Tyrol, Austria

The Austrian state of Tyrol consists of North Tyrol and East Tyrol. The state capital is Innsbruck. It represents the part of the former county of Tyrol that remained with Austria after the Second World War and borders on the federal state of Vorarlberg in the west, on Bavaria in the north and on Salzburg in the east. In the south is South Tyrol. The East Tyrolean part of the country borders not only on South Tyrol in the east but also on Carinthia.

Tyrol's landscape is mainly characterized by the many mountains. While the gentler peaks of the lowlands dominate in the north-east, Tyrol becomes high alpine in the west and also in East Tyrol. Numerous valleys such as the Zillertal or the Ötztal branch off the prominent axis of the Inn Valley, many of which have also become very relevant for tourism.



North Tyrol
Ausserfern - remote area facing Germany, only connected to the rest of Tyrol by the Fern Pass.
Oberland - everything west of Zirl, except for the Ausserfern.
Unterland - the eastern part of North Tyrol; the capital Innsbruck is attributed to the area, but this is disputed.

East Tyrol
East Tyrolean Oberland - the area from Lienz to the border with South Tyrol
Lienzer Talboden - the area from Lienz to the border with Carinthia
Iseltal - the area from Lienz to Matrei



North Tyrol
Sankt Johann

Lower Inn Valley
Hall in Tirol


Achen Valley
Steinberg am Rofan

Tuxer Valley

Ziller Valley
Zell am Ziller
Ried im Oberinntal


Paznaun Valley

Stanzer Valley
Saint Anton am Arlberg


Other destinations

Ambras Palace

Bruck Castle

Freundsberg Castle

Heinfels Castle

Itter Castle

Kienburg Castle

Kropfsberg Castle

Laudegg Castle

Lichtenwerth Castle

Naudersberg Castle

Tratzberg Castle

Zammer Lochputz



In North and East Tyrol, German is spoken with the Tyrolean accent, which can vary greatly from region to region. Particular differences can be identified between the lower and upper country.


Getting here

By plane
There is an international airport in Innsbruck, which is served by flights from Frankfurt am Main and Hanover, among others. Innsbruck has direct train connections with all major Austrian cities, such as Vienna, Graz, Salzburg, Linz and Bregenz.

Transfer Tyrol
Transfer Tirol is a shuttle service launched in December 2011 that connects all towns in Tirol with Innsbruck and Munich airports. The service can be booked online up to 72 hours before departure.

Further information at www.transfer.tirol.at

By train
The website of the Verkehrsverbund Tirol provides information about public transport.

Innsbruck has direct train connections with all major Austrian cities such as Vienna, Graz, Salzburg, Linz and Bregenz.

In the street
North Tyrol can be reached by car from the north via the Inntalautobahn or via Mittenwald and the Zirler Berg (Bundesautobahn 95 until just before Garmisch-Partenkirchen). In order to really get to know the region, it is advisable to use your own vehicle, apart from the Inn Valley, where the train connection works quite well.



Temporary driving bans on state roads in Tyrol
In the summer months, temporary driving bans apply to all vehicles (including motorcycles) that are in transit in Tyrol. This applies to weekends from Saturday 7:00 a.m. to Sunday 7:00 p.m. on the provincial roads around Innsbruck. Even traffic jams on the motorway can no longer be avoided on state roads. Destination and source traffic is not affected by these measures. These driving bans do not apply to federal roads such as the B171 Tiroler Straße or the B177 Seefelder Straße. The current driving bans are announced by the ÖAMTC, among others.

transfer routes
Tyrol has always been one of the most important transit countries from the north to southern Europe. Several transfer routes with important Alpine passes and crossings lead through the region. To finance the costly maintenance of the road network, the authorities ask visitors to pay tolls and special tolls. For a stress-free transit even during the busy holiday periods, there are a few more points to consider:

Motorways: The Tyrolean motorways on the through routes, which are subject to tolls (vignettes), are generally well developed and can be easily driven on in normal weather conditions in summer and winter. However, it should be noted that the routes, which are heavily used by the heavy traffic, are also subject to heavy wear and tear; This is also supported by the sometimes extreme climatic conditions of the mountains: construction sites are not uncommon on the Tyrolean motorways. Attention: The 5 km long section of the Inntal autobahn from the German border near Kiefersfelden to the "Kufstein-Süd" autobahn exit has been toll-free since December 15, 2019!

