Graz – a city of science and culture in Austria

The city of Graz (Austria) is the second largest settlement in the country. Many tourists note that it is impossible not to fall in love with him – despite the seeming provincialism, there are a lot of young people here, because the city has many universities, so student life is in full swing day and night. Graz is also friendly and resembles the house of good friends, where guests are always welcome.

Graz City

Photo: Graz, Austria

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general information

Graz is the capital of the Styria region. Everyone who was fortunate enough to visit here, note the many faces of the Austrian city. Medieval castles and ultra-modern buildings, multi-storey buildings and picturesque villages adjoin its streets. History and modernity are so intertwined here so tightly that one gets the feeling that he was on the set of a science fiction film about time travel.

Kunsthaus Museum

Locals are proud that they managed to harmoniously combine industry and natural beauty, Renaissance castles and modern architectural structures.

Interesting fact! Another reason for the pride of the inhabitants of Graz – here began the sports career of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The actor spent all his childhood in the small village of Tal, which is located near the city.

If Vienna is called by many the cultural heart of Austria, Graz is called the student heart. Many tourists note that there are a lot of young people on the streets of the city and this is not surprising, because there are six higher educational institutions in the city where students study in different directions. According to statistics, students make up one fifth of the total population of Graz.

Interesting fact! As the mayor of the city notes, Graz received an active leap in development relatively recently. The main task facing the city authorities was to preserve the unique architecture of the Middle Ages and at the same time to carry out the construction of new, modern buildings.

Tiled roofs

Tourists will get acquainted with one of the most interesting Austrian cities with its red tiled roofs, beautiful sunsets, wide streets, fairs, festivals, fun music

Graz landmarks in Austria

In small cities, as a rule, there are not so many places where a tourist can go. Graz is notable for the fact that the concentration of attractions here is so high that guests seem to be in an open-air museum. The old part of Graz was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999. It is impossible to see all the sights of Graz in Austria in one day and many tourists stay here for a week. What to see in Graz – we made a selection of the most interesting places in the city.

Good to know! Going to Austria, be sure to bring with you a map of Graz with attractions in Russian.

Graz Old Town

Among all the attractions of Graz in Austria, the central part is of particular importance. In the past, namely in the 12th century, Graz was the residence of the royal Habsburg dynasty, largely due to this fact, the old part of the city is perfectly preserved. The historical center is a cultural heritage not only of Graz, but of the whole of Austria. The settler was formed in the 11th century at the foot of the Schlossberg mountain, by the end of the 15th century it would be a well-fortified city, and its central part was used for trade – people from all nearby lands gathered here.

Graz Old Town

Interesting fact! After Graz was the capital of the Roman Empire, its significance increased, new buildings appeared – Parliament, town hall, Arsenal. The rank of obstinate was firmly entrenched among the inhabitants of Graz – during the construction of the town hall they did not allow the demolition of ancient medieval buildings.

Judge for yourself how original and unusual the city center looks like if the surrealistic building of the Cuntshaus museum, a monument to tolerance in the shape of the Lightsaber, and the floating island of Moor made of glass and iron peacefully coexist here next to the old buildings. Each of these objects recalls that, despite its thousand-year history, Graz remains young.

Floating island moore
Moore Island
Sporgasse street

The pedestrian street that crosses the Old Town. This is the longest pedestrian zone and, without exaggeration, is one of the most popular among tourists. People come here for a walk, soak up the atmosphere of the city, have a leisurely meal, be sure to visit shops, souvenir shops.

Sporgasse street

Interesting fact! Sporgasse is an old street, even older than Graz, it was walked on during the Roman Empire. The name of the street is due to the fact that during the Middle Ages, craftsmen and weapons spurs for horses lived and worked here.

Walking along Sporgass, be sure to look into the courtyards and alleys. Here you can find many interesting places – the headquarters of the Order of the Knights, Zaurau Castle. During the day, the street hospitably welcomes guests, and towards evening, young people gather in all cafes and restaurants, music and cheerful laughter come from open windows.

Graz main square

On the map of Graz with landmarks, the main square is indicated as one of the main historical sites. It is from here that it is better to begin acquaintance with the city. Here, various architectural styles are blended in a bizarre manner. Dozens of small streets and small side streets depart from the main square.

Graz main square

The square has the shape of a trapezoid, at the end of the 12th century it was laid by the Duke of Otakar III. Initially, it was a shopping area, today you can visit the city hall, the monument-fountain, installed in honor of Archduke Johan, the Parliament or Lugghaus. All the buildings that surround the square have historical value.

Interesting fact! There is still a pharmacy built in the 16th century on the square, and the hotel is located in the Stürk Palace.

Traffic interchange in the main square of Graz

From the point of view of transport accessibility, the area is located very conveniently, since all transport routes pass through it. In addition, an artificial island was built nearby on the river, connected to the shore by two bridges.

