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Bregenz

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Vorarlberg : Bregenz
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Bregenz Leutbühel, Herz-Jesukirche, B-Hafen, Postamt, KUB

Bregenz is the capital of Vorarlberg in Austria at the Lake Constance.

Understand[edit]

Bregenz has about 28,000 inhabitants and has roots back to Roman times. The city was originally founded by the Romans in 15 BC, when it was known as Brigantium.

Bregenz is located at the northern edge of the Alps, between Lake Constance (the Bodensee) and the local mountain, the Pfänder (1064m). To the southwest lies the Rhine delta, a huge valley divided between Switzerland to the east and Austria to the west. To the south lie the mountains of Switzerland and southern Vorarlberg. To the north, overlooking Lake Constance, are the alpine foothills of the Allgäu Bavaria and the quaint villages of Baden-Württemberg in Germany.

Bregenz is the capital of Austria's most prosperous province. The shore of Lake Constance, one of the biggest lakes in Europe, is min. from the small downtown. It is highly advisable to go down to the lake in the evening and check out the beautiful sunset. Inhabitants of Vorarlberg are said to be very friendly and open.

Visitor Information Centre[edit]

Bregenz Tourismus & Stadtmarketing, Rathausstraße 35a, +43 5574 49590, Fax: +43 5574 495959, tourismus@bregenz.at. M-F 8.30AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-12PM.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Zurich-Kloten: quite a big airport, about 1 hour with train/car (100km). Friedrichshafen: smaller but closer, about 40 km from Bregenz. Approached by some bigger companies like Condor and Ryanair (to/from Stansted London). Munich: Biggest airport around. About 2.5 h to Bregenz. Altenrhein: Switzerland, about 20 km to Bregenz but few connections to Vienna.

By train[edit]

The Central station (Hauptbahnhof) is located in the north of the city, close to the lake and the city center. There are serveral daily connections from Vienna with stops in Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck and some more. The train takes around 6-7 h from Vienna in general ÖBB-IC trains are the slowest but there is also a highspeed train called RJ (RailJet) for the same price. The price for both from Vienna to Bregenz is around 60€. A few tickets for 29€ Sparschiene are available every day so check the OEBB Homepage .

  • From Switzerland, France and northwestern Italy, the best option is to go to via Zurich and take a EuroCity (EC) train to Bregenz without changing or the slower ICN, change in St. Gallen for the S-Bahn and in St. Margrethen for the S-Bahn.

By car[edit]

From direction Vienna: On the A1 via Salzburg via Germany. In Rosenheim/Ger, you have to decide if you drive via Munich (heavy traffic) or via Innsbruck (Arlberg Ttunnel 13€). From Chur/Zurich: about 10 km to the Swiss motorway.

By bus[edit]

Check out Eurolines from Vienna and Berlin.

Get around[edit]

There are a number of buslines in the city.

In summer, bicycles are perhaps the best way to get around, as Bregenz is quite small. Bicycles can be rented from the main railway station.

It is possible to travel along the lakeshore by railway to both Switzerland and Germany.

If you want to visit the nearby Bregenzerwald, a mountainous area south-east of Bregenz, take a bus from the railway station, or take the train to Dornbirn and transfer there.

See[edit][add listing]

Kirchgasse 29
  • Kunsthaus Bregenz (KUB), Karl Tizian Platz, 6900 Bregenz, ''+43 5574'' 48594-0, [1]. Frequently changing contemporary art exhibitions. The building was designed by Peter Zumthor. 9.00 EUR standard, 6.50 EUR reduced, free for ages 19 or younger.  edit
  • Martinsturm (Martin's Tower), +43 5574 46632. Open from Easter to October 15th. July 18-August 19: Daily, 9AM-6:30PM, otherwise closed Mondays. Adults €1, children under six €0.50. Bregenz's most famous landmark, the tower features the largest "onion cupola" in Europe.
  • Seebühne and Festival House, [2]. During the festival season, there are guided tours (A look behind the scenes) at certain times for the floating stage and the Festival House. The open-air seating area can usually be accessed for free for getting a glance at the floating stage if there is no performace. The James Bond movie Quantum of Solace features some scenes from the floating stage production Tosca in 2008 and the Festival House. 7 EUR.  edit
  • vorarlberg museum, Kornmarktplatz 1, 6900 Bregenz, [3]. Will open on June 21, 2013.  edit
  • Wettingen-Mehrerau Abbey, Mehrerauerstr. 66, 6900 Bregenz, [4]. A bit outside of the city, but can easily be reached by walking or cycling along the lake. Approximately 2 km from the main train station.  edit
  • Vorarlberg Regional Library, Fluher Straße 4, 6900 Bregenz, [5]. Free guided tours are available upon request (Note: it is not known whether English tours are offered) [6] and cultural events take place [7].  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

In summer, Bregenz offers many possibilities. Bregenz is splendid for swimming in the lake (the lake's temperature reaches 79 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer), hiking, cycling, and several other sports.

