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Linz

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Austria : Upper Austria : Linz
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The Hauptplatz - Main Square

Linz [1] is the third largest city in Austria with 188,968 inhabitants, is the capital of the federal province of Upper Austria and forms the heart of Austria´s second strongest economic region. Linz is by the Danube (Donau) river. The tourist slogan of the city is "In Linz beginnt's" ("It starts in Linz").

Understand

Linz is remarkable for possessing a sizable "Altstadt" (old town), for featuring a rich cultural life with numerous museums and festivals, for being situated in an attractive landscape characterised by the Danube and delightful hills, while it is at the same time an economically vibrant and busy industrial city with huge steel and chemical works.

While this industry in Linz is still financially dominant, it is slowly diversifying by helping small companies and encouraging tourism. The city gets a lot of international media attention because of its annual Ars Electronica Festival[2]; an international festival for Electronic Art. 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 has become the "European Capital of Culture" in 2009, by virtue of an independent cultural development and an innovative culture and art scene.

Get in

By plane

The Blue Danube Airport of Linz is located outside the city, but 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. Alternately, you can fly to the better-connected Vienna airport and take the train to Linz.

There are serveral connections with Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines from Munich, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Vienna to Linz.

By train

Linz has hourly Intercity and Eurocity connections to Salzburg and Vienna, and from there to all important European capitals and major cities. Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB)[3] has online timetables and offers various ticketing options. The cheapest option from/to Vienna or Salzburg is the private Railway Westbahn [4] with free WiFi on board.

By bus

  • ShuttleCeskyKrumlov.com (Shuttle bus from/to Cesky Krumlov), [5]. 1 hours. offers door-to-door shuttle bus and private car/van transportation between Linz and Salzburg, Hallstatt, Vienna and Cesky Krumlov. Linz - Cesky Krumlov is for 420 (19 EUR) per person. See the timetable. €19.
  • CK Shuttle (Cesky Krumlov shuttlebus service), [6]. offers a door-to-door transportation service from Linz to Cesky Krumlov and back for 500 CZK pro person. The ride takes about 1.5 hours.
  • Czechshuttle.cz (Shuttle bus from / to Cesky Krumlov), [7]. 2.5 hours. offers door - to - door Shuttle bus to LINZ) from Cesky Krumlov and back.Price 390 CZK (17 EUR) per person.) Private transportation available by CAR or VAN .

By car

Linz is connected with Vienna, Salzburg, and Munich via the A1 Autobahn/motorway ; the Muehlviertel A7 Autobahn , and the south of Austria (Graz (Styria), Klagenfurt (Carinthia)) via the A9 Autobahn. It is also connected to Germany via Passau. There are plans to extend a motorway north to the Czech Republic, but work is not expected to start until 2009. The best way to drive north is currently on the B125 Bundesstrasse/B-road.

By boat

All shipping-enterprises of Linz are listed here: [8] There is regular passenger boat service on the Danube from and to Vienna and Passau, Germany. A list of Austrian passenger services on the Danube can be found here:[9]

Get around

Linz has a very good public transport service. A map of the tram (red) and bus lines is available. A one-day ticket is €4,00 for over 14-year-olds, & €2,00 for under 14-year-olds. There is also a 4-stop ticket (mini-ticket)for €1,00. Students can buy an 'Aktivpass', which allows you to buy a monthly card for €10.00, which is valid for all lines, and you get all tickets at half price. Tickets are purchased from the electronic vending machines at each stop, as well as tobacco and newspaper shops.

Linz City Ticket

The Linz Card 2013 (1 day: € 15, 3 day: € 25) enables an individual and independent tour through the Danube city. Available at the Tourist Office and in many hotels.

The Danube Valley in Linz. The photograph has been taken from a terrace near the Franz-Josephs-Warte.

See

When strolling through the heart of the city, one can literally sense its history. The lanes of the old town, which lies directly at the foot of the castle, communicate the feeling of past ages. Splendid town residences and chapter houses are worthy of closer scrutiny, as are the many inner courtyards hidden discretely behind arched gates. Moreover, the spacious, baroque main square with its lively hustle and bustle is never far away.

Linz is also a city of churches. With its 134m tower and space for 20,000 people, the New Cathedral is Austria´s largest church. In addition, the city landmark, the pilgrimage basilica on the Pöstlingberg, is also clearly in view. A symbol of Linz is the Lentos Museum of modern art, which has a striking glass facade that is illuminated at night with alternating colours.

Events

Linz is a synonym for variety that is found at open air events, in bars and restaurants and in the theatre and on concert stages of the city. In late April, the yearly Crossing Europe [10] film festival for young European film features works with unconventional, courageous filmic positions. At Whitsun, the Linz Festival [11] offers a cultural open-air festival in the Danube park, while in July the international "Pflasterspektakel" [12] brings over 500 clowns, acrobats and mimes to the city´s streets. Moreover, September sees the musical "Cloud of Sounds" [13] in the Donaupark, the Ars Electronica Festival [14] and the Bruckner Festival.

The Linz markets provide an opportunity to browse, and sample, whether at the weekly markets or the twice yearly Fair/Carneval Urfahraner Jahrmarkt [15], which is Austria´s oldest public festival.

