Viewed Vienna? Seen Salzburg? Then get well-in in Innsbruck - Austria's lesser-known gem in the heart of the Alps - urges OutUK's rampant rover Adrian Gillan.

Dating back to Roman times but of greatest prominence during the Medieval and Baroque periods, Innsbruck nestles in the Alpine Tyrol on Austria's western fringe, squeezed in between Bavaria to the north and Italy to the south. Its indigenous 130,000-strong population is swollen manifold by 5 million tourists a year - drawn to its Old Town and pleasant foothill walks in the summer; and by its spectacular snow-and-ski potential throughout winter.

This beautiful and charming city on the River Inn has hosted the Winter Olympics twice - in 1964 and then again in 1976. Quite apart from its 20,000 students in term-time, Innsbruck also boasts hoards of natural home-grown beauties - many of them crammed into its compact yet perfectly-formed gay scene. Despite it being a conservative city, you will discover that the people are very friendly, and the bars are top rate.
Just jump on board the official Sightseer Bus anywhere along its loopy route, sit back and watch the beauties of Innsbruck unfurl (backed by a mercifully minimalist English commentary) over the coming hour. Take in The Imperial Palace and Old Town; Maria-Theresien-Strasse, the city's bustling spine; The Triumphal Arch; the Wilten Basilica; Ambras Castle; the Olympic Ski Jump; and the Alpine zoo. Hop off the bus wherever to view things close up and inside.

The Old Town can really only be viewed at close quarters, by foot. Hour-long walking tours cost just a few euro and start from Innsbruck Tourism Office, taking in the Hofburg ("Imperial Palace", once royal seat of the mighty Habsburgs), the glistening Golden Roof and the massive Baroque Cathedral - plus so much more!


To eat or chill, pop into gorgeous, popular central gay-friendly café-bar Dom Café, a mere spit-and-a-spunk from the Cathedral. Open 1pm-1am daily, it reeks of old world ambience and is fair packed with chic young cuties eying - nay touching - each other up, as candles flicker away. The bar has its historic vault and characteristic chandeliers, exclusive wines and chilled music which helps them provide a cozy atmosphere.

Mustache Café Bar in the historic center of Innsbruck is of interest for facial hair lovers from the thick Schnauzer to the narrow mustache - diversity rules in Mustache. The Mustache bar offers selected drinks, meals and events in a cozy atmosphere and the audience as well as the music is mixed.

Cafe-Restaurant Kunstpause is one of the best restaurants in Innsbruck - in a museum! It's very stylish yet strangely unpretentious and relaxed: incredible value for money!!


Innsbruck is a small town so there is unfortunately not a lot of gay life, but there are a view gay-friendly or gay bars. If you want to drink and dance then M+M is an intimate cocktail bar just over the river, popular with queers and mainly attracting a slightly older yet still-stylish crowd.

Colourful Innsbruck architecture and Inn river view, LGBT flags on the pole - Photo: xbrchx
Bacchus Innsbruck Lively bar & nightclub and a favorite hangout for gay and lesbians people and their friends. There's a dance floor, with DJs spinning music charts, pop/dance music for the energetic crowd. Open on Friday and Saturday nights. Quite young audience going there. It's in the same building as Friends Bar with its Good music and plnty of appealing company.

The Schickeria Bar open from 6pmm on Thursdays to Saturdays, and has a brilliant selection of cocktails and drinks. Worth a mention for clubbing is Project Innsbruck which can be found on Viaduktbogen. The project stands for dignified club culture in Innsbruck. Located right next to the arches, you will be greeted first by the biggest bouncer in Innsbruck and some solid music.


The Homosexual Initiative (HOSI)-TIROL has been a non-profit association since 1984 and is a contact point and communication center for ALL topics and people under the rainbow. Homosexual, bisexual and heterosexual people of all *genders and identities (LGBTIQA+) as well as their family members, circles of friends, acquaintances and interested people are able to meet there and feel comfortable in the (rainbow) community.


If you're still on the loose after all that, pop next door into the mixed sex Dampfbad to strip off and steam your cares away with horny Herrs! Or stroll to take airs in the Hofgarten park just north of the Hofburg at Rennweg street; moderately busy after dark, especially summertime near the Kunstpavillon. The Hawaii Nudist Beach is set amongst a beautiful landscape, surrounded by the Tyrolean Alps. It attracts straight and gay, mixed sexes of all ages.


The Penz Hotel is within walking distance from both gay scene and Old Town, featuring spacious modern rooms with fab views over roof-tops and Alps. The swish fifth floor restaurant has an American style bar and a roof terrace offering yet more stunning vistas as you munch or sip away. You can book The Penz Hotel and other hotels in Innsbruck at special online rates through our partners Bookings.

Austrian operate regular flights to Innsbruck via Vienna, or direct from London Gatwick. Book via

The Innsbruck Card offers great-value access to all major attractions plus public transport.


Bacchus Innsbruck (Salurner Str. 18; T: +43 699 18777712; Website)
Cafe-Restaurant Kunstpause (Ferdinandeum, Museumstrasse 15; T: + 43 512 57 20 20)
Dampfbad (Salurner Straße 6; T: +43 (0)512 5025695; Website)
Dom Cafe-Bar (Pfarrgasse 3; T: +43 512 238551; Website)
Friends Bar (Salurner Str. 18; T: +43 699 18777712; facebook)
HOSI-Tirol - Homosexuelle Initiative Tirol (Kapuzinergasse 43; T: +43 512 587586; Website)
M + M Bar (Innstraße 45; T: +43 699 1522 0139; Website)
Mustache Café Bar (Herzog-Otto-Straße 8, access via Badgasse; T: +43 680 21 63 908; Website)
Schickeria Bar (Maria-Theresien-Straße 49; T: +43 699 1216 3256; Website; facebook)
The Penz (Adolf Pichler Platz 3; T: +43 512 57 56 57-0; Website)
Project Innsbruck (Viaduktbogen 23; Website)

Revised November 2022


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