Federal roads: Some of the main transfer routes have the older routes of the federal roads, often parallel to the newer motorways. With regard to the traffic conditions, the following should be noted: The important Tyrolean federal roads on the through routes are generally well developed and can be easily driven on in normal weather conditions in summer and winter. However, these "secondary routes" also serve for the local feeder traffic and to supply the regional infrastructure in the predominantly agricultural regions of Tyrol:
On weekdays including Saturdays, heavy traffic from trucks to tractors can always be expected from the early morning hours. Because of the often extremely winding mountain roads, it is very rarely possible to safely overtake these vehicles, which are extremely slow, especially on inclines.
There is no commuter traffic on Sundays and public holidays and is replaced by regional excursion traffic from the early hours of the morning when the weather is nice.
In general: Only in the late evening hours is it possible to travel relatively quickly on the North Tyrolean federal roads compared to federal roads in Germany. At other times of the day, the time disadvantage of the secondary routes along the main routes of the transfer routes is generally considerable. Depending on your personal driving style, you always have to take into account a not inconsiderable increase in fuel consumption, which, together with the additional traffic noise, also contributes to the further burden on residents on these secondary roads.

The Austrian regulatory authorities like to monitor the secondary routes in particular, and often with regard to compliance with traffic regulations. Popular tools are radar guns and permanently installed machines.

See also the topic article with the general overview of the Alpine passes.


Brenner route

Detailed information on the Brenner Pass itself can also be found in the article on the Brenner Pass.

The Brenner route leads from the Inn Valley to South Tyrol and is busy all year round on the motorway and federal highway.

For those passing through, tolls for the North Tyrolean motorway, the special toll for the Brenner Pass and the Italian motorway toll are due on the motorway route.

Coming from Germany, crossing the main Alpine ridge on the Brenner route toll-free only makes sense via Garmisch, Mittenwald and the accident-prone Zirler mountain to Innsbruck. Then the city of Innsbruck has to be driven through, the approach to the Brenner is possible via the extremely curvy Brenner federal road and in some areas also on a third route on the other side of the valley, the old (historical) Brenner road, a fourth route, here only for the sake of completeness, is possible the still partially preserved Roman road. From the Brenner (village) it is also possible to take the toll-free descent to Sterzing on an extremely winding route, but the saved fee is small at €1 per car.

The total length of the route on the federal highway, calculated from Munich, is even slightly shorter than the autobahn route, but the total time lost compared to the faster autobahn route is usually well over an hour. When the Autobahn is overcrowded, the federal highway is always just as overcrowded. As a plus, this route can offer an intense mountain road experience in various sections for those who like that kind of thing, but the motorway route is not without scenic highlights either.


Felbertauern route

The Felbertauern route is the most important connection from Upper Bavaria and North Tyrol to East Tyrol and further to the Adriatic Sea, it also runs partly in the state of Salzburg.

The journey from Germany is initially on the German Inntalautobahn A93 (Rosenheim - Kiefersfelden) and is still toll-free here.

Since December 2013, the Austrian Inntalautobahn A12 from Kufstein and from the state border has required a vignette, including the section up to the Kufstein-Süd exit (previously toll-free). Only from here does the route run on federal highways similar to expressways and is therefore toll-free over the entire length. If you also want to drive through the short section past Kufstein without buying a vignette, you have to leave the motorway in Germany and at the latest at the Kiefersfelden exit and drive through the entire town of Kufstein on the federal road. Fees are due for the Felbertauern Tunnel.

The route runs as federal road B173 from Kufstein, on the B161 (Pass-Thurn road) from Kitzbühel, Pass Thurn (1,274 m) to Mittersill, passes under the Hohe Tauern as federal road 108 in the Felbertauern tunnel and then reaches Matrei in Osttirol and then Lienz .

The decisive section between Mittersill (790 m) and Matrei (980 m) is the Felbertauernstraße and crosses under the main Alpine ridge of the Tauern, the section consists of the north ramp, Felbertauern tunnel and south ramp, is around 36 kilometers long and has numerous avalanche galleries and tunnels. This part of the route has average gradients of around four percent up to a maximum of nine percent and is widened to three lanes on half of the route.

The Felbertauern Tunnel is the highest point of the route with a peak height of 1650 m, it is 5.3 km long, Austria's eleventh longest tunnel and was opened to traffic in 1967. The standard fare for travelers is €10. There is no possibility of bypassing the Felbertauern tunnel via a mountain pass.

The route and the handling at the tunnel portals are regularly overloaded during the arrival and departure times during the holiday periods in summer and winter, and there is slightly less traffic in the evening.

Felbertauernstraße AG is responsible for Felbertauernstraße and the Felbertauern Tunnel.


Remote pass route

Detailed information on the Fernpass itself can also be found in the article on the Ausserfern.

The Fernpass route leads from the Kempten / Füssen area through the Ausserfern and the Gurgltal to the Oberinntal, from where other important routes lead to western Tyrol, to Vorarlberg, to the Engadin (in Switzerland) and via the Reschenpass to Italy.

The route is toll and tax-free and very busy all year round. The part of the route in the Ausserfern is a well-developed expressway, the part between the Fernpass and Nassereith is winding, mountainous and is considered an accident black spot.

