Josh Bolton spent some time in the Innsbruck, Austria, where city meets ski. 

There’s nothing quite like escaping your daily routine to spend some time on the slopes. Even better when you can enjoy the freedom of the slopes alongside all the culture, history and fun a city break gives you. 

I took a trip to Innsbruck in Austria, a cobbled city in the heart of the mountains which has become a hotbed for tourists with its easy access to 13 ski areas. 

But as I found out there’s much more to Innsbruck than the slopes. The Tyrolean capital is a lively city with a medieval old town at its heart offering museums, shopping, incredible restaurants and nightlife. 

Your trip begins as your plane descends into the Inn Valley and you’re met with the most breathtaking view of the mountains – it's renowned as one of the most spectacular airports to fly into so a window seat is a must. 

And if the landing gave you an appetite for the stunning view your first trip should be to the Bergisel ski jump station which sits 250m above the city.  Designed by British architect Zaha Hadid, the station has played host to two Winter Olympics and is a base for many daring ski jumpers. 

The top of the ski jump is also the location of the SKY restaurant where you can enjoy the views of Innsbruck while enjoying a champagne brunch. As you peer down the daunting slope which ends, somewhat fittingly, above a graveyard you’ll have more respect than ever for Eddie the Eagle. 

Enfield Independent: I spent some time in the beautiful city of Innsbruck where the mountains are just minutes awayI spent some time in the beautiful city of Innsbruck where the mountains are just minutes away (Image: Left: Innsbruck Tourismus/Christian Vorhofer Right: NQ)While in Innsbruck we took advantage of the Ski plus City pass which gave us access to a whopping 291km of slopes across the 13 resorts in the area, ensuring there are slopes for all different skill levels. 

The pass also gives you access to the ski buses to get there, public transport and a range of attractions in the area – certainly more than your usual lift pass. A four-day pass is €231 or €116 for kids. 

It’s incredible how close the city is to the mountains. You can explore the city and stop for a coffee before grabbing your gear and being on the slopes within half an hour. 

The first resort we tried out was Axamer Lizum which is just a half hour bus ride away from the city. The resort has more than 40km of trails, mainly a mix of blues and reds, which made it perfect for an afternoon of finding our ski legs. The only thing missing from here was the view as we found ourselves in the midst of a white-out.  

Enfield Independent: Kuhtai was my favourite ski areaKuhtai was my favourite ski area (Image: Innsbruck Tourismus / Eye5 – Jonas Schwarzwälder)In the coming days we tried out the Kuhtai resort, which is the highest ski village in Austria at 2,000m. On a blue-sky day Kuhtai is sensational with plenty of wide pistes for you to amble down the mountain while enjoying the spectacular views. 

The true selling point of Innsbruck is how much it has to offer if you want to take a day off skiing, or if you’re going with a mixed group of skiing enthusiasts and non-skiers. 

You can’t go wrong just be ambling around the beautiful city or window shopping on Maria-Thereisen-Strrasse but other highlights are Kaiser Maximilian’s mausoleum and Ambras Castle. 

Enfield Independent: A beautiful mountain top bar in MuttereralmA beautiful mountain top bar in Muttereralm (Image: NQ)Further outside the city you can head to Swarovski Crystal Worlds which was built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the manufacturer. Leave any preconceptions at the door and explore room after room of incredible exhibitions and artworks. 

If you want to enjoy the mountains without the skiing take a trip on the cable car which carries you all the way from the city to the Nordkette, the top of Innsbruck, where you can take a look inside an ice cave or enjoy a wienerschnitzel with an incredible view at the Seegrube restaurant. 

Speaking of food, you can expect hearty traditional Austrian food on the mountains – the kind of dishes that warm your bones as you take a break from a morning of skiing. 

But in the city itself you’ll find eateries for everyone’s tastes including fine dining with outdoor seating and beautiful views at Weitsicht, traditional Tyrolean cuisine at Das Schindler or if you’re looking for a simple burger or steak try Flo Jos. 

On the day we flew home we skied Muttereralm, a family ski area which also has a black run.

The resort is just 20 minutes out of the city and airport meaning you can squeeze out that last bit of skiing before you reluctantly get back on the plane feeling like you’ve had two holidays in one.