- HOTELS (BEST RATED)
- HOTELS (BEST VALUE)
- SIGHTS & LANDMARKS
- MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
- THINGS TO DO
- FESTIVALS & EVENTS
- THINGS TO KNOW
Linz is the third-largest city of Austria and capital of the state of Upper Austria (German: Oberösterreich). It is located in the north centre of Austria, approximately 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of the Czech border, on both sides of the River Danube. The population of the city is 200,839, and that of the Greater Linz conurbation is about 271,000.
In 2009 Linz, together with the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, was chosen as the European Capital of Culture. Since 1 December 2014 Linz is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities (UCCN) network as a City of Media Arts. Cities receive this title for enriching the urban lifestyle through the sponsorship and successful integration of media art and involving society in these electronic art forms. Linz is well known for the Linzer torte, which is said to be the oldest cake in the world, with its first recipe dating from 1653.
Linz is an industrial city (with huge steel and chemical works) on the Danube, about half way between Salzburg and Vienna. The city had its ups and downs: in antiquity, Linz was a border post of the Roman Empire. In the Middle Ages, it was a busy town with crafts and trading, mainly profiting from its geographic location on the Danube River, and having one of the few permanent bridges. Then its fate turned badly: a well-known dictator (Adolf Hitler), who was born in Braunau some two hours away, but who had grown up in Linz and chose the city to become the "City of the Führer." Besides some buildings and the main bridge built by war captives, he was mainly interested in the huge chemical and metal industry: What is now VOEST was the "Hermann Göring Werke", and what is now the Chemiepark Linz was the infamous "IG Farben".
In World War II, the city was heavily bombed - and was one of the few cities of Nazi Germany that escaped total destruction. The boom in the fifties served as an economic booster, but made Linz a city with the worst air quality of Austria. After the industrial transformation in the late eighties and nineties, the importance of industry considerably declined. What remains is the image of a "steel city", and Linz used this image.
Consequently, Linz does not have a sizable "Altstadt" (old town) it may be disappointing to those tourists familiar with the charm of Graz or Salzburg. Linz is primarily a student and industrial town and while not particularly beautiful, is more representative of a "real" Austrian city versus the almost fairy tale like quality of Salzburg.
Instead, Linz's interest is in its contemporary attractions: museums, architecture and art. The city gets a lot of international media attention because of its annual Ars Electronica Festival. It also hosts the "Klangwolke" ("sound-cloud"); a big cultural open-air spectacle with modern and traditional music and a massive light show, which is held in September. Linz was the European Capital of Culture in 2009.
The hotel business is equipped with 4,544 beds – 2,302 are located in the ten four star hotels of the city. Nine hotels have three stars and count 1,226 beds. The seven two and one star hotels are equipped with 472 beds. 544 beds are not categorised for commercial businesses. Five star hotels are not available. In 2004 Linz counted 647,428 nights’ stay. In 2013 the number increased to 775,396. 363,425 of the overnight stays were located in the four star hotels, 226,647 in the three star hotels, 67,593 in the two and one star hotels and 53,194 stays can be counted to other accommodation.
544 gastronomy businesses are located in the city. Germans are the most frequent guests (167,639), followed by Italians (22,886), Dutch and Swiss (16,828) – the ranking is equal to the overnight stays ranking which is listed in the following.
The city was founded by the Romans, who called it Lentia. The name Linz was first recorded in AD 799.
It was a provincial and local government city of the Holy Roman Empire, and an important trading point connecting several routes, on either side of the River Danube from the east to the west and Bohemia and Poland from north to the Balkans and Italy to the south. Being the city where the HabsburgEmperor Friedrich III spent his last years, it was, for a short period of time, the most important city in the empire. It lost its status to Vienna and Prague after the death of the Emperor in 1493.
One important inhabitant of the city was Johannes Kepler, who spent several years of his life in the city teaching mathematics. He discovered, on 15 May 1618, the distance-cubed-over-time-squared — or 'third' — law of planetary motion. The local public university, Johannes Kepler University, is named after him.
Another famous citizen was Anton Bruckner, who spent the years between 1855 and 1868 working as a local composer and organist in the Old Cathedral, Linz. The Brucknerhaus is named after him.
Adolf Hitler was born in the border town of Braunau am Inn but moved to Linz in his childhood. Hitler spent most of his youth in the Linz area, from 1898 until 1907, when he left for Vienna. The family lived first in the village of Leonding on the outskirts of town, and then on the Humboldtstrasse in Linz. After elementary education in Leonding, Hitler was enrolled in the Realschule (school) in Linz, as was the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Notorious Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann also spent his youth in Linz. To the end of his life, Hitler considered Linz to be his "home town", and envisioned extensive architectural schemes for it, wanting it to become the main cultural centre of the Third Reich. In order to make the city economically vibrant, Hitler initiated a major industrialisation of Linz shortly before, and during, the Second World War.
In addition to an ordnance depot, Linz has a benzol (oil) plant which was bombed during the Oil Campaign on 16 October 1944. What was once the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp is 20 km (12 miles) east of the city of Linz.