In Imst, the Fernpass route is connected to the A12 Inntal autobahn, which is subject to a toll, in the Oberinntal; other routes branch off from the Oberinntal:
From Landeck, the route branches off from the Oberinntal into the Engadin and to Reschen. Parallel to the motorway, which requires a vignette, the toll-free Tyrolean federal highway 171 runs from Imst for around twenty kilometers to Landeck. This route leads through numerous places and is very busy. In addition, there is the necessary through-town through the picturesque winding Landeck, the use of the Landeck bypass tunnel, which was completed in 2000 and requires a vignette, is not possible. The time disadvantage of a toll-free bypass of the short motorway section that requires a vignette is always considerable here.



Achensee. The largest body of water in Tyrol is particularly popular in summer. The fjord-like mountain lake is also known as the "Tyrolean Sea" because of its winds.
Bergisel ski jump. The Bergisel ski jump, redesigned by star architect Zaha Hadid, won the Austrian State Prize for Architecture in 2002. Built in 1925 and extended and adapted for the Olympic Games in 1964 and 1976, the entire ski jumping facility was redesigned in 2001 according to plans by architect Zaha Hadid and is considered an architectural sensation. Sporty people can climb 455 steps to the ski jump tower at a height of 50 meters. It is much more comfortable to take the inclined lift and the visitor lift in the tower up to the café and restaurant as well as to the panoramic viewing platform with a 360-degree view of the Tyrolean mountains.
Swarovski Crystal Worlds. A water-spouting botanical giant guards the entrance to the Crystal Worlds designed by André Heller, which enchants visitors with an underground nesting of imaginative, glittering chambers of wonder. Originally intended as a gift to employees, collectors, customers and partners on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Swarovski's founding in 1995, the Crystal Worlds in Wattens near Innsbruck have now become a crowd puller. In the fall of 2003, André Heller expanded the most visited tourist facility in Tyrol with additional magical rooms that elicit new, exciting sensory impressions from the mysterious material crystal. A journey into a cosmos of sparkling ideas, contemporary art and the famous Swarovski crystal objects that will remain unforgettable.
Kufstein Fortress. The impressive complex, which dates back to the 13th century, covers an area of over 26,000 m² and is larger than the old town of Kufstein.
Innsbruck Alpine Zoo. As the world's only "theme zoo", the highest zoo in Europe (727 m) presents the animal world of the Alpine region in historical and modern times. 2000 animals from 150 species invite you to an eventful visit.
Silver mine in Schwaz. Here you can experience up close how 500 years ago more than 10,000 miners searched for silver and copper and made Tyrol one of the richest countries in Europe.
Ambras Castle. Visible from afar over the Tyrolean capital. It is one of the most important sights in Innsbruck and comes up with several superlatives. Not only is it one of the most beautiful Renaissance castles in Austria, it also houses the oldest art and armory collection in Europe.


What to do

Tyrol offers numerous possibilities in winter. Whether skiing, snowboarding or tobogganing, there are plenty of opportunities for every winter sports enthusiast.

mountain biking
To swim
Golf is particularly well represented in the Kitzbühel region, with around 20 golf courses within an hour's drive.



Knödln, Nudln, Nockn, Plenten (Polenta), these are the four Tyrolean elements. The Tyrolean cuisine has its roots in the peasant cuisine of the 18th and 19th centuries and is characterized by the very economical use of meat. Certain Italian influences are of course present, as well as the cuisine in South Tyrol, Friuli and Veneto - which varies from region to region - shows strong North Tyrolean influences.

Typical Tyrolean dishes include bacon dumplings, cheese spaetzle, Tyrolean Gröstl and Schlutzkrapfen. There are also specialties such as donuts (not to be confused with carnival donuts) and Kiachl (made from yeast dough). A typical national specialty is ham, especially bacon. Among the types of bread, the long-life bread "Schüttelbrot" and the flat rye bread with spices originally from Vingschau, called Vinschgerl, should be mentioned. When it comes to long-life sausages, the Kaminwurzen should be mentioned in particular.



Emergency numbers:
Fire Department 122
police 133
Ambulance/emergency doctor 144
Mountain Rescue 140
Medical emergency service 141
Accident and breakdown assistance, towing service: 120 (ÖAMTC), 123 (ARBÖ)


Rules and respect

The Tyrolean identity results from the history of the mountain region and, as a regional identity, is one of the most pronounced self-definitions of an ethnic group in Central Europe, similar to neighboring Old Bavaria: a Tyrolean sees himself as a Tyrolean in the state of Tyrol, he does not see himself as an Austrian and not in Austria. If a traditional Tyrolean is called Austrian by a non-Tyrolean, this is often accepted out of politeness towards a stranger, but it is considered ignorance of the situation.

Furthermore, the Tyrolean identity is then a multiple identity with, from the Tyrolean point of view, great differences in culture and mentality in the individual regions. The Unterländer from the Tiroler Unterland were exposed to a strong influence of the Bavarians of the time under Napoleon and are considered more lively and modern within Tirol, the Oberländer from the Oberland are considered more thoughtful and serious. The Zillertal has a certain independence from both, and the Tyrolean Unterland east of the Ziller River historically belongs to the Archdiocese of Salzburg and not to Innsbruck and Tyrol. East Tyrol, as a former part of South Tyrol and only isolated from the other parts of the federal state of Tyrol since 1919, also has an independent position. This applies even more to the Ausserfern with its historical connection to the Alemannic-speaking area (Augsburg) in the otherwise Bavarian Tyrol. The situation in South Tyrol must be seen against the special background that the South Tyroleans had to fight for their own cultural identity for a long time after the forced separation from Tyrol in Italy.



