Best experienced on a guided city tour. April-October, daily at 2:30 PM leaving at Information Office at Herrengasse 16. Strolling through the old town of Graz is like wandering through different periods, buildings from baroque to gothic to renaissance are lining up next to each other. UNESCO rewarded the historic city center of Graz a World Cultural Heritage site.
The Clocktower sits on top of the Schlossberg and represents the historic landmark of the city. To reach the Clocktower take either the modern glass lift through the mountain, the steep funicular or walk up 660 steps to enjoy a breathtaking view of the historic old town.
Two great museums reflecting the historical and modern art in Graz. The Armoury museum is the world’s largest collection of medieval arms and armous, located in a historic building right in the heart of the old town. The Kunsthaus on the contrary reflects the modern and contemporary side of Graz. Both are a must-see! Armoury - Address: Herrengasse 16 Kunsthaus - Address: Lendkai 1
In brilliant white the bride steps into the square before Rathaus town hall in a cascade of flowers and rice. Just across, a lively hip-hop show. The market stalls offer juices and sausages with mustard – scenes from the heart of the city, the Hauptplatz of Graz, cradled among magnificent buildings crowned by the town hall of Graz. It’s an impressive backdrop for the city’s colourful bustle and focal point for visitors and residents alike. From here you can reach all of the attractions of Graz in a jiffy.
In former times the Kaiser-Josef-Square used to be a timber-market.Today the people of Graz rather think of culinary delights than of history when they talk about this market. Fresh local products are offered by their producers on a daily basis. Many products are grown organically and some of them have a long standing tradition such as the "Käferbohne" (special kind of large beans), apples and of course the pumpkinseed oil. Monday-Saturday 6AM to 1PM
Today’s cathedral reminds of the days when Graz was an imperial city. Emperor Frederick III erected the church together with his new residence in Graz. In the course of history, the cathedral saw many changes. Construction work of the court and parish church in late-Gothic style was started in 1438, as Jesuit church it was refurbished in Baroque style in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Since 1786 it has been the cathedral.
A wall-tattoo on Herrengasse street? Sure! On the façade of the Herzoghof building in the centre of Graz, Greek and Roman Gods engage in a rendez-vous. The building was first painted as early as 1600. The Baroque painter Johann Mayer applied the ‘divine’ frescos in 1742, since which time it has been known as the ‘painted house’. If you take a moment to immerse yourself in the images, you enjoy an intense sense of submersion right there in the middle of the urban hustle and bustle.
A romantic picnic in the centre of the city? Where better than at the enchanting location of the Burggarten in Graz. This scenic park is, to all intents and purposes, a secret; who would expect to find such a romantic setting hidden away behind the regional government headquarters, above the Stadtpark? One particular highlight is the former orangery which, following careful and comprehensive renovation, now serves to host events and receptions of all kinds.
The centuries have left their traces on the residence of the Habsburgs in Graz, erected in 1438 and now seat of the governor of Styria. Some wings have been added, others destroyed. But there are still many impressive testimonies of the past. From the Biedermeier period back to the Renaissance and Gothic eras. From the latter period the famous double-spiral staircase remains.
This new cultural centre on a historical plot of land unites the historical museum and library buildings in Rauber-, Neutor- and Kalchberggasse into one architectural entity. Retaining the original character of the individual buildings, the new centre creates an urban piazza for Graz Old Town that is situated above an underground visitors’ centre.
Three times a day locals and tourists gather for a nice spectacle in Glockenspielplatz. The Graz carillon chimes three melodies. And in the gable windows a wooden couple in proper costume dances to the sound. In the end, a golden cock crows three times "Kikeriki" (German for cock-a-doodle-doo). If you miss all that at 11 AM, come back at 3 or 6 PM.
An armadillo in the mansion district? Resembling a large, exotic animal, the botanical garden greenhouses lie between art nouveau mansions in one of the most beautiful districts in Graz. They bring together exotic flora from four distinct climatic zones and world-class Graz architecture, without parallel. A place for science, inviting visitors to study, marvel, linger and unwind.
