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Services in Innsbruck

The central rail station in Innsbruck, Austria, is offering important services to young travelers. In a separate waiting room where luggage can be stored free, youths can also get advice on sightseeing and information on budget accommodations. The office is at the end of the station, where a taxi stand is located.

Posted on the wall outside the office is a listing of hostel-style accommodations in the Innsbruck area. Inside is the waiting room where packs can be stored for several hours, where inexpensive soft drinks are sold and where maps and advice from an English-speaking staffer is offered on what to see, how to get around and where to stay.

One of Innsbruck’s charms is that much of the core of the city is the same as it was 500 years ago.

The central section is reserved for pedestrians for most of the day inasmuch as vehicles are prohibited from 10 a.m. to late evening. People can wander over cobblestone streets past diners eating in a 600-year-old inn (The Golden Adler) where Mozart once stayed, and can relax at a sidewalk cafe under the famous Golden Roof, a city landmark. From the balcony beneath this roof, Emperor Maximilian I once urged his knights into jousting tournaments.

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After soaking up the medieval street atmosphere, youths can board a local tram (No. 3 or No. 6) and head for the edge of town, where in a parklike setting is Ambras Castle, which has a fascinating and extensive collection of knightly armor. Featured is a metal suit of a court giant, who, in an era when the average man’s height was 5 feet or less, was estimated to be 7 feet tall.

Ambras Castle, which closes Sept. 30, will reopen May 1. Adult admission is about $2.40. Students pay 80 cents.

The Austrian Railway Network is offering a special card to travelers under 26 years of age. Called the Junior Rabbit Card, the tickets are for travel anywhere on the system for any four days within a 10-day period.

The Junior Rabbit Card costs $69 first-class, $48 second-class. The cards are sold at rail stations in Austria where a carrot sign is displayed. They are also distributed in North America by Rail Europe, and can be purchased through travel agents for $78 first-class, $53 second-class.

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Munich’s Oktoberfest, one of the world’s biggest parties and a 2 1/2-hour rail journey northeast of Innsbruck, will be held Sept. 25 to Oct. 6.

Entrance to Oktoberfest is free. It has a fair area and a number of huge tents, each capable of holding several thousand visitors. Everyone is encouraged to sit at large tables inside the tents, listen to the music, drink beer and sing along.

Munich publishes a special booklet to assist young visitors. It includes information on where to stay, how to get around, sights to see and emergency services. The most recent edition, however, is from 1990, so some prices will probably have increased.

Copies of the “Young People’s Guide to Munich” are available from Munich city tourist offices.

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Free copies also can be requested from the German National Tourist Office, 444 S. Flower St., Suite 2230, Los Angeles 90071, (213) 688-7332.


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