Panoramic view to the old town of Graz

Things to do in  Graz

Austrian city with country soul

At once modern and old, creative and traditional, Graz brims with contradictions. While Austria’s second-largest city has historical and cultural clout, it’s unknown to many tourists from abroad. So, if you want a city break alongside the Austrians, Graz is the place to do it, and you’ll find no shortage of cool things to do when you’re there. Admire UNESCO-listed architecture, savor Styrian cuisine and wine, and marvel out loud at the city’s eco-friendly transport links—all without the international crowds.

Top 10 attractions in Graz

Graz Schlossberg

The Graz Schlossberg is a public park on a hill in the center of the city of Graz that has been home to fortifications as far back as the 10th century. A fortress stood on the hill from the middle of the 16th century to the 19th century, with only the clock tower and bell tower spared by an invading Napoleon. The remains of the castle became a public park in 1839 including the two towers, a cistern and a couple bastions from the destroyed castle.A great walking tour of the Schlossberg starts at the bottom of the hill at Schlossbergplatz, from where visitors can take the 19th century Schlossbergbahn funicular or the newer Schlossberg lift to reach the top of the hill. Once at the top, check out the bell tower, climb to the top of the clock tower for scenic views of the Old Town and relax at one of the several cafes. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to catch a concert in what was once the cellar of one of the old bastions. Head back down to the Schlossbergplatz via one of several footpaths or staircases and then check out the extensive system of tunnels underneath the Schlossberg that was created during World War II.More

Kunsthaus Graz Art Museum (Kunsthaus Graz)

Graz Art Museum—aka Kunsthaus Graz, the Friendly Alien, or the Spacelab—sparks as much interest for its striking exterior as its collections inside. Designed by British architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier for the city’s 2003 European Capital of Culture title, the site features changing art exhibitions, often themed around political and social issues.More

Graz Main Square (Hauptplatz)

History abounds at the Hauptplatz (main square), where architecture dates to the Middle Ages. Set in Graz Old Town, the square today remains the city’s core, linking every street worth seeing and every tram. Architecture enthusiasts and people-watchers come to linger, enjoying markets and events that add buzz to the elegant backdrop.More

Graz Old Town (Grazer Altstadt)

The historic heart of Graz, Austria’s second city, Graz Old Town (Grazer Aldstadt offers red-roofed baroque homes, exuberant fountains, and a castle-topped mount, set around a rushing river. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, highlights include museums, state buildings, the cathedral, the Clock Tower, and the Glockenspiel performing clock.More

Styrian Armory (Landeszeughaus)

The Styrian Armory in Graz is the world’s largest historic army, holding 32,000 pieces of weaponry, tools and suits of armor. Built between 1642 and 1645, the armory stood on the front lines for Austria’s battles with the Ottoman Empire and Hungarian rebels for the next few centuries. One of the most visited of the dozen museums that comprise the Universalmuseum Joanneum, the Armory features exhibitions on four floors, arranged in a way reminiscent of a 17th century arsenal. On the first floor, visitors will find cannons, mortars and muskets from the 16th to 18th centuries, while the second floor focuses on helmets, suits of armor and pistols. The third floor shows off more armor, including German-made armor and equestrian armor for nobles. Finally, the fourth floor is home to staff weapons such as morning stars, halberds and pikes used by foot soldiers, as well as swords and sabres once used by horsemen.More


The Universalmuseum Joanneum in Graz is a multidisciplinary museum that boasts 4.5 million items in its collection. The largest museum of its kind in Europe, it was also Austria’s first public museum, founded in 1811 by Archduke Johann of Austria, the brother of Emperor Franz I. The museum includes 12 different locations in Graz, each of which focuses on either art, culture or the natural sciences.For modern and contemporary art, visitors should head to the Kunsthaus Graz, the Neue Galerie Graz or Art in Public Space. For a look into the Middle Ages and Baroque art, visit the Schloss Eggenberg and the Alte Galerie. Focusing in prehistory and antiquity are the Archaeology Museum adjacent to the Schloss Eggenberg and the Coin Cabinet inside the Schloss. The Styrian Armory, Folk Life Museum, Museum in Palais and the Multimedial Collections provide a look into cultural history of the area and the Natural History Museum and Centre of Natural History showcase the region’s natural history. An additional seven locations can be found elsewhere in Austria outside of Graz.More

Graz Clock Tower (Grazer Uhrturm)

Standing proud on the edge of the Schlossberg hill and park, the Graz Clock Tower (Grazer Uhrturm is a city icon. Between a neat triangular roof and a wooden gallery that once served as a place for volunteers to watch for fire, its four faces tell the time in an unusual fashion: The long hand marks hours and the shorthand minutes.More

Graz City Hall (Grazer Rathaus)

