Positioned between the easternmost shores of Lake Constance, Central Europe’s third largest freshwater lake, and the spectacular Pfander Mountain at the tip of the Alps, Bregenz is nestled between two greatly contrasting but equally dramatic landscapes. It is hardly surprising then that this epoch of natural beauty is a magnet for tourists who can enjoy walking and boating in the summer and skiing in the winter. It is also against this backdrop that the world-famous Bregenz Festival takes place each year, with the lake as its stage. But if opera and outdoor pursuits are not your thing, you can still sit back and enjoy the relaxing calm of this picturesque town—or perhaps engage in its acclaimed ‘Cheese Road’.
Location: At the crossroads of Europe
Bregenz is the capital of Vorarlberg, Austria’s westernmost state. It sits on the edge of the enormous Lake Constance with parts of Germany and Switzerland just a hop across the water away. The city is most easily accessible by rail, and several daily services run to Vienna, stopping off at Linz, Salzburg, and Innsbruck on the way. Cruise ship services are available on the lake.
Business: Local business and a thriving airline
The predominant economic movement in Bregenz happens between small businesses in textiles, iron-fittings, glass processing, and machine construction. However, the airline InterSky, the largest privately owned airline in Austria, also has its headquarters in the city. Tourism is an active branch, with visitors attracted to the stunning scenery and nearby skiing opportunities in the winter.
Culture: Meet local cheese experts
One unique attraction in the area surrounding Bregenz is the Cheese Road. Instead of being a road or train in the conventional sense, it is a union of cheese experts from the region who host a variety of events throughout the year, such as tasting sessions and other informative events. The union of 160 members includes farmers, cheese-makers, inns, museums, and tourist organisations. Of special note on the ‘road is the alpine dairy school, where visitors are able to make their own cheese. Also worth a visit is the Vorarlberg Museum, an innovative centre telling the history of the region.
Activities: Music performances and getting down to nature.
The world famous Bregenz Festival is a globally known opera event taking place on and around a floating stage at the edge of Lake Constance. The dramatic performances are open to up to 7,000 guests at a time, and different operas are performed every other year. The Rheindelta nature reserve is situated around 5 km south of Bregenz. It is home to over 300 species of birds, and can be explored by bike or on foot.