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Europe > Central Europe > Austria > Vorarlberg > Bregenz

Bregenz

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Shore Lake Constance near Bregenz

Bregenz is the capital of Vorarlberg in Austria at the Lake Constance.

Understand[edit]

Bregenz has about 28,000 inhabitants and has roots back to Roman times. The city was originally founded by the Romans in 15 BC, when it was known as Brigantium.

Bregenz is located at the northern edge of the Alps, between Lake Constance (the Bodensee) and the Pfänder (1064m). To the west lies the Rhine delta, a huge valley dividing Switzerland and Austria. To the south lie the mountains of Switzerland and southern Vorarlberg. To the north, overlooking Lake Constance, are the hills of the Allgäu of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria in Germany.

Bregenz is the capital of Austria's most modern province. The shore of Lake Constance, one of the biggest lakes in Europe, meets with Downtown! It is highly advisable to go down to the lake in the evening and check out the beautiful sunset. Inhabitants of Vorarlberg are said to be much more friendly and open than the rest of Austria.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Zürich-Kloten (ZRH IATA) is quite a big airport, about 1 hour with train/car (100 km).

Friedrichshafen (FDH IATA) is smaller but closer, about 40 km from Bregenz. Approached by some companies like Condor and Ryanair (to/from Stansted London).

Munich (MUC IATA) is the biggest airport around. About 2.5 h to Bregenz.

Altenrhein (ACH IATA): Switzerland, about 20 km to Bregenz but few connections to Vienna.

By train[edit]

  • 1 Central Station (Hauptbahnhof), Fritz-Mayer-Platz 1 (in the north, near the lake and city centre). Ticket counter: M-F 06:30-19:00, Sa Su 07:30-19:00; ticket automats: 24hrs. There are several daily connections from Vienna with stops in Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck, the train takes around 8 hours from Vienna. In general the Eurocity trains are faster than the Intercity trains. There is also a high speed train called ICE; the price from Vienna to Bregenz the average price is around €60. A few tickets for €29 Sparschiene are available every day; use ÖBB's SCOTTY to look up train information online. Storage lockers available.

    From Switzerland, France and northwestern Italy, the best option is to go to via Zürich and take a Railjet train to Bregenz. One can also catch a Railjet from Vienna to Bregenz, the train comes via St. Pölten, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck and is operated every 2 hours. Average travel time is 7 hours from Vienna and quality of travel in a Railjet is superior.

    de:Bahnhof Bregenz on Wikipedia Bregenz railway station (Q15282663) on Wikidata

By car[edit]

From direction Vienna: On the A1 via Salzburg via Germany. In Rosenheim (Germany), you have to decide if you drive via Munich (heavy traffic) or via Innsbruck (Arlberg Tunnel €13).

From Chur/Zürich: about 10 km to the Swiss motorway.

Austria requires autobahn drivers to pay a fee and purchase a Vignette (Austrian: Pickerl), a sticker which must be affixed to the windshield. Vignettes are available for €8.30 (10 days), €24.20 (2 months), and €80.60 (1 year); prices for motocycles are approximately 55% less. The fine for not having a vignette is €120, payable on the spot. The well-known tactic of affixing vignettes with Vaseline (so that they can be easily removed and re-used) earns a fine of €240. The vignette must be pasted on the windshield; they are considered invalid if kept in the glovebox, which also earns a fine. The vignettes are available for sale at every ADAC petrol station (ADAC membership is not required), as well as at almost all petrol stations before the Austrian border. The more affordable so-called Korridorvignette for the 23 km-long stretch of the A14 between the German border and Hohenems is no longer available.

Drivers from Germany should take Exit 2 (Lindau) before reaching the border, as the A14 then enters a tunnel and only emerges south of Bregenz. Likewise when driving toward Germany drivers should head north on 190 and cross the border before driving onto the autobahn.

By bus[edit]

Check out Eurolines from Vienna and Berlin. There are also connections with Flixbus from Milan and Munich.

By boat[edit]

Get around[edit]

By foot[edit]

Many sights in the centre toward the lakefront are easily accessible by foot.

By bicycle[edit]

In summer, bicycles are perhaps the best way to get around, as Bregenz is quite small.

By bus[edit]

  • 3 Stadtbus Bregenz (City bus), Rathausstraße 4, +43 5574 410-1833, fax: +43 5574 410-581, e-mail: . Office: M-Th 08:00-12:00, 12:30-16:45; F 08:00-12:30. 5 routes provide good coverage for most of the city. Schedules for all route can be downloaded here (in German); a route map is available here. Single trip: €1.40 (adults), €.70 (children); day ticket: €2.60; week ticket: €10; month ticket: €20.

By car[edit]

  • Carsharing Zipcars are available in Bregenz.

