Are you planning a trip to Bregenz and wondering what to do and see? Look no further!
Bregenz, a charming city located on the southeastern shores of Lake Constance, has plenty of attractions to offer.
From strolling along the picturesque Lake Promenade to taking in the breathtaking views from the Pfänder and Pfänderbahn, Bregenz is a delightful destination for any traveler exploring Austria.
But that’s not all. The city also boasts a Lower and Upper Town, as well as a Vorarlberg Museum and Kunsthaus Bregenz.
And if you’re looking to venture outside of Bregenz, a side trip to Dornbirn and Rappenlochschlucht is a must, while Feldkirch offers its own unique attractions, such as Schattenburg Castle and Gebhardsberg.
With a range of hotels, from luxury to budget, and an average temperature range of 4°C to 24°C, Bregenz is the perfect destination for a fun-filled and memorable vacation.
So pack your bags and get ready to explore the best tourist attractions and things to do in Bregenz!
Tourist Attractions & Things To Do In Bregenz
1. Stroll along the Picturesque Lake Promenade of Bregenz
Take a leisurely walk along the stunning Lake Promenade of Bregenz, where the picturesque views of the lake and surrounding mountains will leave you in awe.
This charming 2.3 km walkway offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can start your walk from the end of the harbour and continue all the way to the mouth of the Bregenzerach river.
As you stroll along the promenade, you’ll be able to take in the stunning views of the lake and its surroundings. You can also admire the beautiful architecture of the buildings that line the promenade, including the iconic Kunsthaus Bregenz and the Festspielhaus Bregenz.
Whether you come during the day or at night, the Lake Promenade is a must-visit attraction in Bregenz that will leave you with lasting memories.
2. Indulge in a Live Performance at the Bregenz Festival
You won’t want to miss the chance to immerse yourself in the unforgettable experience of a live performance at the Bregenz Festival.
This world-renowned festival attracts visitors from all over the globe who come to witness the impressive stage productions set against the stunning backdrop of Lake Constance.
From opera to musicals to theater performances, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the Bregenz Festival.
The festival takes place every summer and is held on a floating stage that can accommodate up to 7,000 people. The stage is built specifically for each production and is a true work of art in itself.
The performances are also known for their elaborate costumes, special effects, and innovative use of technology. So, whether you’re a fan of the arts or simply looking for a unique experience, make sure to add the Bregenz Festival to your list of things to do in Bregenz.
3. Take in the Spectacular Views from the Pfänder and Pfänderbahn
The Pfänder and Pfänderbahn offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and are a must-see for anyone visiting the area.
The Pfänder is a mountain that rises 1,064 meters above Bregenz and the surrounding area, offering panoramic views of Lake Constance, the Swiss Alps, and the Austrian mountains.
The Pfänderbahn is a cable car that takes you to the top of the mountain in just six minutes, allowing you to enjoy the views without the effort of hiking up.
Once you reach the top, you can take a walk on the panorama path, which offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. You can also stop by the observation tower, St. Michaels Chapel, or the Pfänderbahn restaurant for a bite to eat while taking in the views.
Whether you’re an avid hiker or just looking for a relaxing way to enjoy the scenery, the Pfänder and Pfänderbahn are a must-see attraction in Bregenz.
4. Discover the Lower Town of Bregenz
Explore the charming Lower Town of Bregenz, filled with historical landmarks and quaint streets to wander. Begin your journey at the Kornmarkthaus, a beautiful building that once served as the town’s granary.
Today, it houses the Vorarlberg Museum, where you can learn about the region’s history and culture through exhibits and interactive displays.
Continue your stroll to St. Nepomuk Chapel, a small Baroque church dedicated to the patron saint of bridges. The chapel was built in the 18th century and features ornate decorations and frescoes.
Nearby, you’ll find the Kornmesser Inn, a traditional tavern that has been serving food and drink since the 16th century. Sit down and enjoy a local beer and hearty meal before heading to the Upper Town for more sights and attractions.
5. Meander Through the Upper Town of Bregenz
Take a leisurely walk through Bregenz’s Upper Town, filled with charming streets and historical landmarks to discover. Begin at the top of the hill, where you’ll find St. Martin’s Tower, a medieval bell tower that offers stunning views of the city and Lake Constance.
From there, you can wander down the cobblestone streets, admiring the colorful facades of the old buildings and stopping to browse in the quaint shops and cafes.
As you explore, be sure to visit the Vorarlberg Museum, where you can learn about the region’s history and culture through interactive exhibits and displays.
Don’t miss the Kunsthaus Bregenz, a striking modern art museum housed in a glass and concrete building that has become a landmark of the city.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, take a side trip to the nearby town of Dornbirn to hike through the Rappenlochschlucht, a spectacular gorge that’s perfect for nature lovers.
Whatever your interests, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Bregenz’s Upper Town.
6. Discover the Culture and Heritage of Bregenz at the Vorarlberg Museum
Now that you’ve strolled through the charming Upper Town of Bregenz, it’s time to delve deeper into the culture and heritage of this fascinating city. Head over to the Vorarlberg Museum, located in the heart of the city, to discover the rich history of the region.
