Upper Austria is like a well-stocked speciality shop where you can find everything that Austria is famous for in condensed form. Visit its crystal-clear lakes, the mountains and forests or cities. We can recommend some highlights...
Whereas in the rural areas of Upper Austria, excellent down-to-earth Austrian inns dominate the culinary landscape, Linz offers a colourful diversity of excellent international cuisine. For the latter, we can warmly recommend some highlights:
Royal Bombay Palace
scape from everyday life and spend an evening in an Indian palace with colourfully decorated rooms.
Even though the atmosphere is not very oriental, the taste is really authentic and worth trying.
In the Pandana on the main square, original Thai recipes with traditional ingredients find their way to the hearts and bellies of hungry guests.
A special address for special occasions offering an elegant atmosphere. Not your typical, everyday Greek cuisine.
It is the first Polish restaurant in Linz, and its name stands for the worldfamous Polish hospitality.
To enjoy the best sides of Italy, visit the Ristorante Amici in Linz-Urfahr. The best pizzas in town and other Italian food are served here, and of course Italian wine.
Especially in summer, the Klosterhof on the Landstraße in Linz is highly recommended due to its huge and shady garden with chestnut trees.
The tamu sana restaurant is not only a restaurant, but also a space for intercultural exchange. It also offers catering
The kitchen team offers a daily mix of cooking culture, vegetarian meals and regional specialties.
Find out about the latest culinary hotspots Access the platform of the Facebook group “Linz isst”, where guests can exchange their experiences and get ideas about where to go: www.facebook.com/groups/linz.isst/
Or find the best addresses for good food all over Upper Austria on these platforms:
In Austria, it is usual to tip several types of service professionals such as waiters, hairdressers, craftsmen, taxi drivers and others. Usually the tip is between 5 % and 10 % of the invoice, at least in restaurants.
The water sports arena Traunsee, Austria’s deepest lake with 191 m, is famous for its good wind conditions and is popular among sailors and kite surfers. Austria’s biggest inland lake, the Attersee, is a much-loved freshwater diving area, where the annual Attersee lake crossing takes place. The lakes Wolfgangsee, Hallstättersee, the particularly warm Mondsee and the idyllic Almsee, located at the head of a valley, are popular attractions in the Salzkammergut. If you don’t want to drive so far, you can simply bath in the Danube in Linz/Alt-Urfahr or in the Pleschinger See.
Water sports in Upper Austria
Upper Austria offers bikers a cycling network of approximately 3,000 km. The Donauradweg along the Danube from Passau to the historic city of Grein passes right through Upper Austria, and the Enns and Inn bike paths are only two of the many options available. More bike routes can be found here: www.oberoesterreich.at/aktivitaeten/ sommer/mountainbiken/touren/mountainbiketouren.html
Hiking trails lead to the most beautiful places in Upper Austria, one example being the trail around the Dachstein in the Salzkammergut. The Kalkalpen trail leads through alpine pastures and mountains in and around the Kalkalpen National Park. The Donausteig opens up new paths and leads to a legendary world. Walk along the path of deceleration in the Bohemian Forest or the Johannesweg (St. John’s pilgrimage route).
Fly high above the walls and towers of the city of Freistadt, which are transformed into a climbing garden and a rope course. Reach dizzying heights in the high rope course Attersee. Fly like an eagle with the Skiflyer in Höhnhart in the Innviertel region.
The Kalkalpen National Park offers wild forests in the Reichraminger Hintergebirge and Sensengebirge mountain ranges. Austria’s biggest national park forest is home to rare animals such as lynxes and eagles. Nature enthusiasts can see chamois and red deer during the rutting season.
The Mühlviertler Alm region offers trail riders everything they could wish for: a 700 km long network comprising riding trails, hostels for riders and resting places for horses. There are two other riding hotspots in Upper Austria: the Kalkalpen National Park Pferdeland and Ampflwang in the Hausruckwald region.