A journey into the Cosmos. A building portraying time. That is how one could describe Schloss Eggenberg, erected in 1625-56. The owner: Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg, political devisor of Emperor Ferdinand II. The architect: Giovanni Pietro the Pomis, who also planned Ferdinand’s Mausoleum in Graz. Today, Styria’s most splendid palace is used for cultural events, and it is home of the „Alte Galerie“- the old gallery.
To travel hopefully… and arrive in Mariatrost. Located on Purberg hill in Graz, this church is one of the best-known pilgrimage destinations in Styria. Many pilgrims from all over Europe converge here to ascend the 216 steps to the basilica that towers gloriously toward the heavens. The holy shrine to the Virgin Mary in the heart of this Baroque-style church isn’t the only attraction. Beautiful frescos and the impressive pulpit also await you at the magnificent, twin-spired Mariatrost Basilica.
What was meant to be a temporary project of the Cultural Capital of Europe, Graz 2003, has turned into an attraction. The New York artist Vito Acconci designed a steel grid structure in the shape of a half-opened shell. The open part – an amphitheatre for performances but also a resting place for sun-seekers. The covered part – a very trendy café. The island also functions as a bridge between the two banks of the river Mur.
Follow the tracks of Graz’s history through time as you walk around the GrazMuseum. The chronological development of the city is traced vividly, showing history from today’s viewpoint and using the latest methods of interpretation. The GrazMuseum is an inspiring meeting-point for anyone interested in the city’s urban development, its political, economic and social history and in art and culture with an active link to Graz.
Cobblestones, beautiful buildings, as pretty as a picture. The Franciscan church is in one of the most beautiful and popular locations in Graz. Small, historic shops nestle against the exterior walls of this Gothic church and contribute to the square’s romantic image. Attached to the church is the Franziskanerkloster monastery, where a visit to the cloister, with its rose-covered courtyard, is well worthwhile. A place steeped in tranquillity and peace.
“A rose is a rose is a rose.” What Giovannis Garden offers, however, is not just a rose, and not just roses. This 2.5-hectare art garden is a creative ensemble of many rare plants, unique art objects, exotic scents, ancient Celtic truths and delightful oases of calm. Investigate the largest collection of roses in Austria and the arboretum while revelling in the romantic, perfumed atmosphere.
Brandishing a sword for the Opera House. Next to the imposing white edifice on Ringstrasse street skirting Graz city centre, the “Lichtschwert” sculpture stands for the protection of human rights. At the same time, it stands in agitating contrast with the neighbouring Opera House and is proof of the city’s cultural awareness. Formerly the city theatre, the Opera House itself is now a splendid stage for breathtaking productions in Graz ranging from musical theatre to ballet.
Assault from above? A man with a beard, turban and dagger gazes down threateningly, capturing the attention of passers-by. It’s OK, the well-known Turk under the roof decorates one of the finest buildings in the city. On a stroll through Graz it’s always worth taking in Palais Saurau. With its Baroque, richly decorated wrought iron gate, Renaissance arcades in the courtyard and splendidly decorated first-floor halls, the palace invites you to immerse yourself in the history of the Saurau family.
A day to remember at the museum. Children will discover a treasure trove of experiences at the Kindermuseum FRida & freD in the Augarten park, where exhibitions are developed with children and for children. Their motto is “Hands On – Minds On”: telling stories for 3- to 12-year-olds in the tangible form of experiments and objects. Touch, whisper, cuddle, listen, twist and try things out – anything’s allowed. Complex connections are explained in a child-friendly way.
The key to happiness – could you find it here? The Schell Collection, Austria’s museum of locks, keys, coffers, ornamental boxes and ornate cast iron, and also the biggest specialist museum of its kind in the world. Find the answers to questions such as “Why is there a key on a pocket watch chain?” or “Why would you need a funeral casket key?” … and “Are you sure that you found all of the secret compartments in your great grandfather’s desk?”
