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Vorarlberg

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Vorarlberg is the westernmost federal state of Austria, sharing borders with the countries of Germany (Bavaria), Liechtenstein, and Switzerland and the Austrian federal-state of Tyrol. Vorarlberg also enjoys a small window on Lake Constance via the city of Bregenz. It is the richest and most well to do province of Austria outside Vienna. For its size it offers a lot of diverse landscape including everything Tyrol has to offer with the exception of a large city.

Cities[edit]

Other destinations[edit]

Understand[edit]

This state is almost entirely mountainous and enjoys one of the highest standards of living and income levels in Austria due to its proximity to Switzerland. It is also is home to a Germanic alpine culture, quite different than the rest of Austria making it a special place in the country even to other Austrians. It is sometimes referred to in German as the "Landle", which translates as the "statelet" or "tiny province". Vorarlbergers are a very proud and hardy people and work hard to protect and preserve their identity and history.

Panorama from the Schindlerspitze


Landscape[edit]

Although the province of Vorarlberg is quite small the landscape is quite varied. When you arrive in Bregenz, the capital, you reach the lake region and Rhine valley, which stretches down to Feldkirch along the Rhine. From Bregenz you also have access to the Bregenzerwald, which is a narrow valley that leads to the Arlberg, the mountain range that separates Vorarlberg from Tyrol. The Kleinwalsertal also belongs to Vorarlberg, but it can only be accessed by road from Germany and Bavaria due to the mountains. From the end of the valley you get access to Alpine region Bludenz and the Walgau Valley, which stretches from Feldkirch to Bludenz. From Bludenz you also have access to the Montafon Valley. Other valleys in Vorarlberg are: the Klostertal (stretching from Bludenz to the Arlberg), the Walsertal which connects the Walgau and the Bregenzerwald, the Brandnertal in the Montafon region, the Laternsertal which connects the Rhine valley (Rheintal) with the Bregenzerwald, the Laiblachtal (close to Bregenz) and the Lechtal in the Arlberg region.

Get in[edit]

Autobahns and major highways are connected to Munich, Zurich and Innsbruck. Austrian and Swiss Autobahns charge toll. Austrian Autobahns allow for buying sticker for only a short period of time, whereas in Switzerland you are stuck buying the whole year regardless of how long you will stay. Don't get caught without one!

By plane[edit]

Nearby international Airports include Zurich, Munich and Innsbruck. Other Airports are St.Gallen/Altenrhein in Switzerland (direct flights to Vienna) and Friedrichshafen [13] in Germany (direct flights from London, Dublin, Spain, Turkey...) both located near the Lake of Constance (Bodensee).

By train[edit]

Major train routes come from Switzerland as well as Tyrol and you either enter Vorarlberg in Feldkirch or in Bregenz. The important train route Munich to Zurich goes right through Vorarlberg. A high number of Eurocity, Intercity and ICE trains go to either Bregenz or Feldkirch.

Vorarlberg is reachable from the main neighboring cities within relatively short time: from/to Zurich: ~ 1.5h, from/to Innsbruck: ~ 2.5h, from/to Munich: ~2.5h

Get around[edit]

Vorarlberg has a very efficient public transport system. The railway from Bregenz to Feldkirch and the Arlberg is a kind of backbone and buses take you to all other places. Connections can be checked here: [14]. Vorarlberg is a very popular mountain biking region and has both extensive paved and off-road bike paths.

See[edit][add listing]

Bludenz district[edit]

  • Bludenz also has a nice old town. It is home to a Milka factory and a brewery too.

Bregenz district[edit]

  • Bregenzforest in Bregenzerwald, which is a area, where you can see the traditional points of Vorarlberg and many more.
  • The Vorarlbergmuseum[15] in Bregenz.

Dornbirn district[edit]

  • Jewish quarter in Hohenems is worth to visit together with the Jewish Museum[16], that tells the story of the city's Jewish history.
  • Inatura museum[17] It is modern alpine nature museum and there are more different museums in Dornbirn.
  • Rolls Royce museum[18] in the world, in Gütle, around 20 min from the center of Dornbirn.
  • Rheinschauen museum[19], which is telling the story of the Rhine river.

Feldkirch district[edit]

  • Feldkirch has a beautiful small old town, which is definitely worth a visit although it only comprises a few streets. In summer the streets are quite lively and there are many cafés, which invite you to take a rest. The town is much overlooked by the bus tours, that head straight south for the "touristy" capital of Liechtenstein in Vaduz. Feldkirch comes to life during the carnival season in the late winter and has quite the parade and festive atmosphere during this period. Feldkirch is a good launching point for explorations of the tiny country of Liechtenstein and the neighboring valley of Walgau which are both worth a visit for their scenic beauty. Feldkich, while smaller than Bregenz and Dornbirn, is much more historic and has a romantic charm unto itself.
  • Schattenburg Castle. On a hill overlooking the town of Feldkirch is the dark imposing Schattenburg Castle. There's a restaurant in the castle and also a castle museum. The restaurant is known regionally for its large and tasty servings of Wienerschnitzel!
  • Stella Matutina. Feldkirch used to be the home of the Stella Matutina, a Jesuit grammar school that is also mentioned in Thomas Mann's "The Magic Mountain". Now the building is home to an academy of music.
  • Wildpark and zoo. At the top of the Ardetzenberg, you can find a lovely little zoo, the Wildpark, where you can see the a big deal of animals, who are or where living the the alps, including wolves, Luchse, deers, wild pigs and so on. The wildpark is free of charge.
  • Liebfrauen Basilica. Nearby Feldkirch, in Rankweil, one finds the Liebfrauen Basilica, an old place of pilgrimage located on a small hill in the center of the village.

