The capital city of Upper Austria, Linz, is the third largest in the country. Occupying both banks of the Danube River; Linz is best known for its churches, museums and great cultural activities that visitors can enjoy. It’s one of Austria’s most beautiful cities and with its prime position; Linz is a great base for exploring the countryside.
Top Attractions in Linz
The Linz Castle has been around since the early 9th century and the remains of the old castle can still be seen around the walls and the Friedrich Gate. The modern day version of the castle is home to Linz’s Schlossmuseum and houses important art and historical collections among the other relics that date back to prehistoric times.
St. Martin’s Church
St. Martin’s Church can be found in Römerstrasse, just below the Linz Caste. Its small and quaint and its Austria’s oldest church preserved in its original form. The 8th century building is a great example of the earliest Carolingian architecture and the interior with its 15th century frescoes, old doorways and windows dating back to the Gothic period make it an exceptional sight.
Ars Electronica Center
Also known as the Museum of the Future, the Ars Electronica Center showcases the city’s reputation as a dynamic center of technology, media, industry and art. Expect to see displays revolving around climate change and pollution, space exploration, biotechnology, and robotics. If you like the museum experience, you might also be interested in another one of Linz’s ultra-modern museums, the Lentos Art Museum.
The New Cathedral
The New Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a spectacular three-aisled, Neo-Gothic pillared basilica of yellow sandstone with an ambulatory surrounded by the magical ring of chapels. The complex is enormous and is definitely worth seeing. The building covers an area bigger than Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral as boasts great sites like the 135 meter high tower, the massive organ built in 1968, the crypt with the grave of Franz Josef Rudigier and an awe-inspiring stained glass window. Make sure you swing by the Bishop's Palace afterwards to see its unique iron gateway and the staircase built in 1227.
Located on the eastern slopes of the Freinberg, sits the Botanical Gardens, which are considered to be Europe’s most beautiful gardens. The gardens house more than 10,000 species of plants accommodated in various flower beds and 5 individual greenhouses.
Roughly 8km west of Linz you’ll find the little town of Wilhering, best known for its 12th century Cistercian abbey. The building was erected in 1146 and rebuilt during the 18th century, making Wilhering Abbey the perfect destination for a quick day trip from Linz. The modern art gallery here is well worth seeing, but as is the church, the choir stalls and the wall graves.
Stretching down from the Promenade towards the main railroad station, the whopping 1,200 meter long Landstrasse is the best place you can begin exploring the fascinating history of Linz. En-route you’ll see the impressive Ursuline Church and the Carmelite Church, the Seminary Church, the great Hauptplatz original market square and the 17th century Rathaus. Don’t forget to check out the impressive marble Trinity Column and the beautifully arcaded courtyard of the Feichtinger Haus.
The Old Cathedral
The twin-towered Jesuit church of St. Ignatius, or the Old Cathedral of Linz, is best known for its amazing Italian décor. The Bruckner Organ as well as the High Altar is well worth seeing, as is the richly carved choir stalls. The centerpiece of the building is however its fine arcaded courtyard with its octagonal Planet Fountain dating back to 1582.