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Linz – The Cultural Capital by the Danube

© by Österreich Werbung, Photo: Roebl

Austria’s third largest city Linz is a mix of contemporary culture, historical city centre and industrial heartland. All this right on the banks of the Danube.

Linz is one of the main economic powerhouses of Austria, basing its reputation as such on a vast industrial complex on the southern banks of the Danube. However, despite its reputation as an industrial city, Linz has a lot to offer tourists. You and your family would find plenty to see and do for a few days. Thus, I would give Linz a go if you are looking for genuine Austrian city life and great cultural treats.

Old town

The 200.000 inhabitants live in a large city, where the bulk sprawls out on flat plain south of the Danube. Nonetheless, the most exciting parts of Linz are situated in a relatively small area in and around the old town. Although the old town is compact, it’s big enough to keep you busy for a few days. The old town has some well-preserved medieval and 17-18th century buildings. Most of the old town has pedestrian streets and small alleys. Perfect for leisurely strolling around for a few hours. At night, the old turns into a vibrant party scene with nightlife at par with other cities of the same size.

Bustling city

The main square is the hub that connects you to the other parts of Linz. It’s also the start of the main shopping street, the Landstrasse. Combining as the main tramline artery, in and out of the city centre, and as a shopping street, the Landstrasse is very busy. Most of the Landstrasse and its side streets are lined with shops. If this cannot fulfil your shopping needs, PlusCity, a vast shopping mall near the airport, should do so.

In contrast to busy Linz, there are also places to relax and wind down. The city has a few nice green areas. Choose from the riverside to city parks like Bauernberg and Feinberg. Across the river, you can swim in a partly artificial lake (Pleschingersee).

< Click on the images to enlarge >

Good eateries and vivid nightlife

With a large university and several other higher education facilities, the city has a sizeable teenage/young adult population that needs to be catered to. Thus, there is plenty of night-time entertainment throughout the city. Watering holes are in plentiful supply, some being rowdier than others. However, plenty of music bars or establishments also serve umbrella drinks for couples in love or adults. Additionally, Linz has a good variety of eateries, ranging from cheap luncheonettes to upscale fine dining. Even the self-serve restaurants in department stores or furniture stores serve decent meals for a reasonable price.


Cultural Capital

Since Linz was The European Cultural Capital of 2009, the city has worked hard to preserve its place as one of the great cultural cities. It continues to stage a wide variety of cultural venues. One of the main venues is the Brucknerhaus Festival and congress centre, which offers hundreds of performances every year. The Lentos Art Museum displays modern art inside and a light show on the outside. Furthermore, to wrap up the shortlist, we must include the Ars Electronica Center (AEC), an electronic art centre. The list of cultural venues is, of course, much longer. Not to mention all, we can assure you that Linz offers such a variety that it should satisfy most people’s interests.

A heart of steel

Linz also offers a slightly different tourist activity than most other destinations. Suppose you are into the heavy industry or would like to peek at what’s going on inside one of Europe’s leading steel plants, the voestalpine Stahlwelt. The steel plant offers visitors a unique inside view (Exhibition and Plant tour) of the world of steel.

Check out these links for more info:

Linz Tourismus

The City of Linz

Upper Austria Tourism
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Written by 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.