By taxi[edit]

See[edit]

Oberstadt
Kunsthaus Bregenz
Old City Hall
  • The city wall from the 13th to 16th centuries surrounding the upper part of town (Oberstadt) has been largely preserved.
  • 1 Old City Hall (Altes Rathaus). Built in 1662.
  • 2 Lower City Hall (Unterstadt Rathaus). Built in 1686 and remodeled in 1898.
  • 3 Kunsthaus Bregenz (KUB), Karl Tizian Platz, +43 5574 485 94-0, fax: +43 5574 485 94-408, e-mail: . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, Th 10:00-20:00. Frequently changing contemporary art exhibitions. The building was designed by Peter Zumthor. €9 (adults), €7 (concessions), free (children/youth under 19). Kunsthaus Bregenz on Wikipedia Kunsthaus Bregenz (Q675326) on Wikidata
  • 4 Martinsturm (Martin's Tower), Martinsgasse 3b (Oberstadt), +43 5574 410 1560, e-mail: . May-Oct Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Bregenz's most famous landmark, the tower features the largest onion cupola in Europe. The foundations of the building date to the late Roman period. €3.50 (adults), €2.50 (concessions), €1 (children under 15). de:Martinsturm (Bregenz) on Wikipedia (Q1905741) on Wikidata
  • 5 Vorarlberg museum (formerly the Vorarlberger Landesmuseum), Kornmarktplatz 1, +43 5574 46050, e-mail: . Tu W 10:00-18:00, Th 10:00-21:00, F-Su 10:00-18:00. Modernerised and enlarged, the museum opened in June 2013, with exhibits documenting the history of Vorarlberg as well as other current themes. €9 (adults), €7 (concessions), free (children/youth under 19); free the first Tuesday of every month. Vorarlberg museum on Wikipedia Vorarlberg museum (Q2533480) on Wikidata
  • 6 Wettingen-Mehrerau Abbey (Territorialabtei Wettingen-Mehrerau), Mehrerauerstr 66 (About 2km from the main train station), +43 5574 71 461, fax: +43 5574 71 461-17, e-mail: . A bit outside of the city, but can easily be reached by walking or cycling along the lake. The monastery has a museum with exhibits illustrating monastic life. Territorial Abbey of Wettingen-Mehrerau on Wikipedia Territorial Abbey of Wettingen-Mehrerau (Q674141) on Wikidata
  • 7 Vorarlberg Regional Library (Vorarlberger Landesbibliothek), Fluher Straße 4 (Stadtbus 4/5, Landbus 12c/13/25/35/37), +43 5574 511 44005, fax: +43 5574 511 44095, e-mail: . Sep-Jun M-F 09:00-18:30, Sa 09:00-13:00; Jul-Aug M Tu 09:00-17:00, W 09:00-18:30, Th F 09:00-18:30, Sa 09:00-13:00. Free guided tours are available upon request (Note: it is not known whether English tours are offered). de:Vorarlberger Landesbibliothek on Wikipedia (Q1339543) on Wikidata
  • 8 Künstlerhaus Bregenz (Palais Thurn und Taxis), Gallusstraße 10, +43 55 74-427 51, fax: +43 5574-44029. Tu-Sa 14:00-18:00, Su and holidays 11:00-17:00. A collective Vorarlberg artists stages exhibits of members' works. Free. de:Künstlerhaus Bregenz on Wikipedia Gallusstraße 10 (Bregenz) Palais Thurn und Taxis (Q1570675) on Wikidata

Do[edit]

View from Pfänder
Pfänder cable car (Pfänderbahn)
Hohenbregenz Castle on Gebhardsberg
  • Boat cruises, +43 5574 42868, e-mail: . From April to October, Vorarlberg Lines offers a numer of cruises on Lake Constance, including a scenic 'three-country' cruise (daily 14:30); cruises to Friedrichshafen, home of the Zepplinmuseum (daily, various times); the "Flower Island" of Mainau (daily, various times); the city of Konstanz, home of the Sea Life Center/Aquarium (daily, various times); and a number of sunset and dinner cruises. One can also consider a short trip to the German port Lindau, which on a sunny day offers splendid views of the Swiss landscape. The town is beautiful and one can also consider shopping in the main market, a 5 minute walk from the port/train station. Cruise available quite frequently, €5 adult. The return trip can be made via cruise (another €5) or by catching a regional train (S-Bahn) from Lindau station to Bregenz station for as low as €2.4, if purchased at an ÖBB automat.
  • 1 Casino Bregenz, Platz der Wiener Symphoniker 3, +43 5574 45127. S-Th 15:00-03:00, F Sa 15:00-04:00. Men must wear a shirt and jacket, though the casino will provide jackets for the unprepared.

