Linz has changed. Danube city between art of living and future

The UNESCO City of Media Arts and European Capital of Culture 2009 is truly unique: because Linz is changing. The Danube city changes itself, the inhabitants in its development and also the visitors during their stay. Linz in Upper Austria has not stopped in the past, but is constantly developing. Attention is focused on the present and, above all, the future. In Creative City, a vibrant, contemporary cultural scene, Europe’s most modern music theatre, a unique museum of the future meet an innovative creative scene and world-class companies. Visitors to Linz on the Danube will spend an extraordinary time and take home many souvenirs as souvenirs in addition to the Linzer Torte.

Linz is the city of the art of living

Linz is a modern, vibrant city and a successful one. Its history is long and eventful, architecturally unique is the grown town centre with the baroque main square. Cultural and scientific greats have spent part of their lives here, such as Adalbert Stifter, Johannes Kepler, Anton Bruckner, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as well as contemporary stars such as the musician Parov Stelar or the conductor Franz Welser Möst. Especially since the 2009 Capital of Culture year, Linz has become an inspiring and vibrant city of culture. Her predilection for the contemporary and her openness to experimentation are distinct. In 2014, the city was named a UNESCO City of Media Arts. This makes the Danube city, like Lyon, Sapporo, Tel Aviv and Dakar, one of the world’s most future-oriented cities and metropolises. Only cities with outstanding achievements in one of the fields of literature, film, music, handicrafts, gastronomy, design or media art are included in the UNESCO Creative Cities network.

The development that the Danube city has undergone, especially since it was awarded the European Capital of Culture in 2009, is also unique. The change that is so capitalized is reflected, for example, in the architecture. In addition to architecturally magnificent new buildings, such as the Lentos Art Museum (2003), the Ars Electronica Centers (2009), the Musiktheater (2013) and the Bruckner University (2015), historical and architectural treasures are preserved and revitalized, such as the Tobacco Factory, where an old industrial building becomes the centre of the creative industry. Over the years, however, the cultural scene has changed and developed as well as the gastronomic offer, which includes traditional cuisine as well as modern and creative restaurants.

Visitors to Linz should bring time with them. Take a look into the future, relax in beautiful nature, enjoy a Linz cake in the Old Town and admire oversized graffiti art: visitors can experience this unique diversity. And in addition to exploring the many sights, idleness, culinary delights and enjoyment in the city of the art of living must not be neglected. In 2017, the “art of life” was chosen as the focal point of the year, a theme that will be reflected in the natural cycle of seasons and people.

Linz joie de vivre in Spring

The city and its river: a special relationship. Linz is literally right on the Danube, so the ships travel through the city on Europe’s great waterway. The fact that the Danube makes a bend here and changes its direction has given the city its Roman and Celtic names Lentia and Lentos. And it seems that the ability to change is part of the essence of Linz. Especially in spring, the Danube and the beautiful natural landscapes in and around Linz play an important role in social and cultural life.

As soon as the sun’s rays fill the days longer and longer, life moves to the Danube. An open-air museum in itself is the urban space on the river, which symbolically is not only blue but colourful. The LED facades of the Ars Electronica Center, which as the Museum of the Future already provides insights into the technological world of tomorrow, and the Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, which is located opposite the banks of the Danube, showcases sophisticated contemporary art. Along the river, the Brucknerhaus and the Tabakfabrik Linz follow the characteristic building, where music lovers and the creative scene bustle.

Already in April, the shipping starts with its daily harbour tours, giving visitors a different perspective on the city. Passing the cultural mile, the ship glides downstream towards industrial buildings and untouched nature in the Danube meadows.

The tour makes a detour to “Mural Harbor”, a new attraction in the harbor. Hundreds of graffiti artworks on oversized industrial buildings form the largest connected outdoor graffiti gallery. In May 2017, the elite of wakeboarders will once again make a pilgrimage to the Port of Linz for the “Bubbledays. ” The festival, including the wakeboard contest in cooperation with Red Bull, will also include harbour tours, a sporting and artistic supporting programme and concerts.

Other top events in spring are the “NextComic” comic festival for lovers of cartoons, the “Crossing Europe” film festival with a focus on Europe, and the “Tanzhafenfestival”, which is dedicated to contemporary dance at different locations in the city and takes the audience to another world. The spirit of optimism in spring is further intensified in Linz by the extraordinary events. Those who take a break here will feel the pure joy of life.

Linz’s Lust for Life in Summer

Pure lust for life is coming to fruition in Linz this summer. The city gives visitors unforgettable moments when they sit on the banks of the Danube and watch the passing ships. In the scorching heat, many locals even venture to take a dip in the cool water. Along the river, restaurants delight with their beautiful location with views: Worth mentioning are the Gastroschiff “Fräulein Florentine” or the Caribbean flair in the “Sandburg” on the sandy beach in front of the Brucknerhaus. In the city centre, creative restaurateurs invite to their restaurants and gardens. They seduce with innovative combinations as well as traditional dishes to taste and enjoy. This city even changes the taste buds.

