Linz is the third largest city in Austria with 191,100 inhabitants, is the capital of the federal province of Upper Austria (Oberösterreich) and forms the heart of Austria´s second strongest economic region. As a major centre of heavy industry that has been bombed during the Second World War, Linz lacks the picturesque charm of Salzburg or imperial grandeur of Vienna, but has a number of draws, being situated on the Danube (Donau) river.

73 things to do

All Places Austria

Linz Castle

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.

St Martin's Church

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.

New Cathedral

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

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.

SEE   —  +43 732 7708660 —  Domgasse 3

Trinity Column

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.

SEE   —  Hauptplatz

voestalpine Stahlwelt

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.

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!

DO   —  Map


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.

DRINK   —  Spittelwiese


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.

DO   —  Map

Alte Welt

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.

EAT   —  Hauptplatz 4

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.

DO   —  Map

Linz Hauptbahnhof

Linz has hourly Railjet, Intercity and Eurocity connections to Salzburg and Vienna, and from there to all important European capitals and major cities. [ '''ÖBB'''] has online timetables and offers various ticketing options. Also has storage lockers, as well as a Spar grocery store and tourist information office.

OTHER   —  Bahnhofplatz

Bishop's Residence

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).

SEE   —  Herrenstraße 19

Linz Zoo

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.

SEE   —  +43 732 737180 —  Windflachweg 1

Chelsea Pub

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.

DRINK   —  +43 732 779 409 —  Domgasse 5


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.

Blue Danube Airport

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.

OTHER   —  +43 7221 6000 —  Flughafenstraße 1


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.


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.

DRINK   —  Kirchengasse 4


You shouldn't miss Upper Austria's best Italian Icecream-store. They have a multiplicity of Icecream flavours, something for every taste. You will also get coffee and Austrian specialities like "Apfelstrudel" or "Topfenpalatschinken". Smoke free.

DRINK   —  Landstraße 31

Leberkäse Pepi

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.

EAT   —  Rathausgasse 3

Botanic Gardens

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.

Thüsen Tak

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.

DRINK   —  Waltherstraße 21


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.

DRINK   —  +43 732781014 —  Hauptplatz 15/16

Cowboy-Museum Fatsy

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.


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.

Steigenberger Linz

Direct at the danube and close to the A7/E55 Autobahn this four star hotel is good located in the industrial area of Linz. Rooms are spacious and breakfast is good.

SLEEP   —  +43 732 78990 —  Am Winterhafen 13

Lentos Museum of Art

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.


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.

EAT   —  Kartnerstrasse 26

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.

OTHER   —  Map

Das Park Hotel

Completely automated concrete drain tubes with beds inside, you book (through website) and you're given a code for the door. From May through October.

SLEEP   —  Rodlpark, Ottensheim

CK Shuttle

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.

OTHER   —  Map

Motel Pension Rosenhof

It's a Lovely Hotel with Good Rooms and a Nice View, and There is Also a Bus Stop about 100 meters, it's Between St. Isidor and Hart

Gelbes Krokodil

The Yellow Crocodile is next to/a part of the Moviemento Cinema, downstairs below street level. It has special vegetarian plates.

EAT   —  +43 732 784182 —  OK Platz 1

Provincial Gallery of Linz

The museum has a large collection of modern and contemporary art, with rotating special exhibits of works by Upper Austrians.


Large and airy, on two floors, with enough "hip/cool" clientele to satisfy the needs of people with enough money to spend.

DRINK   —  Passage Kaufhaus

City Express

Touristy fun little train that takes you around downtown. Good chance to get off your feet and warm up in the winter.

DO   —  Map

Ars Electronica Center

This cutting-edge museum serves as a venue for art which explores the creative potential of the latest technology.

Nordico Museum of the City of Linz

This former monastery now houses the civic museum, with rotating exhibits focused on regional history and ecology.

Military History Collection in Ebelsberg Castle

Exhibits a large collection of historic firearms, as well as items from the former Austrian Imperial Navy.


A large bar/burger restaurant. Games room and occasional live music. Good breakfast menus. Great burgers.

DRINK   —  Hauptplatz/Main Square


A branch of the Nordico Museum with displays dedicated to the history of Linz and its famous residents.


Herrenstraße 22-24. M-Sa 8AM-6PM A pastry shop serving the local speciality ''Linzer Torte'' (a cake).

EAT   —  +43 732 779258 —  Map

Museum of the History of Dentistry in Upper Austria

A one-room museum dedicated to the history of dentistry, from the 17th century until the present.

The O.K. Center for Contemporary Art

Hosts contemporary art exhibits and festivals, with a focus on installation and multimedia art.

SEE   —  +43 732 784178 0 —  OK-Platz 1

Roter Krebs

Founded and run by artists, frequented mostly by students from the nearby art school.


Regular live-concerts in the dance cellar and a beer garden on the street in summer.

DRINK   —  Altstadt 2

The Posthof

Has modern music, dance and comedy performances, which is located near the port.

DO   —  Map

Hotel Am Domplatz

Business hotel direct in the city center with modern and well furbished rooms.

SLEEP   —  +43 732 773000 —  Stifterstraße 4


Nice restaurant (serves vegetarian food) and lounge in the ''Altstadt''.

EAT   —  +43 732 77646 —  Altstadt 28

Customs and Finance Collection

Exhibits historic tools of the trade as well as confiscated items.

SEE   —  +43 732 7605-2453 —  Map

Skulpturenpark Artpark

A 5,000m² sculpture garden, with works by more than 20 artists.

SEE   —  Hamerlingstraße

Biology Center Dornach

Has science exhibits with a focus on botany and zoology.

The Phoenix Theater

Shows modern plays that are also suitable for teenagers.

DO   —  Map


Serving tasty falafel-sandwiches for €3.

EAT   —  Graben

Hotel Mühlviertlerhof

Graben 24-26.

SLEEP   —  070 772268 —  Map


SLEEP   —  Map

Ibis Linz City

SLEEP   —  Map

ibis Styles Linz

SLEEP   —  Map

Kulturzentrum Hof

SEE   —  Map


SEE   —  Map


SEE   —  Map


SEE   —  Map

About Linz

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.

Source: wikivoyage