Shore Lake Constance near Bregenz

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


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

By plane

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

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

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

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

By train

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

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

Check out Eurolines from Vienna and Berlin.

By boat

Get around

By foot

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

By bicycle

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

By bus

By car

By taxi


Kunsthaus Bregenz
Old City Hall


View from Pfänder
Pfänder cable car (Pfänderbahn)
Hohenbregenz Castle on Gebhardsberg

Festivals and cultural events

Sport and outdoor activities

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).



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.


Wirtshaus am See, a popular lakeside restaurant



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.


Gasthof-Hotel Lamm




Go next

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

Routes through Bregenz

Lindau Becomes  N  S  Dornbirn Feldkirch
Lindau Becomes  N  S  Dornbirn Feldkirch

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, September 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.