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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.
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.
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.
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.
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....More
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....More
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....More
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....More
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....More
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....More