Steak break. El Gaucho im Landhaus steak house is the perfect location. This tastefully renovated historical interior is the perfect setting for stylish presentation of an highly creative range of variations on the theme of steak and fish. The original Argentinean grill and open show kitchen are complemented by a display wine cellar and range of open, oversized bottles. With its cocktails and outstanding selection of wines, the EL1 Bar has a cheerful ambiance right through to the early hours.
Enchanted, charming and different, this is how Schloss St. Veit, which dates back to the 19th century, now presents itself. It is a sophisticated restaurant and wonderful backdrop for events of all kinds. Here, almost every dream might come true. The beautiful interior of the mansion and its fantastic gardens make any event a really special experience. Aiola in Schloss St. Veit is simply the perfect place to dream, enjoy, celebrate and, of course, get married.
Rustic cosiness and high quality home cooking are common words in restaurant guides, yet there is hardly a place in Graz deserving these attributes better than the Stainzerbauer. Located next to the Cathedral and the Mausoleum it offers a great choice of local cuisine and outstanding wines. Outside dining in beautiful Renaissance courtyard.
This popular restaurant offers Styrian cuisine at its very best, like crispy fried chicken with pumpkin seed oil salad, “Tafelspitz” (fine boiled beef) served with soup & marrow, hearty goulash and roast pork. Tip: the Styrian tapas - as a snack, an appetizer or with a glass of wine. The selection ranges from fried carp with creamy cucumbers to hamburger with mashed potatoes & pan-fried blood sausage, and is always adapted to the culinary season.
Eckstein is an old town restaurant that stands out for its hospitality and international food interpretations of traditional and innovative Styrian cuisine. The beautiful outdoor seating area offers a kind of mediterranean ambiance. Make sure to ask the wine chef Albert for his choice of the day!
Rockin’ the baroque! Lavish design and modern cuisine make an attractive couple at Carl, just a short way from the Opera House. Whether for a business lunch or romantic dinner, perhaps on the lovely terrace or in the luxuriously designed interior – it’s a great place in Graz at which to indulge others or indeed yourself. Service with a smile, exciting international cuisine and a sizeable selection of Austrian and international wines combine at Carl to leave no wish unfulfilled.
This traditional restaurant is located in the very center of the old town. It is family-run over several years now and stands out for its charming staff offering Styrian hospitality. Preparing local specialities with an international touch, the chef is very conscientious about freshness and regional origin of the products he uses. Enjoy the shady and pleasant outdoor seating on hot summer days.
Located in a courtyard in Sackstraße, this bar is not that easy to find, but it is so beautiful that it makes a marvellous setting for fine antipasti and delicatessen and good international wines. La enoteca also offers delicious, fresh pasta dishes from the own pastaria. Enjoy in the patio, in the stylish interior or as take-out. Special tips: Vulcano ham, Balsamico vinegar and handmade chocolates.
High over the city roofs the Starcke Haus is not only one of the city’s most romantic places, it is a restaurant offering great local cuisine. Seasonal and primarily organic, regional products mean a steadily changing, but always interesting fine menu to be enjoyed over a glass of Styrian wine. Great outdoor dining in the gardens of the Schlossberg.
For whom the bell tolls! At Glöckl Bräu, meaning bell brewery, the guest house's own bell announces the tapping of each new barrel of their proprietary beer. Right in the historic centre of Graz, to accompany the tasty beer are Styrian specialities like pumpkin-seed-battered cutlets or spare ribs fresh from the oven, as well as veal sausage (the latter available till midday). Weather permitting, you can sit out on the terrace and enjoy the enchanting view of surrounding historic facades.
Whether large or small, you will be very satisfied! That’s what Steirerstub’n say of themselves – and with justification. What a true pleasure it is to enjoy the view of the Uhrturm clock tower from Zur Steirerstub’n inn on Lendplatz square. At this homey public house in the heart of Graz, the menu includes original Styrian fare and traditional Austrian cuisine. But chef Astrid Furndrat delights in surprising her guests on a regular basis with unusual ideas and creations of her own.
