capital of Vorarlberg, the westernmost federal state of Austria

Bregenz is the capital of Vorarlberg in Austria at the Lake Constance. The shore of Lake Constance, one of the biggest lakes in Europe, meets with the town centre. Go down to the lake in the evening and check out the beautiful sunset.

Shore of Lake Constance at Bregenz

Understand edit

Bregenz has 29,000 inhabitants (2022) and its roots go back to Roman times. The city was founded by the Romans in 15 BC, when it was known as Brigantium.

Bregenz sits at the northern edge of the Alps, between Lake Constance (the Bodensee) and the Pfänder (1064 m). 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 Allgäu of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria in Germany.

Bregenz is the capital of Austria's most modern province. Inhabitants of Vorarlberg are said to be much more friendly and open than the rest of Austria.

  • 1 Bregenz Tourismus & Stadtmarketing, Rathausstraße 35a, +43 5574 4959 0, fax: +43 5574 495959, . M-F 09:00-18:00, Sa 09:00-12:00. During Festival season: M–Sa 09:00 – 19:00, Su 09:00 – 13:00. Offers help with accommodation and has free maps, along with information on transportation and sightseeing.

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 (from Stansted London).

Munich (MUC IATA) is the biggest airport around. About 2½ hr 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: 24 hr. 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 'Railjet Express; the price from Vienna to Bregenz is between €50 and €150, depending on how far in advance you book. 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.

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 €11).

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 €9.99 (10 days), €29 (2 months), and €96.40 (1 year); prices for motocycles are approximately 55% less. Careful: The Vignette is only valid 18 days after the purchase. The fine for not having a vignette is €120, payable on the spot (if you can't pay on the spot it goes up to €300). 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 ADAC, ÖAMTC and TCS motor club offices (in Germany, Austria and Switzerland respectively; membership is not required), as well as at almost all petrol stations before the Austrian border. You can purchase them here.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[dead link] 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, . M-F 08:00-16:30. 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: €1.70 adults, €0.90 children; students/youth/disability/seniors: €1.70; day ticket: €3.10; weekly ticket: €12; monthly ticket: €24.

By car edit

  • Carsharing Zipcars are available in Bregenz.

By taxi edit

See edit

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 remodelled in 1898.
  • 3 Kunsthaus Bregenz (KUB), Karl Tizian Platz, +43-5574-485 94-433, . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, Th 10:00-20:00. Frequently changing contemporary art exhibitions. The building was designed by Peter Zumthor. €12 adults, €10 concessions, €8 age 20-27, free for children/youth under 19.    
  • 4 Martinsturm (Martin's Tower), Martinsgasse 3b (Oberstadt), +43 5574 410-1599, . 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. St. Martin's Chapel (on the ground floor) can be visited for free and has medieval frescoes. Not wheelchair accessible. €4.50 adults, €3.50 concessions, €2 children under 15, Families with a family pass: €7,50.    
  • 5 Vorarlberg museum (formerly the Vorarlberger Landesmuseum), Kornmarktplatz 1 (with an online ticket for the museum you can travel for free on the VVV bus or train on the day of the museum visit), +43 5574 46050-518, . M closed unless it's a holiday, Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, Th 10:00-20:00. Modernerised and enlarged, the museum opened in June 2013, with exhibits documenting the history of Vorarlberg as well as other current themes. €10 adults, €8 concessions, combi ticket vm/KUB €19/€16, free on 26 October.    
  • 6 Wettingen-Mehrerau Abbey (Territorialabtei Wettingen-Mehrerau), Mehrerauerstr 66 (about 2 km from the main train station), +43 5574 71461-59, . 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.    
  • 7 Vorarlberg Regional Library (Vorarlberger Landesbibliothek), Fluher Straße 4, +43 5574 511 44100, . M Tu Th F 09:00-17:00, W 09:00 - 19:30, Sa 09:00-13:00, closed 30 Oct - 4 Nov 2023. Free guided tours are available upon request, but may not be in English).    
  • 8 Künstlerhaus Bregenz (Palais Thurn und Taxis), Gallusstraße 10, +43 55 74-427 51, fax: +43 5574-44029, . W-Sa 14:00-18:00, Su holiday 11:00-17:00. A collective Vorarlberg artists stages exhibits of members' works. Not wheelchair accessible. Free.    
  • 9 Magazin 4 Bregenzer Kunstverein, Bergmannstraße 6, +43 5574 43971, . Workrooms of department Culture of the City government, exhibition rooms.
  • 10 Galerie Lisi Hämmerle, Anton Schneider-Straße 4a, +43 664 52 88 239, . W-Sa 15:00-19:00, and by appt. Exhibits the work of local artists. Free.
  • 11 The "narrowest house in Europe", Kirchstraße 29. First mentioned in 1796. 57cm wide.  

