Seaside fun is the essence of a visit to Bregenz – idyllically located on the shore of Lake Constance. We enjoyed strolling around the historic quarter, watching the sunset from the pier, and a boat trip – just to mention some.
Situated on the banks of Lake Constance, the town of 29.000 inhabitants is a world away from Vienna at the other end of the country. The westernmost state capital of Austria – Bregenz is best known for the annual theatre festival. However, the city also offers its visitors seaside escapes, mountain hiking, and innovative architecture. Nonetheless, there is a sophisticated international flair to the port city of Bregenz, which is connected by ship to Germany or Switzerland.
One of the main highlights of Bregenz is the promenade along lovely Lake Constance. It’s a great place for seaside fun, such as basking in the sun, romantic evening strolls, or simply sitting down and contemplating life. We had the joy of experiencing what seemed like a favourite pastime for many Bregenzians, watching the sunset from the Pir (Molo). Along the promenade, you find eateries and cafés, perfect for a rendezvous with friends. There is a small but very well-tended park, great for chilling out and winding down after a busy day. West of the festival area, there is a public seaside waterpark, that is perfect for a day out with the kids. Although you’re far from the ocean, Bregenz is the place for having seaside fun in the Alps.
Lake views and hiking
Even though Bregenz has a real seaside feel to it, it still embodies a distinct Austrian sensation. The eastern end of the lake is almost embedded in the Alps, and very near the mountains. You can take the cable car from the city centre to the summit of Pfänder at 1,064 meters (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. From Pfänder, there are ample hiking opportunities, 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. Moreover, you find a few choices for food and beverages on the mountain as well.
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There are of course ample opportunities, for swimming and sunbathing along Lake Constance. Bregenz has 5 public beaches and pools; Strandbad Lochau with a pebble beach, “Mili” (a former army wooden swimming house on the lake), Strandbad Bregenz (also with swimming pools), Wocherhafen and Strandbad Hard.
On the water
A cruise on Lake Constance is a must when visiting Bregenz. You can do short excursions along the shores of Bregenz, with a pedal or electric boat, or take a longer cruise on a ship. Furthermore, if you are staying for a few days, we recommend doing a day trip to the historical town of Lindau in Germany, which is just 30 minutes across the lake by ship. During the summer, the commercial shipping lines connect Bregenz with several ports around Lake Constance.
Every summer, an outdoor theatre stage, spectacularly set directly on Lake Constance, attracts 200.000 spectators to opera performances. The 2019 Bregenzer Festspiele presented 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. 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 small size, is one of Austria’s most delightful and diverse holiday destinations. Bregenz is all about having seaside fun in the Alps!
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