Welcome to the ultimate travel guide on Bruneck-the charming little Alpine gem located in the heart ofSouth Tyrol.

Bruneck is the geographic as well as the cultural and economic center of South Tyrol. Its fascinating historic center offers visitors the chance to step back in time to discover the traditions and architecture of this breathtaking city.

It is a city full of charm and beauty, surrounded by majestic mountains and deep valleys. A city where Alpine culture meets Italian elegance, offering a unique combination of history, gastronomy, traditions and sports.

We will take you through the picturesque cobblestone streets of the old town, inside museums and churches laden with history, and to the foot of the medieval castle that dominates the city. We will guide you along beautiful scenic hikes, from Plan de Corones to the Dolomites to the famous Lake Braies.

We’ll have you sample the exquisite South Tyrolean cuisine, with its folkloric blend of Italian and Austrian influences, and discover local wineries that produce wonderful red and white wines.

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Finally, we will introduce you to the best activities for all seasons, from winter sports to summer hiking, and introduce you to the warm hospitality of South Tyrol at its best.

There are breathtaking views of the Dolomites from Bruneck. Here, every nook and cranny is an opportunity to discover something new and surprising, whether it is a picturesque street corner, a traditional dish, or a hiking trail hidden in the forest.

No matter if you are a history lover, a mountain enthusiast, a foodie in search of authentic flavors or a traveler looking for a new enchanting corner of Europe to discover, Bruneck has something for you.

But now, it’s time to start the journey. Ready to discover the wonders of Bruneck?

What to see in Brunico

Bruneck, one of South Tyrol’s most charming towns, is a true Alpine gem filled with culture, history, breathtaking scenery and plenty of activities for everyone.

Here are some of the must-sees in Bruneck.

Brunico Old Town

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At the heart of the town of Bruneck lies the charming Old Town, a labyrinth of cobblestone streets framed by colorful medieval buildings. Here, you can stroll down the Central Street, a street filled with unique little stores offering both high-quality South Tyrolean products and items from international brands.

Historic churches dot the landscape, offering a glimpse of Bruneck’s rich history and culture. You can take the time to admire their architectural details or make it the starting point to learn more about the region’s history.

The old town of Bruneck is a place where you can literally walk through history. From every corner, you can see how South Tyrol’s rich cultural heritage blends seamlessly with modernity. It is not uncommon to see old buildings side by side with modern stores, trendy cafes and cozy restaurants.

In addition to shopping and cultural visits, Bruneck’s Old Town also offers many opportunities to enjoy the delicious local cuisine. From small bistros on the street to more refined restaurants, you can relax and enjoy authentic South Tyrolean dishes and Italian delicacies.

The vibrant and welcoming atmosphere of Bruneck’s Old Town, combined with its rich history and culture, make it a must-see for anyone visiting South Tyrol.

Bruneck Castle

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Located on a hill overlooking the town of Bruneck, Bruneck Castle is a majestic symbol of the region’s rich history. Built in 1251 by Prince-Bishop Bruno von Kirchberg, who gave his name to both the castle and the town, the manor house was part of the defense system of the ancient Diocese of Brixen.

Bruneck Castle boasts a fascinating and tumultuous history, going through changes in its role and influence over the centuries. Its walls and towers have withstood the passage of time, bearing witness to its historical importance.

Today, the castle is a prominent cultural site, as it houses one of the six mountain museums founded by mountaineer Reinhold Messner. The Messner Mountain Museum RIPA is dedicated to mountain peoples from around the world and their cultures, religions and lifestyles.

Inside the castle, visitors can explore numerous exhibits showcasing mountain life in various parts of the world, providing a one-of-a-kind experience. The views from the castle to the city below and the surrounding majestic peaks are incredible.

Bruneck Christmas Market

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The Bruneck Christmas Markets, also known as the “Brunecker Christkindlmarkt,” are a must-see annual event in the South Tyrolean town of Bruneck. Every year during the Advent season, the Christmas Markets transform the city into a charming and magical Christmas atmosphere.

Set up in Bruneck’s historic center, the markets offer a wide range of handicrafts and local specialties, such as wooden objects, ceramics, candles, Christmas decorations, typical food products and hot drinks, including traditional mulled wine and hot chocolate. The stalls are set up with care and attention to detail, conveying the authentic charm and atmosphere of a traditional South Tyrolean Christmas market.

In addition, the Bruneck Christmas Markets offer a variety of entertainment, such as live music performances, choirs, plays and children’s activities. One of the most anticipated events is the arrival of St. Nicholas and the Krampus, a local tradition in which these folkloric figures parade through the streets of the city, giving sweets to children and cheering the crowds.