There are 28 golf courses in Upper Austria. The Mühlviertel hills, the Alpine foothills and the mountains in the Salzkammergut and Pyhrn-Priel region invite players to tee off. www.golfurlaub.at
Sports enthusiasts can compete with sports pros at the Salzkammergut Mountainbike Trophy, Austria’s biggest bike marathon event, which takes place every year in early July, at the Linz Marathon in April, or at the international Lake Wolfgangsee Race in October.
The Generali Ladies tennis tournament brings top athletes to Linz. The FIS Summer Grand Prix and the Women’s FIS Ski Jump World Cup regularly take place at the ski jump in Hinzenbach. The Upper Austrian football clubs Lask-Linz and SV Ried attract many visitors, as do the Black Wings Linz, which play in Austria’s highest ice hockey league. www.generali-ladies.at
From classical to alternative modern – Upper Austria offers a diverse festival programme ranging from the Woodstock der Blasmusik Festival in the Innviertel to the Street Performance Festival Pflasterspektakel in Linz. On top of that, there are the Danube Festival Weeks in the Strudengau region presenting musical rarities, the Salzkammergut Festival Weeks Gmunden and the Lehár Festival in Bad Ischl featuring opera productions. Another highlight is the International Brucknerfest in Linz, which takes place together with the open-air multimedia musical event Klangwolke (Cloud of Sound). The Crossing Europe Film Festival is also highly recommended, where filmmakers from all over Europe can apply to participate. Another fixed point in the cultural festival landscape is the Ars Electronica Festival.
For all events go to: www.linz-termine.at
Gmunden, the town of ceramics, Ried, where the Schwanthaler family of sculptors has its roots, the town of iron, Steyr, or the 700-year-old baroque town of Schärding am Inn let their history speak for itself. To this day, Freistadt with its city walls has preserved its medieval appearance. Bad Ischl continues to radiate the flair of an imperial summer residence. Monasteries such as Kremsmünster, Schlierbach or Engelhartszell have been, and still are, precious spiritual places. The Reichersberg monastery has been the spiritual centre of the Innviertel for 900 years. The High Baroque monastery of St. Florian inspired Anton Bruckner to compose his timeless music. A number of winged altars dating from the Gothic period can be found here and there, such as those in St. Wolfgang and Kefermarkt.
The UNESCO City of Media Arts Linz combines history and modernity. The cultural mile along the Danube stretches from the Lentos Art Museum and the concert hall Brucknerhaus to the Ars Electronica Center, also known as the Museum of the Future. The Castle Museum is located on top of the castle hill with a view of the Danube which, together with the State Gallery and the Biology Centre, constitute the Upper Austrian State Museums. Linz also boasts Europe’s most modern opera house, the Music Theater at Volksgarten. The leading venue for theatre productions in Linz is the State Theater on the Promenade. The former tobacco factory Tabakfabrik has become the creative heart of Linz, whereas the voestalpine Stahlwelt gives an insight into the industrial heart of the city.
The state exhibitions held every two years are a cultural focal point. Every other year, the Upper Austrian Garden Show takes place. The Höhenrausch is one of the cultural highlights in Linz. This annual exhibition presents art installations high above the city. A number of museums devoted to a variety of themes enrich the local cultural life. The Linz-Kulturcard-365 grants access to art and culture venues in the UNESCO city of Media of Arts for an entire year.
Visitors can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the EurothermenResort Bad Schallerbach in the Cabrio thermal spa Tropicana, which opens its ceiling as soon as the sun comes out. The pools of the EurothermenResort Bad Ischl in the Salzkammergut are filled with brine from the mountains. The EurothermenResort Bad Hall works with the natural remedy iodine brine. The thermal spa Geinberg brings a Caribbean feeling to the Innviertel, where guests can relax in beach chairs and enjoy the saltwater lagoon.
Winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy the ease of skiing at Hochficht in the Bohemian Forest. The Kasberg mountain offers slopes for beginners and advanced skiers. The Hannes Trinkl world cup slope can be quite challenging. The neighboring Wurzeralm offers skiers a beautiful mountain landscape. The skiing region Dachstein West offers 16 fun slopes. The Feuerkogel in Ebensee at the Traunsee is perfect for families. The Freesports Arena Dachstein Krippenstein is the meeting point for freeriders. It offers 30 km of off-piste variations.
Ice skating on frozen lakes or indoors in the Parkbad in Linz. Snowshoeing in the white splendor. Ice stock sports are also very popular in winter in Upper Austria. The Nordic Centre Bohemian Forest and cross-country skiing valley and mountain trails in the Salzkammergut and Pyhrn-Priel regions are cross-country skiing hotspots. Ski touring is currently extremely popular, but also kind of dangerous. However, if accompanied by a trained ski touring instructor, it is highly recommended.
Christmas markets are very widespread in Upper Austria. In Linz, the Christmas market is located on the main square. Wels invites the Christ Child to stay at the Ledererturm tower on the town square. Steyr even named a pilgrimage site after the Christ Child, called Christkindl. The Weinberger Schloss Advent in the town of Kefermarkt in the Mühlviertel provides a romantic atmosphere. An insider tip is the Christmas market Waldweihnacht at the Baumkronenweg in Kopfing. The Salzkammergut is a traditional highlight in the winter season. The Wolfgangseer Advent is especially traditional and creates a festive mood. The Traunsee Schlösser Advent in the castle of Gmunden, and the Christmas markets in Mondsee and Bad Ischl are worth visiting. In the Salzkammergut region, the night of January 5th is dedicated to the Glöckler, which carry large decorated hats made of paper on their heads. The traditional event is followed by the Carnival, which is especially colourful in Ebensee am Traunsee with its annual rag procession.
Whether culture, sports, music or beekeeping, savings clubs or choirs, the people of Upper Austria enjoy being part of associations. Austrian culture is strongly influenced by clubs and associations that engage in voluntary work, an important factor in the local community. New members are welcomed with open arms. Local and municipal authorities provide online information about regional associations.
Whether soccer, volleyball, hiking or swimming, there are associations for all kinds of sports. The state-wide umbrella sports organisations ASKÖ and Sportunion promote a physically active society. Local and municipal authorities provide online information about the sports programme offered by small local associations. Most universities have their own sports association, called USI. The USI of the Johannes Kepler University in Linz offers inexpensive sports classes.
Nature lovers can join an Alpine club, whose task is to maintain hiking paths, promote mountain sports activities and nature protection projects. For a very small fee, members can get discounts on stays in mountain huts and benefit from many Alpine club offers. There’s also the possibility of doing voluntary work in Alpine clubs, for instance as a mountain tour guide or hut warden.
The Naturfreunde are a big Austrian alpine leisure and nature conservation organisation. Here, club members can enjoy the company of kindred spirits in nature and do their best to preserve it. The Naturfreunde Oberösterreich are one of the biggest national organisations:
The scouts are one of the world’s biggest movements for children and young people. There are 37 scout groups in Upper Austria. Volunteer youth group leaders organise evening meetings at scout dens, trips and camps. The movement aims to protect the environment and promote socially-oriented actions based on sustainable child and youth activities. www.ooe.pfadfinder.at
Society in Austria relies on the voluntary work of its citizens who, in turn, find personal enrichment. There is at least one volunteer fire department in every municipality for firefighting and emergencies, as paid fire departments only operate in cities. Those interested in becoming a volunteer fire fighter can contact their local fire commander: www.ooelfv.at
There are also many other associations relying on voluntary work such as the Red Cross and the Samaritans:
The Federal State of Upper Austria has developed a platform listing all associations: www.treffpunkt-ehrenamt.at
Kinderland Children can run around, jump and play in the Obra Kinderland in Neukirchen an der Vöckla together with Obralino, who also loves to frolic around.
Agrarium Familiy Park
The Agrarium Family Park in Steinerkirchen an der Traun offers gardens, animals and adventures.
