European Capital of Culture in 2009, Linz hosts a dynamic cultural program throughout the year. Education, healthcare and amenities are heavily invested in by the state, making Linz a great place for families to live, while the Danube and the beautiful green hills of Upper Austria provide peaceful places to escape to for weekends and vacations.
As an expat living in Linz you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to culture and leisure. There is a large selection of events and cultural institutions. Among the most well-known are the Ars Electronica Festival and the open air multimedia event Klangwolke.
The imposing Brucknerhaus, situated on the Danube, hosts classic, jazz and world music concerts, as well as its own festival.
The Ars Electronica Center, with its interactive exhibitions and light shows, is one of the most visited attractions in Linz and the street art festival Pflasterspektakel has been a hit with summer crowds for nearly three decades.
Linz was the European Capital of Culture in 2009 and in 2014 was accepted into the international network of UNESCO Creative Cities (UCCN) as a City of Media Arts; at the time of writing 69 cities worldwide are members of this network.
The Botanical Gardens are home to approximately 10,000 different species of plants including rare wild plants, cacti and orchids. The 4.2 hectare park also hosts open-air summer concerts.
The old town of Linz has a large choice of shops, bars and cafes, where the famous Linzer Torte, reputed to be the oldest cake in the world, can be sampled. The Linzer Schloss Museum is also located in the old town, with exhibitions about Upper Austria. The terrace of the museum offers wonderful views over Linz. A popular space for locals to relax is the Hauptplatz (main square), with the 20-meter-high Holy Trinity, a Baroque column completed in 1723, at its center.
Sport and leisure are an important part of the lifestyle in Linz. Sports parks have excellent facilities such as tennis courts, beach volleyball and skating rinks, and there are several indoor and outdoor pools.
Ice hockey is a very popular spectator sport and many residents follow the team EHC LIWEST Black Wings Linz, who play their home games at the Donauhalle Keine Sorgen Eisarena.
There are regular trains from Linz to Vienna, Salzburg and Graz, with connections to cities in neighboring countries and beyond. The Blue Danube Airport, 20 minutes from the city center, has direct flights to and from Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Salzburg and Vienna.
LINZ plc LINES run the streetcars and buses, which have priority over cars and are an efficient way of getting around. Cycling is a popular way to travel in Linz. There is an extensive cycle network and bikes can be borrowed for up to one week; residents just need to show an ID document and sign a lending agreement. There are also two bicycle service stations in Linz that can be used free of charge.
Education is a fundamental and highly regarded part of Austrian life. Children and young people attend primary school, lower and new secondary school, vocational education and training school or apprenticeships.
Linz is home to 57 schools, four universities, two colleges of higher education and two teacher training colleges. There are also educational and training opportunities for adults at places such as the Adult Education Center in the Tower of Knowledge.
Linz International School Aufhof offers the International Baccalaureate as well as Austrian Matura certificate, and all instruction is in English.
Expats moving to Upper Austria for work must have an excellent knowledge of German. Language courses for beginners and advanced students are offered in the Tower of Knowledge and other institutions.