Processing of the Nazi-Past
In 1996, the Council of the city decided to account for its Nazi past. The widespread scientific workup, which was implemented by the municipal archives, covered the period prior 1938 and the denazification after 1945. Linz became the first city in Austria to deal intensively with its own Nazi past. In May 2001, seven scientific publications, online presentations, and numerous lectures were made public as a result of these efforts. The culture of remembrance extended to the construction of monuments for the victims of National Socialism. Especially since 1988, numerous memorials have been created in public spaces. The confrontation with the Nazi past resulted in the renaming of many streets. In 1945, immediately after the end of the Nazi dictatorship, 39 streets in Linz were renamed, whereas from 1946 to 1987, only two streets were renamed. However, since 1988, 17 new traffic areas were named after victims of National Socialism or resistance fighters. In the recent past a number of Nazi victims and activists who fought Nazism were honored by the city. Simon Wiesenthal, who founded the first Jewish Documentation Center in Linz in 1945, received an award for his work in remembrance of victims of the Second World War.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms of Linz developed from the seal image, which was used as emblem since 1242. It showed the open city gate flanked by two crenelated towers on rocky ground. From 1288 on, the gate was shown standing on water. The coat of arms shows a red plate on which stands a castle with twin towers. Those towers are crowned with three crenelations. The towers include an open door; above the door the red-white-red shield of Austria is attached. The gate and towers symbolise the medieval fortified city. The wavy bars indicate the position of the city near the Danube. The Austrian shield is a reference to the former territorial city.
Linz has an oceanic climate with significant influences of continental airflows. As a result, summers are warm and winters quite cold.
Climate data for Linz
|Record high °C (°F)||14.8|
|Average high °C (°F)||2.0|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−0.7|
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.8|
|Record low °C (°F)||−22.0|
|Source: Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics|
Linz is located in the centre of Europe, lying on the Paris–Budapest west–east axis and the Malmö–Trieste north–south axis. The Danube is the main tourism and transport connection that runs through the city.
Approximately 29.27% of the city’s 96 km2 (37 sq mi) wide area are grassland. Further 17.95% are covered with forest. All the rest areas fall on water (6.39%), traffic areas and land.
Linz is one of the main economic centres of Austria. The Voestalpine AG is a large steel concern (founded as the "Hermann-Göring-Werke" during the Second World War), which is known for the LD- ("Linz-Donawitz") procedure for the production of steel. The former "Chemie Linz" chemical group has been split up into several companies. These companies have made Linz one of Austria's most important economic centres.
About 190,000 people are employed in Linz, which is almost twice as many employed persons who live in Linz. Therefore, Linz has to deal with a lot of commuter traffic. At a workday around 100,000 employed persons commute to Linz and about 18,500 out of Linz.
Furthermore, due to the fact that one of the four Donau-Harbors (Donauhäfen) in Austria is located in Linz, it constitutes an attractive location in regards to logistic and trading enterprises. Nonetheless manufacturing plants can – for instance - be found at the waterfront as well. The economic importance of Linz was founded over centuries in trade. Moreover, the long-standing image of Linz as an industrial city was a result of the National Socialism. As a result of this large industrial enterprises are still located in Linz nowadays. Great examples in regards to this are Voestalpine AG or “Chemie Linz” – as already mentioned above. From an economical perspective they represent a large number of jobs and of course industry related enterprises.
The Meeting Industry Report Austria (mira) ranks Linz as the third most important destination for congresses in Austria, with a share of 7,4 % in the total number of congresses, conferences and seminars held in Austria. Linz has more than 60 congress and event venues. With the Blue Meeting® concept, the local tourism association has developed a conference format which focuses on individual needs of participants and adapts to the idea of green meetings, therefore supporting waste prevention, energy efficiency, climate-neutral travel and regional added value.
Since January 2014 the city is divided into 16 statistical districts:
Transportation - Get In
Linz has its own international airport, the Blue Danube Airport in Horsching just outside the city of Linz, but it sees quite limited international traffic. Austrian Airlines flies from Blue Danube Airport to Vienna and Düsseldorf and Lufthansa to Frankfurt, where you can connect to Lufthansa Group's extensive global flight network. Ryanair offers frequent low-fare flights to London-Stansted. There are also charter and seasonal flights to holiday destinations around the Mediterranean and to Canary Islands.
- Blue Danube Airport, Flughafenstraße 1, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. M-F 05:30-23:00, Sa Su 06:00-23:00. Although located outside the city, there is a bus service to Linz from the airport, which takes about 20 minutes and costs around €3. A taxi costs around €25-30. You can also take the train to Horsching (€1.80) and then the free shuttle bus to the airport from the railway station.
Alternatively, you can fly to the Vienna International Airport or Munich Airport and take a train from either city to Linz. Direct high-speed trains to Linz depart from Vienna International Airport's terminal. From Munich Airport, you need to take a local suburban train to Munich Hbf first and transfer to a long-distance train to Linz there. The total journey time is around 2:30 from Vienna International Airport and 3:45 from Munich Airport.
If you are flying Austrian, the train from Vienna airport to Linz is included in your flight ticket and Austrian guarantees your connection. See here for details.
- Linz Hauptbahnhof, Bahnhofplatz. Ticket office: daily 06:00-21:00; automats: 24hrs. Linz has hourly Railjet, Intercity and Eurocity connections to Salzburg and Vienna, and from there to all important European capitals and major cities. ÖBBhas online timetables and offers various ticketing options. Also has storage lockers, as well as a Spar grocery store and tourist information office.
- ShuttleCeskyKrumlov.com (Shuttle bus from/to Cesky Krumlov). 1 hours. offers door-to-door shuttle bus and private car/van transportation to Vienna from Cesky Krumlov, Linz and back for 420 CZK (€19) per person. See the timetable. €19.
