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Bregenz – Seaside fun in the Alps

© by Arnold Weisz

The westernmost state capital of Austria – Bregenz is best known for the annual theatre festival on the Lake Constance. However, the city also offers its visitors seaside escapes, mountain hiking and innovative architecture.

Situated on the banks of Lake Constance the city of 29.000 inhabitants is a world away from Vienna in the other end of the country. Nonetheless, there is a sophisticated international flair to the port city of Bregenz, from where you can sail off to Germany and Switzerland.

The Promenade

One of the main features of Bregenz is the promenade, between the port and the Festival area, along lovely Lake Constance. It’s a great place to bask in the sun, romantic evening strolls or just sit down and contemplate about life. We had the joy of experiencing what seemed as a favourite pastime for many Bregenzians, watching the sunset from the Pir (Molo). Along the promenade you find eateries and café’s, just perfect for a rendevouz with friends. There is a small but very well-tended park to chill out and put some colour into a grey day. Beyond the festival area, there is a public seaside waterpark perfect for a day out with the kids. Although you’re far from the ocean, Bregenz is about having seaside fun in the Alps.

Lake views and hiking

Even though Bregenz definitely has a real seaside feel to it, it still embodies a distinct Austrian sensation. The Alps surrounds this part of the lake and you are never far from the mountains. Take the cable car from the city centre to the summit of Pfänder at 1,064 metres (3590 ft), the nearest mountain to Bregenz.  Within a few minutes, you can enjoy the magnificent views of Lake Constance to the west or the Alps to the east. There are ample opportunities for hiking either on the mountain, heading inland or back down to Bregenz. For the kids there is a small zoo at the summit with local animals and a playground. Of course there a few choices for food and beverages on the mountain as well.

Click on the images to enlarge >>

  • Bregenz, Vorarlberg, Austria
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    The Promenade gives Bregenz a distinct seaside feel to it. Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
  • Bregenz, Vorarlberg, Austria
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    Cathing the sunset from the Pir in Bregenz, is a favourite pastime for many Bregenzians. Foto: Ana Lucia Marcos ©
  • Seaside fun in the Alps, Bregenz, Vorarlberg, Austria
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    A few minutes with the cable car from the centre of Bregenz and you are in the Alps.P hoto: Arnold Weisz ©
  • Bregenz, Vorarlberg, Austria
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    Bregenz is a busy port on Lake Constance. Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
  • Seaside fun in the Alps, Bregenz, Vorarlberg, Austria
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    A cruise on the Lake Constance is a must. Photo: Vorarlberg Lines / Vorarlberg Turismus ©
  • Seaside fun in the Alps, Bregenz, Vorarlberg, Austria
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    There are planty of bathing facilities in Bregenz. Here from the pier in the Waterpark. Photo: Roman Horner / Bregenz Turismus ©
  • Seaside fun in the Alps, Bregenz, Vorarlberg, Austria
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    The small but lovely historical center in Bregenz is great for some shopping and cafe visits, in addition to its historical buildings. Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
  • Seaside fun in the Alps, Bregenz, Vorarlberg, Austria
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    A small piece of the chinese wall in Lake Constance – part of the stage set for the opera Turandot, the main event in the 2016 festival. Photo: Arnold Weisz ©

On the water

Some kind of trip on Lake Constance is of course a must when visiting Bregenz. You can do short excursions along the shores off Bregenz with a pedal or electric boat, or take a longer cruise on the lake. If you are staying for a few days, we recommend doing a daytrip to the historical town of Lindau in Germany, just 30 minutes away by ship. During the summer the commercial shipping fleets connects you with a number of ports around Lake Constance.

Bregenz Festival

Every summer an outdoor theatre stage, spectacularly set directly on the Lake Constance, attracts 200.000 spectators to opera performances. The 2019 Bregenzer Festspiele presents Rigoletto by Guiseppe Verdi on the Seebühne (stage on the lake). Notwithstanding, this is not the only cultural spectacle going on in Bregenz during the summer months. Different venues stage almost 100 performances around town during July and August.

For all ages and any interests

We have just scratched the surface of what is on offer in the seaside capital of Vorarlberg, the westernmost state of Austria, on the border with Germany and Switzerland. You can easily spend a week here without getting bored and enjoying a wide range of activities, catering to most tastes and ages. Bregenz – despite its size is one of Austria’s most delightful and diverse holiday destination. Bregenz is all about having seaside fun in the Alps!

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Written by Arnold Weisz

Arnold Weisz

Globetrotting multilingual communications specialist born in Vienna, Austria – with passion for scuba diving, golf and culinary delights! 15 years of experience as a scuba- and travel reporter for among others: X-Ray Dive Magazine and Dykking.