The Graz City Hall (Grazer Rathaus) was completed at the end of the 19th century, replacing two earlier town halls that stood in the same spot on Graz’s Main Square as early as 1550. The new hall stands four stories tall with an Old German style façade once highlighted by a series of statues that depict prominent Austrians and the four allegories, art, science, industry and commerce. The statues were removed in the early 20th century and later replaced with copies. In the inner courtyard, two houses extend into the design of the building; the owners famously refused to move when the new hall was built.Inside, highlights for visitors include a painting depicting the city hall over time, a brass Styrian panther, a large mural of Graz in 1635, portraits of past Graz mayors, coffered ceilings and a tiled stove on the second floor and the chandelier, 19th century clock and intricately-designed ceilings in the elegant assembly hall.More
Eggenberg Palace (Schloss Eggenberg)

Eggenberg Palace (Schloss Eggenberg)

One of Austria’s most important baroque palaces, Eggenberg Palace is a must for Graz visitors. Created in the 17th century along with elegant gardens, the site was once home to Austria’s influential Eggenberg dynasty. Today, tours cover the curiosities of the state rooms and their frescoes, plus stories about the Eggenberg family.More


Built in the early 16th century, the Landhaushof was the first Renaissance building in Graz and remains one of the most notable Renaissance buildings in central Europe. The massive structure today takes up an entire city block, but the original building containing a law firm and a chapel was much smaller. The building, which was home to the Styrian Diet, was soon enlarged by expanding into nearby buildings. Due to the expansion over the years, the Landhaushof features several different architectural styles, although great care was taken to blend the varied styles together.The building today features a main façade with elegant round-arched windows, airy porticoes and a three-story arcaded Italianate courtyard. The Landhaushof has three courtyards altogether, each hosting musical concerts and theater performances during the summer months.More
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All about Graz

When to visit

The months between May and September are generally mild and sunny, making late spring through early fall the best time to visit Graz. Climate aside, the city hosts festivals throughout the year, with more in the summer months. Big events outside of the peak season include Faschingsumzug Graz, the Carnival parade on Shrove Tuesday; the Tuntenball Graz in February, one of Europe’s biggest LGBTQ charity events; and Design Month Graz, celebrated from the beginning of May to the beginning of June with exhibitions, workshops, and lectures.

Getting around

Graz is easy to access by road, but inside the city, there is limited parking. Follow the Graz locals and walk, cycle, or use public transport to get around. The Graz Old Town is pedestrianized and most landmarks are walkable. For farther away attractions like Eggenberg Palace, take a tram or bus. Cashless tickets for public transit can be bought via the GrazMobil app, while hourly, 24-hour, and weekly tickets can be bought via vending machines around the city.

Traveler tips

Thal, the small village just west of Graz, is the birthplace of bodybuilder, actor, and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thal isn’t the easiest place to get to, but if you’re a fan, a visit to the Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum is not to be missed. The intimate museum is Arnie’s childhood home, offering a glimpse into the star’s early life in Austria along with movie memorabilia.


People Also Ask

Is Graz worth visiting?

Yes, Austria’s second-largest city gets less attention from international tourists, but that doesn’t mean that Graz doesn’t have its own charms. There are many things to do and see, including exciting restaurants showcasing Styrian cuisine, boutique hotels, art galleries, and museums.

What is Graz in Austria known for?

Many know Graz for its well-preserved UNESCO-listed Old Town, with its Renaissance, Gothic, and baroque architectural styles. It’s also a city of many titles: Graz was named the European Capital of Culture in 2003 and was designated a UNESCO City of Design in 2011. In addition to its official titles, Graz is considered Austria’s culinary capital and greenest city.

What is there to do in Graz in three days?

Ride the funicular up the Schlossberg to admire Graz from a hilltop perch, then speed down the hill into the Schlossbergstollen Caves via the Slide, one of the world’s largest underground slides. Visit Graz Art Museum (Kunsthaus Graz) and the Old Town, and venture into the nearby Styrian countryside to sample local wine.

Is Graz more expensive than Vienna?

No, like many capital cities, Vienna is one of Austria’s more expensive destinations. In general, visitors will find Graz slightly less expensive than Vienna when it comes to eating out and hotels. Nonetheless, since both are university cities with big student populations, there are always some budget-friendly things to do in either destination.

Which is better, Salzburg or Graz?

It depends on your interests. If you’re interested in classical music, seeing The Sound of Music filming locations, and more visitor-focused attractions, you’ll likely think Salzburg is the better city. If you like to visit European cities that feel more authentic and see fewer tourists, you’ll probably prefer Graz to Salzburg.

Is Graz a walkable city?

Yes, Graz is walkable. From either of the city stations, it takes around half an hour on foot to reach the pedestrianized downtown area across the Mur River. Many top Graz attractions such as the Styrian Armoury, the Graz Art Museum, and the Schlossberg are all easily accessible on foot once there.

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