Not only are the Bruneck Christmas Markets an excellent opportunity to purchase unique, handcrafted Christmas gifts, but they also allow you to savor the authentic holiday atmosphere of South Tyrol.

St. Catherine's Church

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St. Catherine’s Church, one of the influential late medieval Gothic churches in the region, is of fundamental importance to the local spiritual sphere.

Its foundation dates back to the second half of the 14th century, making it one of Bruneck’s oldest historical jewels. Although much of the original church has been rebuilt over the centuries, vestiges of its medieval past can still be observed.

St. Catherine’s Church is remarkable for its simplicity: the exterior, in late Gothic style, is characterized by clean lines and restraint in decoration. The interior, however, can be considered a true artistic treasure thanks to frescoes dating back to the early 15th century. These frescoes depict various scenes from the life of St. Catherine of Alexandria, to whom the church is dedicated.

Rieserferner-Ahrn Nature Park

Parco Naturale Vedrette di Ries-Aurina

Vedrette di Ries-Aurina Nature Park, is one of the most fascinating nature parks in Italy. Covering an area of 31,505 hectares, it includes the Ahrntal Valley and several municipal areas including Campo Tures, Gais, Percha, Rasun-Anterselva, Ahrntal, and Predoi.

The diversity of the park’s topography is fascinating, with picturesque valleys, majestic mountains, and impressive rock formations. The park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, some of which are endemic to the region.

With more than 60 hiking trails to choose from, the Rieserferner-Ahrn Nature Park is a hiker’s paradise. These trails offer opportunities for hikers of all levels, from the more leisurely family trails to the more challenging high-altitude trails.

The park directly borders the Hohe Tauern National Park in East Tyrol, forming a vast unspoiled natural environment. Because of this feature, visitors have the opportunity to explore the wonders of both nature parks in one trip.

Lake Braies

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Lake Braies is one of the most beloved lakes in South Tyrol, and its crystal-clear waters and surrounding mountains have given it the nickname “the pearl of the Dolomite lakes.” Due to its natural beauty, it is one of the most popular destinations for anyone visiting the region of South Tyrol.

Located at an elevation of about 1,496 meters above sea level, the lake lies in the heart of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park. It covers an area of about 31 hectares and is one of the deepest lakes in South Tyrol, reaching a maximum depth of 36 meters.

Its location at the foot of the imposing Croda del Becco rock face gives Lake Braies a timeless charm. Its waters range from shades of green to turquoise and offer a breathtaking reflection of the surrounding mountain landscape.

The lake is also famous for its romantic rowboats, which can be rented by visitors in summer. These boats, called “Stocherkähne,” offer a unique way to discover the lake and admire its colors from the water.

During winter, when its waters freeze over, Lake Braies turns into a natural skating rink, offering an unforgettable winter experience. In summer, you can hike around the lake or go into the Nature Park to discover more natural wonders.

Lake Antholz

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Located in the Puster Valley, Lake Antholz is one of the most fascinating alpine bodies of water in the region. Located more than 1,600 meters above sea level, it is the third largest alpine lake in South Tyrol.

Surrounded by dense coniferous forests and the mountains of the Dolomites, Lake Antholz is known for its crystal-clear waters that shimmer in a range of hues from green to blue. This idyllic view and the peacefulness of the place make it an ideal destination for a day of relaxation and contact with nature.

During the summertime, the lake offers numerous opportunities for hiking, walking and exploring the local flora and fauna. The surrounding trails invite long walks or bicycle tours, while the lake itself can be explored by rowing boat.

In winter, the area surrounding Lake Antholz becomes a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts. Cross-country skiers will especially appreciate the Antholz Biathlon Center, one of the most important centers for this sport. When the surface of the lake freezes over, it provides a unique experience for ice skating.

Riva Falls

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The Riva Falls, also known as Reinbach Waterfalls, are a series of impressive waterfalls located near the town of Campo Tures, South Tyrol. These waterfalls are among the most spectacular in the entire region, offering a true natural spectacle on every visit.

The route to the Riva Falls begins in the center of Sand in Taufers. From here, a well-marked trail takes visitors through a fascinating journey along the Aurino River, passing through a lush forest and past ancient watermills. Along the way, three magnificent waterfalls can be seen, each with its own unique characteristics.

The waterfalls, which are notable for their power and large amount of water, are surrounded by lush vegetation, composing a truly fascinating natural picture. During the various seasons, the scenery changes drastically, but always retains a special charm.

