With a population of 200,000, Linz is the third largest city in Austria and is the capital of the state of Upper Austria. It has been recognised by UNESCO as part of the Creative Cities Network and has a significant new media art sector. The city is also famous for the delicious Linzer Torte, which is claimed by some to be the oldest cake in the world.
Linz has a well preserved historic center with some great examples of medieval architecture along with neoclassical and baroque buildings.
Linz hosts a vibrant music scene with a host of festivals, such as Linz Festival in May and Ars Electronica Festival in September. In the Summer months, the Musikpavillon in the city park features concerts Thursday-Sunday.
Linz is also a major center for the arts and boasts many attractions along the Kulturmeile, such as the Lentos Art Museum and Brucknerhaus.
In addition to the famous Linzer Torte, the city is also renowned for its Knodel, Strudel and Erdapfelkas specialties.
Take a cruise on this famous river and enjoy fabulous views of the city.
Set on a bluff above Linz's Old City, the Schloss (castle) is more than just a historical gem, although it's certainly that. Built in the 8th century, it's also the cultural hub of the city, and a dining destination as well. Inside, you'll find the engaging Schloss Museum, with its collection of historical weapons, folklore, and a superb collection of Gothic religious art. The views from the parapets are beautiful, and with regular exhibitions and concerts, there's always something new to explore, making it a big hit with visitors from overseas.
Probably Linz's most popular modern tourist attraction, the Ars Electronica Center is all about technology and innovation, showcasing the achievements of modern Austrians in all kinds of scientific fields. You can enjoy hands-on exhibits dealing with 3D printing, run complex animations, experience interstellar travel, and even use installations to convert body movements into musical notes. Perfect for kids and adults alike, it's also a treat from the outside, with its multi-colored LED light show, which kicks in when evening arrives.
Martinskirche was first mentioned way back in 799, making it one of the oldest surviving churches in Central Europe. You can even see Roman inscriptions inside the church (a legacy of the old Roman city that lay underneath). Stepping inside is akin to entering a time capsule, as the interior is perfectly preserved. Guests can wonder at the stunning 15th century frescoes and religious sculptures, and get a vivid feel for life in Medieval Europe. And, although it feels distant from modern life, it's right at the heart of the city.
From the religious works in the Martinskirche, you can then take a short walk to the very different Lentos Kunstmuseum, which focuses on Linz's modern passion for contemporary art. Opened in 2003, the Lentos has a striking postmodern exterior, which hides a massive collection of masterworks, with an emphasis on early and mid-twentieth century painting and photography. If you know your Man Ray from your Arnulf Rainer, you'll be spellbound by the massive collections, but there's something for everyone at this fabulous gallery.
The 'New Church' is only new in the context of a city that dates back to Roman times. Austria's largest church was built in the 1860s under the Austro-Hungarian Empire in a lavish, neo-Gothic style. No expense was spared by the city authorities, who decorated the church with some of the most dazzling stained glass windows you will ever see, including the 'Linz Window', which tells the story of the city's history. When you visit, be sure to take the tour of the 15-meter-high interior gallery, and take the chance to ascend the soaring spire. The views of Linz are incredible.
Linz benefits from warm Summers but has cold winters. Low rainfall and average temperatures of around 76°F make the summer months a good time to visit.
The City is served by Linz Airport, which is about 9 miles southwest of the city center. There are a number of domestic flights and some international connections to Germany, Greece and the UK. The number 601 bus takes you into the city in around 22 minutes for EUR3.10. A taxi will cost around EUR30.
The main train station in Linz is Hauptbahnhof, which has good connections to other Austrian cities and also into Germany and Switzerland. The fare from Vienna is EUR18.
Linz is well served by the Austrian motorway network, with the E60 connecting to Salzburg in the west and Vienna in the east. The A9 runs south to Graz and the A7 connects with Prague in the north.
There are regular bus services from other Austrian cities. The fare from Vienna is from EUR8.
Hotel Garni Wilder Mann is just a 7 minute walk from the train station and has rooms from EUR70. The Dom Hotel is right beside the Mariendom Cathedral in the Old Town and has luxury rooms from EUR130.
Postlingberg - is a pretty district on the left bank of the Danube. It has great views of the city and is home to the Linz Grottenbahn and Postlingberg Pilgrimage Church.
Innere Stadt - is the historic city center and has some of the best hotels and restaurants in a comfortable and safe pedestrian area.
Urfahr - is a bustling neighborhood to the north of the city center. It houses the Ars Electronica Center and the huge Lentia 2,000 commercial, retail and residential center.
Linz has a superb tram network, with single trip tickets from EUR1.10.
The starting fare for a Linz taxi is EUR4.80 and you will then be charged around EUR2.00 per mile.
Linz has a well-maintained road network and driving is relatively easy in the city. Do be aware, however, of the pedestrian center. Car rental is widely available from EUR40 per day.
Linzer Landstrasse is the city's main shopping street and the largest in Austria outside Vienna. It has a good selection of department stores, fashion shops and electronics outlets.
A quart of milk in Linz will cost around EUR1.21 and a loaf of bread is EUR1.56.
Leberkas-Pepi on Am Hauptbahnhof offers basic local fare, such as sausage from EUR4, while a traditional fine Austrian dinner at Postlingberg Schlossl on Am Poestlingberg will cost around EUR40.