Presentation of the destination
Bregenz, Austria is the capital of the district of Vorarlberg, which is the furthest west federal district in Austria, near the borders with Germany and Switzerland. The city is on the shore of Lake Constance, which is Europe’s third largest freshwater lake. Bregenz is most famous for a music festival in the summer called Bregenzer Festspiele which features concerts, plays and operas. The area was first populated by the Celts in 1500 BC. Today Bregenz has a population of 28,000 people. Temperatures in summer average about 21-23° C (70-73° F) and in the winter, temperatures can drop to -2° C (28° F). Bregenz’s time zone is UTC +1 except for in the summer when it is UTC +2. Eighty-eight percent of the population is native speakers of German and the rest of the population is recent immigrants who continue to speak their native tongues. The euro is the currency used in Austria.
Points of interests / things to see
Bregenz is situated at the foot of Pfänder Mountain. The mountain offers amazing views over the city, Lake Constance, Germany, Switzerland as well as 240 other mountains. The elevation of Pfänder Mountain is 1,064m (3,491 ft) and it is part of the Alps mountain range. There is a cable car to get to the attractions and views at the top of the peak and it takes only six minutes to get to the top. The cable car runs from 8:00-19:00 daily on the hour and half hour. A round trip ticket for adults costs €11.80. At the summit is a free wildlife park with mountain goats, boars, rams and red deer. Atop the mountain there is also an eagle observatory about a ten minute walk from the cable car within the wildlife park. Every day from May 1st to October 5th at 11:00 and 14:30 there is a birds of prey show that shows off the eagles. All of the eagles in the show were either rescued or were raised in captivity; none have been taken from the wild for the show. The show is €5.90 for adults and €2.90 for children. There are also three restaurant options on top of Pfänder Mountain. Website: http://www.pfaender.at/en/
Martinsturm, or St. Martin’s Tower, is a landmark building in Bregenz. Part of it was first constructed when the city was founded in 1250. At that time though the structure was very simple and was only just slightly higher than the city walls of the time. There were initially only two floors and a basement. In the first part of the 14th century, a chapel was put on the first floor and was separated off from the rest of the building by walls. However this changed in 1362 when Count Wilhelm II established the St. Martin’s chapel which was then expanded to occupy the entire first floor. Frescoes were painted along all the walls to make the chapel more beautiful. Later, in the 15th century, the ceiling between the ground floor and the first floor was torn out leaving the chapel as one high room with all the frescoes being situated at the very top of the room. In the years 1599-1601 the tower that is now so well-known thougout Bregenz was built where watchmen were posted to look after the city. Address: Martinsturm Bregenz, Martinsgasse 3b Website: http://www.martinsturm.at/ Phone number: +43 (0)5574 46632 Opening hours: April 1st to October 31st, 10:00-17:00. Closed Mondays. Entrance fee: Adults €3.50. Children ages 6-15 €1
Seebüehne is an outdoor theater that floats on Lake Constance. It is the main attraction and centerpiece for the annual Bregenzer Festspiele which runs every summer from the middle of July to the middle of August. The same show is performed two years in a row. It is the largest floating stage in the world and has seating for 7,000 people. It is possible to visit the theater during the day to learn more about how the theater was built and to learn about the history of it. It is recommended to go to the show early enough to be able to see the sunset. The singers are extremely talented and the sound equipment is state of the art. That plus the setting creates a truly unique night and experience. Ticket prices vary based on seating choices, ranging from €29 to €300. Since the theater is outdoors, dress accordingly for the weather. In addition to the opera at Seebüehne, during the summer music festival there are also many other venues offering a variety of shows, operas and orchestra concerts. The festival draws about 200,000 visitors to the city every summer and is what the city is most well-known for. Address: Platz der Wiener Symphoniker 1 Website: http://www.bregenzerfestspiele.com/en/ Phone number: +43 5574 4076
Located just outside of the city of Bregenz ( 2 km from the train station), is the Wettingen-Mehrerau Abbey. The abbey was first established in 611 by Saint Columbanus and at that time went by the name of just Mehrerau Abbey. From that period until the year 1079, there is little surviving information about the abbey. Since then, it has gone through many changes. In 1079 the abbey was reformed and made a Benedictine abbey. The abbey was rebuilt in 1097-98 by Count Ulrich of Bregenz. Throughout the 12th and 13th centuries it continued to obtain new land and exert more influence over the region. In the 18th century, the church was rebuilt as well as some of the abbey’s residential buildings. The abbey was taken over by the state in 1806 and was dissolved and unfortunately some of the library’s books were destroyed or lost. In 1853 the property was purchased by Emperor Franz Joseph I and given as a new home to an abbey that was being suppressed in Switzerland, the Cistercian Wettingen Abbey, and in 1854 the abbey officially opened again with the name of Wettingen-Mehrerau. It is possible to reach the abbey by either just walking or riding a bike along the lake. Address: Mehrerauerstr. 66 Website: http://www.mehrerau.at/de/ Phone number: +43 5574 / 71 461