During the university lecture periods (October-January and March-June) there are a wide range of student parties among the campuses of the 4 universities in Linz. Particularly interesting might be the weekly Mensafest every thursday in Dornach/Urfahr on the campus of Johannes-Kepler-University [16] and the gatherings at the Sommerhaus Hotel [17] during the SAICCA program that runs mid-May through mid-June.

Churches and chapels

  • New cathedral, Herrenstraße 26, open M-Sa 7:30AM-9AM, Su 8AM-7PM. 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 134 m (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 12 m in length.
  • Old cathedral, Domgasse 3. Daily 7AM-7PM.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.
  • Pöstlingbergkirche(Wallfahrtsbasilika), Am Pöstlingberg 1. Daily 8AM-6PM. 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.
  • St. Martin's Church, Römerstraße/ Ecke Martinsgasse. 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.

Monuments

  • Trinity Column, in the middle of the Main Square. One of Austria's most attractive closed squares, there stands the 20 m 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.
  • 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 Upper Austrian Castle Museum. 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.
  • Bischofshof. 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).

Museums

  • Lentos, [18].
  • Ars Electronica Center, [19].
  • Castle Museum Linz, [20].
  • LinzGenesis and Museum of the History of Dentistry in Upper Austria, [21].
  • StifterHaus, [22].
  • Landesgalerie (Provincial gallery), [23].
  • Nordico - Museum of the City of Linz, [24].
  • The O.K Center for Contemporary Art, [25].
  • Biology Center Dornach, [26].
  • Historical Customs and Finance Collection, [27].
  • Military History Collection in Ebelsberg Castle, [28].

Culture

Linz has established an international reputation due to its extensive cultural life. You can visit the "culture mile" along the Danube, which stretches from the Brucknerhaus concert hall and the Lentos art museum and the Ars Electronica Center on the northern bank of the river. Linz also possesses a number of stage companies, which offer something for everybody in the form of a range of evening entertainment that extends from classic opera to modern dance theatre.

From June to August the Linz cultural summer features cabaret, open-air concerts and theatre on virtually daily basis at venues that are as varied as the programme itself. These include the bars and squares of the inner city, as well as the romantic Rose Garden high above the rooftops. Moreover, throughout the year, the "Posthof" features "contemporary culture at the harbour" with national and international performers.

  • Brucknerhaus, [29].
  • Posthof, [30].
  • Stadtwerkstatt, [31].
  • Kulturzentrum Hof, [32].
  • Haus der Architektur.

Do

There are lots of things to do in Linz. Here are a few possibilities:

  • Old Town Walking Tour, [33].
  • Pöstlingberg tram, [34]. 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 to the top of the Pöstlingberg. You have to buy special tickets, the usual bus and tram tickets are not valid.
  • The Grotto Railway, [35]. 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!
  • Linz Zoo, [36]. 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,...). They are all to be found at the zoo, which is located half-way up the Pöstlingberg. As an excursion destination the children’s zoo is always popular with the little ones.
  • Wallfahrtsbasilika, [37]. 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.
  • Botanical Gardens, [38]. The Botanical Gardens on the "Gugl" are among the most beautiful in Europe. Over an area of 43,000 m², there are more than 8,000 various types of plants to admire. In the five greenhouses the splendour of exotic specimens predominates the garden’s unique collection of cacti, the finest in Europe. The natural conditions allow the exhibited plants to be grouped in complete landscapes, so that visitors can imagine they are in the middle of the plant’s natural habitat.

Special shows and exhibitions throughout the year present special attractions. The bus number 27 goes straight to the Botanical Gardens every 15 minutes from Taubenmarkt station, on foot you need about 30 minutes.

  • City Express, [39]. Touristy fun little train that takes you around downtown. Good chance to get off your feet and warm up in the winter.
  • Danube, [40]. 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.
  • Donauschiffahrt Wurm und Köck
  • Donauschifffahrt Schaurecker
  • ÖGEG: Dampfschiff Schönbrunn
  • Donau Touristik

Cinema

  • The Moviemento [41] and City cinemas both show films that are not mainstream in original languages with German subtitles.
  • The Cineplexx [42] in the harbor shows all the actual blockbusters. Thursday is movie night, so it is the cheapest day to go.

Young People

  • The Posthof, [43]. Has modern music, dance and comedy performances, which is located near the port.
  • The Stadtwerkstatt (near the AEC). Popular meeting point for young people with an alternative lifestyle, and home to community radio FRO. They often have gigs with unknown bands; also a "people's kitchen" in the evening, where you can get good vegetarian food for a donation.
  • KAPU[44]. Popular meeting point for young people with an alternative lifestyle. They often have gigs with unknown bands. Nirvana played at the KAPU about one year before they became world-famous.
  • The Phoenix Theater, [45]. Shows modern plays that are also suitable for teenagers.
  • Tabakfabrik: frequent "counter-cultural" events.

Eat

Eating in Linz depends on your budget, and taste. Be prepared to search far and wide for open restaurants on Sundays. The entire Altstadt seems to close down Sunday nights leaving tourists restaurant choices only in adjoining districts.

