Bludenz is a quiet but charming village right on the western tip of the Vorarlberg region of Austria, located just below neighbouring Feldkirch and Dornbirn and only 20 minutes from Liechtenstein.
This beautiful and well spread out town is located on the river Ill and is encapsulated by the mighty Bregenz forest mountains, and the Ratikon and Silvretta ranges too.
Historical findings have dated settlements in Bludenz back to the Bronze Age and first mentions of the town in history are seen as early as the year 830. Due to the town’s fantastic location at the meeting point of five separate valleys and its mountain surroundings, it is the perfect location for intrepid hikers and those who want to explore the outdoors.
Lets explore the best things to do in Bludenz:
This is the most famous mountain range surrounding Bludenz and stands at an immense 1400m.
You can access the mountain range by using the spectacular cable car that lets you rise above the town in an epic way.
Once you are at the top you can start to explore the Muttersberg range; if you have children you can enjoy the forest playground and pony rides, or if you are more adventurous you can start on one of the many hiking trails in the area or even the motocross bike trail.
The scenery and alpine landscapes will amaze you and the whole area is bursting with life and surprises.
2. Muttersberg Cable Car
Part of enjoying the fantastic scenery and hiking trails of the Muttersberg mountain range is ascending the Muttersberg cable car and experiencing the thrilling ride that takes you 1400m above sea level.
The access point of the cable car can be found in the eastern part of Bludenz on Hinterplarsch street and has plenty of parking spaces for those driving.
The cable car travels at a leisurely speed and you can see the amazing landscapes unfold around you and the peaks of the Muttersberg draw ever closer.
You are given great viewing opportunities with the large glass windows.
3. Ratikon Mountain Range
The Ratikon Mountains are part of the central alps and lie at the border between Austria and Switzerland and offer some of the regions most breathtaking hiking trails and mountain scenery.
Ratikon is roughly 40 minutes from Bludenz and the mountains actually lead across the Swiss border.
There are many peaks to traverse including the Schesaplana at 2964m and the Sulzfkuh at 2820m.
There are several ski resorts on the mountain range and plenty of parking lower down in the valleys for accessibility to the many hiking trails.
The Lunersee lake is hidden in the Ratikon Mountain range which lies around 40 minutes to the south of Bludenz.
Those who find this true alpine gem will be unable to catch their breath – Picture a crystal clear lake with turquoise blue waters surrounded by stunning alpine landscapes.
On one side of the lake you can walk across a manmade balcony that gives you unbelievable views down into the surrounding valleys.
A path leads around the lake and there are plenty of hiking trails that wind off in various directions.
If you are lucky enough to visit this wonderful place then your trip to Bludenz will be memorable one.
5. Bludenz-Braz Golf Course
This wonderful golf course is tucked away between Bludenz and Arlberg and blends in fantastically to the surrounding scenery.
As you stroll through the holes of the course you will pass grazing cattle, small bodies of water and traditional alpine huts – The scenery is a part of what makes this gold course so appealing.
The course is par 68 with 18 holes and also a driving range, a putting green, and a modern, well furnished club house.
If you enjoy the sport then the Bludenz/Braz course will be a truly delightful place to play.
6. Biospharenpark Grosses Walsertal
This natural biosphere reserve offers a retreat from modern life and allows visitors access to huge amounts of alpine landscapes, outdoor activities such as mountain biking, and a huge amount of hiking paths and routes.
The Great Walser Valley as it is also known in English lies to the north of Bludenz and includes many beautiful small villages that retain their traditions and charm.
As Vorarlberg’s first Natural Park, you can be assured to find a truly wonderful and exciting place to explore.
7. Brauerei Fohrenburg
The Fohrenburger Brewery is all about finely crafted beer! The Fohrenburger beer and the iconic Unicorn logo are known throughout Austria and the crystal clear alpine springs contribute to the fabulous taste of the brew.
A trip to Bludenz is not complete without a tour of the Fohrenburg brewery and you can experience first-hand how the beer is created.
Group tours are offered daily between 8am and 4pm and snacks are served and of course several samples of the Fohrenburg beer.
8. Einhornbahn Ski Resort
This Ski Resort is equipped with many modern facilities including several cable cars and ski lifts – All the discerning skier could wish for.
The ski slopes and pistes are in fantastic condition and the quality and depth of the snow will provide you with a superb skiing experience, all in the surroundings of the jaw dropping alpine scenery that make Bludenz such a enticing place.
The resort includes 31km of slopes that cater to skiers of all skill levels and there is also a ski service centre and a ski equipment rental area.
9. Milka Chocolate Festival
The Milka chocolate brand is famous worldwide and is known for its delicious creamy taste.
Each year, Bludenz becomes a haven for chocolate lovers, and especially the Milka brand and hosts the fantastic Milka Chocolate Festival in July.
Thousands of people come to visit the town and celebrate their love of chocolate – you can experience plenty of live music, many game-stations where you can enjoy fun activities, many festivities and of course ample amounts of the delicious Milka chocolate.
Be prepared for the whole town to turn purple!
10. Alpen Erlebnisbad VAL BLU
This spa and water park provides the perfect place to have some fun and to unwind in a beautiful setting.
If your are looking for some fun in the water, the rock cave, leisure pool, baby beach and colossal water slide will keep you entertained for hours.
Alternatively if you want to pamper yourself, then the Spa facilities are second to none; relax in one of the whirlpools or solarium, or even indulge yourself with a message.
The water park is tucked away in the southern part of Bludenz around 15 minutes from the train station.
11. Bludenz Christmas Market
If you happen to be in Bludenz during the Christmas period then you are in for a treat – The Bludenz Christmas Market is simply magical and brings all the excitement, fun and delight you would expect from a European Christmas display.
The old town of Bludenz comes alive with an array of twinkling lights, festive decorations and tantalizing gifts and foods.
Smell freshly baked biscuits, sample a cosy warm drink, or simply admire the many handmade crafts that are being sold in the stalls.
The Christmas market runs from the 27th of November until the 24th of December and is mainly concentrated around the old town.
12. Enjoy a meal at the Gasthof Roessle restaurant
Bludenz has many quality restaurants but the Gasthof Roessle restaurant is consistently ranked as one of the best by tourists and locals alike.
The restaurant is actually located on the eastern outskirts of the town past the golf course but the distance is worth it.
The food portions are always generous and the quality is sublime – You can enjoy traditional Austrian cuisine in a great restaurant that offers a relaxed and homely atmosphere.
13. Bludenz Altstadt
The old town centre of Bludenz and the hub of the town, the Altstadt is lined with rows of narrow streets and small houses that are built in a traditional baroque style with an Austrian twist.
When walking through the picturesque streets of the old town take a look at the souvenirs on sale or admire the Church of Saint Lawrence which dates back to the 16th century, or even the Schloss Gayenhofen which is even older hailing from the 1200’s.
When you have finished looking at the stunning buildings, perhaps enjoy a light meal or a spot of shopping? The Altstadt has endless options for both.
14. Enjoy a slice of cake in the Cafe Konditorei Fritz
Part of enjoying a destination is sampling the local food and drink and doing a bit of people watching.
The Cafe Konfitorei offers all of these three things in style and quality.
This Cafe is located in the old town centre and has an extremely pleasant atmosphere and outside seating to enjoy the fine weather.
With friendly staff, a tasty Coffee, and some first-rate cake to indulge on, this is the perfect place to sit back and have a rest from hiking or sightseeing.
15. Travel across three borders to Bormio
Bludenz is located in the western part of Austria and is close to the borders of Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Germany and Italy – Why not embark upon an epic mini road trip through four of these countries to visit the Italian alpine town of Bormio? Starting in Bludenz, make your way across to Feldkirch and then over the border into neighbouring Liechtenstein and admire the capital of Vaduz.
Continuing in a southerly direction, cross the border again into Switzerland and pass to the east though its northern region and the spectacular scenery that is found here.
Finally after travelling through the beautiful Svizzer National Park, make your final border crossing and head into Bormio – Here you will find a delightful town with many thermal baths and skiing facilities.