Graz, Austria is small, wonderful city that needs to be on your travel list. Austria is full of potential and adventure. The country hosts overwhelming natural beauty, rich culture, and underrated travel destinations. Many people realize the joy of Graz. Anyone who has visited will recommend this charming place to you. We love it too. Read ahead to find out why – and discover how you can embrace its loveliness for yourself.
Table of Contents
Climb to the Clock Tower in Graz
The clock tower is a key feature of Graz. It sits on top of Schlossberg and watches over the city. If you are feeling lazy, a steep train lift can take you up. However, the walk is most the fun. There are various pathways to follow, each of them leading you to stunning scenic views. The route from town is an impressive staircase. Indented into a tall wall of stone, the steps zigzag up the face of the hill. They are old and beautiful, decorated with the natural flowers of Graz. Benches offer space to rest and mark spots of increasing magnificence of the views. Enjoy this walk slowly and appreciate the journey to the top. Locals walk their dogs here or read books in the shadow of overhanging trees.
On the other side, there is a gentle path, winding its way through the trees. It is greener than the other route and gradually guides you to the top. There are more than views to appreciate. Gardens fill the open space; there are relics of old buildings, bars, cafes and of course, the clock tower itself. Either way, let your route take you here. Finished in 1560, it is a landmark of local medieval history. It is distinct in its appearance and different to your average clock face. Instead, the long hands point to the hour, the smaller to the minutes.
Travel tip – there is a falafel place by one of the gates at the bottom of the hill. Grab a delicious wrap, even a cheeky beer, and head to the top. Relax, indulge and watch the sunset over the city of Graz. It makes the walk up even more worth it.
Rent a bike
By bike is a great and classic way to explore the city of Graz. Be sure to rent one for the day and give an extra level of freedom to your travels. Where? Check out Graz Bike. Easy to remember and located all over the city, they offer rentals at reasonable prices. The city is perfectly equipped for cyclists, with bike lanes and wide streets to navigate. Just watch out for the trams.
A bike path meanders across Austria. It follows the River Mur and passes through Graz. If you rent a bike, this is the perfect opportunity to explore at least some of it. Follow it, and you quickly escape the city. Although this is by no means a claustrophobic town, the area is around it is tempting. The natural surrounding beauty consistently entices you out of the city, inviting you to explore it.
Be sure to cycle through the smaller back streets of Graz in the evening. It doesn’t matter where you are going; this is an experience in itself. Hear the buzzing conversations from local bars and restaurants. Find quiet, empty cobbled streets. Ride slowly through the scattered road lamplights. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Graz, in a liberating and fun way.
Go for coffee
Like any European city, Graz loves a good café. There are various ones to choose from, depending on your style. Caffe Mitte is a bit of a hipster haven, yet all love it. It adopts a warm and intimate atmosphere, created by rows of cushioned seats climbing the walls. Some tables look out over the square through small windows. In the sun, people gather outside on large wooden tables.
For a fancier experience, the central streets host bars and restaurants for fine dining. Café Sacher or Delikatessen Frankowitsch are perfect places for the sophisticated traveler. Choose your own favorites. The unique atmosphere of Graz is consuming and seeps into every building in town.
While you are there, buy something with apples in – Apfelstrudel, Apfel kuchen – and embrace a simple but classic Austrian cuisine. And why not attempt to order in German. It is a great language, and the locals will appreciate the try!
Drink Austrian beer at an Irish Pub
In Graz, you might come across a surprising amount of Irish Pubs. They always have great character, full of energy and people. Nevertheless, don’t worry, these pubs still offer unlimited Austrian beer for you to try. Brau Union brewery is Austria’s favorite. They dominate the beers of the area and provide the quintessential national beer drinking experience.
Aside from this, be sure to try a Gösser beer. These are becoming even more popular in Europe, and for good reason. They vary in strength and color, from dark to light. So choose your preference and relax outside, watching the chilled nightlife of Graz pass you by. If for any peculiar reason, you do not like any of these, there’s always a Guinness – and always time for one.
Slowly walk the streets
Possibly the best thing about Graz is its atmosphere. These are the greatest cities – those defined by an underlying humming quality. A distinct yet subtle feeling that you cannot quite grasp. Yet this buzz gives energy and excitement to everything you experience. So enjoy the simple things. Walk the small, cute streets. See the river. Visit a bakery. Sit, eat and drink outside. Wander. The undefinable buzz of Graz will make these small things seem exceptional.
The locals always appear happy and energized to live in such a beautiful place. People are friendly and spontaneous. It is a youthful city with its student population. Although cute and quiet, this place is not boring. Invest time into finding the small niche places and the hidden gems of the city. Ask around – people will be more than happy to help.
Another tip – the small birds here might seem cute, but they will attack if you offer them food. Beware.
Visit a Museum
For a rainy day or a burst of culture, visit one of the museums of Graz. There are archaeological, children’s, science and architecture museums. There is even a museum of perception. This one is definitely worth a visit. If you are traveling Europe and tired of the traditional history and culture museum, this is the place for you. It is a unique experience, using interactive displays to teach about the human eye: its function and sense of perspective. If you are looking for a fun and random experience, give it a visit.
If you do want the classic museum, Graz caters for this also. The natural history museum offers the traditional experience – impressive exhibitions and a range of detailed knowledge. The Kunsthaus is also popular but focuses more on edgy architecture and modern art.
For such a small city, Graz occupies endless possibility. The dynamic nature of the city means it is always changing. In streets that have existed for hundreds of years, there are new paths for you to find. The city saturates itself in activity. It has a distinct welcoming air that draws you in. You can quickly grasp a feel for the place in only a short stay. The atmospheric buzz of the city is truly indescribable. You must go to experience Graz, Austria for yourself.