Swarovski Crystal World#10 in Best Things To Do in Innsbruck
You've certainly seen these sparkling, diamond-like jewels. Today, they appear on just about everything -- dresses, purses, sculptures, microphones, chandeliers and more. Innsbruck, the origin of the dazzling gems, hosts Swarovski Crystal Word just outside downtown to display the intriguing possibilities of this created and cut material. So it would appear that it's Swarovski crystal -- and not gold -- that glitters in Austria.
In fact, Swarovski Kristallwelten has been described as the Disney World of Crystal; however, in reality, the theme park is more akin to a large contemporary art exhibition featuring the prized gems. You'll find crystalline reproductions of artwork by famous artists such as Andy Warhol. And the most impressive feature of all greets you at the entrance -- a gigantic glimmering bust that spits water into a pool. Still, as one TripAdvisor user confesses: "Our visit … was a complete waste. We saw nothing interesting except for the 300,000 karat cut crystal. … The brochure said we would see the work of the world's top designers. Instead we just walked through rooms full of nothing satisfactory."
Visitors are also put off by the steep cost of entry. Swarovski Crystal World, open daily from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., charges €9.50 EUR (or about $13 USD). Plus there's a park shuttle (running every two hours from downtown Innsbruck) that costs nearly as much as the admission fee (€8.50 EUR, or about $12 USD). The shuttle fare and park admission is covered for those who have the Innsbruck Card. For more information, check out the park's website.
More Best Things To Do in Innsbruck
#1 Maria-Theresien-Strasse (Maria Theresa Street)
Acting as the triumphant entrance into the medieval Innsbruck, Maria Theresien-Strasse funnels visitors through a long procession of shops and restaurants. The avenue, though historic, has now become a bit overrun with tourists snapping photos of every gorgeous building they see (which are also quite numerous). The tourists, architecture, shops and restaurants also translates to inflated prices, so beware of the small price tags on objects and price-less menus at cafes.
When you're in need of a stroll, you can follow Maria-Theresien-Strasse through Old Town (or the Altstadt) to the Golden Roof. The area is safe during the day and night, but watch your pockets in crowded spots.
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