Travel tips for Bregenz: the best (outdoor) things to do in Bregenz at Lake Constance
Aahhh I can’t stop writing about Austria. Although it only has been two months since I was there for the last time, I realized I forgot to tell you all about my 2017 trip. Oops. After my visit to the Achensee and Lech, I traveled to the city of Bregenz for a day. Bregenz is located in western Austria on the shores of Lake Constance, which also borders Germany and Switzerland. When I drove westbound towards Bregenz, it was already on the signs from Innsbruck, so I figured it would be quite a large city. It turns out that Bregenz actually only has 28.000 inhabitants, so in The Netherlands that would be a big town rather than a city. However, Bregenz has everything it needs for being a welcoming city. I spent there a couple of hours and in this blog I’ll share my favorite (outdoor) things to do in Bregenz with you!
Cycle along Lake Constance
Being an outdoor fan, cycling along Lake Constance is one of the best things to do in the Bregenz Area. I rented a bike in the city center and cycled the trail along the lake. I pedaled until Lindau, a 13 km stretch. Lindau is a city in Germany and its historic center is located on an island in the lake. Although the ride itself was amazing, the experience of visiting Lindau disappointed me. It was way too crowded and I felt like I landed in a bit of a tourist trap. I took the next boat back to Bregenz to escape the crowds. The boat schedule can be found here. The boat doesn’t sail too often so it’s wise to check the schedule ahead. And note … the boat is usually delayed when it gets busy, so bear some patience in mind. Of course you can also cycle further and catch another boat back. Cycling around this area is easy and the trails are well marked!
Visit the opera
The opera may not be on top of your bucketlist but … did you know that the Bregenz Opera is world famous? Every other year a floating stage is built on Lake Constance and a well known opera is performed. During the summer of 2017 (when I visited) they did Carmen, in 2019 they will do Rigoletto. With a bit of luck you can have a look at the stage (if not rehearsing) and even though the opera was not performed yet when I was in Bregenz, I’d definitely have bought a ticket if I’d have been around. Prices of the tickets start at about € 35 and should be bought well in advance.
Walking through the old town
Opposed to many other cities, the old town is still very authentic as there are no shops, hotels or any other commercial buildings. This part of the city, located on a hill, is mainly a residential area these days and does not really have any must-see buildings, yet it’s a pleasant place to stroll around for an hour or two. From the hill you’ll have an amazing view of the city and the lake, it’s definitely worth the walk up!
Visit a museum
In case the weather is bad, then going to one of the museums is a must. The Museum of Art or the Vorarlberg Museum are both worth visiting. This last one was built out of plastic bottle bottoms. It looks a bit odd at first, but when taking a closer look, I got quite impressed by the time this must have taken to make. In total some 16.000 bottles were used making this building.
Ride up with the Karren Dornbirn
For the best view of the area, drive to Dornbirn, a small town some 15 minutes driving from the Bregenz city center. Here you can take the Karren cable car up to the viewing plateau and restaurant, located at 976 meters above sea level. It offers you a stunning view over Lake Constance and the surrounding countries: Germany, Austria and Switzerland. From here you can also start some pretty good hikes, but unfortunately I didn’t have time as I had one of the last cable cars up and was meeting a friend for dinner in Dornbirn.
How to get to Bregenz
The easiest way to get to Bregenz is by car, it’s located right in the west of Austria. If you are not driving, your best option is to take a flight to Zurich Airport in Switzerland and from there take a train, which will take you about 1.5 hours. I combined my visit to Bregenz with hiking in Lech. Another option would be to visit Bregenzer Wald, which I have not been to myself but heard really good stories about. There are plenty of amazing hiking trails and other outdoor activities.
Overnighting in Bregenz
I did not stay in Bregenz, but slept in Hotel Katharinenhof in Dornbirn, a nice four star hotel. All overnight options for Bregenz can be found here. Note that you should book well ahead if you visit during the opera season.
I was invited on this trip by Vorarlberg Tourism. All given opinions are always only my own.
Want to read more about my adventures in Austria? Then you may enjoy the following blogposts, too:
– Best Travel Backpack for Europe – suggestions by fellow bloggers Amber & Eric
– Hiking the Alpe Adria Trail section 1: from Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe to Heiligenblut
– Trekking through the amazing Kaisertal
– Top 10 of the best multi-day treks in the world
New here and curious who We12travel is? Go here to learn more! For a daily dose of outdoor & adventure inspiration, follow We12travel on Instagram and Facebook!
Thanks for sharing!