Linz, the capital and third-largest city of Upper Austria after Vienna and Graz, is situated in an attractive spot that straddles both the Danube and Danube banks. After passing through the Bohemian Forest, this river narrowly enters the Linz Basin.
Famous for its fine churches, museums, cultural activities, the city was once home to many of Austria’s most prominent creative types, such as Adalbert Stifter, Wolfgang Mozart, and Anton Bruckner, as well the scientist Johannes Kepler. Linz has a wealth of art galleries and is host to many cultural events every year.
Linz is one of the most picturesque cities in Austria. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked when planning your travel itinerary. Because it lies on the Danube, Linz makes a perfect spot for a river excursion and exploring the surrounding area and attractions. Linz offers plenty of other activities. These include exploring Landstrasse’s historic shopping district and visiting galleries and boutiques.
For great ideas of fun adventures in this lovely corner of Austria, read through our list of the best things to do in Linz.
1. The Castle of Linz (Schlossmuseum Linz)
The Castle of Linz (Linz Schloss), a fortress perched on the Danube overlook, has dominated the city since its inception. According to records, the site was home to a defense from the 9th Century. You can still see the remnants of this fortress around the Friedrich Gate and old walls. The current structure was constructed in the 16th Century. It was rebuilt in 1800 following a fire.
The Castle Museum (Schlossmuseum) is located in this historic fortress. It contains essential art and historical collection, as well as exhibits featuring artifacts dating back to prehistoric, Roman, medieval, and modern times. The South Wing, which opened in 2009, features permanent and temporary exhibitions about nature and technology.
If you have time, make sure to addNordicYou can add the Stadtmuseum, the city museum, to your itinerary. Highlights of a visit to Linz include detailed exhibits about Linz’s history, illustrated through photos, artworks, and archaeology objects.
2. Explore Ars Electronica Center
Ars Electronica Center, also known as the Museum of the Future, was established in 1996. It moved to its current location on the Danube River in 2009. The Center was created to highlight the city’s status as a vibrant center for technology, media, and industry. It features exhibits that focus on the technology shaping the modern world. These include displays about climate change, pollution, space exploration, and biotechnology. You can also take guided tours and workshops through the museum.
The annual Ars Electronica Festival is held at the Center. This festival recognizes the best in interactive art, computer music, and web design. The Center also hosts special and temporary exhibitions. Take a stroll along the Danube at night to see the Center and other museums illuminated in a spectacular riverside light show.
3. Get Your Art Fix at the OK Center
Another tourist attraction worth seeing is the Upper Austrian culture quarter ().OO KulturquartierDistrict. It is often called the OK, and you will find it here—OK Center for Contemporary Art Austria. The world-renowned contemporary art gallery has regular exhibitions from Austria and around the globe. A variety of dining options are also available.
Enjoy many of the best contemporary and modern artworks from Upper Austria.Landesgalerie Linz. With representative work from national and local artists, as well international works and displays. Francisco CarolinumIt’s possible to spend hours exploring the region’s history and its 20th-century art collections. The museum also features permanent exhibits that feature artworks from various galleries around the world.
4. Lentos Art Museum
The Lentos Art Museum (Lentos Kunstmuseum), another of Linz’s state-of-the-art museums, is located on the banks of the Danube. It opened its doors to the public in 2003. Since then, it has been one of the most prominent art galleries in Austria. The museum’s rich collection of over 1,500 artworks is one of the highlights.
This impressive collection includes examples from the 19th Century as well as classic modernist masterpieces by the Austrians Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and others. Highlights include important works from both the German Expressionist and Austrian Expressionist movements of the 1920s and 30s, as well as international pieces from the postwar period.
It also houses a remarkable collection of sketches, sculptures, photographs, and a shop. It’s worth visiting the great restaurant that has a large terrace overlooking the Danube.
Enjoy an art adventure that is worth your timeKulturverein Mural HarborMural Harbor Gallery, also known as. These fascinating art tours through the port area of the city are centered on the graffiti works displayed, which is a colorful riot of color created locally and by artists from all over the country. This shows the professionalism and power of this provocative art form.
5. See St. Martin’s Church
Many of the best places to see in Linz are not high-tech buildings. Instead, they focus on art and entertainment. Near Linz Castle (in Romerstrasse) is the charming little St. Martin’s Church, also known as Martinskirche. This church is the oldest in Austria that has been preserved in its original form. This remarkable church from the 8th Century is built on the Roman wall remains, which can still be seen in the exterior. It is typical of Carolingian architecture.
A visit to this influential Catholic Church is worth it. The interior features frescoes from the 15th Century, as well as the remains of Gothic doorways and windows in its sidewalls, are some of the highlights. You can see the Roman kiln oven, and many of the stones within the church have Roman inscriptions. Recently excavated remains reveal the royal hall of an ex-imperial palace. You can spend a while on the grounds, one of the most picturesque in an incredibly scenic place.