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Vorarlberg. Bludenz, Hohenems, Dornbirn, Feldkirch, Bregenz

Bregenz_pano_1 - By böhringer friedrich (Own work)
[CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

DamülserMittagspitze3 - By böhringer friedrich (Own work)
[CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

DamülserStrasseAlt - By böhringer friedrich (Own work)
[CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Kleinwalsertal_vom_widderstein - By Christoph Lingg (self made picture)
[GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Raedermacher - By --Böhringer (Own work)
[CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

What does the name of the region mean?

The name relates to the mountain range with the name Arlberg and the region's location in relation to that mountain range. “Vor” means “in front of”, so the region is basically the region in front of the Arlberg mountain range.

What is the region famous for?

Vorarlberg is the westernmost region of Austria, and the second smallest after Vienna. While the region shares borders with three other countries, it only shares one border with another Austrian region. This leads to the fact that the region is influenced not only by Austrian culture but also by the culture from the countries around it. This turns the region into a very interesting melting pot, and also a paradise for travellers who would not mind to visit some other countries while in the region of Voralberg. You can also hear the difference when it comes to the local dialect. If you have a trained ear, you will notice that Vorarlberg has more in common with its neighbours than with the rest of Austria when it comes to the way people speak.

The region is also known for the variety in its landscape on such a small space.

What should you see and do while you are in Vorarlberg?

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Bregenz

While Bregenz is only the third largest city (population wise) in the region of Vorarlberg, it is nevertheless the capital of the region, and a very interesting place to visit for people with an interest in history. The city sits on the shores of Lake Constance, which is shared with other neighbouring countries. The location is one of the reasons why the city is very popular with visitors. In summer, there are a lot of activities on the lake, and there are plenty of opportunities for going on cruises on the lake. In Summer, people flock to the famous Bregenzer Festspiele, and it makes sense to book your accommodation ahead if you would like to stay in Bregenz during that time of the year. Apart from the scenery, there are also other sights (of a less natural nature). There are still parts of the old city wall and some other historic buildings you can visit.

Dornbirn

Dornbirn is the largest city in this Austria region, and worth a visit if you can spare the time. While it is mainly known as a good place for shopping and businesses, there are also some places of interest for visitors who would like to explore the more historical and cultural aspects of the city. There is not as much to see as in Bregenz, for example, but Dornbirn is an excellent base if you would like to explore the region and go on some outdoor adventures because you can easily buy all the supplies you need in one of the shopping centres.

Feldkirch

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Feldkirch is smaller than Dornbirn but still bigger than Bregenz. If you are interested in medieval history and architecture, then Feldkirch might be your best choice out of the three cities. While the location is not quite as picturesque as the location of Bregenz, Feldkirch has plenty of historical buildings that make up for this. Of course the best option would be if you had the time to visit all three cities as each of them has something special on offer.

Hohenems

If you like Renaissance architecture, then you should not miss a visit to Hohenems, which is a medium-sized town that is mainly interesting because of its medieval castle from the 16th century. Hohenems is also a good place to learn more about the history of Jewish people in the region as there is a strong Jewish community within Hohenems, there is a synagogue and also a museum dedicated to the history of Jewish people in Austria.

Bludenz

Bludenz is the right choice for you if you would like to enjoy some of the fine outdoors in Vorarlberg. The town is in a great location to explore some of the hiking in forests or climbing in the mountains. The town has many facilities for visitors, and you can get all the information and supplies you need for a great outdoors holiday.

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