- CK Shuttle (Cesky Krumlov shuttlebus service). offers a door-to-door transportation service from Linz to Cesky Krumlov and back for 400 CZK (€16) pro person. The ride takes about 1.5 hours. €16.
Linz is connected with Vienna, Salzburg, and Munich via the A1 Autobahn/motorway ; the Muehlviertel A7 Autobahn, and the south of Austria (Graz (Styria), Klagenfurt (Carinthia)) via the A9 Autobahn. It is also connected to Germany via Passau. There are plans to extend a motorway north to the Czech Republic, but work is not expected to start until 2009. The best way to drive north is currently on the B125 Bundesstrasse/B-road.
Transportation - Get Around
Linz has a very good public transport service.
A one-day ticket is €4,00 for over 14-year-olds, & €2,00 for under 14-year-olds. There is also a 4-stop ticket (mini-ticket)for €1,00. Students can buy an 'Aktivpass', which allows you to buy a monthly card for €10.00, which is valid for all lines, and you get all tickets at half price. Tickets are purchased from the electronic vending machines at each stop, as well as tobacco and newspaper shops.
The Linz Card 2012 (1 day: € 15, 3 day: € 25) enables an individual and independent tour through the Danube city. Available at the Tourist Office and in many hotels.
- BEST RATED -
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Linz offers many different shopping possibilities, which include various shopping centres or popular shopping streets.
Thirteen malls can be found in Linz, three of them are situated in the city centre. The total List of shopping centres in Linz:
- Atrium City Center
- Shopping Mall Auwiesen
- Shopping Mall Biesenfeld
- Shopping Mall Industriezeile
- Shopping Mall Kleinmünchen
- Shopping Mall Muldenstraße
- EuroCenter Oed
- Shopping Mall Wegscheid
- Infra Center
- Lentia City
According to a study of Infrapool in Oktober 2010, the Linzer Landstraße is the busiest shopping street outside of Vienna. The weekly frequency is noted between 240,500 (Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.) and 228,400 (8 a.m. until 6 p.m.) passers-by, which is the second highest value - only in 2005 more passers-by were detected. Further shopping streets in Linz:
- Alturfahr West
- Hauptstraße Urfahr
- Einkaufsviertel Wiener Straße
There are eleven farmer’s markets as well as one weekly flea market and two Christmas markets in Linz. One of the most popular ones is the “Urfahraner Markt“ , which takes place in spring and fall every year. Visitors can enjoy a mix of leisure facilities, stalls and party tents. Furthermore, there are annually Christmas and New Year’s Markets. The aim of the market administration is to provide the population with a wide range of products, as well as operating the markets in an economical, suitable and customer oriented manner. Additionally, the annual market called “Linzer Marktfrühling” sets further accents and lures new customers with attractive offers.
A well-known specialty from Linz is the Linzer Torte, a torte covered with a latticework of dough and filled with fruit.
Eating in Linz depends on your budget, and taste. Be prepared to search far and wide for open restaurants on Sundays. The entire Altstadt seems to close down Sunday nights leaving tourists restaurant choices only in adjoining districts.
- Jindrak, . Herrenstraße 22-24. M-Sa 8AM-6PM A pastry shop serving the local speciality Linzer Torte (a cake).
- Coffee world, Landstraße 17-25 (first floor of the Shopping-Center Passage). M-Th. 8:30AM-10PM, F,Sa 8:30AM-1AM, Sun. 8:30AM-8PM.
- P'AA, Altstadt 28, . M-Sa from 11AM-2:30PM and 5:30PM-12AM. Nice restaurant (serves vegetarian food) and lounge in the Altstadt.
- Gelbes Krokodil, OK Platz 1, . M,W-F 12:00-15:00. 17:00-23:30, Tu 12:00-15:00. 18:00-23:30, Sa,Su 16:00-23:30. The Yellow Crocodile is next to/a part of the Moviemento Cinema, downstairs below street level. It has special vegetarian plates.
- Stadtbräu Josef, Landstraße 49. M-Su 10AM-4PM.
- NIU, Kartnerstrasse 26. Described as fusion/Asian. But whatever they call it, it's good, healthy, and smoke-free. Small, so make reservation if you want a table, otherwise counter service.
- There are many luncheonettes in the city, offering a variety of food, such as Chinese food, kebab, pizza and typical Austrian snacks such as Bratwürstel (fried sausage) with Sauerkraut, Leberkäse, Bosner or Bosna (a special hot-dog with fried sausage and a special curry-ketchup-onion sauce), Käsekrainer (a sausage interlaid with cheese).
- Leberkäse Pepi, Rathausgasse 3. M-Th 8AM-4AM, F 8AM-5AM, Sa 9AM-2PM, 6PM-5AM. You can get Leberkäse pretty much in every super market, but its hard to find a place that serves as tasty and as various ones as here. It is a bit more expensive than in supermarkets, but with about €3 per bread roll with Leberkäse still cheap.
- Alte Welt, Hauptplatz 4. The name ("Old World") suits this restaurant and bar perfectly. The entrance is in a small courtyard, with seemingly uncontrolled growing plants. The inside reminds of an inn from former times. The often changing menu ranges from typical Austrian dishes to mediterranean cuisine, at a reasonable price. A variety of cultural events take place in the wine cellar. 7€ for lunch.
- Falafel-Fastfood, Graben. Serving tasty falafel-sandwiches for €3.
