Tyrol (German: Tirol) is a multi-national historical region located in the heart of the Alps. It consists of North, East and South Tyrol. North and East Tyrol lie in Austria and together make up the Austrian federal-state of Tyrol with its capital in Innsbruck.
South Tyrol, despite its German speaking majority, has been part of Italy since the end of World War I. It makes up the northern portion of the alpine Italian autonomous province Trentino-Alto Adige with its capital in Bolzano (Italian) or Bozen (German).
- Innsbruck — the state capital
- Hall in Tirol
- St. Anton
- St. Johann in Tirol
- Ötztal, known as Oetz Valley
- Stubaital (Stubai Valley)
Like its sister provinces of Bavaria in Germany and Salzburgerland in Austria, the Tyrol is the very definition of the Germanic Alpine stereotype. Full of romantic lakes and castles and beer drinking lederhosen clad locals playing ump-papa music and marching in bands, the place can seem a bit fairy tale to the visitor at times because it is! Innsbruck and Bolzano/Bozen are the only real "bigger" cities making it a natural paradise too. The roads get clogged with tourists however in the summer and winter months. South Tyrol sits on the sunny side of the Alps and is an interesting mix of three cultures making a special place in Europe.
As in nearly all of Austria, Austro-Bavarian is the main everyday spoken language of Tyrol (except in Reutte district where it is Alemannic). The Tyrolean dialect is even often tricky to understand for residents of eastern Austria (including Vienna) let alone from northern Germany. But, as in all of Austria, standard (Austrian) German is the official language used in all official publications and schools, so the vast majority speaks it, and in Innsbruck basically everyone is fluent. English is spoken by most educated middle aged and young people, and Italian is also quite prevalent due to the proximity of the South Tyrolian border and a small immigrant community in Innsbruck.
There is an international airport in Innsbruck (INN IATA) which has schedules to Vienna, Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Graz, Nice, Hannover, Stavanger, Alghero, Gothenburg and Olbia. Schedules may differ in winter. The Munich Airport, 2.5 hours away, is another alternative. There are vans that will meet you at the Munich Airport and take you directly to your lodging in or around Innsbruck for the price of a comparable train ticket.
There is also an airfield in St. Johann in Tirol, with a 750 m asphalt runway but no scheduled services.
Considering the topography rail connections are impressive and a highly scenic and relaxing way to see the Tyrol. Trains also connect the "three Tyrols" via rail and tunnels.
- 1 Achenseebahn (Achensee Railway), Jenbach, Tyrol (Near Jenbach train station). Ride Europe's oldest steam-operated cog railway which opened in 1889.
- Tiroler Speck - a juniper-flavored ham