Steyr is Austria’s 12th largest town and the 3rd largest in Upper Austria – It has a stable population of around 38,100 and is listed as a statutory city. The area has been settled since Celtic times and became part of the Roman Empire around 15 BC. As with many towns in Austria, the influence of the Habsburgs and Babenberg’s is evident and Steyr has been conquered and ruled by both during its history.
The two rivers that run through Steyr are a dominating feature of its divisions, as are the various manufacturing industries that have sprung up here over the years. The wonderful old town and wealth of historic buildings, coupled with Upper Austria’s stunning scenery make Steyr a great town to visit.
Lets explore the best things to do in Steyr:
1. Steyr Old Town
The old town centre of Steyr is a beautiful place to walk through and boasts a stunning variety of historical architecture such as the Lamberg and the buildings on the Stadtplatz.
Starting at the bottom end of the Grunmarkt you can head up through the Stadtplatz and onto the Schloss Lamberg, stopping to admire the river Steyr and the waterfall that cascades down into the river Enns.
There are a wide variety of buildings to admire and plenty of cafes to enjoy a drink at, the old town really is just a pleasant place to enjoy and soak the atmosphere of this charming Austrian town.
2. Christkindl Church
This wonderfully designed church spans back to the 1700’s and features an ornate front facade with two symmetrical towers both with dark domes and clock faces.
The style mimics that of the Pantheon in Rome but is mainly baroque with a large cupola and interior dome.
Inside the church are several frescos including a highly detailed fresco in the dome that depicts the ascension of Christ.
There is also a famous fax figure of an infant Jesus which is fixed in place on the high altar – This Altar is full of gold reliefs and a fantastic centrepiece of the church.
The Bummerlhaus is one of the best preserved Gothic buildings in Austria and stands as a fine example of late gothic architecture.
The building dates back to the 13th century and is first mentioned in public records in 1450. The facade of the Bummerlhaus has a large slanted tiled roof with cantilevered arch windows and a rich amount of decoration.
This charming building stands as one of the most recognisable pieces of historical architecture in Steyr and is definitely worth the visit when in the old town centre.
This is the roaring confluence of the rivers Steyr and Enns located in the centre of Steyr next to the old town centre and Schloss Lamberg.
The river Steyr drops down into the river Enns in a beautiful cascading waterfall that stretches uniformly the length of the river.
You can view the confluence from one of the two bridges that span across the rivers and there is also plenty of seating.
This area of Steyr is really peaceful and due to the small amount of tourists and beautiful river scenery, it is a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate, or even feed the ducks!
5. Schloss Lamberg
This huge castle is the building that dominates the skyline of Steyr and takes pride of place at the confluence of the two rivers in the old town centre.
The castle dates back to the early middles ages and belonged to George Handfeste before transferring to the rule of the Habsburgs.
Throughout it’s history it has been involved in wars and seen much damage and restoration.
Today the castle features a baroque style and contains a beautiful English garden which you can walk through and several quaint courtyards.
Other features include the large clock tower, the decorated lower castle gate and the trinity column within the grounds.
6. Arbeitswelt Museum
A small but interesting museum that focuses on the history of Steyr and the wider region of Upper Austria.
There are several displays and interactive exhibits together with some scale models and photographs all depicting the industry and history of Steyr.
The museum actually sits on the larger of the small islands that is located on the river Steyr and is accessible by one of the bridges that spans the water.
When you have enjoyed the exhibits, ensure you take a walk around the small island and take in the beauty of this quiet place.
Another of the stunningly beautiful churches in Steyr, the Michaelerkirche stands out at the edge of the river Steyr and is easily noticeable due to the large painted fresco on the church roof gable – This fresco depicts a religious scene with several angels from heaven.
The church was constructed in the 1600’s under the instructions of Emperor Ferdinand II and now stands as a catholic church.
Michaelerkirche has a fabulous interior with a large main altar that is surrounded by pink marble, gold and a great deal of opulent decoration; central to this is a huge painting of the ascension of Christ.
The Schnallentor is an old fortification tower, probably the remnants of the town defences.
The tower was built in the 16th century and has stood ever since at the t junction between Schnallentorweg and Gleinker Gasse.
As well as being used as a fortification, in later years it was used a toll gate for tradesmen and wagons wanting to enter the town.
Although the majority of the city walls were demolished in 1857, the tower remained and has been renovated extensively to preserve its charm and style.
The decorative windows, large archway and orange tiled roof all create a beautiful tower that is a pleasure to see.
9. Stadtpfarrkirche Steyr
Considered the most sacred and important religious building in Steyr, the Steyr Parish Church is built in a gothic style and has stood proudly since the 15th century.
Due to a surge in Steyr’s economy in the 15th century, the church was commissioned and it was originally built as a Romanesque place of worship.
You can enjoy the iconic north tower that looms over Steyr, and the detailed reliefs on the door frames and archways.
Furthermore the interior although quite dark, has high vaulted ceilings and many beautiful stained glass windows with bursts of colour and historical depictions.
10. Tour Steyr on a Segway
Steyr is a fantastic place to visit in its own right, but if you add into the mix a Segway, you end up with a fun tour that will give you some amazing memories of this peaceful Austrian town.
Zoom through the streets of Steyr at a steady pace while your knowledagble and friendly tour guides provide you with a wealth of information about the town and its history.
For those looking for a little more adventure and fun, a Segway tour is the perfect way to see Steyr and what it has to offer.
11. Hiking through Damberg
The Damberg is a mountain range near Steyr and is the perfect place to enjoy some challenging hiking and the great Austrian outdoors.
The mountain stands at 811m above sea level and around it are a myriad of hiking trails and paths.
The Damburg lies to the east of Steyr around 15 minute’s drive by car – There are numerous parking facilities on the roads from where you can start your hike.
At the top of the Damberg is a large observation tower – You can climb to the top of this and be rewarded with fantastic panoramic views of the Upper Austrian countryside in all its glory.
This sublime park lies next to the Schloss Lamberg in the centre of Steyr and is mainly a small woodland with several walking trails passing through the delightful trees.
The park can be accessed from the Handel-Mazzetti Promenade and the surrounding area is just a peaceful and enjoyable to experience.
For a quiet walk through a lovely forested area, the Schlosspark will deliver.
The main square in Steyr is the impressive Stadtplatz.
This diamond shaped public space is located in the lower section of Steyr adjacent to the river Enns and spans many streets in the old town.
The square is surrounded by typical historical Austrian buildings that give it an old-worldly feel and a certain charm.
From here you can see the two distinctive churches of Steyr rising above the buildings, admire the large decorative fountain or wonder at the different shops and restaurants that line the street.
14. Vogelsang Castle
This fairly modern castle or stately home was constructed as late as 1877 however it looks much older than this and has a stunning design with bold yellow rendering and a crenulated roof and towers.
Josef Werndl built this castle however his daughter lived in it until 1928 when it was purchased and turned onto a boarding school.
It now stands as a private property but you can still walk through the charming grounds and enjoy the architecture of the Vogelsang castle.
15. Steyr Town Hall
The Steyr Town Hall is located on the Stadtplatz and stands out even amongst the colourful and historical buildings of this square.
It is considered an extremely important Rococo era building and one of the finest examples of this type of architecture in Austria.
The female figures that line the balustrade section represent the different aspects of justice, while the central tower stands out with its green dome and large clock face.
At night the town hall is lit up as is most of the Stadtplatz and the yellow and white glow gives the place a magical atmosphere.