The Swarovski Crystal Worlds or Kristallwelten near Innsbruck in Austria is unlike any other tourist attraction in the world. Imagine an underground tour or magical chambers filled with differently themed crystal artwork underneath a fairytale landscape in an Alpine setting. That is what you can expect on a visit to the Crystal Worlds in Wattens.
To find the Swarovski Crystal Worlds (Kristallwelten) at our front door was one of the biggest surprises when we arrived in Innsbruck. I never knew Swarovski crystals came from Austria, never mind the village of Wattens in Tyrol. My guess was always Eastern Europe.
Given the fact that Daniel Swarovski, the glass cutter who founded the company in 1895, was born in what is now the Czech Republic, I suppose I wasn’t entirely wrong.
We´ve been to the Swarovski Crystal Worlds countless times at different times of the year, and they always manage to surprise us with something new. That is why we will keep on going back.
Swarovski Crystal Worlds Basics
|Entrance Fees||€23 (adults) or €7 (kids 6-17 years)|
|Opening Times||09:00 to 19:00|
|Address||Kristallweltenstr. 1, 6112 Wattens, Austria|
|Included in Innsbruck Card||Yes|
|Public Transport||Shuttle bus from Innsbruck, normal bus, train|
Chambers of Wonder
To me, the Swarovski Kristallwelten is about marvelling at what a bunch of highly creative people did with millions of dashing crystals.
The main attraction is the chambers of wonder in the belly of the Giant, a creation of André Heller. The Giant supposedly watches over his treasures – which are hidden beneath the earth – after collecting them on a world journey.
Each chamber of wonder was created by a renowned artist, designer, or architect to show off the brilliance of Swarovski crystals. The 18th chamber of wonder, the light installation Umbra by James Turrell, was opened in April 2022.
In 2021, a chamber of wonder called the Art of Performance, featuring iconic outfits worn by famous actors and musicians on screen and the stage, are exhibited against a dazzling backdrop of Swarovski crystals.
Original outfits worn by Elton John and Cher are exhibited alongside recreations of Marlene Dietrich’s 1932 Blonde Venus outfit, which marks the first time Swarovski appeared on the big screen.
You´ll also get to see Marilyn Monroe’s “Birthday Dress” that wowed not only John F. Kennedy but the world at the president’s legendary birthday dinner. More impressive is Katy Perry’s Moschino Chandelier gown that she wore to the 2019 Met Ball. Other notable items on display include Björk’s Foraeva dress and pieces by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé.
And if you want to experience snow all year round, all you have to do is stand around the Silent Light crystal tree created by the Dutch designer Tord Boontje. It is cloaked in ice-cold snow by TechnoAlpin in a chamber of wonder where the temperature can fall to as low as -10° C.
Kristallwelten Garden Highlights
After leaving the belly of the giant, there is a vast park area to explore. My highlight is the Crystal Cloud floating above a black mirror pool. The “clouds” are covered in 800,000 hand-mounted Swarovski Crystals.
When he was younger, M loved the four-story play tower for kids. He also likes running around in the labyrinth. The latter, in the shape of a hand, is another design by André Heller.
Next to the labyrinth, a black-and-white carousel by Spanish designer Jaime Hayon stands in contrasts with the surrounding greenery of the garden. The monochrome design incorporates 15 million Swarovski crystals across 12 ceiling panels and 16 wall panels. There is no additional cost to ride the carousel.
Recently, the excavations of Roman walls which were discovered while doing improvements in 2014 have also been opened to the public. They offer an important window on the history of the area. Apart from the walls, a cache of 702 Roman silver coins was found in what is thought to have been a small village along a main Roman thoroughfare.
To keep things interesting, in addition to the permanent exhibitions, a variety of events for young and old are held at the Kristallwelten throughout the year.
For example, the Circus Theater Roncalli have been providing summer entertainment for a number of years. They turn the gardens into a circus ring with 16 shows daily that are included in the regular entrance fee.
From November to February, the park surrounding the giant is transformed into a winter wonderland. Luminous animal figures by Tord Boontje and a 13-metre-high Christmas tree are just some of the elements that brighten up cold days.
Crystal Worlds Shop
I guess the highlight for shopaholics would be the Swarovski Crystal Worlds shop, which is home to one of the world’s largest collections of Swarovski products. It is a unique opportunity to buy items that are exclusively available in Wattens and Austria.
And when you´re done shopping, there is a Crystal Bar in the store where you can buy snacks or drinks from 10:00 to 16:00 daily.
Tips for Visiting Swarovski Crystal Worlds
- You can visit the Swarovski Kristallwelten Store and Daniels Kristallwelten Café and Restaurant without having to buy a ticket for the Swarovski Crystal Worlds.
- Check out the events programme at Swarovski Crystal Worlds before you visit to ensure you don´t miss out on something special like a circus performance or a light show.
- Swarovski Crystal Worlds and the shuttle bus from Innsbruck are included in the Innsbruck Card.
- If you don’t have enough time to visit the Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens (or maybe your partner doesn’t understand the fuss about crystals ?) you can also pop into the Swarovski Kristallwelten Store Innsbruck. It’s near the Golden Roof in Herzog-Friedrich-Straße in the Innsbruck old town (very close to the McDonald’s).
- Locals or tourists who plan to visit Swarovski Crystal Worlds regularly can buy an annual card @ €60 for adults and €25 for children from 6 to 17 years.
- The Freizeitticket Tirol, which is available to residents of Tyrol, includes 3 free entrances to Swarovski Kristallwelten per year.
- If you´re hungry for something more than a snack at the Crystal Bar, Daniels Kristallwelten is the onsite restaurant and café in the Swarovski Crystal Worlds. They serve international and Tyrolean dishes with a focus on seasonal cuisine. The in-house patisserie also bakes delicious cakes, macarons, muffins or cupcakes.
Getting to Swarovski Crystal Worlds
- Own transport – The address to enter in your GPS/navigation app is Kristallweltenstraße 1, 6112 Wattens, Austria. There is plenty of free parking for cars and buses outside Swarovski Crystal Worlds.
- Shuttle Bus – The Swarovski Crystal Worlds shuttle bus travels between Innsbruck and Swarovski Kristallwelten four times daily. It departs at the Innsbruck main station (Hauptbahnhof) and makes one more stop at the Innsbruck Congress/Hofburg before travelling straight to Swarovski Crystal Worlds. Return tickets cost €10 and a one-way ticket is €6. Children up to 17 years travel free when in the company of an adult. Find the up-to-date timetable here.
- Other public transport – It´s also possible to take a regular bus or train to the Swarovski Crystal Worlds. From the Wattens/Fritzens train station, a RegioFlink shuttle bus can be booked to take you to the Crystal Worlds if you don´t want to walk. Bus 4125 also travels directly between the Innsbruck main train station and the Kristallwelten.
Staying Close to Swarovski Crystal Worlds
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