Sights & Landmarks
When strolling through the heart of the city, one can literally sense its history. The lanes of the old town, which lies directly at the foot of the castle, communicate the feeling of past ages. Splendid town residences and chapter houses are worthy of closer scrutiny, as are the many inner courtyards hidden discretely behind arched gates. Moreover, the spacious, baroque main square with its lively hustle and bustle is never far away.
Linz is also a city of churches. With its 134m tower and space for 20,000 people, the New Cathedral is Austria´s largest church. In addition, the city landmark, the pilgrimage basilica on the Pöstlingberg, is also clearly in view. A symbol of Linz is the Lentos Museum of modern art, which has a striking glass façade that is illuminated at night with alternating colours.
Churches and chapels
- New Cathedral (Mariendom), Herrenstraße 26, , e-mail: [email protected]. Jun-Sep: Tu-Su 10:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00; Oct-May: Tu-Sa 10:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00. The construction of the neo-Gothic cathedral was already initiated in 1855 by F.J. Rudiger, then Bishop of Linz, and the foundation stone was laid in 1862. The building was designed by the Cologne cathedral builder Vinzenz Statz. The cathedral was consecrated in 1924. The height of the tower was limited to 134m (as it was not permitted to surpass St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna). The cathedral can accommodate 20,000 worshippers and is also notable for its stained glass windows, including the famous Linz Window with scenes from the history of Linz (left front). At Christmas the crypt church contains one of the largest nativity scenes, measuring 12m in length.
- Old Cathedral (Alter Dom), Domgasse 3, , e-mail: [email protected]. M-F 08:00-12:00. Designed according to drawings by Pietro Francesco Carlone, the cathedral was built between 1669 and 1678. It was the cathedral church of the diocese of Linz from 1785-1909. The single-nave Baroque church has lateral chapels and galleries, as well as a closed choir and stucco work by J.P. Spaz and G.B. Mazza. The marble high altar is by Colomba and Barberini with a picture by Antonio Bellucci. The Aloisian altar picture is by Bartolomeo Altomonte. The choir pews originate from the former monastery church in Garsten, while the organ by Franz Xaver Krismann derives from Engelzell monastery. From 1856-1868 Anton Bruckner served as the cathedral organist.
- Pöstlingbergkirche (Wallfahrtsbasilika), Am Pöstlingberg 1, . Daily 08:00-18:00. This pilgrimage church, dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary and perched high above the roofs of the city, is the landmark of the Upper Austrian capital. It was built in 1748 according to plans by Matthias Krinner. The church is popular for weddings because of the unique location.
- St Martin's Church (Martinskirche), Römerstraße/Martinsgasse. This is regarded as the oldest original church still in existence in Austria. It was first documented in 799. A rectangular building that is no longer visible, partially extending into the nave, probably dates from the Agilofingian period (before 788). During the Carolingian period (after 788), the central structure was erected using debris from Roman buildings. This can be seen on both the inside and outside, while the ground plan is marked by stone slabs. The building was redesigned as a bay church in the 11th century and the pillar arches were filled in. There are Romanesque and Gothic door and window arches dating from later alterations. Inside the building, Roman stone inscriptions and a furnace can be seen. The first bay contains a copy of the Volto-Santo picture by Lucca (around 1440). The interior of the church can be viewed through a glass door. Entrance into the church is only permitted with a tourist guide.
- Trinity Column (Dreifaltigkeitssäule/Pestsäule), Hauptplatz (in the centre of the square). One of Austria's most attractive closed squares, there stands the 20m-high Baroque Trinity Column (completed in 1723). Carved in white marble by Sebastian Stumpfegger according to a model from Antono Beduzzi, the column bears three inscriptions. These announce the dedication of the column to the Holy Trinity by the guilds, the Emperor and the people of Linz in gratitude for deliverance from the dangers of war (1704), fire (1712) and plague (1713). The column is flanked by the patron saints Sebastian, Florian and Carlo Borromeo.
- Linz Castle (Linzer Schloß / Schlossmuseum Linz), Schlossberg 1, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. T W F 09:00-18:00, Th 09:00-21:00, Sa Su and holidays 10:00-17:00. The Linz Castle is first documented in 799. It was entirely rebuilt in 1477 by Emperor Friedrich III, and there are partial remains of the defensive walls, the bastions and the west entrance (Friedrichstor). The latter is adorned by a stone coat-of-arms (1481) bearing the inscription "AEIOU" ("The whole world is subject to Austria") and the imperial initials. Around 1600, during the rule of Rudolph II, the castle was redesigned and expanded according to plans by the Dutch master builder Anton Muys. The powerful four-story block with two inner courtyards and the main gate to the city (Rudolfstor 1604) date from this time. During the Napoleonic wars the building served as a military hospital, and it was here that the great city fire of 1800 broke out (destruction of the south wing and a part of the transept). Beginning in 1811, the remaining buildings were used as the provincial prison and from 1851 until 1945 as a barracks.:Between 1953 and 1963, the fortress was rebuilt and restored as the Schlossmuseum Linz. It contains permanent exhibitions of art from the Middle Ages to the present day, historical weapons and musical instruments, coins, folklore and technical history, as well as the Kastner collection. There are special exhibitions each year. €6.50 (adults), €4.50 (concessions).
- Bishop's Residence (Bischofshof), Herrenstraße 19. The bishop's residence is the most important secular Baroque building in the city. Commissioned by Kremsmünster Monastery (1721–26), it was built by Michael Pruckmayr according to plans by Jakob Prandtauer, who was also responsible for the monasteries in Melk and St. Florian. The impressive lattice gate on the staircase is by Valentin Hoffmann (1727).
