Visiting Innsbruck’s Golden Roof (A Short Guide + Photos)

Blog Design Upper Separator

As someone obsessed with everything about the mountains and old-world architecture, cities near the Alps have become my favorite destinations. Most of the time, they have everything that I’m looking for: a wander-worthy historic center and breathtaking viewpoints. Aside from Thun and Lucerne in Switzerland, Innsbruck in Austria is another alpine city that I find beautiful.

Seriously, you’ve got to see the Innsbruck’s picturesque spots! Not to mention the beautiful attractions that you can find along the way, like the Golden Roof. It’s one of the unmissable things that a wanderer should see when they visit Innsbruck.

Standing as the symbol of Innsbruck, the Golden Roof is unlike anything else that I’ve discovered in the Alps. The wow-effect I got here is similar to what I experienced when I found the Chapel Bridge in Old Town Lucerne and Zytglogge in the Old City of Bern. Let me tell you everything I learned about the Golden Roof when I explored Innsbruck.

Location

9
View of Golden Roof from Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse in Innsbruck, Austria
View of Golden Roof from Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse in Innsbruck
10

The Golden Roof can be found in the heart of Innsbruck’s Altstadt (Old Town), specifically at the northern end of Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse — a bustling street lined with pastel-colored houses and buildings decorated with Lüftlmalerei.

From Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof (train station), the Golden Roof is just a 15-minute stroll away. You can shorten your travel time to 8 minutes by taking the bus (line M). Alight at the Maria-Theresien-Strasse stop, which is a 3-minute walk from the Golden Roof.

If you’re coming from other parts of Innsbruck and happen to stumble upon attractions in Old Town Innsbruck like Hofburg (Imperial Palace), Hofkirche (Court Church), or Cathedral of Saint James (Innsbruck Cathedral), the Golden Roof is just one to three minutes away. It’s likely that you’ll see Stadtturm (City Tower) towering over the houses on the streets of Old Town Innsbruck. If you do, walk towards it, and you’ll find yourself on Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse, where the Golden Roof is located.

Honestly, when exploring Old Town Innsbruck during peak season, spotting the Golden Roof requires no effort at all. It’s common to see a swarm of tourists along Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse taking photos of a building’s facade. Once you spot them, you’ve most likely found the exact location of the Golden Roof. It’s slightly amusing how this landmark acts like a magnet for cameras.

Top Features

9
10

Compared to other architectural marvels in Austria, particularly in Vienna, Innsbruck’s Golden Roof is just a fraction of the visual overwhelm you might experience.

While that may be true — I have no doubt — the Golden Roof possesses something special that distinguishes it from other landmarks in the country. You don’t have to guess what it is because the answer is literally in the name of the landmark: The Golden Roof’s golden roof. Just imagine yourself standing in front of the iconic Golden Roof. Undoubtedly, your eyes are immediately drawn to the 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles that make up the roof. Simply, it’s a breathtaking sight.

The fire-gilded copper tiles that glisten and reflect the sunlight are just one of the remarkable features of the Golden Roof. Interestingly, it has more features to marvel at. You’ll also surely notice the oriel balcony, which is exquisitely decorated with sculpted reliefs and mural paintings. They depict various scenes from Emperor Maximilian I’s life and his marriages.

The first-floor balustrade is adorned with eight coats of arms representing Emperor Maximilian’s territories. On the other hand, the second-floor balustrade features eight sculpted reliefs depicting images associated with Emperor Maximilian’s life, including scenes with his wives, court jester, and chancellor. The frescoes of the Golden Roof, however, painted by Jörg Kölderer inside the loggia, further enhance the exterior with scenes of aristocratic life during that time.

Here’s a tip: if you’re interested, you can ascend Stadtturm for a unique perspective of the Golden Roof. There’s a small fee, but it’s well worth it, especially considering you also get a panoramic view of the city. Admission fee is covered by Innsbruck City Card, though. From up there, Nordkette, the closest mountain excursion from Innsbruck, is clearly visible. There’s absolutely no obstruction. The view is quite picturesque, particularly when the weather is clear.