"The beer mug makes us wiser. The beer brings us pleasure." The many aficionados of the Gösser Bräu endorse Goethe's words and have been keeping the faith at this most traditional of beer taverns. Those who love a good pint and a hearty meal can choose from eight types of beer and satisfying fare comprising traditional and international cuisine. There's no shortage of space for larger groups either given that, including the garden and terrace, a total of 650 people can be seated.
Not in the least boring! Ferdinand Hladik’s dynamic team at Kitchen 12 won’t let anything start to smoulder, and that’s not just because they can really cook exceptionally well here but also because their fantasies know no bounds. The way the menu is composed and the variety of ideas for designing and implementing the restaurant concept imply the greatest level of creativity. Alongside the “open table” there is also the “private table” for various events and private parties.
The new Kunsthauscafé on the right bank of the river Mur adds to the city's cool Flair. During the day get carried away by breakfast variations, brunch or burgers including vegan dishes and most likely the best coffee in town. At night swing to finest electrobeats with gin tonics, rosés and cool Cocktails.
Sandwich bar. Delicatessen. Patisserie. Delicious treats to enjoy at this classic yet trendy spot in Graz. Small portions quickly savoured yet leaving a big impression on the palate; all your senses and heart could desire. Choose from sandwiches and wine, champagne or beer, delicatessen items, wines and spirits, all scarcely to be found elsewhere. Alternatively, treat yourself to sweet delicacies from the adjoining patisserie. Peccadilloes always to savour, never to regret, at Frankowitsch.
This café is particularly well known to Graz residents for its delicious homemade ice cream. Besides the main Krenngasse location and the stand on the main square, it can also be enjoyed at Café Lilli in Ragnitzstraße 16. In the café, with adjoining garden, a wide array of the other sweet temptations too are offered. Ideal for having breakfast and a paradise for gourmet sweets!
Located in the heart of the city, Glockenspielplatz is one of the most popular attractions in Graz, and not only for Café Glockenspiel’s excellent cocktails, but also for its do-it-yourself-breakfasts until 1 pm and the fresh coffee! Tip: be there at 11AM, 3PM or 6PM to enjoy the sound oft he carillion!
Right at the heart of Graz, situated only a few steps from the main square, Kastner & Öhler, with its 20,000 m², offers the largest choice of fashion of Austria! Just elected "Department store of the Year 2011 ", this elegant establishment offer the perfect setting for more than 500 international brands throughout its six floors. Not to miss: Freiblick on the 6th floor offer a great terrace with exciting views of the old town and the Clock Tower.
This is a former auto repair shop. Today is serves a very popular event venue, being concerts, festivals, clubbings, company parties, etc. Very popular with the locals a the regular events: „Studio 74 – Celebrate the Golden Times of Disco“ and „Body & Soul – Sexy Urban Beats“.
For years now the „Orange“ has been known for its international DJs, as well as for the combination of a cool cafe (breakfast served until 4 PM) and a great club. Changing concert series: Bloody Monday- Mondays from 9 PM and Club Supreme on Thursdays offer black&latin music presented by international DJs, who bring the latest music trends to Graz.
Located right in the „Stadtpark“ (municipal park) in a heritage protected building the Parkhouse attracts an alternative crowd. Music until the very early morning hours not only indoors but also on the outdoor terrace guarantees wonderful summernight experiences. During the day the Parkhouse offers coffee and drinks in the shady garden.
If there’s any bar in Graz with an authentic Caribbean-Cuban flair, then it’s Cohibar. The atmosphere is especially appealing to any visitor with its beautiful lighting, discreet South American sounds, friendly personnel and of course the customers. Busiest on Saturday nights, quieter during the week, live music on Sundays, salsa on Mondays. Popular streetside seating in summer. Those who appreciate an exclusive cigar are in the right place at Cohibar, which has more than 150 products to choose from...
