Graz Bucket List: What are the top tourist attractions to visit in Graz, Austria?
Graz is the capital city of Styria and is the second-largest city in Austria. Being glaringly similar yet still different from Vienna, Graz is often called Vienna’s little sister, even Vienna’s cooler sister sometimes. This city has one of the most exciting neighborhoods exuding magnificent architecture, futuristic art, and eccentric design. It’s being one of the most well-preserved historic cities in Europe, among other reasons, make Graz an exciting destination full of cultural and artistic attractions. It is no surprise that this city was named the European Capital of Culture in 2003 and the City of Design in 2009. Today, Graz continues to drop jaws through its eye-catching buildings backed by a wealth of culture, history, and culinary charm. This list outlines the ten best things you will enjoy in this city.
Go around the Old Town
The Old Town of Graz is filled with well-preserved historically significant medieval and renaissance buildings. Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this striking town is home to the Old Town Hall (Hauptplatz), the Town Hall (Rathaus), the Gothic Franciscan Church called Franziskanerkirche, the Landhaus, which is the seat of the Styrian provincial government and one of the finest buildings in Austria, and so much more. Make sure you reserve a whole day when visiting this pedestrian-friendly town because this offers a plethora of attractions.
Shop where locals do
The local markets of Graz directly sell the product of farmers. The varieties of farm products are well-priced, fresh, and are frequently organic. Bauernmarkt is a marketplace where you can expect good meat, cheese, and bread qualities. Griesplatz is a marketplace that offers quality harvests while also running street festivals in the autumn. There’s a lot of benefits to highly nutritious meals. If you feel like cooking, allot ample time to visit the farmer’s market because this is a great way to eat healthily and embrace the culture of Graz.
Dine Styrian and Austrian meals
Austria is known for its seasonal wine taverns and a wide variety of uniquely flavored food. Have a taste of Verhackertes, a spread made from finely chopped raw bacon. Styrian delicacy is composed of a variety of pumpkin dishes such as pumpkin soup and frequently uses pumpkin seed oil in salads for that distinctly enjoyable nutty taste. If you have a sweet tooth, Austrian cakes and pastries would be a top choice for you. We recommend the famous Sachertorte, a chocolate cake filled with apricot jam. Locals recommend eating it with whipped cream.
Graz is filled with restaurants with a great dining ambiance. If you love the majestic mountains of Graz as a view, you won’t run out of good sophisticated restaurants to enjoy your hearty meals from.
Visit museums and art galleries.
Graz is home to many museums and galleries that showcase culture and art in diverse and creative ways. The unique Museum of Perception allows you to touch and experience form using all your senses. In this museum, you will learn to see with your skin as you sense the not visible becomes invisible. To intensify this extraordinary experience, the Samadhi Bath will help you discover your own state of being while you float weightlessly in saline water, in the dark. Imagine the mindfulness this bath brings as it focuses your thoughts on the most essential parts of your being.
Now, if you are an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan, the museum dedicated to the actor turned governor’s life is a must-visit. The museum named after him is located in his childhood home, containing a collection of memorabilia and all the stuff fans will appreciate.
Another attraction to tick off your list is the Natural History Museum. This is one of the most important museums in Graz, with its collections varying from artifacts and specimens relating to geology, zoology, and botany. In this museum, you will learn about the region’s history since the beginning of time through a display of fossils, ice age creatures, and ancient volcanoes.
When it comes to art galleries, one of the most exciting is Kunsthaus. Dubbed as one of Austria’s finest modern art galleries, Kunsthaus is also a valuable landmark. Its 1,066 acrylic elements showcase Graz’s contemporary art in the last 40 years, making it an undeniably valuable part of the city’s past, present, and future.
Spend time at opera houses
One of the city’s oldest venues for theatrical shows is the Grazer Orpheum, established in 1899. Throughout its lifetime, this theatre has gone through a lot. Today, it stands firmly after defying the destruction it experienced during the Second World War. In this theatre, you will enjoy cabaret shows, concerts in jazz, rock, and pop, and children-friendly shows too. This opera house caters to all kinds of audiences, indeed.
Visit the Clock Tower and other neighboring attractions
This mighty tall tower built in 1561, ticking at 28 meters high, is the city’s best-known landmark. Visiting this tower will give you convenient access to the nearby attractions, such as the 35-meter tall Belfry, famous for having an 8-ton bell. Within the neighborhood is the Turkish Well, which is 94 meters deep. You will find the Schlossbergm, a 473-meter-tall hill, in the backdrop of all these. The heights and depths of these sceneries each have a story to tell and a colorful past behind them. Enjoy their beauty as you get to know their history in this unique city of Graz.
A holiday in the city of Graz is made more remarkable by the different festivities. Steirischer Herbst is a festival that takes place yearly during the autumn. This festival is about showcasing new and upcoming artists through exhibitions and performances that are sure to amaze your senses. Another festival to watch out for is Graz’s largest festival for Austrian filmmakers called the Diagonale. Prepare to watch a vast range of short, animated films and music videos, movies, and documentaries. Apart from performances and films, a five-day festival which celebrates pop culture in Graz is also well-celebrated during the Spring Festival. This confirms that there are plenty of activities for you to enjoy no matter what season in Graz!
Experience different winter sports
Austria is one of Europe’s most beloved stops for winter sports. According to the locals, there is no bad weather, only wrong clothing. This proves that winter is not an excuse to cut less on your activities. A lot of activities can be done during this season.
Ice skating, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a professional, can be done on the slopes of Graz. The same goes for curling, an old folk custom that also has its own competition. In Graz, the dropping of temperature signals the preparation of tracks to jumpstart the playing on ice as smooth as glass. If you want to try all the winter sports in this city, skiing is another skill you can nurture. There is a modest number of ski lifts in the area, and they’re enough to kickstart the career of some of Austria’s most successful winter sports athletes.
The wintertime also makes torch processions happen in Schlossberg. Make sure you cheer alongside the locals when you have time.
Have you tried riding the upstream waves of a river? Every summer, a surfing contest is held at the Mur, a river that cuts through the city of Graz. The Radetzky Wave is cited as the most ideal surfing spot in the entire river, so it is in this area that the exciting contest takes place.
Party like a superstar
Being a student-friendly town, Graz transforms into a nightlife hub at night where international DJs perform. Enjoy a wide array of black, Latin, jazz, trendy, and more music. What is a night out without drinks, right? Graz will make sure you enjoy only the finest drinks in the world. Apart from the 25 kinds of whiskey to choose from, wines, local beer, and tasty cocktails are also available. For a more superb experience, you can have a nice drink over the rooftops of Graz, where you can have a panoramic view of one of Austria’s most beautiful cities.
Our Top Hotel Picks for Graz
Graz Travel and Tour Packages
Searching for the best Graz hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of inexpensive hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.