The Museum

9
Artifacts inside the Museum of the Golden Roof in Innsbruck, Austria
Artifacts inside the Museum of the Golden Roof
10

The thing is… the Golden Roof is not just about the picture-perfect exterior facade. Did you know that you can step inside the loggia? Aside from the overlooking view of Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse, intricately sculpted reliefs, frescoes, and murals await you there. Amazingly, you’ll pass through a museum before reaching the loggia. It’s the Maximilianum Museum, which is one of the places where you can start discovering the history of Innsbruck and Tyrolean culture.

Through the museum’s exhibits and information panels, you’ll uncover the intriguing story of Emperor Maximilian and gain a deeper understanding of his life and times. The museum also offers a multimedia experience with audio guides available in multiple languages. For a fun and interactive experience, head to the museum’s selfie booth! Create postcards with personalized text, and email them to your friends and family back home, capturing unique memories of your visit.

For further enriching architectural and historical experience during your visit to Innsbruck, you should consider visiting the Tirol Panorama Museum and Schloss Ambras. You may find that some of the stories you uncover at the Golden Roof Museum connect with the exhibits in these attractions.

The Story

If you have the opportunity to join a guided tour or have a local show you around the city, it greatly enhances the overall experience. Especially if you’re a history enthusiast, you’ll appreciate how Innsbruck serves as a rich historical reservoir within the Austrian Alps. The guides always make a point to share the unique story that sets the Golden Roof apart.

Here’s a short spoiler: As you might already know, the Golden Roof is a symbol of Innsbruck, and for good reason. According to legend, it was none other than Emperor Maximilian I who commissioned the Golden Roof in the 15th century to celebrate his marriage to Bianca Maria Sforza of Milan.

The balcony of the loggia was designed as his royal box, from where he could sit in state and take in the festivities and events in the square below. That’s why, if you look closely, you’ll see an exquisite painting of the Emperor with Bianca Maria Sforza on the Golden Roof. Interestingly, though, Maria of Burgundy, another wife of Emperor Maximilian I, is also depicted in the Golden Roof’s artwork.

Visiting Information

Planning a visit to the Museum of the Golden Roof? There are several admission options available to fit your needs. The entrance fee is budget-friendly, starting at around 5 Euros for adults. Children under 6, school groups, visitors with disabilities, and holders of certain tickets or cards (for example, the Innsbruck City Card) can enter for free.

Note: The Innsbruck City Card is a great asset for visitors to Innsbruck. It provides one-time entry to museums (including Golden Roof) and attractions, complimentary public transportation on buses and trams, access to a hop-on hop-off bus, a shuttle bus to Swarovski Crystal Worlds, and cable car rides. This card offers cost savings, convenience, and access to key attractions and transportation options, making it an excellent tool for exploring the city.

If you’re traveling with a group of 10 or more, you can also take advantage of a discounted rate of 3 Euros per person. Lastly, for a more comprehensive experience, consider the combination tickets that include access to the City Museum and the City Tower as well. The Golden Roof is open from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm every day of the week. However, it is closed on Mondays from October until April.

Resources

For facts, announcements, and the latest visiting information about the Golden Roof, please visit the links below.

Hey, there! If you’re traveling to Innsbruck soon, please consider finding hotels on my partner’s platform. It’s the one I always use because of the amazing deals like free hotel cancellations, membership points, and more perks. I believe you’ll find it handy! The link is an affiliate link, however. This means I may earn a small commission when you book through it, but there’s no additional cost to you. Consider it as a donation to WanderInEurope so I can write more helpful guides like this. Thank you for your support!

Blog Design Related Posts

Don’t worry about planning a trip to Innsbruck because I have everything ready for you! Here’s my itinerary for a 1-day visit to Innsbruck. If you’re planning to stay in the city for a couple of days, here’s my itinerary for a 2-day visit.

Blog Design Save to Pinterest
Blog Design Curly Divider

Similar Posts