Picturesquely situated on the banks of the majestic Danube, Linz charms its visitors with a great deal of delightfully unexciting charm. Linz, the third largest city in Austria after Vienna and Graz, is a household name within the arts and culture scene. In the pretty streets and alleys of the capital of Upper Austria, you can not only feast on the delicious Linz Cake, but also explore many other very beautiful Linz sights such as the 539 meter high Pöstlingberg, the world’s unique Ars Electronica Center, the impressive Linz Cathedral with its beautiful stained glass windows and countless more. There really is a lot to see and experience in the lively cultural city on the Danube.
Tip 1: Linz Cathedral
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the New Cathedral, is not the tallest church in Austria, but it is the largest and is a defining feature of Linz’s cityscape. The architectural masterpiece in Herrenstraße is also a haven of peace in the lively city center, where you can relax from the hustle and bustle of the Linz city.
The magnificent stained glass windows that adorn the building are impressive, as is the sacred space. The cathedral was completed in 1924 and can accommodate up to 20000 people. You can enjoy a breathtaking view over the city during a guided tour of the tower. There are also special tours of the interior gallery, which is 15 meters high and gives you an overview of the huge church.
Tip 2: Main square
The center of Linz is the baroque main square and the surrounding side streets with lots of buildings worth seeing, culinary highlights and shopping opportunities. Numerous events take place here throughout the year. The main square, which helped the city to economic boom as a market place long time ago, is still the venue of many events and markets.
The square is bordered by many historic houses with imposing facades, for example the Old Town Hall, which is the seat of Linz’s mayor. Here you will also find the tourist information office. Also worth seeing are the building of the University of Art and the Feichtinger House with its famous carillon, which sounds three times a day for four minutes and plays the national anthem, classical masterpieces by Mozart, Bruckner or Haydn or Christmas carols, depending on the season.
Tip 3: Ars Electronica Center
The “Museum of the Future” is located in a striking building directly on the Danube and is considered the center of the UNESCO City of Media Arts. It houses impressive exhibitions on art, technology and society. In addition to numerous exhibits, visitors can also experience artificial intelligence in action, program self-driving cars or robots, or even edit their own DNA.
In Deep Space 8K, you can experience unique visual worlds on a huge projection surface – for example, gigapixel photographs, historical sites in 3-D, time-lapse videos or images from inside a human being.
For children and the young at heart, there are games to take part in, for example with handicrafts, drawing, making music or programming.
And the museum is not only a fascinating sight in Linz on the inside, but also on the outside, as the LED facade transforms it into a colorful play of lights at night. The world-famous Ars Electronica Festival also takes place once a year, bringing together researchers from all over the world to explore a wide variety of topics in exhibitions, lectures and workshops.
Tip 4: Castle Museum
The castle museum overlooking the Danube and the old town of Linz houses the permanent exhibitions of the cultural science collections: Art from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age – Gothic, 19th century painting, decorative arts, as well as historical musical instruments, numismatics, folklore, history of technology and archaeology. In 2009, the south wing was opened, offering a spacious entrance area.
Visitors experience a walk through the natural and cultural history of Upper Austria on more than 10,000m². The Roman period is housed in the archaeological display collection on levels -1 and -2.
The archaeological show collection is presented in chronological order, beginning with the Neolithic period. A special feature is the exhibition design in glass and steel, which adapts to the themes. In the underground cellar, one room is dedicated to the discovery site of Hallstatt with its burial ground and the oldest salt mine in the world, today a UNESCO World Heritage region.
In two rooms, the Roman period is presented with exhibits from Upper Austria. Etruscan import pieces already refer to trade routes across the Alps. The appearance of the military on the Danube is shown with soldier gravestones, figurines, coins and equipment. In the following room we see aspects of the civil culture that came to Upper Austria with the Romans, such as brick construction and wall painting, the world of the gods, bathing culture, glass and writing. Evidence of early Christianity introduces the fading of antiquity, exhibits from early medieval tombs conclude the tour.
Tip 5: Pöstlingberg
The Pöstlingberg is Linz’s local mountain and, with its Pöstlingbergbahn, photo gallery, zoo, pilgrimage basilica and the fairy tale and dwarf kingdom of the Grottenbahn, an unforgettable experience not only for children.
The viewing platform offers a breathtaking view over Linz and the Danube, and the ascent is also an experience, as the Pöstlingbergbahn is one of the steepest adhesion railroads in Europe and its design creates a harmonious mix of nostalgia and modernity.
It takes just 20 minutes to climb the 539-meter-high local mountain from Linz’s main square. Regardless of whether you choose the new train or the nostalgia carriage, which only runs in summer – a ride up the Pöstlingberg is a great experience for young and old.