City Information

The name Wels is of Celtic origin (Wilabis). Later under the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the former Celtic settlement became the city of Ovilava. A range of beautiful buildings bear witness to the town’s 2 000 years of rich cultural history – e.g. the historic market place with its colourful town houses and romantic arcade courtyards, the ancient castle or the medieval towers.

Located in the very heart of Upper Austria, Wels today is a busy centre for trade and industry, right between Munich and Vienna, Prague and Salzburg. With a population of 55000 and located 25 kilometres west of Linz (the capital of Upper Austria, population approx 200 000), Wels is a dynamic business location based on high-tech industries (mainly SMEs), many of which operate worldwide. The annual Wels Trade Fair in September is more than just a European event: it is attended by companies from all over the world.

In addition to its strong industrial infrastructure, Wels also offers a wide range of leisure facilities, like the municipal zoo, the medieval market, the open-air film festival or the nearby thermal baths. Above all, Wels is near the Alps with their beautiful lakes and mountains – the nearest skiing resort is less than an hour’s drive away!

The university campus which is situated in the centre of Wels spreads its vibrant, lively atmosphere about the city which offers a high quality of living, a rich cultural programme and an attractive gastronomy to its residents, students and guests.

The Wels Tourist Information website:


Distances to well-known and worth visiting cities: 

  • Linz (state capital of Upper Austria):  40 km
  • Vienna (federal capital of Austria):  180 km
  • Salzburg (state capital of Salzburg): 150 km
  • Graz (state capital of Styria): 190 km
  • Innsbruck (state capital of Tyrol): 380 km
  • Munich (state capital of Bavaria/Germany): 270 km