Medieval monuments, art galleries, jaw-dropping scenery and a superb summer music festival await in this exciting city in Austria’s westernmost corner.
Bregenz is the jewel in the crown of Austria’s affluent and mountainous Vorarlberg province. This 2,000-year-old city occupies a prime location on the banks of Lake Constance (Bodensee) and the Austrian Alps. Here, art, medieval history, opera and unbeatable views create a chic travel destination and popular summer retreat.
The easygoing streets of Bregenz’ Oberstadt (Upper Town) and Understadt (Lower Town) are great for exploring on foot. Start by admiring the medieval landmarks framing the cobblestone alleys of the once-walled Oberstadt. Most notable is the imposing Baroque-style St. Martin’s Tower. The Deuringschlösschen palace and Herz-Jesu-Kirche are other architecturally impressive highlights.
Discover a contemporary flair in the Understadt. At its heart is Kornmarktplatz, a square surrounded by bars, cafés and restaurants with outdoor terraces that are ideal for people-watching. Glimpse centuries of provincial history at the Vorarlberg Museum and browse exhibitions of modern art at the Kunsthaus. Attend comedies, musicals, plays and operas at Vorarlberg Landstheater.
Participate in a popular local pastime by enjoying lake and mountain views while strolling along Bregenz Promenade. Enhance your tan on a warm summer day and swim in the crystal clear water at the city beach, Strandbad Bregenz. Catch a boat to the pretty Lindau island village and Mainau island botanical garden, both located in Germany.
Ride the Pfänderbahn cable car to the summit of Pfänder mountain. Hike along marked trails, bike on rugged terrain, gaze over the countryside of three countries and spot up to 240 peaks. Winter snowfall turns the Pfänder area into an alpine resort for skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing.
Bregenz is accessible via train from Innsbruck, Salzburg, Vienna and Zurich, Switzerland. Visit in summer for the Bregenz Festival, which puts on music events at an opera house and on a floating stage. Venture out of the city and enjoy a culinary journey on the Bregenzwald Cheese Trail, an association of alpine dairy farmers, cheesemakers, museums and restaurants.