If you're thinking about hitting up central Europe on your travels this summer, it doesn't get much more central and idyllic than Linz and the Danube Cycle Path. Awarded the European Capital of Culture in 2009, Linz is architecturally unique and home to a vibrant contemporary cultural scene.

There's so many things happening here, including the already mentioned and very lovely Danube Cycle Path, that it can be tricky working out how to make best use of your time. Fortunately for you, we're on hand to guide you through this truly superb adventure destination and make sure you have an unforgettable trip to Upper Austria.

Oh, FYI. With direct flights from London to Linz, your journey here couldn't be easier. Seriously. Before you know it, you'll be right in the heart of this place; surrounded by UNESCO World Heritage Sites and cultural monuments.

Why Go?

The Danube Cycle Path is a real treat for bike lovers//Photo via. Austria Tourism

Linz Danube Cycle Path Austria Adventure Destination Of The Week

Right. First things first, let's tackle the Danube Cycle Path. Why? Because, honestly, whether you're a diehard cycling fan or just a casual bike enthusiast, this ride will melt your heart in all the best ways. Take it from Passau to Grein, via Linz, and you'll experience almost 150km of heart-stealing scenery.

The Danube Cycle Path will have you going from Passau, past the unique natural spectacle of the Danube Bend at Schlögen, past Engelszell Abbey, on a route to Linz. Further along the Danube, you'll wind up pedalling through world-famous wine-growing areas and the UNESCO Wachua Cultural Landscape. Along the way, you can also stop off at the Burgruine Dürnstein; ruins of a castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned.

One option in this region is to get yourself on an epic adventure cycling trip from Passau to Bratislava with Hooked On Cycling. You'll wind your way across three countries, over the course of 391 kilometres, and experience some of the most breathtaking landscapes. When riding here, the biggest problem you'll have is fighting the urge to get off your bike every two minutes to take another picture. Pricing for this eight day journey starts from £573 per person.

"...the biggest problem you’ll have is fighting the urge to get off your bike every two minutes to take another picture.

So called 'Bed & Bike Establishments' are dotted all along the Danube Cycle Path (there's 21 bike-friendly businesses between Passau and Grein). They're recognised by the ADFC (the General German Bicycle Club) and provide secure, partially covered bike sheds, as well as "first aid" tools for bicycles, dry rooms, and e-charging stations for those of you riding e-bikes.

As we've already mentioned, Linz was the European Capital of Culture in 2009. On top of that, it is also a UNESCO City of Media Arts. The city is a contemporary, creative, place that balances a modern focus with a historic feel. Fans of live music and fine food really can't go far wrong on this leg of the Danube.

Linz Fest at Whitsun, for example, offers an eclectic mixture of music and culture, while the Linzer Krone Fest serves up popular music acts across the city centre. The Classics at the Cathedral open-air series stages gigs at the foot of Austria's biggest church. Pflasterspektakel is an annual street-art festival that needs to be seen to be believed, while the Schlossmuseum is a must visit for culture vultures and history enthusiasts alike.

Convinced? Weekend breaks in Linz, with two nights accommodation, start at €109 per person (£92); via Linz Tourismus. For more information on the River Danube, visit the Danube website (donau.com).

Where To Stay?

Pictured: Hotel Faustschlössl on the banks of the River Danube.

Danube Hotel Faustschlössl

For location, trendiness, and general niceness we'd recommend the Hotel am Domplatz. If you are planning to stay here, move Heaven and Earth to bag yourself a room with a view of the lovely St. Mary Cathedral next door. As last sights at night, first sights in the morning, go it's a hard one to beat.

If you're doing the Danube Cycle Path, you really should by the way, one well regarded place you could potentially stay at is the Hotel Donauschlinge. Located on the iconic Schlögener Schlinge part of the Danube, it's a lovely four-star hotel in one of the most charming spots imaginable. Another lovely place to stay, located on the banks of the Danube River, is the Hotel Faustschlössl. It's a hotel where beautiful views meet with a tangible sense of history, and a heartwarmingly authentic Austrian hospitality. 

Alternatively, if you fancy a bit of camping while on your Danube cycling adventure, Schlögener Schlinge is also home to the Terrassencamping Schlögen campsite.

Where To Eat?

The famous Linzer Torte originates from this part of Austria. Photo via. Getty Images.

Linzer Torte River Danube Linz

Big time burger lovers should absolutely get themselves down to Burgerista; a burger chain with a loyal following in Linz. Meat in bun fans will seriously dig the offerings here, while the vegetarian options mean that nobody need miss out. For those who just can't get enough burger goodness in their lives, Paul's (with its brioche buns, whisky sauce, and blackened lobster burger) should be part of your plans. While we're on the subject, Paul's steaks are also held in high regard.

Bored of all this burger talk? Don't worry. Linz also has a wide variety of non-burger options that'll more than satisfy your tastebuds. The chic Herberstein, for example, offers a whole host of tasty items to choose from (all under one roof). Not only is it home to an ivy-draped garden and fancy Italian restaurant, there's also a swanky Japanese style sushi bar for you to enjoy.

Fisch-Gasthof Aumueller, an authentic and much-loved fish restaurant not far from the Schlögener Schlinge section of the Danube Cycle Path, is also highly recommended. Check out their Most (Austrian Cider) selection while you're there. A bottle of the stuff is sure to go down smooth after a day on the saddle.

Just off of the Danube Cycle Path, a stone's throw from Dürnstein Castle, sits the Bäckerei Schmidl. Be sure to stop here and treat yourself to a coffee and cake if you get the chance.

Where To Drink?

Pictured: Frau Dietrich is a 1920s-themed speakeasy, and one of Linz's best loved bars.

Linz Austria Nightlife Adventure Destination Of The Week

If gin tonics and an atmospheric 1920s speakeasy vibe are what you're after, be sure to pay a visit to Frau Dietrich. From the moment you have to dial a phone on the outside before being admitted to the bar, you'll feel yourself being whisked back in time to The Great Gatsby era. The music is absolutely spot on with a mixture of swing, big band, and blues accompanying your evening.

Another venue worth checking out is the Stieglbräu Zum Klosterhof; a traditional Austrian pub with chestnut tree beer garden and delicious cold beer on tap. People looking for something a bit more trendy, meanwhile, should pop into Solaris. Situated at the entrance area of Linz's Open Culture House, Solaris has an extensive range of wine, beers and cocktails on offer and is the ideal stop-off after a visit to the Open Culture House or Moviemento. On weekends, things go up a notch here with DJ sets focusing on house, electro, and hip-hop music. We also recommend that beer enthusiasts pay a visit to the Hofstetten Brewery, 20 odd minutes drive from Linz.

What The Locals Say?

"For its size, Linz has a huge variety of cultural offerings. Linz’s art university throws some really cool creativity into the mix, and fuels the city's nightlife. Also, you can't go wrong with a piece of Linzer torte!"

Katharina Rauch – Resident of Linz for 20 years

For further information on the region, visit one of the following:

Linz TourismDanube Tourism and/or Danube Upper Austria

Booking Details For Danube Cycle Path

Hooked on Cycling/Telephone: 01 506 635 399

Website: www.hookedoncycling.co.uk