Linz & Upper Austria Sightseeing Guide

The monastery of St. Florian just outside of Linz is a gem of Baroque architecture

General Division of Upper Austria: Innviertel - Traunviertel - Hausruckviertel - Mühlviertel

"In Linz beginnt's" (Everything starts in Linz) is the slogan of this refreshingly modern city. The Upper Austrian's came up with this slogan in order to get rid of the line "In Linz, da stinkt's" (It stinks in Linz) - for decades, this referred to the city's industrial heritage and the concerned pollution. Wool, iron and wood industries, later oil, steel and transportation (Linz is a railway hub) caused a not-so-nice reputation and it was only through the economic rise of the past one or two decades that tourists discover Upper Austria's capital.

The few "old" sightseeing highlights (Pestsäule, Schlossberg, the protestant Landhaus and the obligatory baroque palazzos and monasteries) would not be sufficient to attract tourists. Many come, though - for the sake of the modern face of Austria that is visible in Linz. The ARS Electronica centre is a "museum" and festival dedicated to information, technology and art and the "Linzer Klangwolke" attracts ten thousands of people.

Some pretty Propaganda on Upper Austria

The modern Brucknerhaus Concert Hall is regarded to be one of Austria's best places for classical music. And the Lentos museum of modern art makes other places in Austria struggle in their endeavours to catch up in this area. When Salzburg opened a museum for modern art a few years ago, Linz started a poster campaign with the brilliant slogan: "Salzburg has a new museum. Lentos."

Top-10: Best Attractions of Upper Austria

1.) Gmunden & Lake Traunsee
2.) Hallstatt: Old Town, Salt Mines, Lake Hallstättersee
3.) Mauthausen, former concentration camp
4.) Baroque Abbeys: St. Florian, Wilhering, Kremsmünster
5.) Ars Electronica (museum of digital art) & Lentos, Linz
6.) Salzkammergut: Gosau, Bad Goisern, Bad Ischl
7.) Steyr & National Park Kalkalpen
8.) Freistadt & Mühlviertel
9.) Innviertel Towns: Braunau, Schärding, Obernberg & Ried
10.) Almtal Valley: Scenery & Hiking

What to see in the Rest of Upper Austria

For more on Upper Austria, you will probably need a car. The most charming spots of the province are the many market towns on a variety of corners. Part of the Salzkammergut is also in Upper Austria (including the towns of Mondsee, Bad Ischl, Hallstatt, Gmunden, Gosau, Traunkirchen, Altmünster, St Wolfgang, Bad Goisern and Schloss Scharnstein Castle), Grünau, but I will deal with this region separately.

Mauthausen is a village near Linz and was the site of Austria's biggest concentration camp during the Third Reich and is now a memorial site, it hosts an exhibition and is open to the public. The abbeys of St. Florian and Kremsmünster are among the molst elaborate of Austria's baroque monasteries. Lakes of Upper Austria include some of the country's best, such as Hallstättersee, Attersee, Traunsee and parts of Wolfgangsee.

The county itself has preserved much of its rural atmosphere and there are plenty of small, historic towns that are worth being explored. These include Braunau, Schärding, Steyr, Wels, Freistadt, Rohrbach, Kirchdorf an der Krems (note nearby National Park Kalkalpen), Bad Hall, Eferding, Grieskirchen, Perg, my birthplace Ried, Vöcklabruck and Enns. Many native speakers of English enjoy Fucking in Austria, a village with a name easy to remember. For other towns and villages, see my list of muncipalities in Upper Austria and my Linz Webcams, as well as my article on festivals and events in Upper Austria and my advice on "Upper Austria with Children".

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Sightseeing in other Provinces

Bregenz and Vorarlberg - Innsbruck and Tyrol - Salzburg - Linz & Upper Austria - Salzkammergut - Graz and Styria - Klagenfurt and Carinthia - Wachau and Lower Austria - Vienna - Burgenland

Further Reading

Official website of the Local Tourism Council

Official Website of the Austrian Tourism Council

Upper Austria's share of the Salzkammergut

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Map Upper Austria
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