With an area of 12,648.37 square kilometers, Tyrol is the third largest state in Austria. It borders in the west on Vorarlberg, in the east on the states of Salzburg and Carinthia, in the north on Bavaria (Germany), in the south-west on the canton of Graubünden (Switzerland), in the south on South Tyrol and the province of Belluno (Italy). With a total of 719 kilometers, it has the longest external border of all federal states and, at 12.44%, the smallest proportion of permanent settlements in the state.



Tyrol belongs to the moderate climate zone and lies in the border area between Atlantic, continental and Mediterranean influence. The inner-alpine mountain climate, which has subcontinental features, is dominant. Relatively humid summers, dry autumns, snowy winters, but also strong local differences characterize the climate.

Chain mountains are weather divides, while air can flow around isolated mountain ranges. The Northern Limestone Alps mainly consist of mountain ranges where precipitation occurs at stagnant sites. The lee sides are mostly mild and dry. Like the whole of Central Europe, Tyrol is under the influence of the westerly wind zone, which is why the northern edge of the Alps is the wettest and snowiest.

The inner-Alpine valleys have a comparatively mild climate. While the average annual amount of precipitation in Reutte is still 1375 millimeters, on the northern edge of the Karwendel mountains around 2000 mm and in Kufstein 1330 mm, around Innsbruck it is around 900 mm and in the upper Inn valley only 600 mm. Large daily temperature amplitudes are also characteristic of the inner-Alpine valleys; the average daily maximum in July for Innsbruck, at 25.1 °C, is higher than that of most other weather stations in Austria.

The average altitude of Tyrol has a major influence on the temperatures. Except for the area around Kufstein, the settlements are over 500 meters. The mountains reduce the possible solar radiation, especially in the narrow north-south valleys like the Ötztal and the Pitztal.

The winter is usually characterized by the change between snowy and snowless weather conditions. In the northern parts of the country (Unterland, Ausserfern and Karwendel area), thick snowpacks of 50 cm and more are not uncommon, even at locations below 1000 m above sea level, due to the north damming effect, the effect of which is particularly pronounced with cold fronts. Inside the Alps, it snows little or not at all in such weather. Conversely, larger amounts of precipitation are possible within the Alps, especially when warm fronts arrive. Since the precipitation often falls as rain due to the milder weather at lower altitudes, thick snow cover is far less common in the Upper Inn Valley. It often happens that there is less snow in Landeck and Innsbruck than in Wörgl or Kufstein. Spring in the Alps is usually very unstable and rainy, cold snaps can occur. In summer, most of the rain falls from thunderstorms. Autumn is often characterized by long periods of fine weather. A special weather event is the Föhn, which occurs mainly in the transitional seasons. Wind speeds can reach up to 200 km/h on the Patscherkofel and up to 120 km/h in Innsbruck and make temperatures of over 20 °C possible even in late autumn and early spring.



Separated from South Tyrol (autonomous provinces of Trento and Bozen) by the Peace Treaty of St. Germain in 1919, the state of Tyrol (North and East Tyrol) became part of the newly founded Republic of German Austria (later Republic of Austria). The division of Tyrol as a result of the First World War was commemorated on a "national day of mourning" on October 10 (the day of the formal legal annexation of South Tyrol by Italy in 1919), which was observed until 1936. There were various efforts for an autonomous or independent state of Tyrol or the "annexation" to the German Reich. In the 1920s there was a gradual stabilization of the economy through industry, construction projects (roads, electrification of railway lines, power plants) and the resumption of tourism (first cable car construction). The onset of the global economic crisis and Hitler's 1933 ban on the thousand marks caused a sharp drop in the number of overnight stays, which had a severe impact on Tyrol's economy. On February 13, 1934, a civil war broke out in Wörgl between the Social Democratic Republican Protection League and the armed forces of the authoritarian Dollfuss government.

After the “reunification of Austria with the German Reich” (“annexation” of Hitler’s home country to the National Socialist German Reich), the Reichsgau Tirol-Vorarlberg was founded and Osttirol was attached to the Gau Carinthia. Due to the resettlement agreement between the two dictators Hitler and Mussolini (“Option in South Tyrol”), around 70,000 German-speaking South Tyroleans left their homeland from 1940, half of them found accommodation in settlements in North and East Tyrol that were specially built for them. During the Second World War, the resettlement was stopped. A third of those who had been evacuated returned to their old homeland after 1945.

