What to do for 1 day in Linz
To visit Linz, in Austria, is to discover the 3rd largest city in the country.
Less known than Vienna or Salzburg, the city offers many places of interest. Located on the banks of the Danube, it has experienced in recent years, a cultural revival, especially after being designated as European Capital of Culture in 2009.
So what to see, what to do in Linz? Where to stay in Linz? Follow now our top 10 things to do in Linz as well as all our tips and tricks to visit Linz in 1 day.
Visit Linz: the essentials
1. The historical center of Linz
The discovery of Linz begins with a stroll in the historic center to admire the emblematic monuments of the city. The center is particularly beautiful with its houses with colorful and typical facades , renaissance and baroque buildings, and many trendy cafes and restaurants as well as cool designer boutiques.
To see in the old town of Linz:
- Hauptplatz: the main square of Linz where the old Town Hall and the Trinity Column are located. With 13,200 m², it is the largest enclosed square in Europe. In winter you will find the Christmas market in Linz.
- The Landhaus, seat of the president of the region. The beautiful building, renaissance style, houses in one of these courses, the “Fountain Planets”. It pays tribute to a famous personality who lived in Linz, the astronomer Johannes Kepler. He discovered that the planets revolve around the sun in an elliptical and not circular trajectory.
- The Kremsmünstererhaus where Emperor Frederick III died in 1493.
- The Mozart House where the famous composer created “The Symphony of Linz” in just 3 days, in homage to the city.
- St. Martin’s Church, built before 788, making it the oldest church in Austria. Archaeological excavations have discovered inscriptions and a Roman oven.
2. The Mariendom / New Cathedral
Not far from the Hauptplatz, I recommend you to visit the Mariendom, also called “New Cathedral”. With its capacity of more than 20,000 people, it is the largest church in Austria.
Inside, you can admire beautiful stained glass windows such as the Linzer Fenster or the Kaiserfenster. The indoor gallery, 15 meters high, also offers a unique view of the entire church.
Also, do not miss the steeple to admire the panorama of the whole city of Linz.
3. Linz Castle
Linz Castle is situated on the heights and overlooks the historic center of Linz and the Danube. This is one of the places of interest not to be missed during your stay in Linz.
It served as a residence for Emperor Frederic III, until his death in 1493. The castle has undergone several changes over the centuries and has also served as a hospital, prison and barracks.
The castle presents a strange facade mixing the old and the modern. One of its wings was destroyed by a fire in 1800, it was rebuilt in a contemporary way with a glass and steel structure, on the occasion of the election of the city as European Capital of Culture.
You can visit the courtyard and the exteriors of the castle for free to admire all the contrasts.
The interior is home to the Upper Austrian State Museum with permanent exhibitions of the region and the city. The opportunity to learn a little more about the history of Linz. Depending on the time of year, you will also find temporary exhibitions on the theme of art or natural sciences. The museum is really interesting and inescapable to discover this part of Austria.
The Linz Castle Museum is open every day. Price: 6.50 €.
4. Go up to Postlingberg
Another activity to do in Linz is to climb the Postlingberg hill.
For this, you will have to take the funicular (the Postlingbergbahn) from Hauptplatz, famous for being one of the steepest in Europe. In 20 minutes, you will climb a vertical of 255 meters! The funicular runs every day, there are about every 30 minutes and the round trip costs around € 6.
At the top of the hill, 600 meters above sea level, you can admire a breathtaking panorama of all Linz and the surrounding area. This is clearly the place where you can enjoy the most beautiful view of the city. If you have a clear day, it is even possible to see the Alps in the distance.
At Postlingberg you will also find another symbol of Linz, the Basilica of St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows whose 2 bell towers are visible from the heart of the city.
If you visit Linz with your family, your children will also be happy to climb to Postlingberg for 2 reasons:
- They can take the little train in the grotto (Grottenbahn) which takes them to discover a world of goblins and fairy tales. A reconstruction of Linz in miniature version has even been recreated. Thanks to a system of animations and plays of light, several scenes of famous tales are illustrated and played. Open from March to November. Price: 5.50 € for adults and 3.30 € for children.
- Halfway up the climb to the Postlingberg, you can stop to visit Linz Zoological Garden. More than 600 animals, including llamas, crocodiles and many birds are present. Open all year. Price: 5.50 € adults / 3.50 € children. Free for children under 5 years old.
5. The Lentos Museum
Continue your visit to Linz with some cultural tourism. I recommend you visit the Lentos Museum, located directly on the banks of the Danube.
Lentos is the modern art museum of Linz and one of the most important in Austria. Over 8,000m², the museum houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures and photographs. Famous Austrian artists such as Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka are represented.
Do not hesitate to enjoy a drink on the café terrace of the Lentos, it offers a magnificent view of the Danube and the Postlingberg.
The museum is open every day except Monday. Rates: 8 €. Free for children under 7 years.
6. The ARS Electronica Center
In front of the Lentos Museum, on the opposite bank of the Danube, is the other museum to visit in Linz, the ARS Electronica Center.
The ARS is a museum of the future, dedicated to the arts and digital culture. He is very interactive and playful. You will find permanent exhibitions on the art, technology and society of tomorrow. He is particularly interested in biotechnology and robotics.
It also has a huge projection room to immerse you in fantastic places. Several spaces and workshops are also proposed to carry out experiments.
Museum open every day except Monday. Rates: 9.50 €
Just like the Lentos, you can go for a walk at night, because it is also lit thanks to its front made of LEDs.
7. Take a cruise on the Danube
As you can see, I speak a lot about the Danube, so why not take advantage of your trip to Linz for a cruise ? This is one of the main tourist activities to do in Linz thanks to the ideal location of the city.