Town Hall

The building is made in the best traditions of German architecture. At the beginning of the 19th century, the town hall was completely destroyed, but the building was restored by the efforts of local residents. Five years after the destruction, the town hall was again open to the public. Today this object is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Graz Town Hall

Interesting fact! The town hall is perceived by the inhabitants of the city as an object of socio-cultural significance. This is the talisman of Graz, which is associated with a huge number of legends and superstitions.

From mid-November, fairs are held in front of the town hall, and they end the day before Christmas.

The interior of the town hall has preserved unique pieces of art – portraits, murals, coffered ceilings, stoves decorated with tiles. In the southern part, a panel dating from 1635 has been restored.

Mount Schlossberg and Schlossberg Castle

This attraction of Graz is also called castle. A hill located in the oldest part of Graz in Austria. From here you can see the city and its surroundings, the best view opens from the observation tower of Urturm.

Schlossberg Castle

There are several ways to climb the tower:

  • on foot;
  • elevator;
  • on a funicular that has been operating since 1894.
Climbing Schlossberg Mountain

Locals call the mountain the cradle of Graz, because it was here that the first settlement appeared. Later, in the 15th century, the castle, built on the slopes of the mountain, became the residence of the Austrian monarchs. Napoleon wanted to destroy the castle three times and he succeeded only on the third attempt. Residents of the city for a large ransom preserved the bell tower and clock tower of Urturm.

Today, a city park is equipped on the mountain, there are two surviving bastions and a casemate, an exhibition pavilion, bomb shelters, and a cafe.

Schlossberg Park

Attractions on the Schlossberg mountain:

  • Clock Tower – an observation deck;
  • Turkish well, built in the middle of the 16th century;
  • cannon hut – there used to be a prison, but today there is a military museum;
  • signal guns;
  • Zerrini Palace;
  • bell tower 34 m high;
  • adits – connect two locks.
Cable car to the mountain

Funicular Schedule

Season Sunday to Wednesday Thursday to Saturday
April to September From 9-00 to midnight From 9-00 to 02-00
October to March From 10-00 to midnight From 10-00 to 02-00

Good to know! Today, the territory where the fortress is located is a park, so admission is free.

Basilica of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary

The attraction was built in the eastern region, at an altitude of almost 470 m. It is one of the largest Catholic pilgrimage centers in Austria. Steep steps lead to the temple; in winter it is quite dangerous to climb them. The basilica was built in the early 18th century, decorated in the Baroque style. The temple is bright yellow, towers adorn it.

Basilica of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary

The history of the temple is associated with the name of the monk Magnus. The minister of the Benedictine monastery went to distant lands with a religious mission, as a talisman, he took a figurine of the Virgin Mary on the road. A rock blocked the way to the monk, but prayer worked a miracle and it split. In gratitude, the minister built a small chapel, where he left a figurine of the Virgin Mary.

Inside the temple is richly decorated in baroque style. The walls and ceiling are decorated with stucco, painting, gilding. The real decoration of the basilica is the silver altar.

Interior of the temple of the Virgin Mary

Good to know! The Catholic temple is also called the Basilica of Mariazell.

You can get to the basilica by bus number 552, flights depart from the station WienHbf. Departure several times a day, the trip takes 3 hours, the ticket costs about $ 29.

Arsenal of Graz

This is one of the main attractions of Graz in Austria, thousands of tourists come here. The museum displays exhibits telling about the great Austria and its history. Graz’s arsenal is in a five-story yellow building. The facade of the building is decorated with sculptures of Minevra and Mars, and the coat of arms of Graz is installed above the main entrance.

Arsenal of Graz

Locals cherish the military memory, because it is the memory of the ancestors. The museum does not just store weapons and armor, for the Austrians it is a story that tells about the country. Exhibits, of which more than 32 thousand, are located on four floors. Weapons became especially relevant during the period when the Ottoman Empire attacked Austria.

Interesting fact! The arsenal building was built in the middle of the 17th century, the architect is Antonio Solari.

Museum exhibits:

  • armor and helmets;
  • weapon;
  • swords, sabers.
Graz Arsenal exhibits

The exhibits cover the historical period from the second half of the 15th century to the beginning of the 19th century. The museum displays the entire heroic history of Austria.

Practical information:

  • work schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Sunday, from 10-00 to 17-00;
  • ticket price: adult – $ 10, children – $ 3.
Styrian Parliament

Parliament or landhouse appeared in Graz in the middle of the 16th century. Today, the parliament of the Styria region works here. The literal translation of the word Landhouse means – the house and yard of the country. The building and the surrounding area are very beautiful – the architectural composition forms a palazzo, made in the Venetian style. In the warm season, the building and the courtyard are decorated with flowers, and in winter they organize a skating rink; during the Christmas holidays, they establish an ice crèche.

Styrian Parliament

The interior of the parliament is baroque. The ceiling in the jamming room is decorated with stucco, porcelain figures, coats of arms, carved doors. To decorate the ceiling in the knight’s room, it is decorated in a complex technique – painting on plaster, and the zodiac signs complement the composition.

Parliament interior

Interesting fact! A chapel and a black and gold altar were built in the early 17th century. The sculptural composition decorating the altar symbolizes the restoration of Catholicism in the city.