Although the rule of the Nazi regime came to an end in 1945, the fighting on all fronts also claimed numerous lives in Tyrol. In addition, from 1943 the Allied air raids claimed numerous lives among the civilian population. On December 15, 1943, Innsbruck was the target of the first and at the same time most serious Allied air raid to hit the strategically important railway connections. 126 tons of high-explosive bombs caused 269 deaths, 500 wounded and hundreds of partially completely destroyed houses.

When American troops moved into Innsbruck on May 3, 1945, the hour came for the small resistance movement, which handed over a provisional state leadership to the new rulers. In the summer of 1945, Tyrol then became part of the French zone of occupation, while East Tyrol was added to the British zone. In 1947 East Tyrol was reunited with North Tyrol.

After the Austrian State Treaty on May 15, 1955, the occupation troops left the country again. A noticeable economic boom then set in, and the country changed from an agrarian to an industrial society with an important service sector. A revival of tourism also contributed to this. At the end of the 1950s, a veritable road construction boom began with important motorway and tunnel construction. Innsbruck, along with other venues, has twice hosted the Winter Olympics (1964 and 1976).

At the suggestion of Governor Eduard Wallnöfer, the working group of the Alpine countries (Arge Alp) was founded in 1972 in order to be able to discuss questions of cross-border interest in the Alpine region. In the 1980s, the population criticized the negative effects of increasing car traffic and mass tourism.

When Austria joined the EU in 1995 and joined the Schengen area on December 1, 1997, economic, cultural and political cooperation on both sides of the Brenner border with South Tyrol was intensified, to which the Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino European region also contributes.


Upper German dialects

South Bavarian dialects are predominantly spoken in Tyrol (see Bavarian). Characteristic of the Tyrolean is the scht pronunciation of the st in the middle of the word and the k especially in the initial sound as kch. The dialects in the Tyrolean Unterland show transitional features to Central Bavarian, and the dialects spoken in East Tyrol have similarities with the Pustertal dialect in South Tyrol and with the dialects in Carinthia. Alemannic dialects are also spoken in parts of the Ausserfern. Overall, the dialects in western Tyrol show clear transitional characteristics to Alemannic and Swabian.



According to the 2001 census were:
561,700 people (83.4% of the population) Catholics. Tyrol thus had the highest proportion of Catholics of all Austrian provinces.
16,000 (2.4%) were evangelical,
10,900 (1.6%) belonged to an Orthodox Church and
4,500 (0.7%) belonged to another Christian denomination.
≈ 4% of the population were Muslims,
5.2% non-denominational.

Since then, the proportion of non-denominational citizens, Muslims and Orthodox Christians has increased in Tyrol, as everywhere in Austria, while the proportion of Protestant and Catholic Christians has decreased.



State constitution

The current state constitution, the “Tiroler Landesordnung”, came into force in 1989 and has been amended several times since then. Due to the federal structure of Austria and the federal principle of its federal constitution, Tyrol has its own executive and legislative organs as well as its own judicial organ with the state administrative court. All executive, legislative and judiciary bodies are based in the provincial capital of Innsbruck.



The Tyrolean Parliament is the legislative body of the State of Tyrol. It consists of 36 MPs and is elected every five years.

The state of Tyrol is a stronghold of the ÖVP, which has provided all provincial governors since 1945. Even in nationwide elections, the results were always among the top three federal states. The dominance is due to the historically strong influence of the Roman Catholic Church and the weak industrial sector in the country, which has undergone a direct development from an agricultural country to a service country. In the state elections of 1945, 1949, 1965, 1975, 1979 and 1984, the ÖVP even won a two-thirds majority of seats in the Tyrolean state parliament. In the state elections of 1989 it lost the absolute majority of the votes for the first time, and in 1999 also those based on mandates. In 2003, the absolute majority based on mandates was won for the last time. Until the state elections in 1999, the other state parliament parties were integrated into the government via the proportional representation system.


State government

The Tyrolean provincial government, as the government elected by the provincial parliament, is responsible for the implementation of provincial laws and special federal laws that fall under the implementation of the provincial governments. The state governor is the chairman of the state government and the state's head of government, represented by the deputy state governor. In addition to the provincial governor and his deputy, the government also includes provincial councilors with different divisions. After a change in the Tyrolean state constitution, the proportional representation model gave way to the interplay between government and opposition, which is also practiced in the federal government. The ÖVP formed a coalition with the SPÖ from 1999 to 2013 and then decided to work with Die Grünen Tirol.

After the state elections on April 28, 2013, the Tyrolean state government was formed from a coalition of the ÖVP and the Greens. The Platter II state government elected on May 24, 2013 included Günther Platter as governor, new deputies were Josef Geisler (ÖVP) as first deputy governor and Ingrid Felipe (Greens) as second deputy governor. Christine Baur (Greens) was newly added as a state councillor, the ÖVP state councilors remained as before Beate Palfrader, Johannes Tratter, Bernhard Tilg and Patrizia Zoller-Frischauf.