The museum boasts an impressive collection of exhibits that showcase the art, culture, and history of Vorarlberg. From traditional costumes and handicrafts to modern art installations, there’s something for everyone to explore.
You’ll learn about the region’s Bronze Age settlements and Roman conquests, as well as its emergence as a major trading post in the Middle Ages. The museum also offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the people of Vorarlberg throughout the centuries, with interactive displays and multimedia presentations that bring history to life.
Don’t miss the impressive architecture of the building itself, designed by renowned Austrian architect Peter Zumthor, which perfectly complements the exhibits within.
7. Appreciate the Art at Kunsthaus Bregenz
As you walk through the city center, you’ll come across Kunsthaus Bregenz, a contemporary art museum with an impressive glass facade and rotating exhibitions. The museum is known for its thought-provoking exhibits that showcase the works of renowned artists from around the world.
Visitors can explore the museum’s spacious galleries, which are designed to showcase the art in a way that allows them to fully immerse themselves in the experience.
One of the unique features of Kunsthaus Bregenz is its location, situated on the shores of Lake Constance. This allows visitors to enjoy stunning views of the lake from the museum’s terrace, creating a serene and beautiful setting for art appreciation.
Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply appreciate beautiful architecture and breathtaking views, Kunsthaus Bregenz is definitely worth a visit during your trip to Bregenz.
8. Climb the Staircase of St. Martin’s Tower
Ready for a bit of a workout and a stunning view? Climb the staircase of St. Martin’s Tower, a medieval tower that offers panoramic views of Bregenz and the surrounding landscape.
The tower dates back to the 14th century and was originally used as a watchtower to protect the town. Today, visitors can climb the 164 steps to the top and enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Constance and the Alps.
As you climb the stairs, you’ll pass by small windows that offer glimpses of the town below. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with a 360-degree view of Bregenz and the surrounding area.
On a clear day, you can see all the way to Switzerland and Germany. Don’t forget your camera – the view from St. Martin’s Tower is one of the best photo opportunities in Bregenz.
9. Explore Dornbirn and the Rappenlochschlucht
You’re in for a treat as you explore the magnificent gorge of Dornbirn’s Rappenlochschlucht. This natural wonder can be easily accessed from Gütle and boasts a breathtaking Alplochschlucht waterfall.
With well-marked hiking trails, you’ll enjoy a scenic walk surrounded by lush vegetation and the sound of the rushing water.
But the Rappenlochschlucht isn’t just a nature lover’s paradise. It’s also a popular destination for textile firm shoppers. Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion or affordable clothing, you’ll find it here.
So, take your time to explore the gorge and indulge in some retail therapy. Dornbirn’s Rappenlochschlucht is a must-visit attraction that offers something for everyone.
10. Take a Road Trip to Feldkirch and Schattenburg Castle
Get ready to embark on a thrilling road trip to Feldkirch and Schattenburg Castle, where you’ll be transported back in time and immersed in the rich history and culture of Vorarlberg.
Start your journey by driving to Feldkirch, the old district capital of Vorarlberg. Here, you can explore the stunning Schattenburg Castle, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountainous landscape.
The castle also has a local museum and Romanesque crucifix, providing a glimpse into the region’s fascinating past.
After visiting Schattenburg Castle, head to Gebhardsberg, where you can hike up to the Burg Hohenbregenz ruins and pilgrimage chapel. The Ferdinand-Kinz-Weg trail is a must-visit, as it offers spectacular panoramic views of the Rhine Valley and Lake Constance.
On the way back to Bregenz, stop at one of the many quaint villages along the route for a taste of the local cuisine and a chance to meet the friendly locals.
A road trip to Feldkirch and Schattenburg Castle is the perfect way to experience the rich history and natural beauty of Vorarlberg.
11. Admire the Views from Gebhardsberg
Take in the stunning panoramic views of the Rhine Valley and Lake Constance as you hike up to the Burg Hohenbregenz ruins and pilgrimage chapel on Gebhardsberg. This scenic hill offers a breathtaking perspective of the cityscape and natural beauty that surrounds it.
As you trek up to the top, you’ll pass through lush forests and quaint neighborhoods, making it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
At the top of Gebhardsberg, you’ll find the Burg Hohenbregenz ruins, which date back to the 13th century. The ruins offer an interesting glimpse into the past and provide a great opportunity for photography.
The pilgrimage chapel nearby, dedicated to St. Gebhard, the patron saint of Vorarlberg, is also worth a visit.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, take the Ferdinand-Kinz-Weg trail, which is a popular hiking route that runs through the mountain and offers even more incredible views of the surrounding landscape.
12. Cruise Along Lake Constance (Bodensee)
Let’s explore the stunning beauty of Lake Constance by cruising along its waters and soaking in the picturesque views around us. A scenic one-hour cruise around the lake is a must-do activity in Bregenz.
You’ll be mesmerized by the stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains as you glide along the clear waters. The cruise takes you past charming villages, lush green meadows, vineyards, and fruit orchards that dot the shoreline.