At the end of the 16th century, a law was passed which forbids swearing, fighting and demonstrating weapons in parliament.


Before the trip, look at Graz sights on the Internet with a photo and description, make a travel route so as not to be distracted by organizational issues.

Where to stay in Austrian Graz

The cost of housing in Graz in Austria depends on the area. From a tourist point of view, it is best to choose housing near the center.

NH Graz City Hotel in Innere Stadt
NH Graz City
  • Innere Stadt, I – a large selection is presented here, the cost is from 45 to 250 euros.
  • St. Leonhard, II – there are educational institutions, but the student dormitories are of the highest class, so the area is quiet. A walk to the center takes no more than a quarter of an hour. The cost of housing varies from 60 to 150 euros.
  • Geidorf, III is a student district. Advantages – a large number of cafes, restaurants, coffee houses. As for the minuses, it is quite noisy here. The cost of housing is from 55 to 105 euros.
  • Jakomini, VI – a crowded area, located next to Jakomini Square – it is easy to get to any part of the city from here. There are many restaurants and cafes, you can take a walk in the park. The cost of living in apartments and hotels varies from 49 to 195 euros.
Hotel Pfeifer zum Kirchenwirt in Mariatrost
Hotel Pfeifer zum Kirchenwirt

Most stations are concentrated on the right side of the city, so it is called multicultural and slightly reminiscent of the Austrian. It is safer and more interesting for tourists to live in the left part of the city. If you move in a car and you don’t have to stop right in the center, choose accommodation in the XI Mariatrost area. This is a green and very picturesque area, there are many elite houses, there is a beautiful church.

Want to save on housing? Stay in a student house, but you need to know about the availability of a room in advance. The cost of such housing is 30 euros. You can also use the couchsurfer system and stay with local residents for a nominal price or even free.

Find out RATES or book any accommodation using this form


Dinner at Continuum Cafe

Graz has many establishments where you can order traditional European dishes or try the Austrian menu. Rates vary depending on its status and prestige. A light snack will cost from 3.50 to 7 euros, and a full meal – from 8 to 30 euros per person.

How can you save on food:

  • purchase food in supermarkets, pay attention to discounts in stores;
  • the student way is to visit the gallery and buy snacks and juices. Similar events are held in Graz every day.

How to get from Vienna to Graz

The nearest airport is located 8 km from Graz, but direct flights to Graz from the CIS countries are not provided, so the city seems unattainable to many tourists. Traveling by car will take too much time.

Flixbus Bus
  • The best route is with a change in the Austrian capital, where you can catch a comfortable bus from the Flixbus carrier company, following the Vienna-Graz route. After 2 hours, tourists are brought to Graz. The ticket price depends on when you book it. The sooner you purchase a ticket, the cheaper it will cost, the minimum price is 8 EUR, it is important to save the document on the phone. For a child you need to order a chair. Buses depart from three stations: Graz – Jakomoniplatz, Murpark, Hauptbahnhof. In Graz, transport arrives at the train station or Gigardigasse street.
  • Another way is to take a bus to Bremen and then to Graz, but this route is long.
  • There is a train route – take a train to Vienna, then transfer by train to Graz, flights depart from the central station every two hours. A ticket costs 24 EUR, the journey takes 2.5 hours. The train station is located on the outskirts of Graz, on Annenstrasse, where the fair is held on weekends.
By plane to Vienna

Vienna can be reached by plane in three ways:

  • direct flight – a flight lasts an average of two hours;
  • flight with a transfer – on the road you have to spend about 5 hours.

You can also get from the airport in Graz to the city center by several means of transport:

  • taxi – average price 45 EUR;
  • by bus No. 630, 631 – ticket price 2.20 EUR, arrives at the Jakominiplatz station;
  • by train – the station is a 5-minute walk from the airport, a ticket is 2.20 EUR, you can buy it in advance, on the QBB website – it takes only 12 minutes.

Prices on the page are for December 2018.

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Useful Tips

  1. There are car rental locations in Graz, Austria. You can rent a transport if you have an international driver’s license, a bank card with the required security deposit.
  2. Taxi in Graz
  3. The taxi has an approved, uniform tariff system.
  4. It is best to call from public telephones, they are installed near all major stores, government organizations. The cheapest rates for calls from 8-00 to 18-00.
  5. Money is exchanged in banking organizations and post offices. Banks work from 8-00 to 15-00 and only one day a week – until 17-30. Weekends are Saturday and Sunday.
  6. In restaurants, tip, as a rule, is not left, however, if you like the service, thank the waiter – 5% of the order value.
  7. Shops open until 8-00 and close at 18-30, in large stores open until 17-00.
  8. Cigarettes in Graz are expensive, they are sold in special machines.
  9. The hottest month is August, at which time the air temperature rises to +30 degrees.

Graz (Austria) is a city of amazing combinations and combinations. The spirit of antiquity hovers here, but modern buildings are actively being built with it. Choose the best combination between excursions and leisurely walks, in a word – enjoy Austria and be sure to buy yourself a national hat.

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