Graz is the second largest city in Austria and a historic university town with six universities.
Discover Graz and enjoy its top attractions; the beautiful, historic center that is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and the Castle Hill overlooking the city center, are excellent reasons to travel to Graz.
Where to stay in Graz
The Old Town and the center of Graz, Innere Stadt, are situated at the foot of the Castle Hill. The Jakominiplatz square, at the southern end of the main shopping street Herrangasse, contains a bus stop to and from the airport.
If you’re travelling by train, areas close to the train and bus stations are also well-suited for accommodation. There are some shops and a big supermarket for groceries (Merkur Markt) just in front of the stations at the beginning of Annenstrasse. Annenstrasse is a wide street with a lot of stores, and it leads straight to the old town and its center Hauptplatz. The distance from the stations to Hauptplatz is about 1.5 kilometers.
Things to do
Schloßberg is not just a hill with a fortress, but rather a place to spend time comfortably. The well-maintained area comes with a great view. There are at least two restaurants and a few cafes and bars.
The stairs to Schloßberg begin at Schloßbergplatz, 300 meters north of the main square Hauptplatz.
The stairs are somewhat steep and exhausting, but there is also a lift (for €1.60) and a funicular (for €2.40) to make the trip easier. The starting place of the funicular is about 250 meters north of Schloßbergplatz in Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Kai street.
If you wish to walk a more gentle path, there are several roads leading to the top. One starts at Karmeliterplatz, which is shown in this image behind the building.
The Old Town
Graz is at its best on the beautiful streets and small alleys of the Old Town. There are small boutiques and restaurant terraces here and there in a lively atmosphere.
The Old Town area, covers not only the historical center but also the Schloßberg hill and the City park.
This Eggenberg Palace is a Baroque building complex built by the Eggenberg family in the 17th Century, and it's open for visitors. It is included in the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage Sites.
The palace is located on the western side of Graz, about 3.3 kilometers from Hauptplatz and 1.9 kilometers from the train/bus station.
Walking from the stations couldn't be easier; just follow first Eggenberger Strasse and then Eggenberger Allee. Or take the tram line 1 from any of the stations.
Inside the palace, there are museums, exhibitions, guided tours, etc.
If you are going to visit other museums in Graz as well, consider purchasing a 24-hour or 48-hour ticket that also covers the Eggenberg Palace.
For admission and other information: museum-joanneum.at
Shopping in Graz
The main shopping streets in the Old Town are Herrengasse and the parallel Sackstraße. Close to these streets, there are many small boutiques to be discovered.
Kastner & Öhler is a traditional, huge department store along Sackstraße just north of Hauptplatz.
- CityPark, with about 100 shops (link), is situated 1,7 kilometers southwest of Hauptplatz.
- ShoppingCity Seiersberg, with some 180 shops (link), is situated south of the city about 8 kilometers away from Hauptplatz.
- Other shopping malls outside the city center: Murpark, Center West, Shopping Nord
Prices in Graz
Prices of restaurant and hotel services in Austria are slightly above the average of the European Union.
Below, there are some examples of restaurant and hotel prices in Graz. Costs of hotel rooms are median prices at Booking.com.
Pizza in restaurant
33 cl beer in restaurant
Hotel room, 3-4* (April)
Hotel room, 3-4* (July)
How to get to Graz
Graz international airport is about 10 kilometers away from the city center.
- By train (S-Bahn), it takes about 11 minutes to the main station Hauptbahnhof. Timetables: oebb.at. Look for the route S5 from Flughafen Graz-Feldkirchen Bahnhof to Graz Hbf.
- Bus routes 630 and 631 run from the airport to Jakominiplatz. Timetables: fahrplan.oebb.at. Look for the routes from Abtissendorf Flughafen Graz to Graz Jakominiplatz. The journey takes about 20-27 minutes.
A train ride from the Vienna main station (Wien Hbf - Graz Hbf) takes about 2 hours 35 minutes. Use the above link for the S5 train. It takes 3 hours from the Vienna airport (Flughafen Wien - Graz Hbf).
Weather in Graz
Winter: Temperatures tend to be slightly above 0°C during daytime and slightly below during nighttime.
Spring: In March, daytime temperatures may exceed 10°C, but nights are cold with frequent frost. In April, temperatures remain mainly above zero with a chance of exceeding 20°C during daytime. In May, weather begins to resemble summertime. Late spring and summer produce the highest amount of rain.
Summer: Summer months are warm with plenty of rain due to the vicinity of the Alps. For the same reason, it’s rarely very hot, with temperatures remaining under 30°C. Nights are cool with 20°C exceeded rarely. About half of all days include some rain.
Fall: It rains less as summer turns to fall, but daytime temperatures remain rather summery in September. In October, weather cools down and November brings the first subzero temperatures at night.
Text and images: Jussi Ryynänen