IKUNA Nature Resort
In the IKUNA Nature Resort in Natternbach, kids can dive into the world of the American natives.
The indoor playground in Pasching is the perfect place for children who want to live it up.
Pirates’ World Aquapulco
Children want to experience something special, so little water lovers will absolutely adore the five slides in the Pirates’ World Aquapulco in the thermal spa Bad Schallerbach. www.piratenwelt.at
Fairytale worlds Grottenbahn am Pöstlingberg
Get on board the electrically driven nostalgic Pöstlingberg tram in Linz on the main square. It travels up to the Pöstlingberg hilltop overlooking the city. This is a popular destination, especially among children, who can experience the Grottenbahn Fairy Tale World and its Land of Dwarves.
In the fairytale park Hirschalm in Unterweißenbach, children can go on a treasure hunt to find the legendary crystal of the deer king.
Visitors can take an underground tour and slide down to the Hallein salt mine to feel what it’s like to take an expedition into unknown territory.
Nature is an adventure playground which does not require a stage. Track reading, observing wild animals, discovering legends and myths of the marshland – Naturschauspiel offers these and many more adventures for children and adults alike in its exciting tours exploring different topics. Nature guides present selected Upper Austrian nature reserves and give participants an understanding of nature by taking them on adventures and providing exciting experiences.
For more information and registration go to: www.naturschauspiel.at
Young nature explorers can go on expeditions to the wild mountain forestof the Kalkalpen Nationalpark, and discover animals such as deer, chamois, lynxes and eagles.
The Krippenstein cable car in Obertraun in the Salzkammergut region, for example, travels up to the Rieseneishöhle and the Mammuthöhle caves on the Dachstein. The exciting viewing platform 5fingers on top of the Krippenstein is even higher.
A train or cable car trip up to the mountain puts a smile on the faces of children. Enjoy a ride with the steam locomotive of the Schafbergbahn. The rack railway slowly moves uphill, starting at the Wolfgangsee.
The Wurbauerkogel in Windischgarsten is another mountain that can be easily reached: The chairlift takes you to the summer toboggan track and to the panorama tower overlooking the national park. Or speed up with the Alpine Coaster.
Grünberg cable car
The cable car departs in Gmunden am Traunsee and takes you up to the Grünberg. The mountain offers a summer toboggan, a playground and a low rope course. On top of that, it is the perfect starting point for many different family-friendly hiking tours.
Walk in the treetops of undiscovered forests.
The prehistoric forest in Gosau takes kids further back into the past –to the time of the dinosaurs and mammoths.
Cumberland Wildlife Park
Grünau The Wildlife Park is known for its unique landscape, and the impressive natural setting of the Totes Gebirge will stay in your mind.
Children will love meeting gorillas, giraffes, Siberian tigers and rhinoceroses in the Zoo in Krenglbach.
About 200 exotic and native animals find space and shelter in and around a farm in the Mühlviertel region. Kids can even ride on horses and ponies.
Ars Electronica Center Linz
The AEC offers curious kids a view into the future.
Welios Science Center Wels
Gives little big explorers the chance to discover the world.
Children’s Cultural Center Kuddelmuddel
It offers a wide range of theatre plays, workshops and exhibitions for small children.
Theater des Kindes for children
“Perform, try out your acting skills and learn” is the motto for young folks here.
The puppet theatre invites children from the age of three to play their part.
The theatre stages plays for all ages, including teenagers and young children, whereas the Theater für junges Publikum in the Ursulinenhof offers a range of theatre pedagogy classes for a young audience of various ages.
Institute of Theatre Pedagogy
Children and teenagers can rehearse plays together with artists in Wels. The Institute of Theatre Pedagogy focuses on education and acting.
Musical Theatre Academy
The Musical Theatre Academy is located in Puchenau, near Linz.
Upper Austrian music schools
The Upper Austrian music schools are not only cultural and educational institutions, but also centres for creativity and dedication.