- Botanic Gardens (Botanischer Garten), Roseggerstraße 20 (Bus 27 from Taubenmarkt, or 30min on foot), . Daily Nov-Feb 08:00-17:00, Mar & Oct 08:00-18:00, Apr & Sep 08:00-19:00, May-Aug 07:30-19:30; closed 24 Dec – 6 Jan. One of the most beautiful and extensive botanic gardens in Europe, with more than 10,000 plants and five greenhouses. Particularly noteworthy is the cactus collection. Special exhibits and presentations are hosted throughout the year. €3 (adults), €2 (concessions), free (children under 6).
- Linz Zoo (Tiergarten Linz), Windflachweg 1 (halfway up Pöstlingberg), , e-mail: [email protected]. Nov-Mar 09:00-17:00, Apr-Oct 09:00-19:00. Over 800 animals await you on your visit to the local and exotic fauna. There are cuddly animals to hold, a selected collection of mammals (llamas, pygmy cows, sheep, goats), a variety of birds (parrots, ostriches) and reptiles (crocodiles, iguanas, snakes). As an excursion destination the children’s zoo is always popular with the little ones. €4.50 (adults), €2 (children 6-13), free (children under 6).
- Skulpturenpark Artpark, Hamerlingstraße. A 5,000m² sculpture garden, with works by more than 20 artists. Free.
Museums & Galleries
- Lentos Museum of Art (Lentos Kunstmuseum), Ernst-Koref-Promenade 1, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. Tu W, F-Su 10:00-18:00; Th 10:00-21:00. Houses a large collection focusing on modern art, with representative works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka, as well as current contemporary art. €8 (adults), €6 (seniors), €4.50 (students), free (children under 7).
- Ars Electronica Center, Ars-Electronica-Straße 1, , e-mail: [email protected]. T W 09:00-17:00, Th 09:00-21:00, F 09:00-17:00, Sa Su and holidays 10:00-18:00. This cutting-edge museum serves as a venue for art which explores the creative potential of the latest technology. €8 (adults), €6 (concessions), free (children under 6).
- Provincial Gallery of Linz (Landesgalerie Linz), Museumstraße 14, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. T W 09:00-18:00, Th 09:00-21:00, F 09:00-18:00, Sa Su and holidays 10:00-17:00. The museum has a large collection of modern and contemporary art, with rotating special exhibits of works by Upper Austrians. €6.50 (adults), €4.50 (concessions).
- Nordico Museum of the City of Linz (Nordico Stadtmuseum Linz), Dametzstraße 23, , e-mail: [email protected]. T W 10:00-18:00, Th 10:00-21:00, F-Su 10:00-18:00. This former monastery now houses the civic museum, with rotating exhibits focused on regional history and ecology. €6.50 (adults), €4.50 (seniors), €2.50 (students under 27/civil servants), free (children under 7).
- Museum of the History of Dentistry in Upper Austria (Linzer Museum für Geschichte der Zahnheilkunde und Zahntechnik), Hauptplatz 1 (Old City Hall, entrance near Pfarrgasse), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. M-W 09:00-13:00; Th F 09:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00. A one-room museum dedicated to the history of dentistry, from the 17th century until the present. Free.
- StifterHaus (Upper Austrian Literature Museum), Adalbert-Stifter-Platz 1, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. Tu-Su and holidays 10:00-15:00. The 19th-century Austrian writer Adalbert Stifter lived in this house for many years. It is now a museum devoted to Austrian literature, with exhibits of manuscripts and multimedia. Free.
- The O.K. Center for Contemporary Art (Offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich), OK-Platz 1, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. M-F 16:00-22:00, Sa Su 11:00-22:00. Hosts contemporary art exhibits and festivals, with a focus on installation and multimedia art. €10 (adults), €7 (seniors/disabled), €5 (children/students/military/youth under 27), free (children under 6).
- Biology Center Dornach (Biologiezentrum Dornach), Johann-Wilhelm-Klein-Straße 73 (near Johannes Kepler University), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. M-F 09:00-17:00, Su and holidays 10:00-17:00; guided tours Su at 14:00. Has science exhibits with a focus on botany and zoology. Free.
- Military History Collection in Ebelsberg Castle, Ebelsberger Schlossweg 7, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. May-Oct Sa Su and holidays 10:00-12:00, 13:00-17:00. Exhibits a large collection of historic firearms, as well as items from the former Austrian Imperial Navy. €4 (adults), €3 (concessions).
- Customs and Finance Collection (Zoll- und Finanzgeschichte), , fax: . Exhibits historic tools of the trade as well as confiscated items.
- Tax and Revenue Office Urfahr, Kaarstraße 21. M-F 07:30-12:00 by appt only.
- Provincial Department of Taxes, Zollamtstraße 7. M-F 07:00-3:00 by appt only.
- Cowboy-Museum Fatsy, Traundorfer Straße 266 (Pichling), . Apr-Jun Sa Su and holidays 13:00-18:00. An unusual museum founded by Austrian entertainer Hans-Jörg Ratzenböck. It houses displays illustrating American cowboy life, with a replica rancher's room, sheriff's office, and gambling room. €5 (adults), €2.50 (children).