In summer, life takes place outdoors, not only during the culinary delights but also during the celebrations. Numerous festivals and open-air venues sweeten a break in Linz. A real crowd puller is the Pflasterspektakel with its famous, international street art that transforms the entire city centre into a grand stage. Thousands of visitors come to the Linzer Krone Fest every year, when stars from a wide variety of musical genres create the right atmosphere. In front of an impressive backdrop, world stars perform at “Klassik am Dom” right on the square in front of the Mariendom. One of the best children’s and youth theatre gatherings in Europe is the biennial festival Schäxpir, which will take place again in 2017. The Danube region transforms itself into a unique sound mile in summer, for example at the “Danube in Flammen”, at the music festival “Ahoi! The full Hits of Summer” or in autumn at the Linzer Klangwolke, a multimedia production on the river.

At the beginning of September, the city on the Danube comes up with an international highlight that attracts visitors from all over the world. Ars Electronica, the festival for art, technology and society, opens up intellectual and artistic approaches at the highest level to a selected topic of the future. A look at the calendar of events makes you want more – more time in Linz.

Linz way of life in Autumn

They are natural life cycles that transform nature over the course of a year. Cities and people feel the same way. After the summer, when many have spent their annual vacation abroad, they return home, full of energy and curious about new things - a good time for a cultural city trip and for immersing yourself in the Linz way of life.

In Linz there is not only a lively independent scene that develops exciting projects and small theaters that open up new perspectives for the audience. Even the large concert halls and theaters can by far keep up in the selection of pieces and in the productions at an outstanding level. While a theme runs through every season in the modern music theater at the Volksgarten, the Brucknerhaus, concert hall with first-class acoustics, focuses on festivals. The season kicks off with the renowned Bruckner Festival, named after the composer Anton Bruckner, who spent many years of his life in the city on the Danube. In 2017, international greats such as the Munich Philharmonic, Rudolf Buchbinder and The Cleveland Orchestra will perform with Franz Welser-Möst.

In Linz, people embark on an inspiring journey of discovery, and not just with music, dance or the theatre. In the museums, visitors get to know a broad spectrum from history to contemporary art and a look into the future. A visit to the Ars Electronica Center, for example, gives an insight into the latest technologies and unbelievable developments.
Special tip: A walk through Linz at night. At the latest on the Danube, where the colorful play of colors of the LED facades of the Lentos Art Museum and Ars Electronica Center illuminates the broad river in the evening, everyone is amazed and finds it difficult to part with the fascinating combination of nature and technology.

Linz lifetime in Winter

Winter and especially the Advent weeks are the time when many people decide to take things a little easier every year and spend more happy hours with friends and family. And for just as many people, time simply flies by every year and before they have really realized it, Christmas is just around the corner. How about a conscious break in the city of change? Here resolutions become reality and life becomes a pleasure. Because especially in the cold season, everything revolves around culinary delights, leisurely shopping sprees and varied Christmas markets.

The Linz gastronomy scene alone invites you on a varied journey of discovery. And of course the most well-known sweet ambassador is also part of a visit to Linz: Because the Linzer Torte tastes nowhere as good as in its homeland. And how wonderfully relaxing can a break be after a shopping spree through the city center with coffee and the oldest known cake in the world? And then a walk under the winter sky through the festively illuminated city!
If you keep your eyes and ears open during the Advent season, you will find devotional places and atmospheric alleys. And the Christmas markets are as diverse as the city itself:
At the classic-traditional Christmas markets on the baroque main square and in the Volksgarten, friends meet, craftsmen exhibit their art and culinary delights are prepared. If you stroll a few steps further, you will also find markets with refreshingly creative concepts, where punch and mulled wine by blazing fireplaces or in cozy seating areas let the first Christmas spirit germinate. This time of the year can also be so quiet and thought-provoking, when everything slowly reflects on the really important things.

Linz is the city where change happens

A short trip to Linz is not just about culture and historical buildings. Pleasure, time, relaxation and joie de vivre are also present in many places in the city. A brief mental excursion: Sit on the banks of the Danube, breathe the fresh air and watch the ships go by! Stroll out into the beautiful nature around Linz! Meet special people and get carried away by your ideas! Be moved by concerts or inspired by museums, and enjoy a Linzer Torte after a shopping spree.

The city seduces with its urban lifestyle and exciting cultural scene, arouses curiosity about the unknown and opens up new perspectives. Anyone who visits Linz will return home a little bit happier and perhaps a little different: Because they bought unique souvenirs, met special people and experienced beautiful moments. Treat yourself to a visit to the city of change and joie de vivre!