Kunsthaus Bregenz (KUB for short) is an art museum in Bregenz. The building was designed by an architect from Switzerland, Peter Zumthor. It opened in 1997 and the building has a unique look. It is made from glass, steel and concrete. Due to its predominantly glass exterior, the museum reflects the sky and Lake Constance and looks different depending on the time of day and the weather. Also, because the majority of the exterior is glass, the illumination on the inside is very unique and different from many other art museums. The KUB is a contemporary art museum and has regularly changing temporary exhibits. The museum has shifted its attention to focus on having more displays of artists from Africa, Asia and Latin America as most exhibitions in the past have been of European or North American artists. There are special programs for children as well as lectures, discussions and performances on the ground floor. Address: Karl-Tizian-Platz 1 Website: http://www.kunsthaus-bregenz.at/ Email address: email@example.com Phone number: +43 5574 48594 Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00 with extended hours on Thursday, 10:00-21:00. Check website for holiday hours as well as for days when the museum is closed because they are changing the exhibitions. Entrance fee: Adutls €9. Children free
The Lake Promenade in Bregenz is along the shores of Lake Constance. Along the promenade are many outdoor restaurants and the paths are shaded as well for protection from the sun during the day. Many locals spend the day or evening strolling along the promenade and it makes for a good location for people watching. Any point along the promenade is also a good place to watch the sun set and enjoy the views. The Lake Promenade has been, and still is a popular place to meet for local artists, writers, philosophers and musicians. The promenade makes a great place for tourists to have a leisurely glance at local culture.
The Vorarlberg Museum is a new museum that opened in June 2013. On the outside, the museum has a unique architectural style. On the inside, the museum highlights and showcases the history and culture of Vorarlberg, the furthest west district of Austria. The museum has art and photography on display. There is also a theater for shows, concert performances and a café within the museum. The Vorarlberg Museum is located right next to the Kunsthaus Bregenz and is also along Lake Constance. Address: Kornmarktplatz 1 Website: http://www.vorarlbergmuseum.at/ Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone number: +43 (0)5574 46050 Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00; extended hours on Thursday 10:00-21:00. Closed Mondays Entrance fee: €9
Through the company Vorarlberg Lines, there are various cruise options on Lake Constance in the summer (July-September) with a few cruises offered outside that time period, on weekends or holidays. One cruise package takes you past the shores of all three countries on Lake Constance- Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Another option is to cruise through the Bay of Bregenz. Some cruises offer refreshments on board. Prices vary depending on which options you choose and tickets can be purchased at the port. Some also include the option to visit Pfänder Mountain. Address: Seestraße 4 Website: http://www.bodenseeschifffahrt.at/lakeconstancecruises Email address: email@example.com Phone number: +43 5574 42868
Lindau is a town in Germany and is also an island in Lake Constance. The island is very small, being only 0.68 km2 (0.26 mi2). Lindau is the point where the German, Swiss and Austrian borders all meet. It is found also at the base of Pfänder Mountain. Lindau’s main attraction is it historic medieval city center as well as the port and lighthouse. Lindaus is also the site for the annual gathering of Nobel Prize winners. There are multiple ways to get to Lindau from Bregenz, including train, car (about a 15-20 minute drive) or a cruise from Bregenz.
Vacation rentals in Bregenz (Vorarlberg)
How to get there ?
If traveling to Bregenz by plane, there are multiple options for airports in the area. Zurich-Kloten airport (website: http://www.zurich-airport.com/passengers-and-visitors#_ga=1.162703740.1581244779.1396976188) in Zurich, Switzerland is located about one hour away, either by train or by car. Friedrichshafen (website: http://www.fly-away.de/en/) is a smaller airport but in turn is located only 40 km (25 mi) from Bregenz. Munich (website: http://www.munich-airport.de/en/index.jsp ) is the largest airport in the region, but it is about 2.5 hours away from Bregenz. Going by train is a convenient way to get in or out of the city. The ticket to go from Bregenz to Vienna is about €60. The train journey from Vienna takes 6-7 hours for the slow train. The same line also stops in Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck and other locations. The train station in Bregenz (Hauptbahnhof) is in the north of the city, conveniently located close to the city center. Trains are also options for getting to destinations in Switzerland and Germany. Bus is another way to get to the city from either Berlin or Vienna. Within the city, buses, walking and riding bikes (in the summer) are all options for getting around. Bikes are available for rent at the railway station and are convenient to get around Bregenz in the summer months.
Hotels in Bregenz (Vorarlberg)