Linz is the capital of the Bundesland (federal state) of Upper Austria (Oberösterreich), located in the centre-west of the Alpine country, halfway between Salzburg and Vienna.
This city, the third-largest in the country after Vienna and Graz, is located on the banks of the Danube River.
With a history that goes back at least 400 BC, Linz (then known as Lentia) began to gain importance as a Roman city because of its strategic position along the Danube River.
Linz is famous for its medieval, baroque and neo-Gothic architecture, but mainly for the new and modern cultural facilities that have given it international projection in recent years. Wonders of modern technology such as the Ars Electronica Centre and the Lentos pushed Linz to become, during 2009, the European Capital of Culture.
When choosing the best areas to stay in Linz, the Old Town or Innere Stadt is the best alternative, as it is where most of its attractions are located (See accommodation in Innere Stadt).
If you don’t have the time or the patience to read the full article, here you have a summary of our recommended areas to stay in Linz.
Read on to discover more information about each of the neighbourhoods.
Innere Stadt means “inner city” and is, as the name implies, the heart of Linz.
Unlike Salzburg, the Historic Centre of Linz lacks the medieval charm typical of this region. However, the area has some tourist attractions and historic buildings worth mentioning.
The Linzer Landstraße is the most famous street in Linz and runs through the Old Town. Partially pedestrianized, it is the most important commercial street in the city and it has several tram stops.
Altstadt is built around Hauptplatz, the great main square, surrounded by coffee shops and baroque buildings such as the Old Town Hall.
The old cathedral, dating from the 17th century, has an opulent interior, and the immense New Cathedral offers views from its bell tower.
The hill of the Schlossmuseum has exhibits of history, while the ultramodern building of the Lentos Kunstmuseum, on the bank of the river, focuses on Austrian art.
Accommodation in the Altstadt is very varied and, although the costs of the hotels are usually higher than those of the most peripheral areas, it is worth staying in this area to remain close to the attractions of the city.
Innere Stadt / Altstadt is the best area to stay in Linz if you are looking for comfort, good connections and budget is not a problem.
Hotel Schwarzer Bär is a family-run hotel, located in a quiet side street in the centre of Linz, just 3 minutes walk from the main square. It has free WiFi connection.
Hotel Garni Wilder Mann is only 7 minutes from the main train station in Linz. It offers free Wi-Fi in public areas and free parking.
Star Inn Hotel Linz Promenadengalerien is located in the centre of Linz, just 200 metres from the Mariendom church. The rooms include a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom.
Park Inn by Radisson Linz s located in the heart of the city, a few steps from several shopping streets and the main pedestrian area. There are several famous sights within walking distance.
The central train station or Linz (Hauptbahnhof) is the main transport hub of the city, and one of the most important railway stations in Austria.
Located 2 kilometres south of the Old Town, this modern station was actually one of the first to be built throughout the European continent.
Linz Hauptbahnhof has numerous railway connections with Germany and with all corners of Austria. Its position, halfway between Salzburg and Vienna, makes services frequent in both directions.
The area around the station is home to some of the city’s business skyscrapers, making it an excellent area to stay in Linz for business travellers.
Linz Hauptbahnhof is located about a 15 minutes walk from the City Centre, and also offers tram connections.
Ibis Linz City is ideally located at the Linz train station, just 10 minutes walk from the City Centre. You can choose between non-smoking rooms, well furnished, with free Wi-Fi, and dine well in the Ibis cuisine restaurant.
The northern part of the Danube in Linz comprises several residential neighbourhoods, as well as modern-style office complexes.
This large area, with wide avenues and green spaces, lacks the charm of the Altstadt but offers several points of interest that make it one of the best areas to stay in Linz.
Probably the most recognized icon in this area is the imposing Ars Electronica Centre, an electronic arts centre located opposite of the Town Hall of Linz, on the right side of the Nibelungenbrücke bridge.
Its colourful light show and its reflection on the waters of the Danube are a must-see in Linz.
The northern part of the river is very well-connected with the rest of the city, thanks to the tram and the Linz / Donau Urfahr station, which is second in traffic in the city and handles a good part of the commuter traffic of the Austrian city.
arte Hotel Linz is located 500 metres from the centre of Linz and 200 metres from the Danube River. This design hotel offers free Wi-Fi and rooms with individually controlled air conditioning and a flat-screen TV.
The main square of Linz (Hauptplatz), along with the Old Town (Altstadt), is the heart of the city. Unlike other cities, the main square allows tram traffic and even, to some extent, cars. See accommodation in Linz City Centre.
There are a lot of churches that you can visit in Linz. But if you only have time for one, then Mariä-Empfängnis-Dom, also known as Mariendom, is the most recommended.
Linz’s main attraction is, undoubtedly, the Ars Electronica Centre, its alternative name “Museum der Zukunft” (which translates as Museum of the Future) is more than appropriate for this particular place. The Ars Electronica Centre offers interactive exhibits on technology, innovation and media.
Another museum to consider is the Lentos Art Museum, which is also located on the side of the Old Town of the Danube River. Even from the outside, this museum of 130 metres long is, architecturally, very impressive.
The Flughafen Linz airport is about 12 km from the City Centre. Bus line 601 runs between the airport and the Hauptbahnhof every 10-20 minutes. See accommodation near Linz’ Airport.
All trains passing through the city stop at Linz Hauptbahnhof, about 20 minutes walk from the Altstadt (Old Town). In front of the train station are the main bus terminal and the taxis. See accommodation near Linz Hbf.
As far as public transport is concerned, Linz has an excellent transport system. Bus and tram services connect most of the destinations within the city. However, most of the Altstadt (Old Town) is pedestrianized.
Accommodation costs in Linz are usually high, although the city is cheaper than Vienna or Salzburg. Backpacking options are very limited. A three-star hotel in the City Centre can cost between €60 and €100 depending on the season, so it is recommended to book in advance and research all the accommodation options of the city before travelling. See accommodation in Linz sorted by price.
Read this post in other languages