I would lie if I would told you that I was planning a visit to Feldkirch, the town in the Arlberg province in Austria. I have visited this place by coincidence and I don’t regret this at all. A few weeks ago I was watching a documentary on the best rail journeys and I have found out about the Transalpin train that goes from Zürich, Switzerland to Graz, Austria. I was so stunned that I had to start making plans for my visit in the Arlberg province. The original plan was to visit Bludenz and then head to Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol province. Later I have decided that I will visit Liechtenstein, the neighbouring country, too.
The only way to get from Bludenz to Liechtenstein by public transport is through Feldkirch. And I’m really happy that I had to go to there. It is such a beautiful medieval town, with charming old town, river flowing through the city and amazing backdrop with mountains. It is a great place to add on every itinerary if you ever find yourself nearby. Unless you are not into charming medieval buildings, narrow cobblestoned streets and hilltop castles overlooking the city.
Vorarlberg is one of the smallest Austrian states, in fact the second smallest after Vienna. Regardless, it still borders three countries – Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. If we go into details it is bounded by Bavaria (Germany) on the north, by lake Constance (Bodensee), by Liechtenstein, by Switzerland on the west and south and on the east by Tirol (over the Arlberg pass). The principal town is Bregenz, followed by Dornbirn, Feldkirch and Bludenz.
Vorarlberg is known as paradise for people who love hiking.
So, after a quick Vorarlberg introduction, let’s move back to Feldkirch.
GETTING TO & AROUND FELDKIRCH
When you think of Austria, Feldkirch is probably not the first town you think of but its connections are very well and it is very easy to go there. Especially easy is to come from Zurich or Innsbruck.
After our train arrived at the Feldkirch train station, we got ourselves a coffee and a brunch to-go and we continued our way towards the city. There is a short walk to the city, in about 10 minutes you are in the city centre. There are also buses, but there is absolutely no need to use them if you are not going far away from the centre. The city is completely walkable and everything is close, no matter where are you located.
You may ask yourself when is the best time to visit Feldkirch. Due to its proximity to the Alps, Feldkirch is a great place to visit in the winter, especially if you are a winter sports lover. I have visited the city in the winter and I can tell you that it is beautiful. There is no doubt that it looks amazing in any time of the year. I loved the fact that there were not too many tourists.
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WHAT TO DO IN FELDKIRCH?
If you are wondering what to do there, let me help you with some ideas and activities I like. I am not a huge fan of museums and stuff, I prefer to spend my time outside either exploring cities and its history or in the nature. But I have a thing for castles and I love visiting them. Or just admiring them from outside. So, I had a chance to visit the castle and I would start from here.
Visit Schattenburg Castle
The Schattenburg Castle was built in the 12th century and it was the residency of Earls of Bregenz for more than 200 years and later the Habsburg’s for 300 years. Today it serves like a museum with lots of local history and architecture. You will have to pay a 8€ admission to enter and the visit includes all 18 rooms of the museum.
Wander around the Old Town
This is one of the things that is always on my list of activities when I am exploring cities and towns in Europe. By doing this, you get an insight into local life and at the same time you can enjoy in the view of the magnificent buildings and architecture. I love the feeling of exploring a new town. And drinking a cup of coffee while admiring the beauty of a place.
During my visit the main street Marktgasse was filled with vendors selling their local products on the street. During Christmas time the Marktgasse becomes the main place for Christmas markets.
Go to Liechtenstein to get a stamp in your passport
Liechtenstein (officialy the Principality of Liechtenstein) is one of the smallest countries in the world, in fact it is sixth-smallest. Like I have previously mentioned, my plan was to visit Liechtenstein and I was in Feldkirch for this reason only. But you can also do the opposite. You can visit Feldkirch and then do a day trip to Liechtenstein if you have enough time to do so. From the train station there is bus Liemobil that goes to Liechtenstein every 30 minutes. It makes a few stops in the town, so you don’t have to go to the train station. From there, you can return with a unique souvenir, with stamp in your passport from post office. It is a pretty epic souvenir, right?
If you are curious about Liechtenstein or you are seriously thinking about visiting it, you can read more about in my post here.
Visit the Towers
There are two towers worth visiting – the Katzenturm (Cat’s Tower) that was built in the 16th century and it was once part of the defensive town walls. It is a home to the largest bell in Vorarlberg and the Wasserturm (Water Tower) that is located by the river Ill. Inside of it where was an access to the river once. The river Ill itself is also something that it has to be seen.
Stroll along the Ill River
The riverside in Feldkirch is pretty, very pretty to be honest and it is certainly worth the stroll along the river. You can take a short walk along a path lined with trees growing on the banks of river. Across the river you will be able to be able to admire the building of the Regional Court of Vorarlberg built in the renaissance and gothic style.
The most I was impressed by the river colour, it looked amazing! You can see it on your own eyes.
Feldkirch is a beautiful city with charming streets, lots of interesting architecture and with nature on the doorsteps. For me, Feldkirch was seriously a hidden gem I didn’t expect to be found. I was limited with the time, so I think that this place has even more to offer. The list is based on my own experiences and preferences, but I think that there is more to be included in your itinerary.
I hope you find this post useful in planning your own trip to Feldkirch. Have you visited it already? I will be very happy if you will share your experience with me. What are some other places in Austria you have been to and you would recommend me to visit?
Here are some of my Austria favorites: