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Innsbruck – more than just a winter wonderland

If exploring snowy white landscapes before warming up over a bowl of pasta sounds good, then Innsbruck is your kind of place. As well as hosting the Winter Olympic Games twice and the annual Four Hills Tournament, this Austrian city has two Vapiano restaurants for you to relax in after a day on the slopes. Today, Vapiano franchise partner Stefan Lindenberger tells us what makes Innsbruck so unique, and reveals his top tips for a great stay – whether on the piste or off it.  


The love story between Stefan Lindenberger and Vapiano began in Munich. It was here Stefan ordered his first ever Vapiano dish. “Back then, Vapiano was still a well-guarded insider secret,” he remembers. “A friend told me about it.” The freshly prepared food and relaxed setting immediately appealed to him and he’s been a loyal Vapiano fan ever since. 
Nowadays, Stefan is a Vapiano franchise partner in Austria, Poland and the US. As a born and bred Tyrolean, he is especially proud of Vapiano in Innsbruck, the capital of the Austrian state Tyrol. The first restaurant opened at the DEZ shopping mall in the Amras quarter in 2010. Four years later in 2014, the second followed close to the Triumphal Arch at the heart of Innsbruck. 


But aside from great restaurants and winter sports, what else does the city have on offer? Despite a meagre 130,000 inhabitants, Innsbruck is anything but a sleepy little town with a host of activities and pastimes for visitors. For those keen to experience the snowy peaks, Stefan recommends skiing the notorious Hahnenkamm mountain in Kitzbühel – only an hour’s drive from Innsbruck. Don’t take on the challenge lightly though – the steep slopes are only for proficient skiers! Stefan’s favourite ski resort is Serfaus. “It has a reliable snow record and breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains,” he says. And when there’s no snow? “Go walking in the mountains or take a cable car to the top. Once you’re up there, take some deep breaths of the fresh air. And enjoy the spectacular views!” 

Innsbruck – more than just a winter wonderland 

Innsbruck is well worth a trip in summer too. “From hiking to swimming in mountain lakes – Innsbruck is dream destination in summer too,” Stefan promises. As a university city, there are countless music gigs and nightclubs. Lots of events take place at the OlympiaWorld complex. “Dedicated night owls should visit the Bögen,” Stefan continues. Innsbruck’s party mile, also known as the “Bogenmeile” by locals, is located close to the city’s Central Station and is packed with pubs and clubs. “If you’ve dined at Vapiano in the DEZ mall and don’t feel like walking far, try the Coffee Bar next door,” Stefan recommends. The name is deceiving because you can actually party into the early hours here! Stefan also has a tip for football fans. “There will be a huge screen at the Triumphal Gate this summer so everyone can watch the 2016 UEFA European Championship live.” 


So what’s Stefan’s own favourite spot? The answer is simple. It’s the expansive Vapiano terrace at the Triumphal Gate. “The terrace is the perfect place to enjoy good food and drink while you watch life go by,” he enthuses. The atmosphere is almost Mediterranean – and not just because of the menu. “Lots of our staff and guest speak Italian!” Stefan laughs. The view from Innsbruck’s restaurants is unique too – regardless of the season. “Our guests love wining and dining with the mountains as a backdrop,” he reveals. So what are you waiting for? See you in Innsbruck very soon!  

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