Linz: The city of change – life on the colourful Danube

The European Capital of Culture 2009 is truly unique: In Linz, you’ll find Europe’s most modern music theatre and a vibrant contemporary cultural scene as well as a thriving economy with leading global companies. It is not only in the fantastically maintained Old Town that the legendary green city’s connection to its long history is expressed. In 2016, the European Capital of Culture 2009 invites its visitors to discover Linz as a contemporary city that looks to the future. The aim of Linz Tourismus is to enable guests to experience the UNESCO City of Media Arts with all their senses. An impetus for internationalisation that is a great opportunity for the Danube city. That’s why the tourist board has also decided to make the theme of media arts the focus for tourism in the Creative City for 2016.

Foto: Tourist Information Linz

Foto: Tourist Information Linz

Linz is an exciting city, and a successful one at that. Its history has been long and eventful; the expanded city core is architecturally unique – especially its Baroque Hauptplatz or main square. However, in Linz one prefers not to harp endlessly on the past: far more attention is paid to the present and the future.

In the middle of Europe
Linz is not only situated in the middle of Europe, at the centre of the Danube-Moldova region of Europe, but is also easily reachable from all directions (and by all forms of transport). Linz and the Danube are connected by a special relation-ship. Linz lies so literally on the Danube that the ships on Europe’s largest water-way sail right through the middle of the city. The city owes its Roman and Celtic names “Lentia” and “Lentos” to the fact that, here, the course of the Danube bends and changes direction. And it seems that the ability to change is part of the very essence of Linz.

Changeable Linz  
Over the past few years, Linz has developed into an inspiring and lively cultural city. Marked features are its preference for the contemporary and its willingness to experiment. Since 2013, Linz has been able to boast Europe‘s most modern opera house, besides a number of theatres and a first-class symphony orchestra. In addition, the city offers sought-after bands, fascinatingly designed museums, repertory cinemas and cultural centres in all categories and sizes, as well as a vibrant free scene.

Being human
The same spirit and verve inspire the research, development and work that are carried out in Linz. Profitable, clean industry and successful entrepreneurs feel at home here. One can experience this directly at, for instance, the voestalpine

Stahlwelt, which shows how steel became a flagship product of Linz and laid one of the foundation stones for the city’s success. Yet, despite this success-oriented attitude, the human scale hasn’t been lost in the Upper Austrian economy. Linz cultivates a zest for living and has a sense of leisureliness. Being human means keeping a close connection with nature, with which the city almost enjoys a kind of symbiosis. Believe it or not, two thirds of the city’s area consists of green meadows and pastures. People in Linz also regard culinary pleasure and the art of cooking as essential ingredients for life quality, and want to share them with their guests. Linz’s res-taurants tempt you to taste and sample – new combinations, other tastes, out-of-the-ordinary dishes. This city even has the power to change taste-buds.

Make discoveries
Linz is a symbiosis as a city of industry, culture and nature, and an international, contemporary Creative City – surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. The city’s designation as a UNESCO City of Media Arts shows that Linz, together with Lyon, Sapporo, Tel Aviv and Dakar, is one of the world’s most future-orientated locations. Only cities that can demonstrate extraordinary achievements in one of the categories of literature, film, music, crafts and folk art, gastronomy, design or media arts are accepted by UNESCO into the Creative Cities Network.
There are numerous opportunities for this in Linz’s cultural calendar. The Crossing Europe film festival in spring sketches enthralling panoramas of life in Europe in the form of a platform for young, fresh film-makers every year. Ars Electronica – a festival for art, technology and society – opens up intellectual and artistic ap-proaches to a selected topic about the future at the highest level and on an annual basis.

The colourful Danube
The city space on the Danube, which – as the vividly imaginative saying goes in Linz – is not just “blue” but “multi-coloured”, is an open-air museum in itself. As colourful as the nightly light displays of the Ars Electronica Center, the museum of the future which already offers glimpses of tomorrow’s technical world today, and the Lentos art museum Linz, which stands on the bank of the Danube directly opposite, and presents challenging contemporary art. Along the river, adjoining this distinctive building, are the Brucknerhaus and the Tabakfabrik Linz, bursting with high culture and the alternative scene respectively. The world-class works fashioned out of steel by artists like David Rabinowitch, Mathias Goeritz and Herbert Bayer at Forum Metall in 1977, reaching impressively high under the open sky by the Danube, describe an arc more on the industrial side of the city.

Crowd pullers
The area by the Danube is also the stage for the Visualised Linz Klangwolke in September, which tells musical-theatrical stories to an audience of ten thousand.

It’s also the setting of the Linz Fest at Whitsun, offering a select programme of music and culture that’s slightly off the mainstream. The summer Pflasterspektakel, presenting magnificent international street art, the Linzer Krone Fest, staging popular music acts throughout the city centre and the Classics at the Cathedral open-air series, featuring world-famous stars at the foot of Austria’s biggest church, are all real crowd pullers.  The two-yearly Schäxpir festival is one of the best children’s and youth theatre gatherings in Europe, while comedy-lovers will find everything they’re looking for at Nextcomic, the first Austrian comedy festival.

The Schlossmuseum time machine
Linz Schloss towers over the city, linking yesterday, today and tomorrow. The Schlossmuseum, housed in this historical castle and occupying the spectacular modern south wing, combines presentations on the early history of Linz with vari-ous collections, ranging from musical instruments to vintage cars, and special temporary exhibitions. Famous Pöstlingberg, the emblem of Linz, with its pilgrimage church, offers an equally superb view of the city and the windings of the Danube. The historical mountain track railway, one of the steepest in Europe, carries guests and citydwellers up Linz’s local mountain in unique style.

Christmas with a difference
“Silence, Steel and Stars“ is the motto at Christmas, when Linz celebrates Christ-mas time with subtle originality, offering – among other delights – Christmas markets without any annoying background music, a nativity scene crafted in steel, and excursions into the winter sky, starting from the observatory.

Central position  
Upper Austria’s regional capital Linz is centrally situated, with outstanding infra-structure connections. Linz Central Station has already been awarded the title “Austria’s most attractive railway station” for the seventh time in a row, and blue danube airport Linz can be reached very rapidly. And you can also arrive here by ship via the Danube, by bike along the Danube cycle path, or on foot via the longdistance Donausteig hiking trail.

A weekend in Linz, starting from 109 euros per person!  
Includes: 2 overnight stays in a double room with breakfast buffet, Linz Card (3-day card, incl. use of public transport, admission to all Linz museums and a € 10 danube-culture voucher for concerts and theatres, plus a € 5 restaurant voucher) and much more. or


Information & Booking
Tourist Information Linz; Hauptplatz 1, 4020 LINZ, AUSTRIA
Tel. +43 732 7070-2009 E-mail:

The Cultural Capital on the web – for discovering, discussing and sharing impressions interactively: (German)


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