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Things to do in Graz, Austria - Graz Travel Guide

Updated: Feb 25

Graz is an Austrian city located in the South of the country after crossing the Alps. Graz is the second largest city in Austria and the capital of the Austrian state of Styria. Also known as one of the most preserved central European cities. This is the reason why the railway station is a bit far from the old town.

My Journey to Graz, Austria:

The Inner City of Graz is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Graz was nominated as a European Capital for Culture in 2003 and Best City for Culinary in 2008.

Salzburg, Austria
On the way to Graz, Austria

I visited Graz from Germany. Crossed the beautiful Bavarian Alps into Austria and believe me, it's one of the most alluring Train journeys in Europe and highly recommended to use Train while traveling to Austria from Germany.

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One of the most picture scenic Train Journey to Graz, Austria

I have visited Graz quite a lot so I am familiar with the city more like a local. I have stayed in different areas, experienced different restaurants, and explored the city. Here in my blog, I will explain how to explore Graz like a Local along with the best things to do in the city.

Things to do in Graz

I would highly suggest starting the old town tour of Graz either from Jakominiplatz or Hauptplatz. Both of these spots are well connected with local transport and are considered the heart of Graz.

1. Hauptplatz:

Hauptplatz is a main town square and one of the most crowded and lively places in the city. It has a statue in the center and medieval building in the surroundings and small food trucks nearby.

Hauptplatz in Graz Old Town
Hauptplatz in Graz Old Town

The Hauptplatz is connected with the main streets of the old town like Sporgasse and Herrengasse.

Hauptplatz in Graz
Statue in Hauptplatz, Graz

2. Herrengasse:

Herrengasse is a main street of Graz with all the shopping brands and is considered heaven for shopping lovers. There are also connecting streets on both sides of Herrengasse which take into the narrow streets of the old town.

Herrengasse connects the two most crowded areas of Graz, Hauptplatz and Jakominiplatz.

Herrengasse, Graz
Herrengasse, Graz

3. Landeszeughaus:

It’s one of the largest museums for weapons and armory and holds significant historical importance. Be aware of the closing days and timings. It closes every Monday and the ticket is 9.50 in 2019 but now it may vary.

Landeszeughaus in Graz, Austria
Landeszeughaus in Graz, Austria

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4. Jakominiplatz:

If you walk on Herrengasse from Hauptplatz, it takes you directly to Jakominiplatz. It's one of the most crowded centers and always full of people.

Jakominiplatz in Graz, Austria
Jakominiplatz in Graz, Austria

There are also some cafes, restaurants, food trucks, and shopping stores around the Platz. It’s the main point in the city where all the trams get diverted in different ways.

5. Explore the courtyards in Innerstadt (Old Town of Graz):

Graz has more than 40 courtyards with different architecture and beauty. There are narrow streets on the Herrengasse which take into different courtyards. If you are curious to explore Graz like locals, I would highly suggest looking up the courtyards.

Jakominiplatz in Graz, Austria
Tram at Jakominiplatz in Graz, Austria

There are many restaurants and café located in these courtyards. You will be truly amazed to see them. Some of my favorites are Paradeishof and Freiheitsplatz.

Court Yards in Innerstadt
Exploring the Court Yards in Innerstadt

6. Schlossberg:

The famous castle of the Graz is located on the top of the hill. The castle remains unconquered but it was damaged heavily by Napoleon's forces.

The schloss is now changed into a park with an amazing view of the city. There are also two restaurants located on the top so you can enjoy the perfect sunset with your favorite drinks.

Schlossberg in Graz, Austria
View of Graz from Schlossberg

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There are stair paths from the Schlossbergplatz that take you to the top of the hill. You can also take the funicular from there which operates to and from the top. 

Schlossberg in Graz, Austria
Schlossberg in Graz, Austria

By the way, if you want to enjoy the view - take a stair up to the hill and you can stop by to admire the beauty of the city.

7. Uhr Turm:

The most iconic and symbolic representation of the Graz is Uhr Turm or Clock Tower. It's also located on the hill near Schlossberg.

Schlossbergplatz in Graz, Austria
Schlossbergplatz in Graz, Austria

You can see the tower from different points in the old town. You can also enjoy the beautiful view of the city and architecture of Kunsthaus from there.

