Country and People
Living Space Vorarlberg
Vorarlberg is located in the Lake Constance region in Austria’s very west, where Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the principality of Liechtenstein form a vibrant cultural area. In Austria’s westernmost state, you will come across a delightful mix of culture, nature and high-quality offers.
“All nature is a melody in which a deep harmony is hidden.”
Borrowing this quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Vorarlberg invites visitors to let the poetry of nature and the carefully designed cultural landscapes work their magic – when the sunset paints Lake Constance in gold, when taking in the dazzling views from one of the countless peaks, when marvelling at the wealth of contemporary architecture or enjoying first-rate dining in a perfect setting. With an unfailing focus on quality and sustainability, Vorarlberg’s hosts create a holiday world that provides scope for discoveries and touches the soul.
Extending over a surface of 2,600km², Vorarlberg is four times the size of Vienna, and comparable to the German state of Saarland or the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Two thirds of the country are situated above 1,000m. As at 2022, the total number of inhabitants was 406,886. The largest town in Vorarlberg is Dornbirn (50,000), ahead of Feldkirch (35,000) and the state capital of Bregenz (30,000). Other major towns are Bludenz and Hohenems.
Vorarlberg is a genuine leisure paradise, both in summer and in winter. Despite all attractions, it has guarded and preserved its cultural landscape. The mountains and valleys have been developed on a human scale, nature lovers will still find countless quiet spots and remote corners. The public transport network is fully developed, with all train and bus schedules dovetailed and integrated in a uniform tariff network.
Did you know?
Vorarlberg stretches some 100km from north to south. From the shores of Lake Constance (400m), it takes just 90 minutes by car to reach the high-alpine Silvretta mountains with their glacier-capped peaks.
While the rest of Austria is of Baiuvarii origin, Vorarlberg is Austria’s only regional state whose population is of Alemannic descent. And it is specifically this Alemannic origin to which certain characteristic traits are ascribed. The people of Vorarlberg are said to be hard-working, frugal, assiduous and home-loving. Here is where their kinship with the Swiss, Alsatians and Swabes becomes apparent.
The Alemannic descent is also audible in the dialect, or better dialects, which differ from village to village, and from valley to valley. To sample some sound bites, browse through our free-of-charge folder “Sprachgenie” (available in German only).
Vorarlberg is a thriving business region. At roughly 66 %, its export ratio is the highest among all of Austria’s states. Vorarlberg’s flagship companies are Doppelmayr Lifte, the world-market leader in ropeway construction, Blum GmbH (fittings), Alpla (plastic packaging), Zumtobel (light design), Rupp Käse, Bachmann electronic, Wolford (bodywear) and the fruit juice manufacturers Rauch and Pfanner.
Kästle (legendary skis, freeriding equipment specialist), Skinfit (functional wear manufacturer) have a special link to Vorarlberg.
Vorarlberg plans to be energy-autonomous by 2050. This is why energy efficiency and the sparing use of natural resources are given utmost priority. Numerous projects promote e-mobility. When it comes to generating power, Vorarlberg has long been privileging hydro-electricity.
Vorarlberg has a passion for art and culture, always at the vanguard of daring, innovative projects. Modern (timber) architecture and design-oriented craftsmanship are striking examples. When it comes to music, Vorarlberg boasts the largest number of brass bands per capita in Austria. Several bands re-interpret traditional songs in a novel way. On the literary front as well, many writers have hit the headlines. Award-winning authors who are well known locally and beyond include Michael Köhlmeier and Arno Geiger, as well as columnist and writer Doris Knecht.