Formerly a Roman town named Brigantium, Bregenz Austria is today a thriving tourist destination where visitors can enjoy a fine mix of old and new. Bregenz is the capital of the state of Vorarlberg, which is the westernmost Austrian state, and it graces the eastern shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee). Ascend to the top of 3,500-foot high mount Pfander on a clear day here, and you can see Germany and Switzerland. That should give you an idea of how close you are to those country's borders when you engage in Bregenz travel. Fronted by central Europe's third largest lake and backed by rising mountains, Bregenz presents a wonderful setting, and visitors are encouraged to take in the views any which way they can. For those heading here in the winter, the nearby ski resorts of Lech and Zurs await you!
The most popular way of getting to Bregenz Austria is by train. Western Austria's most important railway station is found here, and on a daily basis you can expect a bunch of trains coming in from Vienna and Innsbruck. There are also multiple connections with Zurich and Munich. You can also choose to get here by bus, but trains are the easier way to go. For those planning Bregenz holidays, it's a good idea to drop by the Bregenz tourist office, where you can pick up a helpful map of the city. It will come in handy for walking tours of the city's Old Town, which are a Bregenz travel favorite.
The Old Town in Bregenz Austria is a conglomeration of historic buildings, many of which were built between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. The baroque-style Martinsturm (Martin's Tower) is Bregenz's most identifiable landmark, and it boasts some wonderful fourteenth century murals. There is a small military museum on the tower's upper floor, and the views of the city and surrounding area from it's wooden cupola are a real treat. There is a small admission fee to access Martin's Tower, and it is closed from October 1 until April 30. Another historic building you won't want to miss when enjoying Bregenz travel is the St. Gallus Church, whose foundation was built before 1380. Its baroque altar is something to behold.
Getting to the top of the aforementioned mount Pfander offers some stunning views for those who make their way to its top. Most folks who plan Bregenz holidays include a trip up mount Pfander as part of their itinerary. The ascent to the summit is made easy by the cable car that takes care of the climbing for you. You can also hike up to the top if you want to, which is a nice workout. Some 240 mountain peaks can be seen from this renowned area lookout point, and the sweeping Bregenz lake views are remarkable. In addition to a wildlife park, there are also some shops and restaurants at the summit of mount Pfander. The wildlife park here is small, yet interesting, and you can expect to see such creatures as mountain goats, wild boar, and red deer. Twice a day at the wildlife park, there is a Birds of Prey show, and if you can catch one of the performances all the better. You'll get to see the hunting techniques of owls, eagles, vultures, and falcons, and the tickets don't cost much, so it's definitely worth it. Showtimes are usually 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The cable car at mount Pfander operates year round, and the trip up is under ten minutes. It's really a great all around experience.
Speaking of great all around experiences, the annual Bregenz Festival is also something that you will want to catch if you get the chance. Spanning the course of four weeks, this lively event is held in July and August, and it is a cultural affair that draws in many tourists. In other words, book a room at one of the Bregenz hotels early if you plan to enjoy the Bregenz Festival. The highlights of the festival are the ornate operas and operettas, not to mention the smile-inducing musical comedies. The biggest productions take place on a stage that floats on Lake Constance. You'll have to get tickets to get a seat for these shows in the 6,500-seat amphitheater. There are also an array of outdoor and indoor concerts to enjoy during the Bregenz Festival.