I have been living in Dornbirn, Vorarlberg for the past 5 years. As an Indian in Europe, who has lived in a big city like Milan earlier, Vorarlberg has been a completely different experience. I finally got to experience life in a smaller European city with a lot of beautiful nature all around.
Firstly, instead of living in an apartment building like in Milan, I have been living in an independent house with a garden in Dornbirn. I have neighbors who take good care of their gardens and get to see a lot of families and children here. On the other hand, I hardly would see young children in Milan as families would always live in the suburbs and commute to the big city for work in Europe.
Staying in Dornbirn, I can reach a nearby small river stream in 15 minutes by walk, while I can reach a nearby hill in 30 minutes. Moreover, I can catch a train for a 30-minute train journey and reach Bregenz by Lake Constance. Vorarlberg is perfect for hikers and nature lovers like me. The trains give you great access to each of the little towns and cities. Hence, although each city is small you are well connected to travel around the region and beyond.
The only drawback is that due to the hilly terrain, you do not have any big airports around and may have to rely on a 1.5-hour train ride to Zurich, a 2.5-hour train to Munich, or a 7-hour train to Vienna for access to large international airports. In a way, this makes Vorarlberg a true hidden gem for Indian travel bloggers like me in Europe.
Top 6 reasons to visit Vorarlberg
- Explore the hills and the mountains in Vorarlberg
- Relax by the beautiful lakes and rivers
- Visit the numerous Museums in Vorarlberg
- Trains to Switzerland, Germany, and Lichtenstein
- Enjoy winter sports because it snows well here
- Dairy and Vegetables make good Austrian food
Explore the hills and the mountains in Vorarlberg
One of the first activities I was introduced to in Dornbirn was the hikes up the nearby hills and mountains. While I embraced this healthy fun exercise initially, I found myself overwhelmed with work and a lack of motivation to keep at it, especially after the Pandemic. As you can see below, the sight is incredible and very much recommended. Austrian hills can make anyone get in shape. Moreover, you are filled with a sense of superhuman feeling when you scale up these massive heights.
Relax by the beautiful lakes and rivers
Austrians enjoy swimming in the rivers and lakes in the summer. As swimming here involves fresh water, I have not really explored the lakes much. However, I enjoyed swimming in the saltwater seas in South Italy, Croatia, and the Andaman Islands. But the river in Dornbirn is quite shallow, while the lakes in this region are clean and pristine.
Visit the numerous Museums in Vorarlberg
When you are dating in Austria, you better know your local museums well enough. While the Schattenburg is an amazing historical museum, the Kunsthaus in Bregenz has a lot of interesting modern art that keeps getting updated regularly.
Trains to Switzerland, Germany, and Lichtenstein
Dornbirn like Milan is well connected by Trains to a whole range of interesting places. You can visit Nuremberg in 3.5 hours by train. I recommend the ÖBB app as the first option and the Trainline app as the second option for booking your tickets from Austria.
Enjoy winter sports because it snows well here
I am not into Skiing, but almost everyone else I meet here is into it. Having worked on a project for a local Insurance company, I did not want to put myself into a risky position doing sports that my ancestors never did. I prefer swimming or hiking up mountains in summer, but in snowy winters, I rather stay indoors and get some desk work done. Skiing is too dangerous a sport for me, but apparently, the coaches in Austria are really good!
Dairy and Vegetables make good Austrian food
Austrian cuisine is more than just schnitzel and potatoes. The käsespätzle for example is a Vorarlberg version of macaroni and cheese that is garnished with caramelized onions. It makes for a great Friday lunch with work colleagues when you are finishing off a busy productive week.
Conclusion: One can never get bored in Vorarlberg with such beautiful nature
There are very few places in the world that can be enjoyed without company. Thanks to the amazing nature that is beautiful in all seasons, you always have something fun to do outside your home. Of course, the weather is gentle most times but it can rain suddenly and heavily when you least expect it. So always check the weather before heading out in the Austrian wild. Even if you find yourselves in bad weather, you can visit a Museum or visit a bar with some friends. I did a lot of bars in my first year till the cheap alcohol became too much for me and I had to quit for good. So pray for good weather during your visit, so you can enjoy the nature here which is amazing and well preserved.