After the state elections in Tyrol in 2018, the state government Platter III was formed and sworn in on March 28, 2018. There were no personnel changes in the ÖVP. Gabriele Fischer (Greens) replaced Christine Baur as state councillor.

After the state elections in Tyrol in 2022, the state government Mattle was formed and sworn in on October 25, 2022 in the constituent session of the state parliament. For the first time historically, the ÖVP no longer provides the first deputy governor. This is now the party leader of the SPÖ Tirol, Georg Dornauer. Other state government members of the ÖVP are, as before, Josef Geisler as 2nd LH Deputy. (previously 1st) responsible for agriculture, spatial planning and land traffic, now Cornelia Hagele as state councilor for health, care, education and science, Mario Gerber for the economic and tourism agenda and Astrid Mair for the security agenda and employees. For the SPÖ, the other two state government members are Eva Pawlata for social affairs, women and inclusion and René Zumtobel for the agendas of transport, environmental, nature and climate protection. This is the first time that a government partner in the Tyrolean state government has three state government members.


Economy and Infrastructure


The economic structure in Tyrol varies greatly from region to region. The greater Innsbruck area has a concentration of educational and administrative infrastructure with larger industrial companies also existing at the same time. In the rest of the state, the economy is predominantly characterized by small and medium-sized businesses, especially the Oberland, the district of Kitzbühel and East Tyrol are characterized by a small business structure. In the district of Kitzbühel, however, there are also industrial and service companies of European importance in the areas of chipboard, pharmacy, insulating material and tourism (incoming and outgoing).

The industry is mainly represented in the greater Innsbruck area, in the districts of Schwaz and Kufstein (Lower Inn Valley) and in the Reutte area.

Tourism dominates in the Oberland and in the district of Kitzbühel. He plays a big role across the country. The district of Schwaz has important industrial areas as well as important tourist regions (Zillertal and Achensee).

Tyrol has around 360,000 guest beds, around half of them in hotels and around a third in holiday apartments. Tyrolean tourism employs around 55,000 workers, many of whom, however, do not work all year round.

Agriculture does not play a major role economically, but is important for the country's self-image and for the preservation of the landscape.

In 2014, the regional gross domestic product per inhabitant, expressed in purchasing power standards, was 138% (EU-28: 100% Austria: 129%).

Compared to the residents of the other Austrian federal states, the Tyroleans earn the least. While the average gross annual income in Austria in 2005 was 22,611 euros, a resident of Tyrol earned an average of 20,671 euros in the same period.


Economic structure by sectors

Primary sector: 4%
Secondary Sector: 22%
Tertiary sector: 74%
(as of 2019)



Tourism is an important economic sector in Tyrol. This area accounts for an average of 17.5% of the Tyrolean gross regional product. In addition, around 55,000 people are employed in Tyrolean tourism.

In the tourism year 2017/18, 12.3 million guests came to the various municipalities in the federal state. About half of the tourists came from Germany (52.1% of the 49.4 million overnight stays). In addition, numerous holidaymakers came from the Netherlands (10.0%), Austria (8.5%), Switzerland (5.6%) and the United Kingdom (3.4%). Other nations that played a rather subordinate role just a few years ago are becoming increasingly important, e.g. B. Russia.

The winter season is stronger than the summer season. In the tourism year 2017/18, 27.6 million overnight stays were attributable to the winter season (56%) and 21.8 million to the summer season.

Sölden in the far end of the Ötztal (Imst district) has been the municipality with the most overnight stays in Austria for years. In 2019, Sölden had 2,577,569 overnight stays with 17,328 beds.



Historically, Tyrol has been a central intersection of European long-distance roads and thus a transit country for trans-European trade across the Alps. Already in 15 BC Tyrol was crossed by the most important north-south connection of the Roman Empire, the Via Claudia Augusta. Roman roads led through Tyrol from the Po Valley in today's Italy, following the course of the Etsch and Eisack in today's South Tyrol, over the current border at the Brenner Pass and then down the northern Wipptal valley to Hall. From there, roads branch off along the Inn. The Via Raetia went west and up to the Seefeld Plateau, where it transitioned into what is now Bavaria at Scharnitz. From the early 17th century there is the fortification of the Porta Claudia, which emphasized the strategic importance of the road even in modern times.

Today, Tyrol has access to international road, rail and air transport. With Innsbruck Airport, Tyrol has an international airport at its disposal. There are also some small airfields in various places, for example in St. Johann in Tirol, in Höfen in the Ausserfern or in Langkampfen. Many public transport companies are grouped together in the Verkehrsverbund Tirol.

In 2017, the degree of motorization (cars per 1,000 inhabitants) was 532.



Two autobahns run through the country: the Tyrolean section of the Inntal autobahn A 12 begins near Kufstein, which leads to the autobahn Munich-Salzburg (A 8) near Rosenheim in Bavaria, making it the only continuous autobahn connection to eastern Austria via the Große Deutsches Eck. The Inntalautobahn runs from Kufstein through the Inntal, past the towns of Wörgl, Schwaz, Hall, Innsbruck and Imst to Landeck. There the Inntal autobahn turns into the Arlberg expressway S 16, which at St. Anton connects the state with Vorarlberg through the Arlberg road tunnel. There is a motorway junction near Innsbruck with the A 13 Brenner motorway, which leads south through the Wipptal valley to the Italian border.

An important inner-Austrian connection (small German corner) is the Loferer Straße B 178, which leads from Kirchbichl via St. Johann in Tirol to Unken.

There are connections via state roads "B" (from west to east):
to the Federal Republic of Germany
near Vils to Pfronten and to Füssen
near Ehrwald to Garmisch-Partenkirchen
near Scharnitz to Mittenwald
through the Achental and over the Achenpass to Tegernsee
near Kufstein to Kiefersfelden
near Niederndorf to Oberaudorf and to Aschau im Chiemgau
near Kössen to Schleching and to Reit im Winkl

to Italy
through the Upper Court in the upper Inn Valley and over the Reschen Pass to Schlanders and on to Meran
through the Ötztal and over the Timmelsjoch (closed in winter) to St. Leonhard in Passeier and on to Meran
through the Wipptal and over the Brenner Pass to Sterzing
from Sillian to San Candido

to Switzerland
through the upper court in the upper Inn valley to Scuol in the Engadin


Rail transport

The north-south connection from Munich to Verona runs near Kufstein on Tyrolean soil, then to Innsbruck and as the Brenner Railway to the Brenner Pass, where it leaves the country again in the direction of Italy. The Innsbruck bypass has been available for freight traffic since 1994, which means that the provincial capital Innsbruck and the city of Hall could be bypassed by a large part of freight transit traffic. The east-west connection from Vienna via Linz and Salzburg (the "Austrian Western Railway") runs through Tyrol as the Unterinntalbahn in two variants:

The shorter and faster variant leads from Salzburg via Rosenheim to Kufstein without stopping through Germany,
the longer and only inner-Austrian line runs as the Salzburg-Tiroler-Bahn or "Giselabahn" from Salzburg via Schwarzach/St. Veit, reaches Tirol near Hochfilzen and runs via St. Johann in Tirol and Kitzbühel to Wörgl, where it meets the Unterinntalbahn at Wörgl main station. This continues through the Inn Valley to Innsbruck and then as the Arlberg Railway over the Arlberg to Feldkirch in Vorarlberg, where the line splits in the direction of Bregenz and Buchs (Switzerland).

Until 2013, there were two direct trains a day from Innsbruck in North Tyrol to Lienz in East Tyrol. These trains used the route through South Tyrol and also stopped at all stations on Italian territory. The route initially runs in a southerly direction over the Brenner Pass to Franzensfeste and branches off from the Brenner Railway to the east until it rejoins Austrian territory after San Candido near Weitlanbrunn. On December 14, 2013, this direct connection was discontinued; Since December 15, 2013, a double-decker bus has been running from Lienz to Innsbruck and back, which is why there are no longer any boarding options in South Tyrol.

There are also less frequented international railway connections: the Mittenwaldbahn runs from Innsbruck via Seefeld and Mittenwald to Garmisch-Partenkirchen; from there the Ausserfernbahn to Reutte and on to Kempten (Allgäu). Tyrol also has a good transport infrastructure system with four other railway lines in local transport:

The IVB Stubai Valley Railway (STB line) from Innsbruck to Fulpmes
the Innsbruck low mountain railway of the IVB (line 6) from Innsbruck to Innsbruck-Igls
the Zillertalbahn from Jenbach to Mayrhofen
and the Achenseebahn, which only runs in summer, also from Jenbach to Seespitz

The backbone of local transport in the provincial capital is the Innsbruck tram and light rail system, which is currently being expanded, while the S-Bahn Tirol is the backbone of regional transport in the central area. Also important for public transport is the regional bus network of the VVT, which also opens up the higher valleys.


Development history

Tyrol's connection to the railway network began with the Lower Inn Valley Railway from Kufstein to Innsbruck, which was opened on November 24, 1858 by the North Tyrolean State Railway. The Brenner Railway was managed by the private k.k. Südbahngesellschaft was built and went into operation in 1867. The first inner-Austrian connection from Vienna to Tyrol was established with the completion of the Pustertalbahn in November 1871. The first inner-Austrian connection created in 1875 was the Salzburg-Tyrol railway, which had been under construction since 1873.

The Arlberg Railway to the west went into operation in 1883 as far as Landeck, and in 1884 in its entire length to Bludenz in Vorarlberg. The Ausserfernbahn, which has been in operation since 1895, has only been connected to the Bavarian network (Garmisch and Kempten (Allgäu)) since its inception. The Mittenwaldbahn, built between 1910 and 1912, is one of the first standard-gauge railways to be electrified from the start.