Schlossberg, Graz
Cannons at Schlossberg, Graz

You can also visit the restaurant located near the tower. There are also a few musicians playing the music nearby which enhances the feel and beauty of the place as it's one of the most romantic spots in Graz.

Clock Tower in Graz, Austria
Uhr Turm (Clock Tower) in Graz, Austria

Uhr Turm in Graz, Austria
Uhr Turm (Clock Tower) in Graz, Austria

8. Kunsthaus:

Graz is a city famous for its art and culture. The Kunsthaus has a unique kind of architecture and there are always exhibitions of modern and contemporary arts taking place.

The museum also has a café where you find lots of art lovers spending a good time with their friends.

Kunst Hause in Graz, Austria
Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria

9. Graz Fairytale Train:

If you are visiting Graz with your kids, It’s a must-do activity. The train takes into the tunnel with storytelling about fairytales and enlightens the imagination of the kids. It is located near the Schlossberg Platz.

Schlossberg Platz
Graz fairytale Train

10. Kaiser Josef Platz- Farmer’s Market:

On the famous Kaiser Josef Platz, you can find the open-air farmer market. The farmers are offering their daily fresh and homemade products like cheese, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. If you looking for fresh veggies and fruits, it’s a place to visit.

11. Franciscan Cathedral:

The Cathedral is located on the bank of the Mur River and is surrounded by many cafes. It has great importance as it was the first religious center in Graz in the 13th century and the unique architecture attracts the attention of the tourists.

Franciscan Cathedral, Graz
Franciscan Cathedral, Graz

12. Grazer Dome:

It’s one of the most significant and historical Gothic-style churches and one of the main landmarks of Graz.

13. HeilandsKirche:

The church is located at Kaiser Josefplatz and is one of the famous protestant churches with its unique architecture.

Grazer Dome in Graz, Austria
Grazer Dome in Graz, Austria

14. Stadt Park and Double Spiral Stairs:

Especially in the summers, it’s the best place to relive and enjoy a few moments in the lush green park - you can also find a burg-park and you will be amazed to see the double spiral stairs inside the Burg.

15. Operahaus:

Austria is famous for its opera and music shows and Graz Operahaus is located in Kaiser Josef Platz. Don’t forget to book the tickets in advance.

 Graz Operahaus
Graz Operahaus

16. Eggen Schloss:

The famous Eggen Schloss is one of the most important places to visit in Graz. It’s a baroque-style castle with a lush green garden and hills in the background. Peacocks are the specialty of the castle.

Eggen Schloss in Graz
Eggen Schloss in Graz

You can see peacocks roaming around in the garden. The ticket is 2 but if you are a student it's only 1. There is a direct tram from Jakominiplatz, the main train station, and Hauptplatz to the castle.

17. Mur River:

The Mur River flows in Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary. It's highly recommended to take a long walk along the bank of the river or spend some time sitting near the river. The freshness of the river helps to revive the mind and soul.

Mur River in Graz, Austria
Mur River in Graz, Austria

18. Murinsel:

It’s a small island restaurant located in the center of Mur River. It’s a must place to visit and enjoy the coffee and see the view of the river.

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The café lightened up in the night in a blue color so you can also see it even from far.

Murinsel in Graz
Murinsel in Graz

19. Murpark:

For shopping lovers, you can find all the brands local or International in Murpark which is the biggest shopping mall in Graz.

The mall is the best place for shopping and also has dining options so if you get hungry after shopping you can just go to the café or restaurants in Murpark.

Shopping Mall in Graz
Murpark, Graz

20. Glockenspielhaus:

The house was owned by a businessman, Gottfried in 1884, he traveled to Belgium and Northern Germany and got to know about Glockenspiel and installed it on his house. It’s one of the world heritage sites in Old Town.

Every day three times a day (11 am, 3 pm, and 6 pm), 24 bells ring with melodious music and it opens the top door and the Styrian couple starts dancing.

Glockenspielhaus in Graz
Glockenspielhaus in Graz

To be honest, I did not know it but I was just passing by and saw lots of people over there. It was almost 3 PM and the show started. I was totally amazed to see such a cute and wonderful show.

