Insider Guide to Linz: Our Top Tips for Austria’s ‘Steel City’

Upper Austria's regional capital is one of the most beautiful and most underestimated cities in Austria for us. Read our highlights, insider tips and recommendations for Linz in this blog story.

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The Must-Sees in Linz
Linz

Linz manages to be easy to get your head around and yet diverse, pleasantly quiet and buzzy, and traditional and modern all at once. And it’s this eclectic mix that makes the city not just a one-off, but also a lot of fun to live in.

If you come to Linz for a day or maybe a weekend trip, be sure not to miss out on the following classics:

#The old city district

If you’re going to take a walk through Linz, start off by visiting the Main Square, Hauptplatz, then checking out the buzzier Landstraße and Herrenstraße.

#Schlossberg

Be sure to go to the terrace of the Castle Museum for one of the best views of the old city you’re going to find, full-stop.

#Pöstlingberg

This hill quietly dominates Linz from above. You can either hike to the top on foot, or – if you want to take things more easily – ride the Pöstlingbergbahn all the way up. You’ll also have the chance to take in the amazing view out over Linz once you’re up here, taking in the Danube as it slowly meanders its way across your field of vision.

#Linzer Torte

Did you know that ‘Linzer Torte’ is actually the world’s oldest dish to be named after a city? First referred to in writing for the first time back in 1653, the cake continues to inspire locals and visitors alike to this day.

#ARS Electronica Center (AEC)

Often referred to as the “Museum of the Future”, and not without good reason. At the AEC, you can expect to find interactive exhibitions which will have you wanting to take part in, and then ponder, what it is you’re experiencing.

#The world of steel

If there’s one company that has really shaped Linz’s look and feel over the years, it’s Austrian steel group voestalpine. For a clever way of immersing yourself in the world of the steel industry, and getting to know Linz better as a result, you couldn’t find a better place to start than this exhibition. It’s even possible to arrange tours of the steelworks by agreement.

#Harbour tour

Looking out from the ship, you’ll initially see the cultural strip, with the AEC, the Lentos Kunstmuseum, and the Brucknerhaus Event Centre along it, followed by the harbour district – where the city’s ‘steel heartbeat’ really does pulsate. After that, continuing along the river past green spaces to the Traun estuary, you’ll end up back at the jetty in the Donaupark.

Linz is different: Mural Harbor

Linz Harbour isn’t just used to ship goods nowadays – it’s also home to Europe’s largest gallery of graffiti and muralism! A vast wall painting was first created here in 2012, and several hundred works of street art, by artists from more than 30 different countries, now grace the harbour’s once grey walls.

If you’re a bit pressed for time, try a walk through the harbour district to look at the murals and graffiti. If you’ve got a bit more time to kill, however, you might want to think about joining a tour through the Mural Harbor. One of the artists will give you a guided tour of the area, first on foot, then by boat, telling you some of the exciting and funny stories behind the creation of the most important walls. Then it’s time for some creative spray can input, as you try your own hand at street art, and decorate the practice walls with your own works of art!

Event Tips in Linz

Linz’s Event Calendar is jam-packed with events and festivals you need to be absolutely sure not to miss:

#Bubble Days

As summer comes, Linz Harbour is totally the place to be! A very special party is thrown at the harbour in early June every year, complete with live music, round-trip flights by helicopter, wakeboarding and childcare.

Linz

#Sandburg

So what does your Linzer local like to do of a mild summer evening? Well, chances are he or she looks forward to hanging with friends and colleagues for a relaxed nightcap at Untere Donaulände, where they can lie back in a deckchair, bury their toes in the sand and just watch the Danube rush by.

#Urfahranermarkt

The Urfahranermarkt amusement and theme park – Urfix for short – opens its doors twice a year, luring thousands of visitors onto the grounds next to the AEC with its attractions. You’ll find fairground rides, beer taps, brass band accompaniments and much more at the fair (which has been held every year since 1817, by the way).

#Donauinflammen

Every summer, Linz hosts ‘Danube in Flames’, a musical fireworks show that has attained legendary proportions. In the show, a vast range of different types of fireworks are let off in harmony with the carefully-chosen music, immersing both the Danube and the city itself in a colourful blaze of light. You can admire the spectacle from the banks of the river, at Urfahranermarkt, or reserve a table on one of the many ships plying the Danube.

#High-altitude euphoria for the senses

In the summer months, you can discover the roofs of Linz by climbing the colossal wooden tower at the centre of the city. The OÖ Kulturquartier cultural district is home to exhibitions which are changed every year – well worth a return visit sometime.

Where to eat, drink coffee and have a good time in Linz

Linz has got a great deal to offer of a culinary nature. If you’re looking for a delicious breakfast, for example, we recommend you check out one of the following cafés:

#Die Bohne

You’ll find everything you could ever have wanted for an amazing breakfast here, from salmon rolls and Bircher muesli through to fresh bagels and porridge.

Linzer Augen
Linzer Pastries

#Konditorei Jindrak

Start your day with this Linz classic. Konditorei Jindrak is the chain of patisseries responsible for creating the ‘original Linzer Torte’, no less. Our favourite location is on Pöstlingberg, with that breathtaking view out over the roofs of Linz thrown in for free.

#Stadtliebe

On Sundays and bank holidays, try the ‘all you can eat and drink’ city brunch at Stadtliebe. It’ll be some time before you experience quite such a range of delicious, sweet breakfast snacks, in Linz or anywhere else!

For a comfortable lunch in Linz, meanwhile, you might consider some of the following eateries:

#Horst

Horst is actually an interior design store, but at lunchtime you’ll find a range of freshly prepared vegetarian and vegan delicacies in its restaurant that’s hard to beat as well. The weekly menu can be found online and on Facebook. And make no mistake – you’ll need a reservation.

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#Zum schiefen Apfelbaum

During the warmer months, we love visiting the open-air restaurant under the exact-same crooked apple tree that lends its name to this great venue. It also works in winter, however, when we love to sit in the ‘comfortable snug’ here and enjoy the typically Austrian dishes.

#Schlosscafé Linz

In summer, make yourselves comfortable on the terrace and feast on something hearty from the charcoal grill. And should the temperatures or weather conditions not allow, you’ll also find space within the walls of the castle.

Kaiserschmarren Linz

And finally, a few great places to round off your day with some stylish dining:

#Salonschiff Fräulein Florentine

A combination of uncomplicated dishes, sweet courses and a wide variety of cultural programmes is what defines this restaurant on the Danube. There’s also live music there, out on the water, several times a week.

#Ebisu

For the best sushi in the city this side of the Danube. All the variants of sushi on the menu here will melt in your mouth, and if you can’t decide which to go for, you’re best off ordering the ‘surprise platter’.

#Gelbes Krokodil

A dream for any veggie who likes a bit of variety from time to time as well. This restaurant also offers a huge range of options for non-vegetarians.

At the end there is one special tip from us: With Austrian AIRail you can combine flight and train. When booking a flight with Austrian Airlines, you can add your train directly to the airport or to Linz. This allows you to enjoy a continuous journey with a guaranteed connection. In case of an unexpected delay of your flight or train, you will be rebooked.

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