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Innsbruck Area Public Transportation

Hello. My wife and I will be going on a tour in September to see the Passion Play at Oberammergau. After the tour ends, we will be staying at our hotel for an additional 4 nights (as an extension) and I am researching public transportation that could take us from Innsbruck to other parts of that area. For example, is that a train that will take us from Innsbruck to northern Italy to visit some of the villages there so we can go there and back to our hotel in one day? Is there a bus that also goes many places in the region that could take us to places such as Fussen or the Garmisch area so we could visit and return to our hotel that day? We have the 4 nights at the hotel already included in our tour price so we do not want to pay for lodging on those days. I know we can rent a car but was just trying to compare the cost, etc of each mode of transportation. Thanks.

Posted by
10055 posts

I know from experience that you can get to Bolzano in 2 hours by train. That is a bit long for a day trip in my book: 4 hours roundtrip, but YMMV. Bolzano is not a village, per se, but a lovely smallish city. The villages in the area are served by buses but I don’t know if you would want to add a 1 hour bus ride to reach one.

Posted by
13085 posts

You can use the Bahn.de website to figure this out ( it is more user-friendly than the Austrian one. Here is the link in English:

https://www.bahn.com/en

Put in Innsbruck for the start and use Bolzano/Bozen as the destination ( the towns in the Sid Tirol area of Italy are named in both Italian and German). It will show you several trains on that route ( the main line running south from Innsbruck into Italy). Use the “show details” Button for your chosen train and it will expand to show the details of the train and any changes along the way, along with the transfer time between trains. The use the “show intermediate stops” button to see where it stops along the way—you can choose any of these places to get off the train and spend the day.

You will find that there is a train departing Innsbruck at 8:49 that has one change on the way to Bolzano, at Brennero. Or a train at 9:24 that goes directly with no change of trains. Both of these stop at Brixen/ Bressanone, which I suggest would be a nice town to visit for the day. It is 1.5 hours from Innsbruck, reasonable for a daytrip.

Prices will be shown in red to the right, but only for the direct trains. The others have a segment entirely in Italy so the German train website will not show those. If you play around with the dates, you will learn that the “walk-up” price for the direct train (meaning what you pay at the window if you buy tickets on or shortly before your travel date) is €17,90. If you buy the tickets online a month or so ahead (maybe less), the price is €9,90. However, those “Sparpreis” tickets are for a specific train on a specific date, and are non-refundable. So if you want flexibility, best wait and buy later. Also, the route with a train change at Brennero may be cheaper, especially if the Italian segment is on a regional train. You could use Trenitalia to figure that out.

Posted by
6871 posts

You can catch buses around Tyrol and into Northern Italy, however there's really no substitution for a car rental. It's simply the best way to travel efficiently, and you can just see so much more if you're driving yourself. The roads are very well paved, and not at all difficult to drive..

I went to college in Innsbruck some 51 years ago, and we do get back there every few years. We like to get up on the mountain and drive from village to village where the vistas are beyond many people's imagination. And having your own car means that you can go on your schedule--and not have to wait around for a bus.