In summer, the stream that feeds Riva Falls carries large amounts of water, making the roar of the falls especially intense. In autumn, the colors of the forest surrounding the falls change to shades of red, orange and gold, providing a spectacular contrast with the water cascading downward.

Walks in Bruneck

Parco Naturale Fanes-Senes-Braies

Nestled in the heart of South Tyrol, Bruneck is a town that enchants with its mix of history, culture, and a breathtaking alpine landscape. One of the best ways to discover these wonders is undoubtedly through relaxing walks.

Here are some of the most beautiful walks to take in Bruneck.

Route Along the Rienza River

A walk along the Rienza River can be taken from the center of Bruneck. The easily accessible trail offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains, making it ideal for a relaxing walk or a morning run.

The Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park

Only a short drive from Bruneck, the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park offers a range of hiking trails in a breathtaking alpine landscape. From walking along the forest trails, you can admire wonderful views, rich in alpine flora and fauna.

The Legends Trail of Reischach

For a walk steeped in local culture, the Trail of Legends in Reischach is an excellent choice. Several signs along the trail tell myths and legends from the alpine world, making this walk a fascinating experience for adults and children alike.

Panoramic Road to Bruneck Castle

A walk along the scenic road leading to Bruneck Castle is an experience not to be missed. The castle, towering over the town, houses the impressive Messner Mountain Ripa Museum. The scenic walk offers splendid views of the valley and surrounding peaks.

Each of these walks in Bruneck offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the beautiful nature of South Tyrol, breathe in the clean mountain air, and immerse yourself in a culture rich in history and tradition. There is no better way to discover Bruneck!

Skiing in Brunico

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When winter spreads its white coat over South Tyrol, transforming the landscapes into enchanted pictures, Bruneck becomes a true paradise for skiers.

Indeed, Bruneck and its surroundings are home to some of the most beautiful ski slopes in Italy, taken by storm every year by thousands of enthusiasts.

Here is a taste of what I might enjoy skiing in Bruneck.

Plan De Corones: A True Paradise for Skiers

The most famous ski resort near Bruneck is undoubtedly Plan De Corones (Kronplatz in German). Considered one of the most modern and well-equipped ski areas in the Dolomites, it offers more than 100 kilometers of well-maintained slopes suitable for all levels of experience, from beginners to experts.

Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding in Brunico

The possibilities for fun in the snow are not limited to downhill skiing. Snowboarders can find a dedicated area with half-pipe and snowpark at Plan De Corones. If, on the other hand, you prefer cross-country skiing, the Antholz cross-country center offers more than 30 kilometers of trails surrounded by beautiful forests.

Services for Skiers

Bruneck offers a wide range of services dedicated to skiers. You can rent your equipment at the many local businesses, book lessons with qualified instructors, and warm up with a hot chocolate or a slice of strudel at one of the many huts along the slopes.

Winter Events and Excursions

The ski season in Bruneck is not just about skiing. You can participate in special events such as torchlight descents at Christmas time, or even experience the thrilling experience of snowshoeing under the stars.

Post Ski Relaxation

After a day on the slopes, you can relax at the many wellness facilities in the area that offer treatments based on mountain products to rejuvenate your body and mind.

Skiing in Bruneck is an experience that combines sport, fun and a good dose of natural beauty.

And if you don’t know how to ski, don’t worry! With a little good will and the help of local ski instructors, you too can hit the slopes and enjoy the magic of snow.

Where to sleep in Bruneck

If you are planning a trip to Bruneck, you will find a wide range of options for your stay.

The city and its immediate surroundings offer a wide variety of accommodations to suit all budgets and needs.

There are elegant hotels with full services included, perfect for those seeking comfort and luxury. Many Bed & Breakfasts and family guesthouses offer a more intimate and cozy experience, while the many apartments for rent allow for more independence, ideal for families and larger groups.

Again, as in many locations in the Alps, it is definitely advisable to book early to get the best possible choice.

Whatever your travel style or budget, Bruneck has something to offer to ensure a memorable stay.

 


How to get to Brunico

Bruneck, located in the heart of the Alps, is easily accessible from various European cities via various modes of transportation.

For those traveling by car, the A22 (Brenner-Modena) freeway is the main junction: we recommend exiting at the Brixen exit and following the signs for Bruneck along State Road 49.

If you prefer the train, Bruneck station is well connected to major cities in the region, with trains arriving from Bolzano, Brixen and Fortezza.

For those traveling by air, the nearest airports are Innsbruck in Austria (about 105 km) and Bolzano in Italy (about 77 km).

From both airports, you can reach Bruneck by train, bus or private transfer services.

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