Named for the much-revered Empress Maria Theresa by then sovereign of pretty much all of Europe, she is the only female Habsburg ruler and the last of the line when she died in 1780. Maria-Theresien-Strasse is Innsbruck’s pedestrianized main street.
It’s lined with historic pastel-colored aristocratic houses and has backdrops of the Alps to the north plus a magnificent triumphal arch at the southern end. The latter was built for the Empress in 1765 to mark the death of her husband and celebrate the dynastic marriage of her son and nowadays forms a splendid entrance to the Altstadt (Old Town). Follow the street to Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse to admire the iconic Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof).
A stroll down the street takes in frescoed façades, carved balconies, spiky St Anne’s Column, Baroque palaces, and the Altes Landhaus, seat of the Tyrolean government. After admiring the architecture, the street is the perfect pit stop for souvenir shopping and putting your feet up in one of the many pavement cafés and restaurants along the way.
Come the end of November until early January, Maria-Theresien-Strasse is site of a bustling Christmas Market selling tree decorations, pretty candles, glühwein, and Kiachln (donuts flavored with sauerkraut).
Maria-Theresien-Strasse is largely pedestrianized and is free to wander 24 hours a day.