Festivals and cultural events[edit]

  • 2 Bregenz Festival (Bregenzer Festspiele), Platz der Wiener Symphoniker 1, +43 5574 4076, fax: +43 5574 413-413, e-mail: . mid-July to mid-August. A famous festival attracting 200,000 visitors each year. The centerpiece of the festival is its main stage built on Lake Constance, the largest floating stage in the world. The open-air production changes every two years, with Mozart's The Magic Flute in 2013 and 2014. The setting – 7,000 seats looking out over the lake, the larger-than-life stage, night falling during the performance, and the cool breeze coming off the lake – is truly spectacular. In addition to the production on the floating stage, there is a yearly changing program including an opera in the Festival House (Festhaus), a series of orchestral concerts and other cultural events such as Kunst aus der Zeit (KAZ) and cross culture. €29-300. Bregenzer Festspiele on Wikipedia Bregenzer Festspiele (Q694891) on Wikidata
    • Guided tours (A look behind the scenes), +43 5574 4076. 30 May-18 Jul M W F 16:00; 20 Jul-21 Aug daily 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30. During the festival season, there are tours of the floating stage (Seebühne) and the Festival House (Festhaus). The open-air seating area can usually be accessed for free for getting a glance at the floating stage if there is no performance. The James Bond movie Quantum of Solace features some scenes from the floating stage production Tosca in 2008 and the Festival House. Tickets can be purchased [date=&day_1[date]=&production_group=2&=Anwenden online] or at the ticket counter. €7.
  • Bregenzer Frühling, Platz der Wiener Symphoniker 1, +43 5574 4080, fax: +43 5574 4959-69, e-mail: . Mar-June. A modern dance festival attracting choreographers and dancers from around the world. All performances are staged in the Bregenz Festival House (Festspielhaus Bregenz). Tickets are available at the tourist information office and online. € 34 - 67 (each presentation).

Sport and outdoor activities[edit]

View of the Bregenzerwald from Pfänder

The Lake Promenade (Strandweg) is a very popular place for residents to stroll and spend the evening. There are shaded paths and outdoor restaurants. The sunsets in Bregenz are beautiful from any place at the lake.

In summer, Bregenz offers many possibilities. Bregenz is splendid for swimming in the lake (the lake's temperature reaches 26°C in the summer), hiking, cycling, and several other sports. The tourist office offers a map of hiking paths in Bregenz and the immediate vicinity, as well as a map of trails in the nearby Bregenz Woods (Bregenzwald).

  • 5 Pfänder. Don't miss the 360° view from the top: you can either walk (ca. 2-3h) or take the cable car (6 min). Hiking suggestions are listed here [dead link]. You can also bike the Pfänder. A guide with suggested routes is available from the bottom cable car station; the cable car transports bikes for €3.10. Pfänder on Wikipedia Pfänder (Q698608) on Wikidata
    • 6 Cable car (Pfänderbahn), Steinbruchgasse 4, +43 5574 421600, fax: +43 5574 421604, e-mail: . Daily 08:00-19:00, departures every half-hour. Signage throughout town will direct you to the cable car station. Apr-Oct return: €12.70 (adults), €11.40 (seniors), €10.20 (youth 16-19), €6.40 (children 6-15); Nov-Mar fares are reduced 15%. Pfänderbahn on Wikipedia Pfänderbahn (Q1499924) on Wikidata
    • 1 [dead link] Berghaus Pfänder, +43 5574 42184, fax: +43 5574 42184. May-Sep daily 09:30-18:30. Restaurant at the top of Pfänder, serves Austrian and international dishes, as well as snacks.
    • 7 Alpine Wildlife Park (Alpenwildpark Pfänder), Pfänder 4, +43 5574 42184-0, fax: +43 5574 42184-5. Daily all year. Free.
  • 8 Gebhardsberg (Gebhards Mountain). Gebhardsberg is 598m above sea level and it offers a splendid view on the Rhine Valley (Rheintal) and Lake Constance (Bodensee). It is popular among the local population for walks. On it you can find the ruins of Burg Hohenbregenz, which was built at the end of 11th century, in 1097, by the Dukes of Bregenz. It later changed ownership several times and in the 17th century it was extended into a stronghold. In 1647 it was captured by the Swedes without any resistance and they blew up the fortress in the same year. From 1670 the ruins gained importance as a place of pilgrimage of St. Gebhard and they were adapted for religious and gastronomical purposes several times. In 1723 the church, which was built within the ruins, was consecrated. In this time the "mountain" got its present name. There is a restaurant there now. de:Gebhardsberg on Wikipedia Gebhardsberg (Q1496955) on Wikidata
  • 9 Public Pool (Hallenbad), Strandweg 1 (Stadtbus 2/5 to 'Stadion'), +43 5574 442420, fax: +43 5574 44242-66, e-mail: . T-F 09:00-21:00, Sa 09:00-19:00, Su and holidays 10:00-19:00. The bathing complex by the lake has a large outdoor pool and an indoor pool. €5.60 (adults), €4.50 (seniors), €3.90 (youth under 19), €2.80 (children).