Three Monkeys is located in Elisabethstraße in the university quarter, a popular area for young people to meet. In this legendary basement pub the guests are 21 & over, a mix of „young but grown up". Three Monkeys has quite a bit to offer that one can not find anywhere else such as: the 26 m long bar, its own house band - the Monkeys Five - who play live every Tuesday. Mondays is bingo day & every Wednesday there is karaoke. But even without a particular occasion there is an exciting flair - until 6 in the morning!
Recently totally renovated this department store was awarded „Departement store of the year 2011“. They offer the latest fashion trends of internation labels on 6 floors, as well as a beauty shop and a supermarket. Tip: have a glass of sparkling wine at the Cafe Freiblick and enjoy great views of the city.
Shopping in Herrengasse means sightseeing at the same time. Most of the shops are located in historic buildings, they tell stories of the past. While shopping watch out for the „Painted House“, the Armoury Museum or the beautiful Landhaushof. Shop for shoes, fashion, jewellery.
For more than 75 years Knilli Men & Women is one of the leading clothing stores in Graz. Knilli is positioned in the high-end segment for men and women and offers a wide selection of international top brands ranging from Ermenegildo Zegna, Etro, Dolce & Gabbana, Moncler, Boglioli, Brunello Cucinelli etc. Beside such well-known brands, Knilli continuously keeps an eye on new trends and promising new labels. While sipping a drink in the own bar you will enjoy a shopping trip for all senses.
Just off the Herrengasse, the Stempfergasse is home of known brands and local designers. This quaint little street offers a dramatic sense of fashion. Very trendy: make a stop at Frankowitsch Delikatessen and have a glass of sparkling wine and the famous Frankowitsch sandwiches.
In 2012 the first Austrian Closed Shop was openend in Graz. Closed is an international Denim-Fashion brand which cultivates a young, fresh look at everyday life. Its effortless style results from a harmonic mix of sportswear, denim, utility and fashion codes. Founded in 1978 in Italy today Closed is based in Hamburg. Apart from the Jeans and Chino lines the Closed-shop in Graz features 4 women and men collections every year.
In no other city area of Graz, life is as diverse as here. There are more clubs and call shops, more design and variety stores than anywhere else. There are parks, secret paths, and a wonderful farmer's market. And you'll discover more playful appropriations of the city and interesting initiatives than in all the remaining city districts together.
Around the „Kunsthaus“ a new design scene has been established. Great shopping for those who are looking for something extraordinary, partly produced by local designers. Fancy shop concepts in a thriving urban area. Find there brands like Heidenspaß, kwirl, Tagwerk.
The best way to discover the lifestyle of the locals is a visit to the farmer’s markets on Kaiser-Josef-Platz and on Lendplatz. These two markets are open daily except Sundays from 6 AM to 1 PM and showcase the variety of local vegetables, fish, meat, flowers, breads etc. Everything is produces locally and partly organic. Stop there for the famous pumpkinseedoil!
Cobblestones, beautiful buildings and a picturesque space are opened up to us. The Franziskanerviertel-quarter is one of the most beautiful and popular places of the city of Graz. Small, historic shops coddle up to the outside walls of the gothic Franziskanerkirche-church and shape the romantic picture of the place.
Leading from the Hauptplatz (main square) to Joanneumring, Schmiedgasse is mainly a pedestrian zone, and a popular shopping area with many small shops and bars. Centuries ago, the street was home to craftsmen, blacksmiths, wainwrights, tinners and gunsmiths. Today, Schmiedgasse - parallel to Herrengasse - offers a historic ambience in which to shop and stroll with friends.
International airport Graz Thalerhof (GRZ), located approximatly 12km from the city center.Transfer by bus or train, one way ticket: € 1,90. Bus schedule: www.flughafen-graz.at/home/an_abreise_uebersicht/Busfahrplan_gueltigab01112011.pdf Train schedule: www.flughafen-graz.at/home/an_abreise_uebersicht/Zugfahrplan_ab_11122011.pdf Timetable inquiries by phone: