LiveShareTravel’s writer Lisa Robinson tells us of her recent festive experience of Linz, the third-largest city of Austria. Happy Christmas to all our readers!
The chill of winter swept across my face and my fingers tingled from the cold. But after one sip of my steaming mug of gluhwein, I began to feel the festive warmth inside. I was in Linz, Austria, stood in its endearing Volksgarten Christkindlemarkt – one of three Christmas markets in the city.
The sweet smell of spices filled the air as I wandered through a sea of wooden huts, stumbling upon stalls of decorative gingerbread and traditional handicrafts. A frost-filled wind swirled around me but the atmosphere in the Volksgarten was electric. Groups of friends gathered beneath the glow of twinkling lights, keeping warm with plates of bratwurst and gluhmost, or mulled cider.
Finishing my drink, I strolled the city’s cobblestone streets in search of Hauptplatz – home to another of Linz’s Christkindlmarkts. I enjoyed the city’s striking mix of old and new – the main square’s baroque architecture sitting against the Lentos Museum and futuristic Ars Electronica Center whose colourful reflection danced on the River Danube.
Eager to see more, I ventured into the mountains on the Pöstlingberg tram. Upon reaching the mountain’s peak, I paused to enjoy the calming isolation, and my eyes were drawn to the Neuer Dom – Linz’s gothic cathedral. And as the sun began to set, I watched the bright lights of the city come to life in the distance.
Linz truly encapsulates the spirit of Christmas, but aside from the Christmas market, a visit just isn’t complete without enjoying a slice of the oldest-known cake in the world, the Linzer Torte, which I learned to make at K.u.k. Hofbäckerei. As the evening came to a close I started my festive time there as I began, this time at Wärmepol, an open-air bar serving some of the best gluhwein in the city.
How to get there: Fly direct to Linz from London Stansted with Ryanair, in less than two hours.
Where to Stay in Linz: Hotel am Domplatz, a 4-star boutique hotel in the centre of Linz. The Domplatz is full of quirky design features and plenty of modern amenities can be found in each room, plus there’s a relaxing SPA area for guests to enjoy. For dramatic views, request a Superior Room overlooking the St. Mary’s Cathedral (Nueur Dom).
Where to Eat in Linz: Paul’s on Herr Street is a laidback restaurant offering hearty selection of regional and international dishes. For a more formal affair, book a table at Schlossbrasserie at the Castle Museum – fine-dining mixed with panoramic views across Linz.
All words and photos by Live Share Travel’s writer Lisa Robinson. Lisa is passionate about travel and nothing excites her more than exploring new countries. She loves reading, warm summer days and eating Marmite (which she always packs in her suitcase). Lisa is currently making plans to travel the world.