  • Jindrak, Herrenstraße 22-24, Tel.0732/779258. M-Sa 8AM-6PM A pastry shop serving the local speciality Linzer Torte (a cake).
  • Coffee world, Landstraße 17-25 (first floor of the Shopping-Center Passage). M-Th. 8:30AM-10PM, F,Sa 8:30AM-1AM, Sun. 8:30AM-8PM.
  • P'AA, Altstadt 28, Tel. +43(732)77646, [46]. Nice restaurant (serves vegetarian food) and lounge in the Altstadt. M-Sa from 11AM-2.30PM and 5:30PM-12AM.
  • Gelbes Krokodil. The Yellow Crocodile is next to/a part of the Moviemento Cinema; downstairs below street level.
  • Stadtbräu Josef. Landstraße 49, M-Su 10AM-4PM.


  • NIU, Klammstraße 1, [47]. 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.
  • There are many luncheonettes in the city, offering a variety of food, such as Chinese food, kebab, pizza and typical Austrian snacks such as Bratwürstel (fried sausage) with Sauerkraut, Leberkäse, Bosner or Bosna (a special hot-dog with fried sausage and a special curry-ketchup-onion sauce), Käsekrainer (a sausage interlaid with cheese).
  • Leberkäse Pepi, Rathausgasse 3, [48]. M-Th 8AM-4AM, F 8AM-5AM, Sa 9AM-2PM, 6PM-5AM. 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. (48.306362,0.021865)
  • Alte Welt, Hauptplatz 4, [49]. 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. 7€ for lunch.
  • Falafel-Fastfood, Graben. Serving tasty falafel-sandwiches for 3 EUR.

Drink

Drinking in Linz is varied and not that cheap; although if you drink outside of the city centre you will find that the cost of drinks are less than in the centre.

Local beers and warm "Glühwein" (hot, spiced/mulled wine) in winter. Upper-Austrian's "national drink" is Most (it´s cider but not fizzy), and Zipfer, Gösser, and Kaiser beer. There are many Austrian beers, of course.

  • Walker, Hauptplatz/Main Square. Open daily. A large bar/burger restaurant. Games room and occasional live music. Good breakfast menus. Great burgers.
  • Chelsea Pub, Domgasse 5 - 0732 779 409, [50]. Open daily. 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.
  • Remembar, Passage Kaufhaus (Passage Dept. store). Large and airy, on two floors, with enough "hip/cool" clientele to satisfy the needs of people with enough money to spend.
  • Stadtwerkstatt, Kirchengasse 4 (close to the Ars Electonica Center). 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.
  • Smaragd, Altstadt 2. Regular live-concerts in the dance cellar and a beer garden on the street in summer.
  • Eiskönig, Landstraße 31 (next to the U-Hof), [51]. monday-saturday from 10AM to 10 PM. You shouldn't miss Upper Austrias best italian Icecream-store. They have a multiplicity of Icecream flavours, something for every taste You will also get coffe and austrian specialities like "Apfelstrudel" or "Topfenpalatschinken". Smoke free.
  • Thüsen Tak, Waltherstraße 21. 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, occasionaly serves a hearty meal for a reasonable price.
  • Exxtrablatt, Spittelwiese. until 2am. Cosy cafe/bar. Sit outside in the summer untill 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.
  • Chay, Hauptplatz 15/16, +43732781014, [52]. (Mar-Oct) Mon-Fri 9.30AM-6PM, Sat 9.30AM-1PM (Nov-Feb) Mon-Fri 9.30AM-6PM, Sat 9.30AM-4PM. 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.
  • Roter Krebs (Grand Hotel Café zum Rothen Krebsen), Obere Donaulände 11, 4020 Linz Austria (3 minutes from the Niebelungenbrücke or the Hauptplatz.), ++43 732 946 557, [53]. Tue-Thu 18-02 h, Fr 18-04 h, Sat 18-03 h. Founded and run by artists, frequented mostly by students from the nearby art school.


Sleep

  • Motel Pension Rosenhof, Wegscheiderstrasse 76 4020, +43732387069. 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

Budget

  • Das Park Hotel, Rodlpark, Ottensheim (10 km west from Linz), [54]. 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. Honour based system; contribute as many € as you wish to the project.

Mid-range

  • Hotel Mühlviertlerhof, Graben 24-26, Tel 070 772268, [55].

Splurge

  • Hotel Am Domplatz, Stifterstraße 4 (city center), +43 (0)732 773000, [56]. Business hotel direct in the city center with modern and well furbished rooms. Currently the best hotel in town
  • Steigenberger Linz, Am Winterhafen 13, +43 (0)732 78990, [57]. 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.

Get out

Linz is a good stepping-off point for a trip into Southern Bohemian region of Czech Republic. Trains go to Ceske Budejovice and on to Prague.

To the south you can travel by train or car to the wonderful region of Salzkammergut, with its picturesque lakes and mountains. Some nice towns are: Gmunden, Bad Ischl, Hallstatt, Bad Aussee, and many more. To the west is Salzburg.

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