- voestalpine Stahlwelt, voestalpine-Straße 4, +43 50304/15-8900. M-Sa 09:00-17:00, closed Su and holidays. The voestalpine steel works run an impressive museum and experience centre devoted to the manufacturing and processing of steel, as well as applications thereof. One can visit on their own, or join an organized tour with a guide (1.5 hours), which can be expanded with a tour of the manufacturing facilities (3 hours in total). The Panorama Cafe atop the building offers views over Linz, drinks and light snacks. Groups can pre-order lunches there. €8 (adults), €6 (concessions/groups over 15 people), free (children under 6); €8 (factory tour).
Things to do
There are lots of things to do in Linz. Here are a few possibilities:
- Pöstlingberg tram. The historic "Pöstlingbergbahn", Europe’s steepest mountain railway, is not operating any more. The renovated Pöstlingberg tramway is currently in operation and makes runs from Hauptplatz through Urfahr and through the neighborhoods up the Pöstlingberg its self. Additionally, you can take Bus No. 50 from Hauptplatz (main square) to the top of Pöstlingberg.
- The Grotto Railway. Located in fortifications built by emperor Maximilian. Riding on the "dragon express", a mini-train in the shape of the mythological beast, the visitor travels through a brightly lit landscape of fairy tale scenes. A 1:7 scale model of the Linz "Hauptplatz" at the turn of the century is situated in the cellar of the citadel’s tower. In the side passages, there are depictions of episodes from famous fairy tales. Lift for handicapped visitors!
- City Express, , e-mail: [email protected]. Touristy fun little train that takes you around downtown. Good chance to get off your feet and warm up in the winter.
- Danube. The cultural town Linz~Danube is the ideal starting point for a ship tour. Everyone will find his individual ship adventure in the large variety of cruise line offers. Whether you are looking for a round trip, a scheduled tour or a cruise for a special occasion, e.g. Christmas party on the Danube, your captain and his crew is already waiting for you on board of the ship.
- Donauschiffahrt Wurm und Köck
- Donauschifffahrt Schaurecker
- ÖGEG: Dampfschiff Schönbrunn
- Donau Touristik
Linz has established an international reputation due to its extensive cultural life. You can visit the "culture mile" along the Danube, which stretches from the Brucknerhaus concert hall and the Lentos art museum and the Ars Electronica Center on the northern bank of the river. Linz also possesses a number of stage companies, which offer something for everybody in the form of a range of evening entertainment that extends from classic opera to modern dance theatre.
From June to August the Linz cultural summer features cabaret, open-air concerts and theatre on virtually daily basis at venues that are as varied as the programme itself. These include the bars and squares of the inner city, as well as the romantic Rose Garden high above the rooftops. Moreover, throughout the year, the "Posthof" features "contemporary culture at the harbour" with national and international performers.
Linz is a synonym for variety that is found at open air events, in bars and restaurants and in the theatre and on concert stages of the city. In late April, the yearly Crossing Europe film festival for young European film features works with unconventional, courageous filmic positions. At Whitsun, the Linz Festival offers a cultural open-air festival in the Danube park, while in July the international "Pflasterspektakel" brings over 500 clowns, acrobats and mimes to the city´s streets. Moreover, September sees the musical "Cloud of Sounds" in the Donaupark, the Ars Electronica Festival and the Bruckner Festival.
The Linz markets provide an opportunity to browse, and sample, whether at the weekly markets or the twice yearly Fair/Carneval Urfahraner Jahrmarkt, which is Austria´s oldest public festival.
During the universities lecture periods (October–January/march-June) there is a wide range of student parties among the campuses of the 4 universities in Linz. Particularly interesting might be the weekly Mensafest every Thursday in Dornach/Urfahr on the campus of Johannes-Kepler-University and the gatherings at the Sommerhaus Hotel during the SAICCA program that runs mid-May through mid-June.
- The Moviemento and City cinemas both show films that are not mainstream in original languages with German subtitles.
- The Cineplexx in the harbor shows all the actual blockbusters. Thursday is movie night, so it is the cheapest day to go.
- The Posthof. Has modern music, dance and comedy performances, which is located near the port.
- The Stadtwerkstatt (near the AEC). Popular meeting point for young people with an alternative lifestyle. They often have gigs with unknown bands.
- KAPU, Kapuzinerstrasse 36, , e-mail: [email protected]. Popular meeting point for young people with an alternative lifestyle. It started out as punk bar. They often have gigs with unknown bands. Nirvana played at the KAPU about one year before they became world-famous. The texta hip hop concerts are legendary too.
- The Phoenix Theater. Shows modern plays that are also suitable for teenagers.
Festivals and events
- Ars Electronica Festival: the Ars Electronica Festival is a festival for media art which has been taking place annually in Linz since 1986 and includes exhibitions, concerts, performances, symposia and interventions on changing themes that take place in public settings such as churches and industrial halls. The events focus on art, technology and society and the nexus among them. In 2013 a total of about 75,000 visitors took part in the Ars Electronica Festival.
- Bubble Days: the Bubble Days have been taking place annually in June since 2011 and are hosted by local creative collective LI.K.I.DO. During the event a number of extreme sports shows, such as aviation performances and a wake boarding contest, the Red Bull WAKE OF STEEL, take place in the harbour of Linz. Additionally there are a number of art exhibitions and live music acts and visitors can explore the harbour on boat tours, in paddle boats or kayaks. In 2013 the Bubble Days reached a total number of 12,000 visitors.
