Getting to South Tyrol is relatively easy even though the region does not have a major international airport. The closest major airport is located in Innsbruck, Austria with South Tyrol located just an hour south. The province’s capital city, Bolzano, does have a regional airport if you’re inclined to fly directly to the region.
Nearby major cities where we’ve found the best airfare deals include Munich, Milan and Venice. From each of these cities it takes under 3 hours to reach South Tyrol. Other major cities nearby include Salzburg (2.5 hours), Zurich (4 hours) and Verona (1.5 hours).
Getting Around South Tyrol
After landing you can make the trek to South Tyrol by car, train or shuttle bus. Regardless of your starting point the journey is pleasant and scenic. Our preference and recommendation is to rent a car as it gives the most freedom to hop around South Tyrol at your own pace. Italy and all if its neighboring countries drive on the same side as the U.S.
It’s worth noting that parking in South Tyrol and navigating its roads and highways is fairly straightforward. And with today’s modern GPS units you can get step-by-step voice directions to take you any where without any hassle.
If you plan to rent a car, Italy requires non-EU driver’s license holders to have an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) when driving within its borders. An IDP is a translation of your U.S. driver’s license. You can pick up an IDP from AAA with a completed application, two passport photos, and only $20.
When driving on Italy’s Autostrada (Italy’s highway system), you’ll encounter highway tolls that are similar to those in the States. Toll lanes with blue signs and images of credit cards are the easiest to use, but can be a bit slower, so you may want to opt for the white signs with images of coins and bills. An image of a hand on the white sign lets you know there will be an operator. Otherwise, the lane is self-service.
If you prefer to use public transportation while in South Tyrol, you can pick up a Mobilcard at your hotel, transportation hubs or tourist offices. This handy card gives you quick access to South Tyrol’s stellar public bus and rail networks for 1, 3 or 7 consecutive days. Prices range from around $15 to $30 depending on the length of card selected. The Mobilcard also includes cable cars to Renon, Maranza, San Genesio, Meltina and Verano.