Being brought up in Oldham, the closest I had previously come to reaching the peak of a mountain was walking to the top of Tandle Hill. But flying into the picture-postcard city of Innsbruck, it's clear that Austria's fifth largest city is a different kettle of fish.

Situated close to the German border, Innsbruck's unique blend of country and city life is provided a stunning backdrop by the Alps. Long recognised as a winter sports destination, the capital of the state of Tyrol also has much to offer in the summer months.

After boarding at Manchester, it's clear that many holidaymakers are attracted by the hiking opportunities that the Alps provide, with walking boots ubiquitous on our flight. No sooner than when you arrive at the city's airport, you are hit by the scale of the mountainous surroundings.

Read more:A holiday in the Alps fit for a millionaire Manchester footballer

Without seeking to cause offence to our Wythenshawe based readers, the view that meets you at Innsbruck airport is rather more aesthetically pleasing than at Manchester Airport. But there is so much more to Innsbruck than the Alps.

The weather, which peaked at a flag-cracking 35C during our five day trip, the charming bars and restaurants of the old town, and the city's history as a key part of the Habsburg empire gives visitors plenty to offer. Our first night in the Tyrolian capital was spent at the stunning 15th century Imperial Palace, where a summer season of classical concerts is held with matinee and evening performances.

For an entrance fee of just €5, music fans can spend an evening with the soothing sounds of local musicians in splendid surroundings. The palace is now home to several different museums, with the most memorable featuring Giants Hall.

The magnificent room was commissioned by Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa, and features paintings of her 16 children as well as frescos on the ceilings, which can be viewed without straining your neck with handily located mirrors.

The Giants Hall

Just a short walk from the palace is another of Innsbruck's main attractions, the glorious golden roof, built Emperor Maximillian I, one of Maria Theresa's predecessors. Maximillian would survey his subjects from the lofty perch, and had it decorated with gold tiles to mark his wedding in 1500.

Also a short stroll away is the Gothic city tower, which provides excellent views of Innsbruck from above. Another recommendation for history buffs is Ambras Castle, a short drive away which houses a significant collections of art and armouries collected by Archduke Ferdinand II.

The golden roof in the old town of Innsbruck

After familiarising yourself with the city, a drink and some food in one the old town's many restaurants is definitely well-earned. A hearty schnitzel was on the menu at Stiftskeller, while typical Tyrolian potato rosti and steak proving a highlight at the Piano Bar, finished with the obligatory Apple strudel for dessert.

Even better was the steak and rich peppercorn sauce dished up at Weisses Rössl restaurant. And after all that food, what better way to burn off the calories than by heading for the hills.

Well, the mountains in Innsbruck's case. And for all of us that aren't experienced hikers, there's no need to worry. A funicular railway and cable car system allows visitors to reach the summit at Nordkette in about half an hour, direct from the old town.

The view of the Alps from Hotel Innsbruck

After a short walk from a second cable car, hikers can look down on the city from 7,400 feet in the air. And if that seems like a lot of hard work, there's a restaurant where you can eat lunch with a view. But the mountains aren't the only thing to admire while taking the journey to the top.

The funicular stations were designed by Zaha Hadid, the renowned late architect who dreamt up the plans for the Aquatics centre at the 2012 London Olympics, as well as one of the stadiums set to be used in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Her work is also on display at the Bergisel Ski Jump just across the city, a must see for all winter sports fans. Bergisel has hosted two Winter Olympics, in 1964 and 1976, after originally being built in 1926.

Ski jumper Martin mid-air during one of his jumps at Bergisel

Hadid's modernisation of the site now provides spectacular viewing platforms, as well as a restaurant with a panoramic view of the Alps. Joining us on our tour of the site was experienced ski jumper Martin, who kindly demonstrated first hand how the professionals do it.

We were allowed up close and personal access to understand just how astonishing the achievements of these athletes are, reaching speeds of around 60mph before flying into the air. Your intrepid correspondent was even allowed to sit in the same spot where Martin sped off from during his death defying jumps.

The fact that a cemetery lies just north of the jump, visible from the starting point, was an irony not lost on myself as I sat strapped in, safe in the knowledge that a harness would prevent any catastrophe. Such meet and greets can be purchased for an extra cost, and come highly recommended.

Another day trip well worth making is a journey to is Swarovski Crystal Worlds, the home of the world famous jewellery brand. While the manufacturing process of the crystals remains a closely guarded secret, visitors to the family firm's museum can view in wonder at the various exhibitions showcasing the company's work.

A spectacular water display at Swarovski Crystal Worlds

A particular highlight is the artefacts from world famous musicians including Sir Elton John, Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe, who have all worn Swarovski crystals during their careers. A trip to its chic restaurant also comes highly recommended. A world away from the starry surroundings of Swarovski and Hollywood stars, is another Austrian institution.

An evening with the Tyrolean traditional folk music, featuring yodelling, wood chopping, thigh slapping and a woman singing a song about a cow is something I will never forget. Summer sun, winter sports, and magnificent mountainous regions within a short trip from city life, Innsbruck is a holiday destination with something for everyone.

Andrew was a guest of Innsbruck Tourismus and the Austrian Tirol. Flights were arranged by Jet2.

Jet2 flies from Manchester to Innsbruck (and back again) twice a week (Wednesday and Saturday) during the summer months until September 17, 2022. Prices from £35 pp for a single trip. The airline also flies to Innsbruck from Birmingham and Bristol.

Andrew stayed at four-star Hotel Innsbruck in the city centre. A night’s stay, costs from £138 pp (two sharing) including breakfast.

Transfers were arranged with Four Seasons Travel.