- Crossing Europe Film Festival: Since 2004 this festival takes place annually in Linz. Starting at a total number of 9,000 visitors in the first year, the tenth edition of the Crossing Europe Film Festival in 2014 attracted over 20,000 people; 184 feature films, documentaries and short films from 37 countries were shown. The film screenings are accompanied by exhibitions, talks and live music acts ("Nightline"). There are currently eight different awards to be won at the Crossing Europe Film Festival in categories such as "CROSSING EUROPE Audience Award", the "FEDEORA AWARD for European Documentaries" and the "CROSSING EUROPE AWARD Local Artist".
- Festival der Regionen (Festival of the regions): The festival of the regions focuses on contemporary local art and culture and takes place every second year in varying locations across Upper Austria. It took place for the first time in 1993 and has been dedicated to different themes such as "the other", "marginal zones" or "normality".
- International Brucknerfest: Following the opening of the "Brucknerhaus" concert hall in Linz three years earlier, the international Brucknerfest took place for the first time in 1977. Whereas the first two editions were only dedicated to classical music in general and Anton Bruckner’s pieces in particular, this changed in 1979 when the international Brucknerfest, the Ars Electronica festival and the "Klangwolke" (sound cloud), which now marks the beginning of the Brucknerfest, were merged to create a festival worthy of competing with those in Vienna and Salzburg. Taking place annually for three weeks in September/October it closes the Austrian festival season.
- Klangwolke (Cloud of sound): Created as a link between the Ars Electronica Festival and the international Brucknerfest, this open-air multimedia musical event takes place annually at the beginning of September at the riverside Donaupark in Linz. It is free of charge and attracted about 110,000 people in 2013. Today there are three different "Clouds of sound", the visualised Klangwolke, in which modern music (mostly commissioned works) is staged with lasers, video projections, fireworks, ships, cranes, balloons, etc., the Klangwolke for children (since 1998) and the classical Klangwolke.
- Linzfest: This open air festival has taken place in Linz since 1990. It is financed by the city of Linz and several sponsors and organised for the broad public of all ages in cooperation with partners such as local cultural institutions. The festival is dedicated to a different theme every year (the last one in 2014 was "Old is the new new") and includes concerts, theatre, dance, comedy, art in the public space, culinary art, literature and parties, all of which are in line with the general theme of the event. It is held in the "Donaupark", a wide park area next to the Danube, also referred to as "Donaulände" or "Kulturmeile".
- Linz Marathon is held annually in April and attracted over 15,000 participants and about 100,000 spectators in 2013.
- Pflasterspektakel: The festival takes place annually since 1986 in the city centre of Linz and includes musical acts, juggling, acrobatics, pantomime, improvisational theatre, clownery, fire dancing, painting, samba parades, as well as a programme for children. With about 250,000 visitors (2014) the festival is one of the biggest street art festivals in Europe; its 28th edition featured 300 artists from 36 different nations.
- The Stadtfest (City festival) is held annually in August in the inner city of Linz. The three-day festival features live music acts of different styles, with each music style being represented on a different stage. The concerts are held by national and international artists. Every year about 100,000 people take part in this event.
- Urfahraner Märkte: These fairs are held twice every year (once in spring, once in autumn) in Urfahr on the northern side of the Danube. They include a fun park (with roller coasters and a Ferris wheel) and a market (with food products from local and regional farmers) and attract about 500,000 people.
Other cultural institutions and venues
- Alte Welt: concerts and cabaret
- Archive of the city of Linz: collection of important documents of the city of Linz, presenting Linz‘ town history
- Atelierhaus Salzamt: living and working space for artists, featuring continuous exhibitions.
- Botanic garden: about 100,000 visitors every year; featuring a summer programme of music acts, readings and dance performances in the garden pavilion
- Club Tunnel: features techno and drum’n’bass parties
- Design Centre Linz: modern congress and exhibition centre
- Johannes Kepler Observatory: opened in 1983
- Kijani: Bar/event location for concerts (electronic music)
- Kinderkulturzentrum Kuddelmuddel: theatre for children which includes a kindergarten
- KUBA Jugendkultur: cultural institution for teenagers and young adults, founded by the Verein Jugend und Freizeit, which is an association for teenagers and young adults interested in culture
- Kultur-Café Smaragd: Bar with a small stage in the basement area; presenting regional jazz, pop and rock bands and international acts
- Kulturhaus Reiman: venue for concerts, young theatre and cabaret
- Kulturzentrum Hof: cultural institution featuring concerts of different music styles, cabaret performances, theatre, readings and various workshops. The Kulturzentrum Hof tries to appeal to non-mainstream artistic styles.
- Kunstraum Goethestrasse: founded in 1998, it is a location for temporary art
- Landeskulturzentrum Ursulinenhof: The Ursulinenhof houses cultural institutions and is a cultural venue (presenting e.g. exhibitions and hosting readings and theatre performances) and a press and event centre.
- MAIZ: autonomous centre for migrants realising cultural projects
- Tabakfabrik: location for exhibitions and musical events
- Winery Josef Cembran: location for various events, such as wine tastings and drum’n’bass parties
Drinking in Linz is varied and not that cheap; although if you drink outside of the city centre you will find that the cost of drinks are less than in the centre.
Local beers and warm "Glühwein" (hot, spiced/mulled wine) in winter. Upper-Austrian's "national drink" is Most (it´s cider but not fizzy), and Zipfer, Gösser, and Kaiser beer. There are many Austrian beers, of course.
