© Photo: Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH/Robert Maybach: Linz in Upper Austria
Linz in Upper Austria

Culture and city trips in Upper Austria

How Upper Austria is forever drawing new buds from old roots

Upper Austria impresses with its culture: it is the land of musicians and writers, of the history-conscious and forward-thinkers, of high-altitude flyers and culture lovers. Anton Bruckner was an Upper Austrian, Conchita and Hubert von Goisern are as well. Poet Adalbert Stifter, writer Marlen Haushofer, Bauhaus artist Herbert Bayer, cabaret artist Josef Hader - all local.

We could go on like this for a long time, but we need space for other things here. For the Ars Electronica Festival, for example, which attracts thousands of people to Linz every year. A festival that is tailor-made for a city that has been ennobled by UNESCO with the title "City of Media Arts".

On the one hand contemporary and future-oriented, on the other hand with a living history: in the imperial city of Ischl, in picturesque Hallstatt, in baroque Schärding, in Steyr steeped in history. In classical concert halls and at quirky brass music festivals. And in many other surprising places.

Salzkammergut 2024 – European Capital of Culture

© Foto Oberösterreich Tourismus/Bad Ischl/Tom Son: Sightseeing im Park des Theater u. Kongresshauses Bad Ischl im Salzkammergut.
Eine Frau und ein Mann spazieren im Park des Theater u. Kongresshauses Bad Ischl im Salzkammergut.

Culture is the new salt

For the first time in the history of the European Capital of Culture competition, the title for 2024 has been granted to an entire region. Twenty-two municipalities in the Salzkammergut have joined forces behind the lead town of Bad Ischl to form a Capital of Culture Region.

Together, they are embarking on a mission to connect through culture. After all, culture is a valuable resource with the power to enhance our lives. In other words: culture is the new salt.

Salzkammergut 2024

From the Jew's Harp to Leather Trousers

Every region of Upper Austria has its craft traditions. In the Enns and Steyr valleys, the focus is on iron, as evidenced by the Mollner Jew's harps or the Trattenbach feitel, for example. The Mühlviertel is still a stronghold of linen production and processing. But glass and the artful handling of it also played a major role here for a long time, for example reverse glass painting in Sandl.

In the Salzkammergut, traditional costume is part of everyday life. The matching leather trousers, the right hat or the Goiserer shoes are handmade. In addition, there is the one or other trendy-traditional accessory, such as glasses made of deer horn.  The HAND.WERK.HAUS in Bad Goisern is a home for the craft culture in the Salzkammergut.

Tips for Sisi fans

Former Empress Elisabeth of Austria, fondly nicknamed Sisi, still has many fans. Perhaps you’re one of those whose heart just melts when the trilogy of Sisi films starring Romy Schneider is shown on TV? If you are, you absolutely must visit Bad Ischl. This charming little town was Empress Elisabeth’s favourite summer retreat and the secret capital of the Habsburg or Danube monarchy. Here are our top tips for Sissi fans, ranging from film locations like the Kaiservilla and the Marmorschlössl to the confectioner to the Imperial and Royal Court and the Kaiserfest.

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Tradition and customs around the year

This is our custom

The cultivation of customs is deeply rooted in the cultural life of Upper Austrians. Throughout the year there are occasions to fill old traditions with life.

The year of customs begins on 5 January with a highlight, the Glöcklerlauf in the Salzkammergut. The carnival season has its stronghold in Ebensee on Lake Traunsee, where the "Fetzen" make the town unsafe. Incidentally, Lake Traunsee has also given rise to one of the most beautiful Lenten customs, Liebstatt Sunday.

The Corpus Christi procession on Lake Hallstatt, solstice bonfires all over the country or the "Liachtbratlmontag" in Bad Ischl in autumn - every season offers an occasion to celebrate together. But especially Advent with its Christmas markets, Advent caroling and contemplative hours.