Do edit

View from Pfänder
Pfänder cable car (Pfänderbahn)
Hohenbregenz Castle on Gebhardsberg
  • Boat cruises, +43 5574 42868 230, . Daily 09:00-16:30. From April to October, Vorarlberg Lines offers a number 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. You 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, . Su-Th 15:00-03:00, F Sa 15:00-04:00.

Festivals and cultural events edit

  • 2 Bregenz Festival (Bregenzer Festspiele), Platz der Wiener Symphoniker 1, +43 5574 407 6, fax: +43 5574 413-413, . Ticket centre: M-F 09:00-17:00. 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. 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. There are seats for wheelchair users and a signage system for the visually impaired. €29-300.    
  • Bregenzer Frühling, Bergmannstraße 6, 6900 Bregenz, +43 5574 4080, . 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. €38.50-70, students starting at €18.50.
  • 3 Vorarlberger Landestheater, Seestraße 2, +43 5574 42 870-600 (tickets), fax: +43 5574 48 366, . M-F 08:30-12:30; 1 hr before evening performances. Tickets for theatre performances can be ordered online here [formerly dead link] .    
  • 4 Symphony Orchestra Vorarlberg (Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg), Rathausstraße 11, 4th floor, +43 5574 43447, fax: +43 5574 43448, . M Th 09:00-13:00. Orchestra concerts are performed on a regular basis.    
  • Young Art Generation, Belruptstraße 1, +43-5574-4101663, . Competition for young creatives, age 16 to 23 presenting their art and shows.

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, +43 5574 42 160-0, . Daily 08:00 - 19:00. Don't miss the 360° view from the top: you can either walk (ca. 2-3 hr) or take the cable car (6 min). Hiking suggestions are listed here [formerly 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 €10 (free between 08:00-10:00)    
  • 7 Gebhardsberg (Gebhard's Mountain). Gebhardsberg is 598 m 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.    
  • 8 Public Pool (Hallenbad), Strandweg 1 (Stadtbus 2/5 to 'Stadion'), +43 5574 442420, fax: +43 5574 44242-66, . Tu-F 09:00-21:00, Sa 09:00-20:00, Su and holidays 10:00-19:00. The bathing complex by the lake has a large outdoor pool and an indoor pool. €7.90 adults, €6.30 seniors- starting birth year 1963, €5,50 under and at age 19, €4.00 children under age 16.

Buy edit


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 Saturday from 09:00 to 18:00. Local shops and markets here.

Eat edit

Wirtshaus am See, a popular lakeside restaurant

Budget edit

  • 2 INTERSPAR-Restaurant, Heldendankstraße 22.
  • 3 Stadt Kebap, Montfortstraße 9.
  • 4 Toni's Schnellimbiss, Brückenweg 2.
  • 5 Gasthaus Bahnhof - Silvana`s Bahnhofreste, Bahnhofstraße 18.
  • 6 Royal Imbiss Bregenz, Rheinstraße 105.
  • 7 Pizzeria Uno, Prälatendammstraße 16a.

Mid-range edit

Splurge edit

Drink edit

  • 1 Heurigen Möth, Langenerstraße 5 (at the foot of Gebhardberg), +43 5574 47711, . Apr-Sep: W-Sa 16:00-23:00; wine tastings year-round by appt Jul-Aug: Tu-Sa. 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 accommodation ahead of time. Prices posted below are for the high-season summer months; if you don't travel in July and August, prices are a lot cheaper.

Budget edit

Gasthof-Hotel Lamm

Mid-range edit

Splurge edit

Camping edit

Connect edit

Go next edit

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

  • 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    N   S  DornbirnFeldkirch
Lindau ← Becomes    N   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.