Planning a Trip
By Plane -- Austrian Airlines and its subsidiary, Tyrolean Airways, are the major connections into Linz, especially if you're flying in from another Austrian city. Foreign airlines serving Linz include Lufthansa and Swissair; connections are possible from Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Paris, and Zurich. Flughafen Linz, or Blue Danube Airport (tel. 07221/6000; www.flughafen-linz.at), is 12km (7 1/2 miles) southwest of the city, near the hamlet of Hörsching. There's no bus that runs all the way into Linz, although the airport maintains a 24-hour shuttle bus from the airport to the railway station at Hörsching; from here, you can take one of the commuter trains into Linz -- there's one about every hour from early morning to midnight. It's more convenient to take a taxi, which will cost about 30€ ($48) one-way to virtually anywhere in Linz.
By Train -- Linz sits directly astride the rail lines that connect Salzburg with Vienna, and on those that connect Prague to Graz and the major cities of Slovenia and Croatia. Trains, many of them express, depart at hourly intervals throughout the day and night from Vienna's Westbahnhof (trip time: 2 hr.) and from Salzburg's main station (1 1/4 hr.). One train every 2 hours throughout the day departs from Graz for Linz (3 1/2 hr.). For rail information, call tel. 05/1717, or visit www.oebb.at. The train station is located south of the city center at Bahnhofplatz.
By Bus -- Linz is the center of an extensive network of bus lines carrying passengers from its busy railway station to the outlying villages and hamlets of Upper Austria. However, because of its frequent rail connections to Vienna, Salzburg, and the major cities of Europe, few passengers would consider traveling long distances to Linz by bus rather than by train.
By Car -- If you're driving from Salzburg, head northeast along the Autobahn A-1; from Vienna, take the A-1 Autobahn west.
Most visitors limit their exposure in Linz to the city's historic core, most of which is a pedestrian zone centered on the Hauptplatz. Expect lots of shopping possibilities, lots of cafes serving the city's best-known confection (the Linzer torte), and access via tram nos. 1 and 3 and bus nos. 19 and 19A, any of which make access to the center from the periphery easy. Buses and trams operate daily from 5am to midnight and cost 1.60€ ($2.60) per ride, for access between any points in Greater Linz. For more information, contact the city tourist office. There is also a 1-day ticket valid for 24 hours, costing 3€ ($4.80).
The Linz tourist office is at Hauptplatz 1 (tel. 0732/70701777; www.linz.at), and is open Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm (6pm in winter), Saturday and Sunday 10am to 7pm (6pm in winter).
American Express, Bürgerstrasse 14 (tel. 0732/669013), is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5:30pm and Saturday from 9am to noon.