21. Hiking at Schöckl:

One of the best things to do in Graz is to go hiking at Graz's Local Mountain, Schöckl.

Hiking at Schöckl, Graz
Hiking at Schöckl, Graz's Local Mountain

Highly recommended to do this activity as Schöckl is the last of the Alps and officially makes Graz a city before the Alps from the Southern part of Europe.

Nevertheless, hiking at Schöckl will allow you to experience the alluring beauty of Austria first hand.

Believe me, as you go up the scenic beauty of the nearby valleys increases by many folds. The foothills look surreal from the top of the Schöckl.

Hiking at Schöckl in Graz
Hiking at Schöckl
Schöckl in Graz
Breathtaking View of valley Floor from the top of Schöckl

There are a few restaurants at the top of the Schöckl that offer tasty Austrian Cuisine and help you to get your energy back. Apart from hiking you can also do a lot of leisure activities at Schöckl such as Cable Car, Summer Bahn, and Para-gliding.

Don't forget to book in advance for these activities to double the fun at Schöckl.

Hiking in Graz
The Valley floor from the top of Schöckl in Graz

Where to stay in Graz:

I have stayed once near Messe Graz, there is a direct tram connection to the old town. It's a very peaceful and calm place to stay and highly accessible with public transport. I must say it’s the best area to stay in Graz.

Messe Graz
Near Messe Graz

I have stayed twice in Greisplatz near the Mur River (around 10 mins walk to the river and 20 mins walk or direct bus for less than 5 mins to Old Town).

The area is quite crowded with lots of options to eat and plenty of Doner kebab shops and grocery stores.

Places to stay in Graz
My Apartment in Graz

The area is highly accessible with public transport and around 1.5 km from the main railway station. But I don’t like this place much for staying as it is not very safe. There are also a few clubs and party places nearby in the area.

Food Options in Graz:

There are lots of Doner options but my favorite is Kappadocia near Jakominiplatz. The prices of food are relatively cheaper than in Germany.

Best cafes in Graz
Cafes in Graz

To experience Austrian Cuisine and the food of one of the best culinary in Europe, I would highly suggest the best restaurant in Graz that’s Nullneun. You will be lost in the delicious food.

Styrian Cuisine, Graz
Styrian Cuisine, Graz

For the best burger in town, I would suggest Burger Joint and try their beef burger. Don’t forget to try the best ice cream in Graz from the ice cream parlor next to Backwerk near HauptPlatz.

Local Transport in Graz:

The best thing is the local transport in Graz is highly convenient and by using the local transport, you get a glimpse of the local's life. You can access all over the city with their trams, S Bahn, and buses.

You can either buy a day ticket for 5 or 72 hour ticket for 10.90 or a weekly ticket for 15.50 to travel as much as you want on the local transport within the city. But now, the prices may have increased.

Best Ice-cream in Graz
Best Ice-cream in Graz

You can use local transport within the Innenstadt for free. You can easily buy the ticket at any of the tram stations, main train stations, or ticket machines inside the tram.

Google Maps was not integrated with the local transport at that time so it was impossible to find the local transport on Google Maps. I would suggest using the local transportation app called BusBahnBim.

Ending Note:

From traditional Austrian cuisine to fashion streets to unmatched history and plenty of leisure activities, Graz is a must-visit city and should be on the "Things to do in Europe" list of every tourist and traveler.

Things to do in Graz:

  1. Hauptplatz

  2. Herrengasse

  3. Landeszeughaus

  4. Jakominiplatz

  5. Explore the courtyards in Innerstadt (Old Town of Graz)

  6. Schlossberg

  7. Uhr Turm

  8. Kunsthaus

  9. Graz Fairytale Train

  10. Kaiser Josef Platz- Farmer’s Market

  11. Franciscan Cathedral

  12. Grazer Dome

  13. HeilandsKirche

  14. Stadt Park and Double Spiral Stairs

  15. Operahaus

  16. Eggen Schloss

  17. Mur River

  18. Murinsel

  19. Murpark

  20. Glockenspielhaus

  21. Hiking at Schöckl

  22. 20. Glockenspielhaus

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