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Linz, Austria

Hello good people!

What are your thoughts on Linz? I'm not sure if I should by-pass it for the most part in favor of more time in Vienna. I'd like to see the Ars Electronic Center because it looks cool, but has anyone personal experience to validate?

Also, I'd like to see the Mathematics Tower at Stift Kremsmuenster - has anyone been there and have thoughts?
https://stift-kremsmuenster.net/tourismus/information-in-english/english/

I'll be with my family (two young kids, 6 and 10) so I don't think Mauthausen-Gusen would be a good idea.

Many thanks in advance!

Melissa

Posted by
12964 posts

Hi,

I spent a week-end in Linz last June and on other trips did a trips r/t there. My purpose going there is cultural and historical...to see those places in Linz. Linz is a province capital, which makes it interesting in that regard. In 2014 I missed their special 1914 exhibit at the Schloss on the "the war in Upper Austria." ("Der Krieg in Oberösterreich"). I like Linz, not inundated with tourists, very interesting, have not been to those places listed above.

Posted by
97 posts

Thanks Fred for your response! Good info that Linz is not touristy.

Posted by
12964 posts

Hi,

Linz is off the international tourist radar, and also the US one as well. You might see a bus tour of German tourists. I found the Zentrum interesting because of it plaques (Gedenksteine) and memorials pertaining to Austrian history. Mozart's house is there, lived there when he wrote the "Linz" Symphony

Posted by
336 posts

I visited Linz last summer and the summer before it. 4 nights total. The first afternoon I didn't really cotton to it, just saw another bland mid-sized European city - fine but sort of wished we'd only taken one night. The next day though I really appreciated the place. The castle museum is excellent and interesting, the cathedral is a big beautiful Gothic monster with fun stained glass, some redone and portraying Austrian folk life from the political perspective of the mid-20th century, pretty medieval quarter, and, if you have kids with you (lmk - I have travel with kids tips for Austria), the cog-driven street car (Postlingerbahn?) across the river up the little mountain (aka hill) to the dragon train through storybook fairyland is a delightful little excursion.

I didn't like the Ars Electronica museum, thought it came across as caught between being a serious art museum, a serious science museum, and a children's museum designed for school field trips, not particularly satisfying in any category.

Linz is "doable" in a full day (though I dislike the check off the sites and move on mode of travel, Linz is a satisfying one day visit if that what you've got).

Posted by
336 posts

Melissa I reread your OP, you do have kids, POSTLINGBERGBAHN (got it right this time) is a good call. We traveled with our 7 year old in Austria these past two summers - happy to let you know the things that made her happy if you lmk where you're going.

Henry

Posted by
1518 posts

I didn't like the Ars Electronica museum, thought it came across as caught between being a serious art museum, a serious science museum, and a children's museum designed for school field trips, not particularly satisfying in any category.

I strongly disagree.

Posted by
336 posts

wmt1 do you read in German? Maybe I missed something about the place as there was a lot of textual information in German that I couldn't read, nearly no English (not that I expect English in Austria!)

Posted by
1518 posts

I visited the Ars Electronica Center maybe three times during the last 10 years, and I found it always very interesting, both for adults and children. It is not a museum, it is more an exhibition of current technology with a lot of hands-on items. It is in contrast to the Museum of Technology in Vienna, which is much bigger and older, dealing a lot with development of technology from the past.

Posted by
97 posts

You all are fabulous! Thank you so much for your thoughts and suggestions!

We may make it a stop on the train to Vienna!

Posted by
336 posts

Quick food tip given you have a 6 and a 10 year old. There's a (global) chain of quick-service Italian food places called Vapiano with 4 or 5 locations in Vienna. You pick up an RFID card on the way in, order at different food stations (pasta, pizzas, entree-size salads, the bar, etc) where they charge the RFIC and give you a pick up buzzer, find a table in the stylish/casual interior, then hand your RFID to the cashier and pay on the way out. The food is easily passable for adults and our little kid was in heaven. Quite affordable and large portions easily split between two. Not for every meal of course, but I think we did a lunch and dinner in 4 night in Vienna when we wanted quick meal without much ceremony that was sure to make our little one happy.

Also kid-wise if you're going to Vienna in the summer when the weather is warm there are a couple of fun things for them to do on the long island in the middle of the Danube. Very close to the U-bahn (maybe S-bahn? I forget) stop on the island is a good-sized "natural" water play area for children - series of connected artificial (but naturally set) wading pond and beaches for children. There fountains to play in and a Huck Finn style raft they can pull back and forth across the largest pond.

Also farther out on the island is a large pool complex called Gansehaufel - there are several large swimming pools, a wave pool, a water slide, a play-structure set in water, acres and acres of lawn to play on, a nudist area behind a fence for privacy, lots of Danube beach-front, snack-bar, scores of communist-looking A-frame locker rooms. My 7 year old daughter had a blast there for a couple of hours as reward for behaving so well in all the museums and churches, and I enjoyed it too - enough to call it a cultural experience seeing how ordinary Viennese live life with their families on a Sunday. It's not at all like the experience at a waterpark in the US, much more of trip to the park feel, much more a slower communal feel.

Posted by
336 posts

Lastly if you're just passing through the Danube basin and make one stop, Melk Abbey is the most ridiculously gilded and ornate Baroque complex I've ever seen. To me it was as impressive as St Peters, in my top five all time building to see in Europe, and I'm fairly certain without equal in the world when it comes to Baroque splendor. Decent town too, pretty spot and some nice traditional restaurant patios on the cobbles with a view of the Abbey. If I could only make one stop passing through the Danube unquestionably it would be Melk Abbey.

Posted by
97 posts

Thank you hlaufenberg! Great suggestions!

Please don't gasp, but we decided to see the Abbey in Admont over Melk: http://www.stiftadmont.at/en/library/
If we have time we may see the one in Melk too, but I figure with my 6 and 10 yo, one would be enough. i want to die in the Admont Abbey Library. So beautiful.