You can choose from a variety of boats that offer different amenities, including outdoor decks, indoor seating, and refreshments on board. The boats depart from the pier near the city center, and you can either book your tickets in advance or purchase them on the day of the cruise.
The experience is perfect for families, couples, and solo travelers alike, and it offers a unique perspective of the natural beauty of Bregenz.
13. Venture to Vandans on a Day Trip
Venturing to Vandans on a day trip offers a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Austria.
Located just a short drive from Bregenz, Vandans is home to the stunning Lüner See alpine lake.
Take a leisurely hike around the lake, which is surrounded by towering mountains, and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the beautiful surroundings.
If you’re feeling up for more of a challenge, you can hike up to the summit of the nearby Schesaplana mountain, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
And for those interested in winter sports, Vandans is also a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding during the winter months.
No matter what time of year you visit, a day trip to Vandans is sure to be a memorable experience.
Where to stay in Bregenz
If you’re looking for a comfortable place to stay in Bregenz, there are a variety of hotel options available to suit your budget and preferences.
For those seeking a luxurious experience, Hotel Schwarzler, Grand Hotel Bregenz – MGallery, and Sternen Hotel offer top-notch amenities and services.
These hotels boast stunning views of Lake Constance and provide easy access to popular attractions such as the Bregenz Festival, Pfänder, and Kunsthaus Bregenz.
If you’re looking for a mid-range option, Hotel Germania, Hotel Weisses Kreuz, and Hotel Bodensee are great choices. These hotels offer comfortable accommodations and are located in the heart of the city, making it easy to explore Bregenz’s charming streets and attractions.
For budget-conscious travelers, Ibis Bregenz is a great option. This hotel offers affordable rates and is located just a short walk from the city center.
No matter your budget or preferences, Bregenz has a variety of hotel options to make your stay comfortable and memorable.
Messmer Hotel am Kornmarkt
The Messmer Hotel is a great option for those looking for a comfortable stay in the heart of Bregenz, with modern amenities and friendly staff. The hotel has recently undergone renovations, giving it a fresh and modern feel.
The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with air conditioning available in the suites. The hotel offers packages that include tickets, an aperitif, and dinner during the Bregenz Festival, making it a perfect option for those looking to enjoy the festival.
The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of the Bregenz Festival venue and many other attractions, including bars and restaurants. The staff is welcoming and helpful, making guests feel at home.
The hotel offers free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, and an on-site restaurant. Guests can also enjoy a sauna during their stay, and laundry service and a clothes dryer are available.
Overall, the Messmer Hotel is a great choice for those looking for a comfortable and convenient stay in Bregenz.
Looking for a cozy and pet-friendly hotel in Bregenz with big, comfortable rooms and a Japanese toilet that cleans after use? Hotel Bodensee might be just what you need! This hotel offers a personal atmosphere and convenient location near the lake, shops, and sites.
Plus, breakfast is included in the room rate and there are plenty of nearby restaurants to choose from. However, some rooms face the lobby, compromising privacy, and some guests have reported encountering rude or racist staff members.
Aside from enjoying the hotel’s amenities, there are plenty of attractions within 0.3 miles to explore, like the Bregenzer Festspiele, the only tourist attraction in Bregenz, and many historical sites.
Additionally, the hotel is located just 0.3 miles away from the center of Bregenz, making it a great starting point for exploring the city and the surrounding areas. And if you’re traveling with a furry friend, Hotel Bodensee is a great choice since pets are allowed.
You’ll love staying at Hotel Schwarzler in Bregenz. The hotel offers 106 modern rooms and suites with air conditioning, minibars, and flat screen TVs.
There’s also a spa with a sauna, steam bath, and fitness area. Choose from three dining options, including the À-la-Carte Restaurant Babenwohl, Brasserie Karl, and Lounge Bar, all of which serve fine regional cuisine.
Hotel Schwarzler also focuses on literature and culture and hosts its own events. You can explore nearby attractions like Pfarrkirche St. Gallus, Das kleinste Haus Europas, and Burgruine Hohen Bregenz, Gebhardsberg. Alternatively, take advantage of the free shuttle bus to the opera festival.
The hotel also has a large and free parking area, and offers charging for ebikes.
With its interesting wines, great food, and friendly and welcoming staff, Hotel Schwarzler is a top choice for your stay in Bregenz.
So, there you have it! You’ve explored some of the best tourist attractions and things to do in Bregenz, Austria.
From strolling along the picturesque Lake Promenade to indulging in a live performance at the Bregenz Festival, this charming city has something for everyone.
Don’t forget to take in the spectacular views from the Pfänder and Pfänderbahn, and discover both the Lower and Upper Town of Bregenz.
And if you have time, a road trip to Feldkirch and Schattenburg Castle is a must, as is cruising along Lake Constance (Bodensee) and venturing to Vandans on a day trip.
With its rich history, beautiful attractions, and range of accommodations, Bregenz is the perfect destination for any traveler exploring Austria.
So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to make unforgettable memories in this delightful city. Happy travels!