The state-of-the-art funicular railway connecting Innsbruck with its hilly suburb of Hungerburg was opened in 2007. This futuristic cable railway is the work of British Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, who was also responsible for the Ski Jump Stadium at Bergisel, and it provides the first link in the journey from the Congress Centre right up to the slopes of Hafelekar, which are as high as 7,545 feet (2,300 meters), in under half an hour.
The glittering Hungerburgbahn terminus at Congress strongly resembles the spaceship in Star Trek. On exiting the station, the funicular train crosses the River Inn before ascending 1.15 miles (1,838 meters) into the alpine foothills on the Hungerburg plateau. There are two stations on the line, including a stop at the Alpenzoo Innsbruck, Europe’s highest zoo.
From Hungerburg skiers, boarders and hikers can catch the Nordkettenbahnen cable car up to Seegrube, with panoramic views of the peaks in the Inn valley and Zillertal Alps from the gondolas. The Alpenlounge Seegrube at the cable car station has a terrace on which to enjoy the scenery along with a cocktail for two. A second cable car then journeys on up to Hafelekar in the Alpenpark Karwendel.
The Hungerburgbahn runs daily, with services every 15 minutes between 7am-7:30pm (Saturday services start at 8am). Other public transport tickets are not accepted on the system.
The last cable car down the mountain from Hafelekar departs at 7:30pm. The Alpenlounge Seegrube offers a Friday evening ‘Ride & Dine’ package between 6pm-11:30pm; book ahead for a thrilling cable car ride up to Seegrube and diner with an Alpine view.