- Walker, Hauptplatz/Main Square. Open daily. A large bar/burger restaurant. Games room and occasional live music. Good breakfast menus. Great burgers.
- Chelsea Pub, Domgasse 5, . Open daily. In 2006, it came second in "The Best Irish Pub" competition in Austria. An English-named Irish pub that serves Guinness, and has a friendly atmosphere for Austrians and English native-speakers. Large open-sandwiches and occasionally has English or Irish crisps. Shows sports programmes on a daily basis.
- Remembar, Passage Kaufhaus. Large and airy, on two floors, with enough "hip/cool" clientele to satisfy the needs of people with enough money to spend.
- Stadtwerkstatt, Kirchengasse 4 (close to the Ars Electonica Center). Has a nice cafe and live dj's (reggae,house,world music,hiphop) in the evening (daily starting at 10PM) Local bands (rock, punk, hiphop) appear at weekends. Concerts take place in a stage area upstairs (away from the bar) and are around €10. DJ's in the bar.
- Smaragd, Altstadt 2. Regular live-concerts in the dance cellar and a beer garden on the street in summer.
- Eiskönig Landstraße, Landstraße 31 (next to the U-Hof). Mar-Sep: M-Sa 10:00-22:00, open holidays; closed Oct-Feb. You shouldn't miss Upper Austria's best Italian ice cream store. They have a multiplicity of ice cream flavours, something for every taste. You will also get coffee and Austrian specialities like Apfelstrudel or Topfenpalatschinken. Smoke-free.
- Thüsen Tak, Waltherstraße 21. A small hard rock pub. Books and posters lining the walls. Be prepared for cigarette haze and talkative, not-always-sober regulars of all ages. Mike, the friendly owner, occasionally serves a hearty meal for a reasonable price.
- Exxtrablatt, Spittelwiese. until 2AM. Cosy cafe/bar. Sit outside in the summer until 11PM, or walk down the stairs into a large room. You'll notice typical (for Austria) coffee house tables/stools, and classic movie posters covering the walls. You get a good selection of beers and wines, and the usual long drinks/cocktails. They serve burgers and snacks, including some vegetarian. For dessert, there's a delicious chocolate cake.
- Chay, Hauptplatz 15/16, . (Mar-Oct) Mon-Fri 9:30AM-6PM, Sat 9:30AM-1PM (Nov-Feb) Mon-Fri 9:30AM-6PM, Sat 9:30AM-4PM. Austria is famous for coffee but this small shop serves astonishingly good tea in many shapes. Split in a shop and a teahouse right beside to each other the menu offers tons of teas of excellent quality.
- Roter Krebs (Grand Hotel Café zum Rothen Krebsen), Obere Donaulände 11, 4020 (3 minutes from the Niebelungenbrücke or the Hauptplatz.), . Tue-Thu 18-02 h, Fr 18-04 h, Sat 18-03 h. Founded and run by artists, frequented mostly by students from the nearby art school.
Things to know
The city is now home to a vibrant music and arts scene that is well-funded by the city and the state of Upper Austria. Between Lentos Art Museum and the "Brucknerhaus", is the "Donaulände", which is also referred to as "Kulturmeile" ("culture mile"). This is a park alongside the river, which is used mainly by young people to relax and meet in summer. It is also used for the Ars Electronica Festival in early September and the "Linz Fest", which takes place annually in May. In June, July and August the "Musikpavillon" is placed in the park where musical groups of different styles perform on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays free of charge.
Linz has other culture institutions, such as the Posthof, which is near the harbour, and the Stadtwerkstatt, which is by the River Danube. The Pflasterspektakel, an international street art festival, takes place each year in July in and around the Landstraße and the main square. Linz was the European Capital of Culture in 2009, along with Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.
On 1 December 2014 Linz was accepted into the international network of UNESCO Creative Cities (UCCN) as a City of Media Arts. Currently 69 cities worldwide are members of the Creative Cities network, which is divided into seven thematic categories: literature, film, music, folk art, design, media art and gastronomy. The title goes to cities which enrich urban life and successfully involve society in electronic art forms through the sponsorship and integration of media art. Seven more cities can call themselves City of Media Arts: Enghien-les-Bains, Lyon, Sapporo, Dakar, Gwangju, Tel Aviv-Jaffa and York.
The aim is therefore to maintain and represent the cultural diversity. The 69 cities share their experiences and think about ways to cope with globalization. To create the most intensive discourse possible with the other creative cities, Linz has to do a self-evaluation after a few years. After three years the UNESCO evaluated whether Linz has fulfilled certain measures in the field of media art and may continue to use the title. The Ars Electronica Center can be considered as the centre of media art and attracts every year during its festival national and international guests to Linz.
Linz houses 43 galleries and exhibit rooms, 13 cultural centres, one club centre, as well as four educational institutes.
In Linz you can find both traditional restaurants and old wine taverns as well as modern and exotic cuisine. The influence of 140 nations can be felt in the culinary offer. A coalition of over 40 restaurants, cafes and among other locations bars are called “hotspots”. Moreover, Linz has several à la carte restaurants and Gault Millau gourmet restaurants.
Typical dishes in Linz include not only the famous Linzer Torte but also Knödel and Strudel in all different kind of variations. Another specialty is the Erdäpfelkäs, a spread made from mashed potatoes and cream. Some well-known chefs from Linz are Lukas Erich, who cooks in the Verdi and Georg Essig from the Der neue Vogelkäfig.