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Top 10 Innsbruck nightlife spots

Friday, March 14th, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: The recent discovery of a highly charged, reverse electro-induction field has begun to raise hairs in the scientific community. Naturally generated by the interaction of two or more college students, this peculiar force thoroughly shields them from any negative consequences of their actions. Still puzzling for scientists, however, is why this field can only be observed between the hours of 5:00pm and 5:00am local time. “We’re positively shocked by this development” said the director of MIT’s Department of Physics at a press conference on Thursday…

No pun intended in that last sentence. Okay, actually it was intended. In any case, Innsbruck has an “energetic” nightlife (there I go again!), thanks in part to the university located near the center of town. During the academic year, Innsbruck’s bars are filled with lively students trying to turn every night into one they’ll never remember. If that’s not your style, don’t worry; Innsbruck offers a fantastic variety of late-night locales, and there’s really something for everyone:

1. Zappa Music Bar

Address: Rechengasse 5

Hours: 6:00pm–2:00am Daily

Right next-door to student housing, Zappa’s lures young scholars away from their books for great music and favorable drink prices in a dark and (warning!) smoky lounge-atmosphere, complete with comfy movie-theater seats. A personal favorite, with a great staff and service.

2. Krahvogel

Address: Anichstrasse 12

Hours: Monday–Saturday 10:00am–2:00am; Sunday/Holiday 5:00pm–1:00am; Kitchen open until 11:45pm

Krahvogel is a bistro/bar that serves up some tasty food in a nicely-designed facility. It’s a great place to take a group of friends or clients for a night out. Choose your table on their website before making a reservation. Groups tend to start at Krahvogel and migrate to nearby Couch Club around 2am, where several DJs offer a fresh music program including house, electro and hip-hop.

3. Elferhaus (11er Haus)

Address: Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse 11

Hours: 10:00am–2:00am Daily; Kitchen open until 10:00pm

Café/Bistro/Bar in the middle of the Altstadt, just to the left of the Goldenes Dachl. Long, narrow and loud, try and squeeze through the bar area and find a table in the back. Elfer features a live band on the 11th day of every month and has an excellent beer selection.

4. Café Sphinx

Address: Anichstrasse 8

Hours: Monday–Friday 3:00pm–1:00am; Saturday 3:00pm–2:00am

A place for you, Mr. and Ms. Insider: Next to Krahvogel, but tucked away in a small passage, look for a glass door on your left. Go upstairs and enter this very comfortable, authentic (albeit a little shabby) hookah bar. Café Sphinx offers a wide selection of tea and tobacco, and the friendly Egyptian owners don’t skimp their guests on the latter—try the green apple. Reservations are a good idea if your party is larger than four. Occasionally live music (Egyptian classical, pop) and belly-dancers.

5. Blue Chip Club

Address: Wilhelm-Greil-Straße 17

Hours: Wednesday 9:00pm–4:00am; Friday 10:00pm–4:00am; Saturday 10:00pm–4:00am

A very fun and popular dance club near Bozner Platz. Wednesday is student night and there is no cover. If you want a table, get there early. And PS: for you single travelers interested in such things, Blue Chip is a place where many students look for…how should I put this…tail. (There, I said it!)

6. Café Central

Address: Gilmstrasse 5

Hours: 7:30am–11:00pm Daily

Don’t be fooled: in Austria, practically every moderately-sized city has an establishment named “Central.” They’re all copying the original Café Central in Vienna, made famous in the late 19th century by a few intellectually bombastic guests. Although Innsbruck’s Central doesn’t really look like its Viennese exemplar, this café is truly a wonderful space with high ceilings, chandeliers, and that agonizingly slow service unique to the country’s Kaffeekultur. Tip: on Sundays in October through April, from 8:00pm–10:00pm, Central turns into a piano lounge. Arrive shortly after 7:00pm to get a table, then sit back, nurse your latte, and browse the world newspaper selection. Ah, the life!

7. Prometheus

Address: Hofgasse 2, Altstadt

Hours: Café: Monday–Saturday 7:00pm–2:00am; Disco: Monday, Thursday and Saturday 10:00pm–2:00am, Friday 10:00pm–4:00am

To get to Prometheus, turn right at the Goldenes Dachl and walk down the Hofgasse for about 100 meters. You’ll find two floors and two bars: at street-level there’s a chill music café with a Happy Hour from 9-10pm and other fine specials. Go downstairs to the disco and you’ll think you’ve stepped into a scene from The Crow. Dark, smoky, punk/gothic atmosphere. Cover charge: Mondays and Saturdays € 1,00; Fridays before 11:00pm € 1,40, then 2,40 / € 3,40; No cover on Thursdays! Another personal favorite.

8. Hofgarten

Address: Rennweg 6a

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 6:00pm–4:00am

Nestled in the English garden behind the historic royal palace (Hofburg), Hofgarten is crammed with a mixture of students, young professionals, and their bosses. On Tuesdays the special is six beers for € 10,00. I approve. But there is a dress code and an age limit (21). For some reason, females don’t encounter as much resistance when getting past the Hofgarten bouncers as their male counterparts…when it comes to parts, that is.

9. Bögenstrasse

Address: Ingenieur-Etzel-Strasse

Hours: It varies, but most bars are usually open until 4:00am

The word Bögen means “arches” in (Austrian) German. Ingenieur-Etzel-Strasse is the street running along the Viaduktbogen, a railroad bridge with several bars that fill the spaces between the supports. It’s a fun place to end the evening; Down Under and Plateau are most popular. From the city center, take the “R” bus line to Bienerstrasse, traveling in the direction of “Gumppstrasse,” or the “F” line to the same stop in the direction of “Schutzengelkirche.”

10. Theresienbräu

Address: Maria-Theresien-Strasse 51-53

Hours: Monday–Wednesday 10:00am–1:00am; Thursday–Saturday 10:00am–2:00am; Sunday 10:00am–12:00am

I’m putting this in here against my will. But just because I don’t like a place doesn’t mean that you won’t, right? We each have our own tastes and should stick to ‘em. That’s what makes the Free World so kick-ass. Anyways, I don’t like Theresienbräu simply because it’s a rip-off. The quality of their food does not deserve such menu prices. If I was forced to say one nice thing about Theresienbräu, I’ll admit that their house-brewed beer tastes excellent. But if you think I’m going to pay € 8,50 for a 1,4 L pitcher ever again, you’re out of your mind. Large and easy to locate, it’s also pretty touristy.

Hopefully this short list of bars and cafés will keep you occupied during your evenings in Innsbruck. But before you erase your brain, raise a toast for the life of the traveler. Of course I’d be happy to join you, but um…do you think I could grab one on the cuff?

Photo of Innsbruck by night originally posted by neubda

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer steve zakas

Steve Zakas currently lives and works in Munich. One of these days he’ll grow up and find a real job in the States, but for now he is thoroughly enjoying life in Germany. He is a recent graduate from the University of Notre Dame with degrees in Political Science and, you guessed it, German. Questions? Search for Steve on Facebook.


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