The Alpine Garden is a beautiful place to explore when visiting Innsbruck. The garden covers an area of 1.5 hectares and is maintained by University Innsbruck’s Department of Botany. Located at 2,000 meters above sea level near the peak of Patscherkofel Mountain, the Alpine Garden is home to more than 400 different species of rare alpine plants. Visitors will enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside while learning about Austria’s geology and native flora.
The Alpine Garden was established in 1930, when two plots of land were donated to University Innsbruck by the City of Innsbruck and the Province of Tyrol. The goal was to create an alpine garden in conjunction with a research centre. The grounds were officially opened to the public in 1935 by University Professor Dr. Adolph Sperlich. Over the years, the garden continued to expand its collection through seed exchanges, and by collecting native plants from surrounding areas. Fenced since its inception, the garden has become a sanctuary to many species of plants that have since been grazed to near extinction in other parts of Austria.
The garden itself is divided into several distinct sections. The entrance to the garden features a section of rocky, exposed slopes that are perfect for cultivating plants typically found only at much higher elevations, such as the Edelweiss. These white, star-shaped flowers have been sought after by humans for centuries, and have only survived in highly inaccessible regions throughout the Alps. The Timber Forest section of the Alpine Garden consists of a dense tract of pine trees, some of which are nearly 1.000 years old. Perhaps the most colourful section of the garden is Tall Forb Meadow, where a variety of dazzling wildflowers burst into bloom each summer.
The Alpine Garden is located five kilometers south of Innsbruck center, and is easily accessible via the Patscherkofel cable car.