You will of course choose between several companies and several cruises. Some, for example, offer only Linz tours while others will take you to discover the landscapes of the Danube valley or Wachau for half a day or a whole day, sometimes even to Vienna!
If you choose to visit Linz, you can admire the Mural Harbor, an open-air art gallery. In the port of Linz, more than a hundred graffiti have been made on industrial buildings.
For a slightly more authentic version, I advise you to opt for a cruise on the paddle steamer Schönbrunn, the oldest steamboat in Europe.
8. The Botanical Garden of Linz
For lovers of flora, I recommend you to take a tour through the Botanical Garden Linz.
On 4 hectares, you will find about 10,000 plants and especially the largest collection of cactus in Europe. To visit also the tropical greenhouse, the Japanese garden, the rose garden and the part devoted to the vegetation typical of the Alps.
The place is really nice for a bucolic stroll.
Open all year and every day. Price: 3 €
If you are in Linz between May and October, there is one thing to do, the Hohenrausch exhibition.
It takes place every year, the principle remains the same but the theme varies. The exhibition consists of walking on various bridges between the monuments and on the roofs of the city. As you go, you climb ever higher in the city and the panoramas are superb.
Many works and installations of famous artists created especially for the occasion and the theme are arranged throughout the course. In 2016, the exhibition was devoted to angels, for example. In 2018, the theme is that of water.
A truly original way to discover Linz.
10. Taste a Linzertorte
To visit Linz without tasting a Linzertorte is like visiting Canada and not to taste a poutine, or to visit Sicily and not to eat a cannoli, it does not happen! So here you are warned, I advise you to include a special tasting stage for this culinary specialty.
The Linzertorte is a tart with blueberry jam whose top is covered with dough in the form of braces. The inhabitants of Linz are particularly proud of it, so much so that the tourist office has adopted the Linzertorte as an official logo. It would be the oldest pie known in the world, a recipe has even been discovered in a book dated 350 years ago!
Of course, as for quiche lorraine or pasta carbonara, several camps clash when the original recipe but everyone agrees on one point: the Linzertorte must be cooked in a metal pie dish, it must be to the blueberry and have braces on the top.
Well now that you know all that, all you have to do is find the best place in Linz to taste it. Again, there is divergence of views so I recommend 2 places:
- At Jindrak, a very famous tea room and stormed at tea time
- The KUK Hofbackerei Cafe : the oldest pastry and bakery in Linz
The only way to decide between them will of course be to taste the 2!
How many days to visit Linz
To visit Linz, 1 day is enough. The historic center is very well on foot and the only visit a little away from the center is reachable by bus in 15 minutes. Of course, if you prefer to take a little more time or take a day cruise on the Danube, plan to spend 2 days in Linz.
If you want to visit the museums, you can buy the Linz Card for 18 € for one day. You will have free access to the Lentos, the ARS and the Castle Museum which are part of our top 10 things to do in Linz. Guests also receive discounts for the Grottenbahn, Zoo, Botanical Garden and Danube cruises. You can buy it directly at the tourist office on the Hauptplatz.
1 day Itinerary Linz
- Walk in the historic center of Linz to admire the buildings
- Discovery of Linz Castle
- Visit of your choice: the Lentos museum for art lovers or the ARS Electronica if you are more oriented new technology
- Lunch break
- Funicular ride to Postlingberg
- Taste the Linzertorte
- Passage in front of the Mariendom
- End of the day at the botanical garden or cruise on the Danube.
Where to stay in Linz
Looking for where to stay during your stay in Linz? Here are my best tips according to your budget:
- Hotel Garni Wilder Mann: Located between the station and the historic center. Spacious and bright double room from 70 € per night, breakfast at 8 €. Goodies: the good breakfast, the comfort of the rooms.
- Star Inn Hotel Linz Promenadengalerien, by Comfort: Located in the center of Linz, 200 meters from Mariendom. Modern double room and design from 110 € per night, breakfast 14 €. Pros: brand new hotel and so modern amenities, hearty breakfast, location to visit Linz on foot. This is our heart stroke for its benefit / price ratio.
- Hotel AM Domplatz: Located right next to the new cathedral. Double room very spacious and ultra modern with open space on the bathroom from 160 € per night, breakfast 19 €. The most: the spectacular view of the cathedral from the rooms, the design and comfort of the rooms, the calm. The best hotel for a luxury stay in Linz!
Where to eat in Linz
- Fischerhaeusl: Located on Flusgasse street. The restaurant offers dishes based on fresh products and Austrian cuisine a little revisited and more modern. Everything is delicious and the price / quality ratio is excellent.
- Rauner: Located on Kraussstrasse. Excellent cuisine with some pretty original dishes. Very nice and warm frame. You can even watch the chefs prepare the dishes thanks to the glass separating the kitchen from the dining room.
- Wirtshaus Keintzel: Located on Rathausgasse street. Traditional Austrian dishes, copious amount, all for cheap! Nice service and pleasant surroundings in a pretty courtyard.
How to get to Linz
- By car: 2h15
- By train: 1h15 for 20 €
From Graz :
- By car: 2:35
- By train: 4h30 for 60 €
- By bus: 5h30 for 30 €
- By car: 1h30
- By train: 1:10 for 13 €
Tourist map of Linz
To help you visualize the city a little better, I made you a tourist map of Linz, listing the places to visit I’m talking about in this top 10 things to do. You can display the legend of the map by clicking on the button at the top left with a small arrow.
And you ? Have you planned to visit Linz during your tour in Austria?
Are you going to Austria? To read also
- Check out all our articles on Austria : All our articles about Austria are listed here.
- Hallstatt: The 6 things to do during your stay
- Salzburg: The 12 must-see places to visit
- Vienna: Top 20 things to see absolutely