Vorarlberg is the westermost 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.
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
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.
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!
Nearby international Airports include Zurich, Munich and Innsbruck. Other Airports are St.Gallen/Altenrhein in Switzerland (direct flights to Vienna) and Friedrichshafen  in Germany (direct flights from London, Dublin, Spain, Turkey...) both located near the Lake of Constance (Bodensee).
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 by from important neighboring cities within relatively short time:
- From/to Zurich: ~ 1.5h
- From/to Innsbruck: ~ 2.5h
- From/to Munich: ~2.5h
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: .
Vorarlberg is a very popular mountain biking region and has both exstensive paved and off-road bike paths.
Sightseeing in Bregenz, Dornbirn and Feldkirch
Alpingsports like Skiing (from December to April),Hiking, Mountainbiking ... as well as swimming in lake constance, visit the Bregenzerwald ("Bregenzforest" which is a area where you can see the traditional Vorarlberg) and many more.
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.
Winter Sport Resorts
Many top winter sports resorts are located throughout Vorarlberg. Most of them are organized in regional ticket federations such as 3taeler Pass . 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:
- Major cultural attractions in Bregenz are Bregenzer Frühling,  with modern dance and especially the Bregenzer Festspiele,  with the stage on the lake.
- The Kunsthaus 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 modern art.
- The Künstlerhaus Bregenz is another place for those who are interested in modern art. The exhibitions are organized by the professional association of Vorarlberg artists.
- The 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 resistence 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 gastronimical 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.
- The Pfänder (1064 m)  is another mountain 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).
- The Vorarlbergmuseum
- Bregenzer Festspiele (Opera on the Sea)  will offer the play Turandot during 2015-2016
- Herz Jesu Church
- Oldtown Bregenz
- The Karren is the local mountain and well worth a 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 cablecar to go up (around 8€ two ways) or - if you're fit - you walk up there but the way is quite steep.
- Visit the modern and well curated inatura alpine nature museum in Dornbirn.
- If cars are your passion, visit the largest Rolls Royce museum in the world, in Gütle, around 20 min from the center of Dornbirn.
- Go to the jewish quarter in Hohenems and visit the Jewish Museum, that tells the story of the city's jewish history.
- In Lustenau: Take a ride with the narrow gauge steam railway along the river Rhine and visit the rheinschauen museum, telling the story of the river.
- Enjoy the Szene Festival (Musiv Festival) in August in Lustenau.
Marktplatz (centre) area in Dornbirn is quite lively in the evening when it's warm or during December, when the Christmas Markt happens. It's definitely worth a visit then.
- 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, preserving much of the authentic integrity of the city and saving you the kitch! 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 explorataions 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.
- On a hill overlooking the town of Feldkirch is the dark and impossing 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!
- 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.
- At the top of the Ardetzenberg, 15 min from the city center, you can finde a lovely little zoo, the Wildpark, where you can see the a big deal of animals who are or where living the the alps, inluding woolves, Luchse, deers, wild pigs and so on. the wildpark is free of charge.
- In summer time a noteable fesival, Poolbarfesival, is taking place at the Altes Hallenbad in Feldkirch. For six weeks there is a nice mixture of concerts, architecture, art, caberette and party going on just 100 m outside of the old town center.
- 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.
- The best place to sleep in Feldkirch, if you are traveling on budget is the Jugendherberge Levis. 10 minutes away from the train station, this hostel is siutated in an old mideval Fachwerkhaus, which used to be a hospital, thats why its name: the Siechenhaus.
- Bludenz also has a nice old town. It is home to a Milka factory and a brewery too.
- Golf: two 18 hole (Bludenz-Braz and Brand) and two 9 hole (Schruns, Partenen) are available. These courses are very scenic and worth playing.
Vorarlberg has more than 40 restaurants that have been distinguished by Gault Millau. Therefore visiting Vorarlberg can also be a culinary delight.
Bregenz and surroundings:
- Restaurant Guth, Lauterach  nearby Bregenz.
- Restaurant Mangold, Lochau  nearby Bregenz.
- Restaurant Hotel Adler, Au  nearby Bregenz.
- Kaesknoepfle, or so called spatzle. a typical Vorarlberger dish. Very heavy but delicious. This is how they are made. For the dough you need 500 g flour, 5 eggs, salt, a pinch of nutmeg, a little milk, 200 - 250 g grated cheese (3 different kinds), salted water, 1-2 table spoons oil, 1 big onion, 1/2 tea spoon flour, 125 g butter. Prepare a firm dough out of the eggs, the flour, the salt and the milk. Don't use a mixer for this and don't stir too long. Let the dough rest for 1/4 hour. To make the dumplings people use a "Spaetzlehobel" here but you can also fling small portions of the dough (tiny dumplings) into the boiling salted water (with oil). You have to be quick here. You have to do this portion by portion. When the dumplings swim, then you fish then out of the water with a sieve or strainer. Then you put one layer of spatzle into a bowl. The lowest layer is cheese, the last one spatzle. You alternate: cheese, spatzle, cheese, ... At the end you pour a laddle of the water that they cooked in over these layers and then you spread the golden-brown onion rings with the butter over the spatzle. Many people have potato salad with it. But the custom differs from household to household.
In Bregenz there are not that many real clubs (one is Calypso, which opens Wed til Sun from 10 to 5/6 am). Two options not far away are Nachtschicht in Hard (few minutes from Bregenz) or A14 in Lauterach (a few minutes from Bregenz too).
Dornbirn offers a wide variety of clubs, ranging from rock to dubstep. They are close to each other (around Marktplatz area) or far away (reachable by Shuttle bus) like Conrad Sohm or Hämmerle.
Especially in summer you can find bars all over Vorarlberg where you can sit outside. In Bregenz, teenagers usually sit by the lake (close to Bregenz Hafen train station) with beers bought in the supermarket.
Vorarlberg is a region article, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate city articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this region.
- Hotel Adler, Au (http://www.adler-au.at/).
- Hotel Rössle, Au (http://www.roessle-au.at).
- Krone Hotel (http://www.kronehotel.at/).
- Hotel Gridlon****, 6574 Pettneu am Arlberg, ☎ +43 5448 8208 ([email protected]), . edit
- Hotel Post Bezau ****S, Brugg 35, 6870 Bezau im Bregenzerwald, ☎ +43 (0) 5514/22 07 ([email protected], fax: +43 (0) 5514/22 07-22), . edit
- Ferienhotel Fernblick, Panoramastraße 32, A-6781 Bartholomäberg, ☎ +43 (0) 5556 / 73 115-0 ([email protected], fax: +43 (0) 5556 / 73 115-65), . edit
- Hotel Lech und Chesa Rosa, Nr. 263, ☎ +43 5583 2289-0 ([email protected]), . 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.