Graz travel guide
Graz sits amid lush forests in the south east corner of Austria and is the country’s second largest city. With so much to see and do there, we hope you will find our Graz travel guide useful for your visit. Graz was crowned the cultural capital of Europe in 2003, a few years after it made UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Heritage Sites. Its sheltered geographical location means it receives more sunshine and less wind and rain than cities like Vienna or Salzburg, which adds to its attraction as a favourite destination for tourism.
Graz is a city of style as its many and diverse retail establishments and boutique hotels showcase. If retail therapy is what the doctor ordered, you will find many interesting and elegant shops in Jakominiplatz, Harrengasse, Hofgasse, Sporgasse and Schmiedgasse. You can find everything from Thai beer to pumpkin seed oil; Christmas paper products to traditional clothing. There are bookshops, antique shops and many delightful chocolatiers. If you want everything under one roof try Kastner & Ohler, Graz’s large department store or the Centre West shopping mall. There are also interesting farmers’ markets around Kaiser Josef Platz and Lendplatz in West Graz.
In the autumn the Styrian Festival livens up the town with music (particularly jazz), art and literature. For culture lovers the Kunsthaus is a state of the art gallery for some very impressive art of the state! Then there is the Landesmuseum of natural history and paintings dating back to mediaeval times or for military aficionados the Landeszeughaus museum of armoury with some 30,000 exhibits of armour and weaponry dating back over 300 years.
Step into another world at Schloss Eggenberg with its numerous state rooms all based on different themes, including Chinese and astronomy and mythology. Uhrturm on Schlossberg (Castle Hill) is the clock tower in the centre of Graz which is a significant local landmark, dating back to the 16th century. If you have the stamina for all the steps, you may then want to pop into Gamlitzer Weinstrube, a 300 year old wine tavern for a reviving glass!
Underneath Graz is a network of tunnels used as underground shelters during World War II and these are now being used in imaginative ways. In one tunnel is a lively nightclub whilst another contains the Schlossberg Cave Railway, something to thrill the little ones. The 20 minute ride brings you up against fairy tale delights at every turn. And still for the young at heart is the Island of Mur, a great glass and metal dome containing an amphitheatre and playground. Being a six universities city means there is something to please everyone in Graz.