The formation of a fully-fledged railway system to connect the side valleys (e.g. there were projects for the development of the Upper Court with the Reschenbahn, the Ötztal, the Alpbachtal, the Iseltal) was thwarted by the outbreak of the First World War and was never tackled afterwards.


Arts and Culture

Prehistory and Roman times

In the Urnfield period there were numerous settlements due to mining. In Roman times, the town of Aguntum near Lienz was the only significant settlement.



Comparatively little has been preserved from the Romanesque period, as in contrast to South Tyrol, many churches and castles were later rebuilt or rebuilt. Examples are the Leonhard Chapel in Nauders and the St. Nicholas Church in Matrei in Osttirol. The painting is based on Byzantine austerity.



The Gothic style was able to spread in Tyrol especially in the 15th century, when wealth poured into the country through many mines. Much was able to survive later conversions, which can be seen in the pointed church towers, which were mostly preserved even after baroque renovation. Landeck, Schwaz and Seefeld are examples of this. In addition to ecclesiastical buildings, secular ones were built, such as the town hall and Hasegg Castle in Hall, the city tower and the Goldenes Dachl in Innsbruck. The type of Inn-Salzach town developed in the Inn Valley, for example in Innsbruck, Hall and Rattenberg.



The Renaissance style found its way into Tyrol in the course of the 16th century. Only a few important works were created, such as the Ambras and Tratzberg castles and the tomb of Emperor Maximilian I in the Hofkirche. Numerous houses in Innsbruck's old town stand at the transition from Gothic to Renaissance. The Innsbruck area has been an important European center for bronze casting since the late Gothic period.

In the Oberland, facade paintings can be found on inns and town houses (e.g. in Oetz, Habichen, Wenns, Kauns, Ladis).


Baroque and Rococo

The splendor of the baroque goes back to the Counter-Reformation, with baroque forms first appearing in Tyrol around 1620.

The first notable Baroque buildings are the Servitenkirche near Volders and the Jesuitenkirche in Innsbruck, both of which have Italian influences. The important builder family Gumpp determined the architecture of Innsbruck for three generations. Georg Anton Gumpp created the country house and the redesign of the Stams Abbey in the Upper Inn Valley. The Innsbruck Cathedral was designed by the important master builder J. Herkomer from Füssen. Other important Baroque artists are Jakob Prandtauer (Melk Abbey), Paul Troger and the Zeiller family of painters in Ausserfern as representatives of the Lüftlmalerei, a folksy facade painting.

The Singer family was active in the Unterland. Franz de Paula Penz worked as a spiritual building director, through him many village churches were built south of Innsbruck. His main work is the Wilten Basilica, which is considered a high point of the Rococo. Rococo stucco also adorns the façade of the Helblinghaus in Innsbruck.


19th century

At the end of the 18th century, classicism with simple, strictly structured architecture emerged as a counter-movement to the baroque. It can be seen in the church in Neustift im Stubaital, more clearly in that in Brixen im Thale. The Napoleonic Wars and the subsequent economic crisis were detrimental to further building activity. The façade of the Landestheater in Innsbruck from 1846 features classical columns.

From the middle of the 19th century, several churches were built in the style of historicism (neo-Romanesque and neo-Gothic), for example in Telfs, Weerberg, St. Nikolaus. Large-scale wall paintings in the church interiors took up the Renaissance style of the Nazarenes again.

The ornamental Art Nouveau at the turn of the century left few traces in Tyrol. The most important ones can be found in Kufstein and at the Winklerhaus near the Triumphpforte in Innsbruck.

Literature and painting experienced an upswing in the 19th century. Franz von Defregger and his pupil Albin Egger-Lienz shaped the image of Tyrol with their genre paintings of Tyrolean peasant life. The geology professor and geographer Adolf Pichler was initially a scientist, later he became one of the most influential poets of the 19th century. With the playwright Franz Kranewitter, Tyrolean literature entered the modern era.


20th century

Albin Egger-Lienz was at the beginning of modernism, Alfons Walde took up his motifs again and worked as the architect of the Hahnenkamm cable car stations in Kitzbühel. Some of the plays by the playwright Karl Schönherr became world successes. In 1910, Ludwig von Ficker founded the literary magazine Der Brenner, a forum for cultural criticism. He was also a patron of Georg Trakl.

After the First World War, there was a movement for renewal in architecture, supported above all by Clemens Holzmeister and Alois Welzenbacher. Max Weiler caused a scandal with his frescoes in the Theresienkirche on Innsbruck's Hungerburg. Among other things, he designed the murals at the main station in 1954, which were removed and hung up again on the new main station building in 2004. Paul Flora had a drawing style similar to caricature.

Markus Wilhelm, Hans Haid and Felix Mitterer take a critical look at Tyrol and the effects of mass tourism. Mitterer's best-known work is probably the television satire The Piefke Saga.


Flora and fauna

Tyrol is home to Austria's only endemic mammal, the Bavarian short-eared mouse (Microtus liechtensteini bavaricus).