Top 10 sights in Linz

Main Square and Linzer City

Linz’s main square is the centre of the city. With an area of 13,200 square meters, it is the largest auditorium in Europe and surrounded by magnificent baroque buildings. In the middle is the impressive 20-metre-high plague column, which was completed in 1723. The main square is also home to the Landstraße, the most famous and most frequented shopping street in Linz City. But shops also invite you to stroll along the side streets of the city centre.

Ars Electronica Center

The Ars Electronica Center is considered the gravitational center of the UNESCO City of Media Arts – with its annual festival in September and the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica. In the “Museum of the Future” visitors can experiment, discover and explore! The striking building, located directly on the Danube, houses impressive exhibitions on art, technology and society. A futuristic cosmos and unique imagery with 3D animations in 8K resolution can be found in “Deep Space 8K.”

Castle Museum and Old Town Linz

Linz Castle rises above the city like a link between yesterday, today and tomorrow. As an eye-catcher of the old town, it sits majestically high above Linz on the Schlossberg. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the museum holds annual special exhibitions dedicated to national history and international themes. The newly built south wing, built in contemporary style, complements the historic building with modern architecture. Unforgettable: the view from the terrace over the rooftops of the city!

The old town also impresses with its impressive streets, historic buildings and creative shops. In the evenings, the gastronomy invites you to enjoy and relax in the cozy ambience and events and festivals take place on the beautiful squares.

Danube and Brucknerhaus

The Danube Cultural Mile is an art and culture hotspot all year round. At night, the banks of the Danube are transformed into a colourful play of colours by the light installations of the Brucknerhaus, the Lentos Art Museum and the Ars Electronica Center.

The Brucknerhaus Linz impresses with its unique acoustics and its diverse program. International and national greats of music inspire all year round with works by Mozart, Bruckner and contemporary compositions. In addition to the International Brucknerfest, other events such as the Klangwolken take place.

A bit downstream, “Mural Harbor”, one of the world’s largest graffiti art galleries, is another attraction on the Danube. Over a hundred graffiti works by different artists are displayed on oversized industrial buildings in the harbour.

Adventure World Poestlingberg

The Poestlingberg is also called the “Linzer Hausberg/Linz's local mountain.” It can be reached in just 20 minutes from the main square with the Poestlingbergbahn, the steepest adhesion railway in Europe. Once at the summit, visitors can take a relaxed walk to the viewing platform and the pilgrimage basilica. Whether it’s Poestlingbergbahn, pilgrimage basilica, viewing platform, zoo or the fairytale and dwarf kingdom of the Grottenbahn Linz – families get their money’s worth high above the city.

voestalpine Steel World

In its internationally unique world of experiences, voestalpine steel world in Linz presents the latest technologies in steel production in an interactive exhibition. State-of-the-art technologies and the innovative manufacturing process from Linz steel to the finished product are on display. This journey of discovery also reveals historical backgrounds and opens up new perspectives on voestalpine, Austria’s largest industrial location.

Linzer Cake

The perfect match for a relaxed coffee is the delicious taste of the Original Linzer Cake! This is considered to be the oldest city-named cake in the world and was mentioned by name as early as 1653. It is not only important for Linzers, but is also known far beyond the borders of Austria. The newly designed artistic tins are also perfect for a nice souvenir from Linz!

Mariendom (New Cathedral)

Linz is home to the largest church in Austria: the “Mariendom” or the so-called “Neue Dom/New Cathedral.” It impresses with its neo-Gothic style and thus contrasts with the baroque buildings in the city centre. Wonderful stained glass windows adorn the cathedral, completed in 1924, which can accommodate 20,000 people. It is also a place of tranquility in the middle of the city and invites you to linger and reflect. From the tower at an altitude of 65 meters, the city can be discovered with a panoramic view.

Music Theater at the Volksgarten

The most modern opera house in Europe was opened in 2013 and has been one of the most popular attractions of the UNESCO City of Media Arts ever since. Located at the end of the highway, it is home to opera, operetta, ballet and musicals. The performances are multi-media staged and accompanied by state-of-the-art technology. An unforgettable theatre evening is guaranteed!

Lentos Art Museum

The Lentos Art Museum offers modern and contemporary art in a special ambience. Numerous special exhibitions give insights into diverse themes and eras of art or are dedicated to the work of individual artists. The
The modern, transparent glass facade of the Lentos Art Museum lets the Danube glow in colourful colours at night. Also striking is the oversized “picture frame”, which breaks through the building and opens up a beautiful view of the Urfahr district.

In the Middle of Europe

Linz is not only located in the middle of Europe in the centre of the Danube-Moldova region, but is also easily accessible from all directions and by all means of transport. The Upper Austrian capital is centrally located and has excellent infrastructural connections. The main station has been awarded several times as Austria’s most beautiful railway station and the “blue danube airport” is quickly reached. But the Danube is also used to get there: by boat, by bike along the Danube Cycle Path or on foot along the long-distance hiking trail Donausteig.