The Bregenz Festival (Bregenzer Festspiele), [8] is a famous festival running from mid-July to mid-August and attracting 200,000 visitors each year. The centerpiece of the festival is its main stage built on Lake Constance, the largest floating stage in the world. The open-air production changes every two years, with Mozart's The Magic Flute in 2013 and 2014. The setting - 7,000 seats looking out over the lake, the larger-than-life stage, night falling during the performance, and the cool breeze coming off the lake - is truly spectacular. 29 - 300 EUR. In addition to the production on the floating stage, there is a yearly changing program including an opera in the Festival House, a series of orchestral concerts and other cultural events such as Kunst aus der Zeit (KAZ) and cross culture.

For theatre performances check out the Vorarlberger Landestheater [9]. Orchestra concerts are performed on a regular basis by the Symphony Orchestra Vorarlberg [10].

Don't miss the 360° view from the top of the Pfänder mountain [11]: you can either walk (ca. 2-3h) or take the cablecar (6 min). Signage throughout town will direct you to the cablecar station. The cablecar operates daily from 8AM-7PM, with departures on the hour and half-hour. April 1-October 31, 2007: €10.20 round trip (adults), less for children and seniors. At the top, there's a restaurant (Berghaus Pfänder, +43 5574 42184) that is open daily, 9:30AM-6:30PM from May 9 to September 23, 2007. There's also an alpine wildlife park (free admission) and a Birds of Prey show (May 1 to October 3, 2007: daily 11AM and 2:30PM, adults €4.60, children 15 and under €2.30). You can also bike the Pfänder. A guide with suggested routes is available from the bottom cablecar station. The cablecar transports bikes daily from 8AM-10AM and 6PM-7PM for free, else it's €2.90.

The Lake Promenade is a very popular place for residents to stroll and spend the evening. There are shaded paths and outdoor restaurants. The sunsets in Bregenz are beautiful from any place at the lake.

Other things to do:

  • Swimming: the bathing complex by the lake has a large outdoor pool and an indoor pool. Early May – early September, daily 9AM–8PM. Approx. €4 for adults.
  • Boat cruises: From April to October, Vorarlberg Lines, 43 5574 42868, info@vorarlberg-lines.at, [12], offers a variety of cruises on Lake Constance, including a scenic 'three-country' cruise (daily 2:30PM); cruises to Friedrichshafen, home of the Zepplinmuseum (daily, various times); the "Flower Island" of Mainau (daily, various times); the city of Konstanz, home of the Sea Life Center/Aquarium (daily, various times); and a number of sunset and dinner cruises. One can also consider a short trip to the german port Lindau. On a sunny day, the port offers splendid views of the swiss landscape. The town is beautiful and one can also consider shopping in the main market, 5 minute walk from the port/train station. Cruise available quite frequently, €5 adult. The return trip can be made via cruise (another €5) or by catching a regional train called S-Bahn from Lindau station to Bregenz station for as low as €2.4, if purchased at OBB machine.
  • Casino Bregenz, Symphonikerplatz 3, +43 5574 45127, [13]. Daily 3PM-3AM, F and Sa to 4AM. Men must wear a shirt and jacket, though the casino will provide jackets for the unprepared.

Buy[edit][add listing]

In general, stores are open Monday to Friday from 9AM to noon and from 2PM to 6PM, Saturdays from 9AM to 4PM.

Wolford, 1-2 Wolfordstraße, +43 5574 690-1458, Fax: +43 5574 690-1651, wbo94864@wolford.com, [14]. M-Th 9AM-7:30PM, F 9AM-9PM, Sa 9AM-5PM. The maker of stylish hosiery and lingerie is headquartered in Bregenz. This location includes a boutique, factory outlet and restaurant.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Bregenz becomes very busy during the Festival season that runs from mid-July to mid-August. During this time it's advisable to book accommodations ahead of time. Prices posted below are for the high-season summer months.

  • Bregenz Youth Hostel, Mehrerauerstraße 3-5, +43 5574 42867, Fax: +43 5574 42867-88, jgh.bregenz@jgh.at, [15]. Close to the lake and train station. Laundry facilities, meals available, Internet. From €19.20.
  • Ibis Bregenz, Sankt Anna Straße 11, +43 5574 524500, Fax: +43 5574 52450555, [16]. Located across from the train station. 24-hour bar. Internet. Pets accepted. €49-€76.
  • Mercure Bregenz City, Platz Der Wiener Symphoniker 2, +43 5574 461000, Fax: +43 5574 47412, H0799@accor.com, [17]. Close to the lake. Two restaurants. Pets accepted. €70-€137, some discounts available.
  • Hotel Weisses Kreuz, Römerstraße 5, +43/5574/49 88-0, Fax: +43/5574/49 88-67 , [18], [19]. Experience 100 years of hospitality at the oldest and yet most modern hotel in Bregenz, Austria.

Splurge[edit]

Get out[edit]

  • Lindau, [22], is a nearby island in Germany with a picturesque harbor and lots of little shopping streets.
  • Mainau Island in Germany, "The Flower Island", +49 7531 303 0, [23], is known for its warm climate and beautiful botanical gardens. During the season (roughly June 1 - Sep 30), the island is open daily from 7AM-8PM. It isn't possible to spend the night on the island. Vorarlberg Lines, +43 5574 42868, info@vorarlberg-lines.at, offers daily boat cruises to Mainau. The trip is about 3.5 hours. Adults € 46,80.
  • Liechtenstein, [24], is the fourth smallest country in Europe. Bus and train service [25] is available daily from Bregenz to the capital city of Vaduz. The trip is about 1.5 hours.

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