Buy[edit]

Kaiserstraße

Kaiserstraße is the main pedestrian shopping street, and was renovated in 2006. The inner city in particular has many smaller shops which invite one to browse. In general, stores are open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00-19:00, Saturdays from 09:00-16:00.

  • 1 Wolford, Wolfordstraße 1-2, +43 5574 690-1458, fax: +43 5574 690-1651, e-mail: . M-Th 09:00-21:30, F 09:00-21:00, Sa 09:00-17:00. The maker of stylish hosiery and lingerie is headquartered in Bregenz. This location includes a boutique, factory outlet and restaurant. Wolford on Wikipedia Wolford (Q431607) on Wikidata
  • 2 Sennerei Jungholz-Hinteregg, Hinteregg 49, Eichenberg (3km from the Pfänder peak), +43 5574 - 45472. Local cheese shop producing cheese close to Pfänder.

Eat[edit]

Wirtshaus am See, a popular lakeside restaurant
  • 2 Café Restaurant Schillerpark, Belruptstraße 30 (near the cable car), +43 5574 45566. Daily 08:00-21:00.
  • 5 Ilge Ilge Tapas y Vinos, Maurachgasse 6, +43 664 6402044. Tapas and wine in a rustic setting.
  • 8 Steinenbach Kulinarium, Am Steinenbach 9 (in the Hotel Germania), +43 5574 42766 0, e-mail: . Restaurant: M-Sa 17:00-24:00, kitchen open 18:00-21:30; breakfast buffet: M-Sa 07:00-10:30, Su and holidays 07:30-11:00. Specialises in regional cuisine with a modern contemporary twist.

Drink[edit]

  • 1 Heurigen Möth, Langenerstraße 5 (at the foot of Gebhardberg), +43 5574 47711, e-mail: . Apr-Sep T-Su 16:00-23:00; wine tastings year-round by appt. An especially popular place serving Austrian wines, with pleasant outdoor seating.

Sleep[edit]

From the genteel Dueringschlössle to budget-friendly guesthouses, Bregenz offers a range of accommodation for all budgets. The city becomes very busy during the Festival season that runs from mid-July to mid-August; during this time it's advisable to book accommodations ahead of time. Prices posted below are for the high-season summer months.

Budget[edit]

Gasthof-Hotel Lamm
  • 1 Jufa Bregenz on Lake Constance, Mehrerauerstraße 3-5, +43 5708 3540, fax: +43 5708 3541, e-mail: . Close to the lake and train station. Laundry facilities, meals available, wi-fi. €37+.
  • 3 Hotel Ibis Bregenz, Sankt Anna Straße 11 (across from the train station), +43 5574 524 500, fax: +43 5574 5245 0555, e-mail: . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 24-hour bar, internet, pets accepted. €97+.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 5 Hotel Messmer, Kornmarktstraße 16, +43 5574 42356, fax: +43 5574 42356-6, e-mail: . Check-in: 15:00-18:00 (call for late arrivals), check-out: before 11:00. Also has holiday apartments, and a well-regarded restaurant. €88+/singles, €128+/doubles.

Splurge[edit]

  • 7 Hotel Schwärzler, Landstraße 9, +43 5574 4990, fax: +43 5574 47575, e-mail: . Check-in: after 15:00. Also has two well-regarded restaurants serving Austrian, French, and international cuisine. €117+, breakfast included.

Camping[edit]

  • 10 Camping Weiß, Brachsenweg 4, +43 664 1325548. Has places for campervans and tents. Also has an onsite restaurant. campsites €6-11, + €7/person.

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

It is possible to travel along the lakeshore by railway to both Switzerland and Germany.

  • Bregenzerwald — a mountainous area south-east of Bregenz; take a bus from the railway station, or take the train to Dornbirn and transfer there.
  • Dornbirn — 20-minute drive south of Bregenz; features a Rolls-Royce Museum
  • Lindau — a nearby island in Germany with a picturesque harbor and lots of little shopping streets.
  • Liechtenstein — the fourth smallest country in Europe. Bus and train service is available daily from Bregenz to the capital city of Vaduz. The trip is about 1.5 hours.
  • Mainau Island — in Germany, "The Flower Island" is known for its warm climate and beautiful botanical gardens


Routes through Bregenz
Lindau ← Becomes Bundesautobahn 96 number.svg  N A14-AT.svg S  DornbirnFeldkirch
Lindau ← Becomes Bundesstraße 12 number.svg  N B190-AT.svg S  DornbirnFeldkirch



This city travel guide to Bregenz is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.