Linz is alive
Austria's third-largest city, Linz, is yet another example of a cosmopolitan center that should be on the itinerary of every visitor to Austria. Located almost exactly between Vienna and Salzburg, Linz has definitely solved the problem of the old and the new living together in perfect harmony: over the past few decades, great pains have been taken to preserve the authentic feeling of the historic Old Town Quarter with its elegant and superbly restored patrician houses in the large pedestrian zone. This and the many other attractions in the city center bear witness to the past glory and present beauty of Linz.
It is advisable to explore some of the inner courtyards between the Main Square and the Old Town Quarter, most of them freely accessible - there is much to discover here, from original Roman foundations to vaults dating from medieval times. A shopping trip through Linz can be an unforgettable experience. Exploring narrow side streets with quaint little antique shops, the inveterate shopper may discover a great hunting-ground for a great number of unique and interesting presents and souvenirs. From March through October, the lively flea market (every Saturday) in the very center of Linz has proved to be a major attraction for tourists.
One could take a ride on the steepest adhesion railway in the world, on Pöstlingberg, the landmark of Linz, which has just celebrated its 100th birthday - a ride up the mountain for the splendid view of the city and of the Danube is well worth a detour. The train passes quaint, idyllic little stations and affords a leisurely view of the city of Linz.
At night, Linz really comes alive - concentrating mostly on the exuberant Linz pub scene. The action, as everywhere else, is determined by prevailing trends. The "Bermuda Triangle" of the Old Town Quarter has been very popular for years, but there are many other places as well. Our tip: Ask a taxi driver - they usually know the best "in" places.
Linz City Ticket
The Linz City Ticket is a wonderful, low-priced way of exploring the City on the Danube. The ticket is enables one to arrange a visit to Linz according to taste.
"Linzer Torte" - Sweet Souvenir
No visit to Linz would be complete without sampling the most famous pastry of the region, the original "Linzer Torte." This local delicacy, made from almond short-crust pastry with its characteristic lattice pattern on top, is kept moist by red currant jelly.
Each year, downtown Linz is transformed into a stage: street artists from all over the world get together to astonish crowds of spectators at the Street Artists" Festival (three days in July). Lovers of classical music may enjoy Serenade Concerts in Renaissance courtyards. In July and August, open-air concerts on the Main Square and Linz Castle Mountain offer music for every taste.
One of Austria's foremost composers, Anton Bruckner, was closely associated with Linz. For many years, the man affectionately known as "God's Musician," lived and composed in Linz, where he played the organ at the magnificent Old Cathedral (Alter Dom). It is quite an experience for music lovers to visit the magnificent St. Florian Abbey outside Linz, and enjoy the serene atmosphere of the monastery, where Bruckner once sang in the famous St. Florian Boys" Choir. The composer is buried beneath the "Bruckner Organ". Every September, Linz dedicates its most important musical festival to Bruckner: for three weeks, Linz becomes the center of Austrian music and culture, presenting some of the world's most important orchestras, soloists, and conductors.
* Information is courtesy of the Austrian National Tourist Office
Festivals & Events
Spanish Riding School
The Spanish Riding School in Vienna is one of Austria's most known attractions. Please note that seating as well as standing room at the Imperial Palace Home of the Spanish Riding School is limited.
Tel: (+431) 533 90 31
Fax: (+431) 533 90 32 40
Vienna Boys' Choir
An Austrian cultural institution, the Vienna Boys Choir can usually be heard Sunday mornings at the Imperial Palace Chapel and various concert performances.
Bruckner Festival Linz
September 15 - October 6
Numerous classical concerts with world renown orchestras and soloists in Anton Bruckners hometown. The Festival is ushered in each year by the Linz Cloud of Sounds.
Tel: ++43-732-77 52 30
Vienna Music Film Festival
Annually in July and August
Famous opera performances on screen, masterful concert interpretations every evening under the stars with the splendid backdrop of Vienna's City Hall
Free admission nightly during the summer months.
Vienna City Hall Park
(as part of the Vienna Festival)
May 1 to June 16
The Vienna Festival concerts are the highlights of Vienna's concert season. The world's most renowned orchestras, conductors and soloists will be performing, among them in 2002: the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Claudio Abbado and the Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) directed by Sir Simon Rattle.
Annually around Easter time
The music festival is opened by Bach's "Passion of St. Mathews" performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker under Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Musikverein. Concerts at the Musikverein, the Konzerthaus and the Hofburgkapelle, a scenic oratorio performed at Odeon and an Easter Night concert at St. Stephen's cathedral round off the program.
Vienna State Opera
One of the most famous opera houses in the world, program runs from September through June each year.
Tel: ++43-1-513 1 513 (ticket sales one month prior to desired performance)
Mid April to Mid November
This Benedictine Abbey was founded in 1089 and is a major representation of Austrian Baroque architecture. Melk Abbey is overlooking the Danube River and can easily be visited during any Wachau Valley excursions.