According to Clothesbliss, Graz, located in southeastern Austria on the territory of Styria, is the second largest city in the country. This city is an organic combination of developed industry and natural beauties (green parks, a river flowing through the city, a mountain), pompous Renaissance and Baroque palaces and ultra-modern architectural structures.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sports career began in Graz – it was here that he began bodybuilding at the age of 14. The future governor of California spent his childhood in the village of Thal near Graz.
How to get to Graz
GKB buses operate routes to Deutschlandberg (11 EUR, 1 hour). Most buses leave from Griesplatz station, some from Hauptbahnhof station. Post buses run from the Hauptbahnhof throughout the Styria region.
- How to get from Vienna to Graz by bus
Trains run from Vienna to Graz every 2 hours (cost 35-50 EUR, travel time 2 h 38 min). From Salzburg, trains leave every 2-3 hours, and tickets will cost 24-70 EUR (journey time 4 hours). International trains to Graz depart from stations in Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary: from Zagreb (3.5 hours), Ljubljana (3.5 hours), Budapest (5.5 hours) and Szentgotthard (1.5 hours).
Graz Airport is located 10 km from the city centre. In addition to domestic flights from Vienna and Linz, planes from Germany and the UK arrive at the local airport. From the airport to the city can be reached by train or bus, reaching the Hauptbahnhof station.
You can rent a car at the airport, there are representative offices of international companies Avis, Hertz, etc.
Transport in Graz
You can travel around the city by trams and buses. The ticket costs 2.40 EUR and is valid for 1 hour; a daily ticket costs 5.30 EUR, they can be bought from the driver. Tickets for a week or a month can be purchased at tobacconists, vending machines or tourist offices.
Bicycles can be rented for 10 EUR per day at the Bicycle rental shop (address: Körösistrasse 5).
You can try traditional Austrian cuisine at the Landhauskeller restaurant (Schmiedgasse, 9). An exotic option – Aiola Upstairs on the observation deck on the Schlossberg mountain, it is located in a glass pavilion with a large outdoor terrace and gives its guests amazing views of the city and surroundings. A few steps from the Schlossberg castle, there is the Altsteirische Schmankerlstubn restaurant, which specializes in traditional Styrian cuisine (Sackstrasse, 10).
The main shopping street in Graz is Herrengasse. Graz’s largest shopping center Kastner+Öhler is located in the heart of the city. There are also several malls on the outskirts of the city: Shopping City Seiersberg, Shopping Center West, Murpark.
In Graz, you should definitely buy Kernöl pumpkin seed oil, which is a highlight of the Styria region.
Entertainment and attractions in Graz
The historic center of Graz combines buildings of various eras and architectural styles – from Gothic to modern – and was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999. The most outstanding monuments of Graz are the Schlossberg castle on the mountain and part of it – the Urturm clock tower, which has become a symbol of the city.
Bridge Island Murinzel
In Graz, on the River Mur, a unique Murinsel Island Bridge was built, designed by the American artist Vito Acconci after the city received the title of European Capital of Culture in 2003. Murinsel looks like a high-tech floating platform, partly open, partly glazed, which is connected by passages to the banks of the river. This giant “sea shell” is 50 meters long, 20 meters wide and can accommodate up to 350 visitors. During the day it looks just like an unusual structure, but in the evening and at night they turn on a bluish backlight, and the waves are reflected in the glass fragments of the bridge, and the lights of Murinzel are reflected in the water. Inside there is a cafe and a playground-maze.
In 2003, another object appeared, which became another symbol of Graz – by the way, it is located not far from Murinsel. The Museum of Contemporary Art “Kunsthaus” (Kunsthaus) attracts attention with its appearance alone. The building was built in an unusual blob style, suggesting that the buildings should be amorphous, reminiscent of amoebas. Luminous parts are installed on the facade, and at night you can see changing installations on the walls. Because of the ultra-modern shape, the Kunsthaus got a second name – “Friendly Alien”. Exhibitions are constantly changing, everything about the current expositions and schedule can be found on the Kunsthaus website (in English).
The Neue Galerie Museum of Art, in addition to the work of contemporary artists, also stores earlier works (starting from the middle of the 19th century). The collection of the “New Gallery” includes canvases and installations made in a variety of styles – from realism to Art Nouveau and conceptual art. Here you can see both a permanent exhibition, including works by famous masters like Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka, as well as very interesting temporary exhibitions. This museum also supports young, obscure artists. Details of the gallery’s projects and opening hours can be found on the Neue Galerie website (in English).
What else to see in Graz:
- the building of the land parliament Landhaus, built in the Renaissance style;
- Mausoleum-tomb of Emperor Ferdinand II, erected at the beginning of the 17th century;
- Graz Castle, located near the Cathedral of St. Egidius,
- Eggenberg Castle on the outskirts of Graz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- What to see in Graz and Vienna and how best to get from Graz to Vienna
The biggest annual festivals in Graz are:
- Spring Festival(May or June) is a five-day major festival of electronic music, art, design and technology. Every year the time of the event changes, the current dates and program can be viewed on the festival website.
- Styriarte, or “The Art of Styria” (end of June – end of July) is a classical music festival that lasts a whole month. Jazz and klezmer performances will be added in 2018, a detailed program can be found on the Styriarte website (in English).
- Jazzsommer Graz(July-August) is a jazz festival with a 20-year history.
- Steirischer Herbst (September) – the oldest contemporary art festival in Europe (held since 1968). It brings together art, music, performance, dance, theatre, literature, architecture and public debate. Festival website.
Weather in Graz
Due to its location southeast of the Alps, Graz is protected from the prevailing westerly winds blowing from the North Atlantic. In this regard, the weather in Graz is more under the influence of the Mediterranean. Therefore, there are more sunny days per year than in Vienna or Salzburg, and less rainfall.