Do[edit][add listing]

Vorarlberg offers various summer and winter sport facilities (mountain biking, cycling, inline skating, skiing, snowboarding) and there are also a lot of cultural events throughout the year including carnival in towards the end of winter. Alpingsports like Skiing (season from December to April), Hiking, Mountain biking, as well as swimming in lake Constance.

Bludenz district[edit]

  • Golf. Two 18 hole (Bludenz-Braz and Brand) and two 9 hole (Schruns, Partenen) are available. These courses are very scenic and worth playing.  edit

Bregenz district[edit]

  • Bregenzer Frühling, [1]. Cultural attractions with modern dance.  edit
  • Gebhardsberg walk. Gebhardsberg ("Gebhards mountain) is 598 m above sea level and it offers a splendid view on the Rhine Valley (Rheintal) and Lake Constance (Bodensee). It is popular among the local population for walks. On it you can find the ruins of Hohenbregenz, which was built at the end of 11th century, in 1097, by the Dukes of Bregenz. It later changed ownership several times and in the 17th century it was extended into a stronghold. In 1647 it was captured by the Swedes without any resistance and they blew up the fortress in the same year. From 1670 the ruins gained importance as a place of pilgrimage of St. Gebhard and they were adapted for religious and gastronomical purposes several times. In 1723 the church, which was built within the ruins, was consecrated. In this time the "mountain" got its present name. There is a restaurant there now.  edit
  • Kunsthaus, [2]. It is located in Vorarlberg's capital. The museum built by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has a very special lighting system, which combines artificial and natural light and makes visiting any exhibition an extraordinary experience. The museum specializes in the modern art.  edit
  • Künstlerhaus Bregenz, [3]. It is another place, for those who are interested in modern art. The exhibitions are organized by the professional association of Vorarlberg artists.  edit
  • Opera on the Sea (Bregenzer Festspiele), [4]. It will offer the play on the stage on the lake.  edit
  • Pfänder walks, [5]. It is another mountain (1064 m) with a spectacular view on Lake Constance, Vorarlberg, Switzerland and Germany. It is also a popular mountain for easy walks or mountain biking tours and if you don't like walking, you can go up with the Pfänderbahn (Pfander cablecar).  edit

Dornbirn district[edit]

  • Christmas Markt. It's definitely a worth to visit it. There is always quite lively especially in the evening.  edit
  • Karren mountain, [6]. It is the local mountain and is worth to visit. From here you have a splendid view of the Lake Constance and you can see the 3 countries: Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Either you use the cable car to go up (around 8€ two ways) or - if you're fit - you walk up there but the way is quite steep.  edit
  • Music Festival. Enjoy the Szene Festival (Musiv Festival) in August in Lustenau.  edit
  • Riding. Take a ride in Lustenau with the narrow gauge steam railway along the river Rhine.  edit

Feldkirch district[edit]

  • Poolbarfesival. In summer time a notable festival, Poolbarfesival, is taking place at the Altes Hallenbad in Feldkirch. For six weeks there is a great mixture of concerts, architecture, art, cabaret and party going on just 100 m outside of the old town center.  edit

Winter Sport Resorts[edit]

Many top winter sports resorts are located throughout Vorarlberg. Most of them are organized in regional ticket federations such as 3taeler Pass [20]. This means several day tickets are valid in all participating resorts and include free transportation with ski buses. Some of the larger winter sport places are:

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Vorarlberg has more than 40 restaurants that have been distinguished by Gault Millau. Therefore visiting Vorarlberg can also be a culinary delight. Kaesknoepfle, or so called spatzle is a typical Vorarlberger dish. Very heavy but delicious.

  • Guth, Wälderstr. 10, 6923 Lauterach, [7]. Restaurant  edit
  • Mangold, Pfänderstraße 3, 6911 Lochau, [8]. Restaurant  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Conrad Sohm, Boden 1, 6850 Dornbirn, [9]. Bar  edit
  • Kali, Bahnhofstraße 14, 6900 Bregenz, +43 664 165 7757, [10]. Club Bar  edit
  • Nachtschicht Hard, Lustenauer Str. 27, 6971 Hard, +43 676 971 2057, [11]. Night club  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Vorarlberg has crime rates significantly lower than that of most Western countries. Street crime is rare, even late at night. Women traveling alone should have no problems.

Tap water is of exceptional quality and safe to drink. The drinking age for beer, wine and cider is 16 while the age for any other alcohol is 18. The public consumption of alcohol in Vorarlberg is legal, so do not be alarmed if you see a group of teenagers drinking a six-pack on public property; this is by no means out of the ordinary and should not be interpreted as threatening.

In mountain areas, be sure to inquire about weather conditions at the tourist information office or local alpine huts as you head out in the morning. They should be well informed about severe weather conditions and will advise you about possible avalanche areas.

Cope[edit]

Consulates[edit]

Get out[edit]

  • Lindau — Beautiful turistical city in Germany
  • St. Margrethen is the closest town in Switzerland
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