FEDERATED STATES
Vorarlberg
Vorarlberg is one of the nine Austrian federal states, where visitors can find a great number of museums, as well as natural beauty spots including lakes, mountains and valleys.
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Buying property in the federal state of Vorarlberg

Vorarlberg is one of the nine Austrian federal states, where visitors can find a great number of museums, as well as natural beauty spots including lakes, mountains and valleys. Tourists come here to practice winter sports, go hiking, and visit musical and dance festivals throughout the year. Vorarlberg is the best option to obtain property for those who wish to relax away from the hustle and bustle whilst also having the opportunity to travel to other European countries.

In this article, you will find information about the western Austrian federal state of Vorarlberg as well as the advantages of purchasing a property here.

General Information about Vorarlberg

01
Vorarlberg borders Tyrol to the east, as well as three countries including Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. You can easily travel from Bregenz to the capital of Liechtenstein; Vaduz, in 45 minutes’, and to Zürich in less than 2 hours by car, and travelling to Stuttgart and Munich will take about 2.5 hours. Even though Vorarlberg boasts the second smallest geographical area after the Austrian capital Vienna and has the second-smallest population, the population density here is second-highest after the capital and is 397K.
02
The federal-state is divided into four districts including Bregenz, Dornbirn, Feldkirch and Bludenz. Bregenz is the capital of not only the same-named district but the whole federal state too.
03
The climate in this federal state is comfortable for living, as the summer temperatures are usually from +20 °C to +25 °C and July is considered to be the sunniest month. In January the average temperature is +3 °C.
04
Even though Vorarlberg isn’t a big federal state, it offers a variety of geographical locations. Here visitors can find several mountain ranges, including the Verwall, the Arlberg, the Silvretta and the Rätikon, as well as rivers such as the III (a tributary of the Rhine), the Rhine itself, the Bregenzer Ach and the Dornbirner Ach. The federal-state is also known for its lakes including Lake Constance, Lüner Lake, Silvretta Reservoir and Vermunt Lake, just to name a few. Lüner Lake is considered to be the largest mountain lake in the Alps even before the construction of a hydroelectric dam in 1958. The Piz Buin is the highest mountain in the region with a height of 3,312 m and can be found in the Silvretta range, surrounded by glaciers.

Sightseeing

While travelling to the capital of Vorarlberg, Bregenz, don’t forget to visit:
Kunsthaus
Kunsthaus, made in the form of a glass and steel cube and designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, offers temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. In 2022 it’s planned that the works of Dora Budor, Jordan Wolfson, Anna Boghiguian and Otobong Nkanga will be represented in the Kunsthaus.
Vorarlberg Museum
Vorarlberg Museum comprises about 16,000 objects connected with archeology, history and art that are represented in the permanent exhibition. Another permanent exhibition is dedicated to the Roman archaeological finds of Brigantium. Temporary exhibitions also take place here as well.
You can also find a wide range of interesting sights outside the capital of the federal state. Among them are:
Angelika Kauffmann Museum
Angelika Kauffmann Museum in Schwarzenberg which is dedicated to the life and works of the Swiss Neoclassical painter Angelica Kauffmann (1741–1807), one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in London. The museum is closed for the annual winter break from November 1, 2021, till March 10, 2022.
Schattenburg
Schattenburg is a castle in Feldkirch which was built in the 13th century. It was the seat of the counts of Montfort and is considered one of the best-preserved castles in Central Europe. Now tourists can find a museum on three floors with weaponry from the Middle Ages until World War II, religious art, costumes and other artifacts showing the history of Feldkirch.
Rolls-Royce Museum
The Rolls-Royce Museum in Dornbirn is a private automobile museum that opened to the public in 1999. Here you can find about 70 cars, including the 1927 Phantom I owned by General Franco and the 1936 Phantom III owned by Queen Elizabeth.
Jüdisches Museum Hohenems
Six km from Dornbirn you will find the Jüdisches Museum Hohenems. Here visitors can learn more about Hohenems’ long-defunct Jewish community from the great number of photos, documents and other artifacts.
Domkirche St Nikolaus
Those interested in religion might want to visit Domkirche St Nikolaus, the Feldkirch’s cathedral with late-Gothic features and amazing stained glass, in which a member of the Danube School Wolf Huber who worked in the 15-16th centuries painted the side altar.
If you aren’t into museums and galleries, you might be interested in some nature and the resorts of Vorarlberg:
Biosphere Reserve Großes Walsertal
Biosphere Reserve Großes Walsertal is a nature reserve with an area of 19,200 ha. and became a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 2000. Here you can find more than 3,400 inhabitants and about 180 farms.
Ski Arlberg
Ski Arlberg is one of the largest ski resorts in the federal state that is partly situated in Tyrol. Here ski lovers will find about 305 km of slopes and 111 lifts. Lech am Arlberg and Zürs are considered luxurious resorts that attract world famous stars throughout the year. For example, the Royal Dutch family comes to Lech am Arlberg on skiing holidays. The 22km route named Der Weiße Ring or The White Ring is one of the longest ski circuits in the world with five downhill runs and five ropeways from Lech am Arlberg to Zürs.
Silvretta Montafon
Silvretta Montafon ski area is also popular among tourists as it offers 141 km of pistes, including easy, medium, difficult and free ride routes. Guests and visitors can also find 8km of winter hiking routes. Every December the FIS Snowboard World Cup takes place here, which means it’s an ideal way to meet famous skiers and snowboarders.
Gauertaler AlpkulTour
Summer is an ideal period to go hiking on the theme route named Gauertaler AlpkulTour and discover the landscape of the Montafon Alpine and Maisäß or traditional Alpine pasture land. During the 5-hour hike (12.8 km) you will visit thirteen locations and see unusual objects made by the Montafon artist Roland Haas and know more about local culture.

