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Linz: The city of change – life on the colourful Danube The European Cultural Capital of 2009 is genuinely unique: Linz is home to Europe‘s most modern opera house and a vibrant contemporary culture scene, as well as having a flourishing economy with leading international companies. The superbly-preserved Old Town isn’t the only place where the connection between this legendarily eco-friendly city and its long history is evident. Yet people in Linz prefer to look to the future – and find the joy of living in the here and now. Linz is an exciting city, and a successful one at that. Its history has been long and eventful; the expanded city core is architecturally unique – especially its Baroque Hauptplatz or main square. However, in Linz one prefers not to harp endlessly on the past: far more attention is paid to the present and the future. In the middle of Europe Linz is not only situated in the middle of Europe, at the centre of the Danube-Vltava region of Europe, but is also easily reachable from all directions (and by all forms of transport). Linz and the Danube are connected by a special relationship. Linz lies so literally on the Danube that the ships on Europe’s largest waterway sail right through the middle of the city. The city owes its Roman and Celtic names “Lentia” and “Lentos” to the fact that, here, the course of the Danube bends and changes direction. And it seems that the ability to change is part of the very essence of Linz. Changeable Linz Over the past few years, Linz has developed into an inspiring and lively cultural city. Marked features are its preference for the contemporary and its willingness to experiment. Since 2013, Linz has been able to boast Europe‘s most modern opera house, besides a number of theatres and a first-class symphony orchestra. In addition, the city offers sought-after bands, fascinatingly designed museums, repertory cinemas and cultural centres in all categories and sizes, as well as a vibrant free scene.
The gastronomic scene in Linz makes it easy to enjoy Linz as a treat for all the senses. Whether an exquisite award-winning restaurant, a no -nonsense Gasthaus, or a fashionable place to be seen dining in – Linz has the right place to suit every taste and every time of day, so that you can celebrate in style or simply enjoy a treat for your taste-buds. But what should you absolutely not miss out on? The “original Linzer Torte”, probably the most well-known cake, made using the world’s oldest recipe. This cake is, incidentally, the most popular souvenir of Linz, and anyone who fancies themselves as a cake-maker can even have a go at making their own cake – a number of shops offer “Schaubacken” (“exhibition baking”). Upper Austrian cuisine is based on a wealth of traditions and customs. Typical Upper Austrian delicacies such as Schweinsbraten mit Knödel (roast pork with dumplings) and Sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) are two of the local favourites. When it comes to beer, in Upper Austria it is more than just something to quench a thirst it is a longstanding part of the culture, firmly rooted in the traditions of the area. Across the whole region, you will find many breweries with their own unique speciality beers, with something to suit every taste. Most – a fermented apple or pear juice - is considered the national drink of Upper Austria. From mild to muscular, from sweet to crisp, Most is to be found in every conceivable taste option.
Turning night into day is made easy in Linz: in the evenings, alongside the extensive cultural offerings, the central area of Linz presents itself as the meeting-place for friendly get-togethers or full-on celebrations. From legendary bars to modern lifestyle bars, everything is to be found there. The Linz “Bermuda Triangle” of its old town is probably the most widely-known bar district in the city, and it offers something to suit every musical taste.
The Linzer Landstrasse is one of the most-frequented shopping streets in Austria. Here, and in the side-streets leading off it, stores invite visitors to window-shop, and shopping passages offer something to suit every taste. Both global brands and small stores for tasting and rummaging through are represented - Linz stands out for this mix of traditional and modern. The Linz City Ring organises regular store shopping evenings and Land-themed events on a regular basis. Linz Labyrinth offers shoppers a collaboration of young, modern stores in the side-streets – see www.linzlabyrinth.at
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