Your family is coming to visit you one weekend and is curious to discover your new home country? But you don’t know what to show them? Don’t worry! We have prepared some real Upper Austrian insider tips for you and your loved ones off the beaten tracks, leading you through the beautiful landscapes of all four regions. Culture, culinary delights, sports or just relaxing – there is bound to be something for everybody.
Afternoon in the Mühlviertel:
Another busy week at work in Linz is over and you can’t wait to show your family your stunning second home country. Get into your car and drive north on the S10 into the Mühlviertel to visit Freistadt, about half an hour’s drive from Linz.
Historic old town of Freistadt
The old centre of Freistadt has a medieval charm and invites you to stroll through the small alleys. Admire the proud old city walls surrounding the old town, which protected the city from being conquered over the centuries. Stop for a while in the spacious main square and enjoy the Bohemian-style architecture of the beautiful and colourful buildings. https://www.muehlviertel-almfreistadt.at/oesterreich-stadt-ort/detail/430000938/freistadt.html
The Freistädter Braucommune is the only brewery commune in Europe. It was founded in 1770 and today not only offers its typical Freistädter Bier and lemonades, but also a brewery restaurant, a brewery shop and Biererlebnis tours. The building combines historic substance with modern aesthetics and meets the taste of young and old. Biererlebnis tours: they take 1.5 hours and can be booked in advance from Monday to Saturday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (minimum: 8 persons). Price: € 10 per person. Brewery restaurant: Stay for dinner at the Freistädter Brauhaus and enjoy classics of the typical Austrian cuisine such as pancake soup, Schnitzel and Omas Buchteln for dessert.
Read more about the Freistädter Braucommune at: www.freistaedter-bier.at/
Lunch and a boat trip over the Mondsee Going out in the evening in Linz:
Hiking in St. Lorenz
The most famous lake in the Salzkammergut is the Attersee. But you want to discover Upper Austria off the beaten tracks! That’s why you should drive to the Mondsee, which is right beside the Attersee. Park your car in St. Lorenz near the Drachenwand and enjoy hiking for about three to four hours. But make sure to bring hiking shoes and the right equipment with you.
Here’s a tour of medium difficulty for you: www.komoot.com/smarttour/201751
Boat trip over the Mondsee
After your hike, drive a few minutes to the village of Mondsee. In the centre, you have several options of having lunch, visiting the Basilika and the castle before strolling to the lakeside and boarding your ship.
Speakeasy bar “Frau Dietrich”
You are back in Linz, and still not tired after a break and a shower? Great! Get ready for a very special night out and head off for “Frau Dietrich” in the old town of Linz. The bar is a homage to the speakeasy bars of the 1920s. The cocktails are great, the waitresses, waiters and barmen are dressed in the clothes of the period, and swing music is played in the background.
Mandatory early morning snack
What do Upper Austrians do after going out in Linz? Exactly – they have a snack at Leberkas-Pepi in a small side street off the main square. People mostly queue in two rows outside on the street. But Leberkas-Pepi is prepared for those masses of people so that you can’t pass the location without taking a Leberkas-Semmerl with you. www.leberkaspepi.at
After introducing your family and friends to Upper Austria, you all should recharge your batteries in one of the great thermal baths. In the SPA Resort Therme Geinberg or the Eurotherme Bad Ischl, you can relax and not only enjoy the thermal water, but also massages, saunas or the extraordinary hammam. If you have kids, the Eurothermen-Resort Bad Schallerbach offers fun for the whole family.
Cultural offerings of Linz
As an alternative to relaxing in a thermal bath, you can discover Linz’s numerous cultural offers: Visit the Ars Electronica Center, which will introduce you to a world in which man and technology are increasingly merging. Take the bus to see the open-air gallery Mural Harbour in the Industriezeile or spend your day at the Lentos Art Museum, where various contemporary artists and old masters are exhibited for six months at a time.
Ars Electronica Center – Museum of the Future
Info - Mural Harbor Gallery