Note: Austria offers a number of ski resorts where children and adults can enjoy outdoor activities and walks. Therefore, we have compiled a selection of the TOP-5 destinations for the best winter holidays in Austria.

Culture

Vorarlberg boasts delicious food that partly varies from other Austrian dishes due to the influence of Alemannic cuisine.
Among the most popular Vorarlberg dishes and products are:
  • Vorarlberger Bergkäse, a cheese with a hard structure that is usually made in low mountain ranges.
  • Sura Kees, a low-fat cheese known from the 12th century that resembles the Tyrolean grey cheese that is usually served with oil, onions and vinegar.
  • Öpfelküachle, an apple cake with a topping of cinnamon and sugar.
  • Käsespätzle, noodles with cheese and onions.

The federal-state is known for its festivals and events. Don’t miss the chance to visit some of them while being in Vorarlberg. These are the best ones:
Bregenzer Festspiele
The Bregenzer Festspiele is one of the best-known festivals in the federal state that has taken place in July-August since 1946. Thousands of visitors come to Bregenz to see contemporary theater performances, operas and musicals on the floating scene on Lake Constance (Bodensee). The biggest contributor to the festival is the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.
Bregenzer Frühling
Every spring since 1987 a dance festival at the Bregenzer Frühling takes place in the federal state’s capital and attracts both local and foreign dancers. Here visitors can enjoy classical ballet, hip-hop, contemporary dance, etc.
Montafoner Resonanzen
Vorarlberg is also known for music festivals with Montafoner Resonanzen being the most famous one. On the weekends of August and September, visitors can enjoy different musical performances as every weekend is dedicated to a specific genre including Austrian folk music, organ, classical, jazz, etc.

Economics

Vorarlberg is considered one of the strongest economic regions in the European Union. The annual export volume per employed person is EUR 43,000 which places the federal state higher than Germany and Switzerland.
Among the key sectors of Vorarlberg's economy are computer sciences and IT, mechanical engineering, environment and energy technologies and the metal industry. The federal state’s main export markets are Germany, Switzerland and Italy. About 54% of goods produced in the local economy are exported. Vorarlberg exports more goods than it imports.

Note: The federal state is also known for its effective tourist industry with Lech am Arlberg being the top Alpine destination.

Vorarlberg is home to the University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule Vorarlberg) which offers bachelor’s and master’s programmes in engineering, business and design, that are in TOP-35 universities in the country.
In the university, there are research centers in Microtechnology, user-centered technology, energy, process and product engineering, and much more. The researchers work closely with the federal state and national companies, as well as international partners. You can read about other popular universities in Austria here.

Vorarlberg aims to meet all its energy needs from renewable energy by 2050. A non-profit organization Vorarlberg Energy Institute offers services to support sustainable energy systems and promotes sensible energy consumption.

Property Prices

The Austrian real estate market saw significant price increases in 2021 during the recovery from COVID-19, and values are expected to begin to stabilize in 2022.
Nevertheless, real estate in Vorarlberg is at a high level, in which only property in Vienna is more expensive. Although prices in the federal state have always been quite high, after the pandemic they began to rise significantly, especially in the areas of Bregenz and Dornbirn. Location is a key factor in calculating the price. For example, the best residential areas in the federal state’s capital can be found in the city center or on the lake shores. Good transport connectivity, well-maintained streets and access to shops also have an influence on prices.
If you are going to purchase a property in Vorarlberg, 1 sq.m. costs about EUR 9,761 which means that a 1-bedroom apartment with an area of 51 to 80 sq.m. will cost you a minimum of EUR 498,000. Bludenz offers more affordable prices at a cost of 1 sq.m. for EUR 3,160. Therefore, a house with an area of 150 sq.m. in Bludenz costs around EUR 474,000.

The average rental price of a 1-bedroom apartment in Bregenz with an area of 50 sq.m. is EUR 913 per month.

Note: If you want to learn more about why it is profitable to invest in real estate in the state you can read our comparative article on the Pros and cons of real estate investments in Austria and Germany, with specifics of the real estate market for investors, visas and residence permits.

Why is Vorarlberg an Ideal Place for Making an Investment?

Vorarlberg provides its residents with perfect conditions for living and doing business. Among the main benefits are:
  • Strategic location in the center of Europe near to other strong economic regions.
  • Advanced infrastructure and good transport connectivity to other Austrian federal states and foreign countries.
  • Low energy prices and the development of renewable energy options.
  • Business-friendly climate.
  • Wide range of leisure opportunities, sights, ski resorts and numerous festivals.
The process of buying property in Austria can be quite complicated and confusing, especially if you have not invested in real estate in the country before and are not familiar with its legislation.
Luxury Immobile GmbH cooperates with many leading real estate developers in Austria and is ready to provide you with comprehensive support in finding and buying property in Vorarlberg or any other region. Our experts will provide you with the latest information on the state of the real estate market, as well as helping you determine the purpose (living or investment) and the type of purchase (residential/commercial). We will take care of collecting all the necessary documents for the transaction, and if necessary, provide legal advice or open a bank account for you.

Our experts can also help you in matters such as assistance in obtaining credit from local banks, property management, finding properties for rent, registration, and legal support for businesses.
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Evgeny Pilnikov.
CEO.
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