Upper Austria is incredibly varied. If you travel to Austria's fourth-largest state, you’ll find yourself hiking in the mountains of the Alps, swimming in lakes with water so clear and clean you can drink it, cycling along rivers and immersing yourself in the region’s vibrant city life.
The Danube, Europe’s great river, flows through Upper Austria like a green ribbon cascading west to east, both a natural landscape and cultural focal point. The Schlögener Schlinge, a natural gem singular on the European continent, inspires visitors with wonder at the magnificent powers of the Danube’s waters. Yet another attraction on the banks of the Danube is Linz, the UNESCO City of Media Arts, which has undergone an impressive transformation over the past several years. Located directly on the Danube, you can see bright young cultural buildings like the Ars Electronica Center, a Museum of the Future, the Lentos Art Museum or the Brucknerhaus concert hall with its unique, outstanding acoustics. Visitors to Upper Austria’s modern capital city are thrilled by Linz’s lively inner city; profoundly impressed by the mighty river’s urban flair. Guests will enjoy unparalleled media art exhibits at museums and highly praised stage productions at the theatres.
Upper Austria is incredibly rich in contrasts. Only a few kilometres upstream from Linz lies the picturesque Danube market town of Ottensheim. Situated on a stretch of the Danube Cycle Path, visiting cyclists enjoy stopping in at one of the riverbank garden restaurants, taking pleasant advantage of Upper Austria’s storied hospitality. Ottensheim has also been hosting rowing events for many years, favoured for its optimal location on the Danube.
Water is one of Upper Austria’s core elements. Along with the Danube, the lakes of the Salzkammergut region, renowned far beyond Upper Austria’s borders, offer ideal conditions for all types of water sports. In many respects, Lake Hallstatt in the UNESCO World Heritage region of Hallstatt – Dachstein – Salzkammergut is an outstanding example of this. Home to the world’s oldest salt mine, Hallstatt is a superb cultural site that has lent its name to an entire epoch of human history – the Hallstatt Era. The lake itself lays calm and clear at the foot of the Dachstein, which, at nearly 3,000 metres, is the highest mountain in Upper Austria. The Austrian Sports Resort in Obertraun at the southern end of Lake Hallstatt is a modern training centre for competitive sports on an international level, with private lake access for water sports enthusiasts.