km long descending 900m, with a little something for everyone. There are plenty of downhill routes to keep you happy for many hours of riding during Innsbruck mountain biking holidays, with more being added in the summer of 2017.

Guide to Innsbruck mountain biking holiddays Muttereralm Bikepark copyright Innsbruck Tourismus

Muttereralm Park is just under 10km from the city centre so it’s an easy ride to Bikepark Innsbruck. There are buses too if you’re going by public transport and renting kit. It is also the location for the famous Crankworx mountain bike festival, which would be a great time to plan Innsbruck mountain biking holidays.

Other bike Parks near Innsbruck

Seeking variety? Bike City Innsbruck is also a perfect point of departure for trips to other bike destinations in Tirol. Whoever stays overnight here does not only have Innsbruck’s possibilities at the doorstep with six other bike parks and enduro areas within easy reach for a day trip.

During an Innsbruck mountain biking holidays an excursion to Bike Park Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis or Bike Republic Sölden is very easy, and is part of what makes it the best MTB city break.

Crankworx Freeride: MTB Festival

In June 2017 Innsbruck is hosting Crankworx, the biggest MTB freeride event in the world, for the first time. It’s a reflection on Innsbruck’s growing reputation as the best MTB city break.

Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival copyright Crankworx Scott Robarts

Taking place from 21 to 25 June, this MTB festival features five competitions, including downhill, slopestyle, dual speed and style, whip-off and pump track. In addition to the pro competition, there are plenty of music performances and side events for ordinary riders to get involved.

Bike Hotels & MTB gear

There are numerous hotels in Bike City Innsbruck that focus on bikers to provide the services you need. So regardless of whether you are a enduro mountain biker, downhiller, e-biker or road racer, you’ll find the extras you need for Innsbruck mountain biking holidays, such as:

  • Sports breakfast (fruit, muesli, etc.)
  • Storage room for bikes (lockable, insured)
  • Wash area for bikes
  • Designated biking information area at the reception

You can of course bring your own bike. With the Airport just 5km from the hotel you could even ride it to your accommodation – if you have packed lightly. However there are multiple bike rental options across the city, hiring everything from enduro to freeride gear. So whatever your MTB style, there’s kit for you.

Guide to Innsbruck mountain biking holidays Best MTB city break Crankworx (c) Tommy_Bause

MTB guiding and skills training

If you’d like to discover more, professional MTB guides have a wealth of experience of backcountry riding. They can take you off the beaten track to explore trails most visitors never see. They know every inch of the Tirol’s massive trail system and can provide everything you need for a day trip or multi day tour.

If during your Innsbruck mountain biking holidays you’d like to improve your riding, check out SAAC bike camps. They are headed up by Kurt Exenberger – the Austrian national team coach – so who better to teach you good mountain biking technique and tips for safety?

You’ll learn about balance, concentration and how to read the track surfaces, with the aim to improving technique and boosting performance. If you are up for it, you’ll also learn a few tricks along the way. For the first time, from the 2017 summer onwards there will be a SAAC camp at Bikepark Innsbruck.

Conclusion: The best MTB city break?

With its international airport and flights from a number of UK airports, Innsbruck is easy to reach. The airport is just 5km from the city centre, where there is plenty of accommodation to suit all budgets and styles. Innsbruck has plenty of bars and restaurants and has a really friendly vibe, making it one of the best MTB city break destinations.

Guide to Innsbruck mountain biking holidays Best MTB city break Segreeb to Nordkette (c) Innsbruck Tourismus

In addition to this, landing Crankworx in 2017 in a real feather in Innsbruck’s cap. It has been the trigger for lots of investment into the mountain biking infrastructure – everything from trails to hotels and guiding services to bike hire has been improved.

Innsbruck logoBike City Innsbruck offers riding for all styles and ability levels, but also offers top class coaching and guiding alongside the excellent amenities of a city. So in our opinion, Innsbruck mountain biking holidays have become the best MTB city break on the planet.

If all this talk of the best MTB city break has you planning an Innsbruck mountain biking holiday then you can find out more by visiting:

Alps, Austria, Austrian Alps, Europe, Innsbruck, Nordkette, Solden, Tirol
Mountain Biking
All Mountain, Crankworx, DH (Downhill), Enduro, Freeride, North Shore (MTB), XC (Cross Country)
Travel Articles

    Related Articles


    Introduction to Bhutan adventure travel and the Tiger’s Nest Monastery

    In this introduction to Bhutan adventure travel we look at visiting the country and what activities you can do. We also take a look at one of the countries most...

    Activities: Canoeing Fishing Hiking +
    Destinations: Asia Bhutan Bumthang +
    Read Article

    10 of the best Caribbean water sport holiday destinations

    The Caribbean is a dream destination for many. And if you are into water based activities you are in for a real treat. In many places you can often kiteboard,...

    Read Article

    3 of the best caravan adventures and RV overland tours

    A long distance road trip exploring somewhere you've never visited is a great adventure. And the best way to do that is to combine your travel and accommodation with...

    Activities: 4x4 Camping Overlanding
    Read Article

    Newsletter sign up