It wasn’t hard to find what to do in Graz,Austria. While visiting my cousin I couldn’t help doing a little sightseeing and came up with this list of the best things to see.
Graz is a cultural hub in Austria as the old capital of the Styrian provinces. Known as a university town, Grazis a young vibrant city filled with parks, cafes, and amazing architecture that blends the old with the new. Designated as a UNESCO world heritage site simply walking the historic old town is enough to fill your day, but if you want to experience all that Graz has to offer there are a few things you won’t want to miss. I know I didn’t!
1. Schlossberg – You won’t miss this symbol of Graz with its clock tower overlooking the city. Perched on top of a hill, the location of a castle around which Graz was built, are beautiful gardens, a few restaurants, the clock tower, and of course breathtaking views of the city and its surrounding hillsides. The two restaurants located a few hundred meters uphill from the clock tower are an ideal place to take in views of the city while enjoying a drink or some food. Entry is free unless you wish to take the funicular or elevator.
2. Schloss Eggenberg (Eggenberg Palace) – Designated as a UNESCO world heritage site this palace is a must see if you’re visiting Graz. Make sure not to miss one of the guided tours (German and English) that take you through the 24 state rooms used for entertaining and housing guests. With 500 years of art filling every inch of the palace interior, this building dating back to 1625 was impressive. Afterwards, chill out with a coffee and a good book in the parks that surround the Palace or stop by the coin cabinet and archaeology museum.
3. Landeszeughaus (Styrian Armory) – With a free audio guide touring the world’s largest historic armory is really cool. Seeing enough equipment to arm 5,000 soldiers was impressive as the more than 30,000 artifacts, stored as they were nearly 400 years ago, show the realities of Austria’s tumultuous past.
4. Kunsthaus – this contemporary art museum is one of Graz’s architectural landmarks. Known as the “alien” the building is impressive both inside and out. Often closed when new exhibits are being installed if you luck out like me you might still get a guided tour of the building’s interior. If not, you can certainly appreciate it from the outside. Without a permanent installation exhibits are always changing and something worth checking out.
5. Joanneumsviertel (the Janneum quarter) – Joanneumsviertel is a centre for learning, art, and culture. The building houses the Neue Galerie Graz, Styrian state library, and natural history museum (opening 2013). The recently renovated exterior is very cool and a great place to practice architectural photography as the courtyard mimics a Zen garden with a modern twist.
1. The best way to see the museums in Graz is to purchase a 24 hour ticket that gains visitors entry into all the cities museums including Eggenberg Palace.
2. With most of the museums centrally located around Graz’ historic old town its best to plan your route to visit these first then head out to see Eggenberg Palace by taking tram 1 from Jakominiplatz.
3. Keep a euro on you for baggage check and don’t forget your money when you leave. Most of the museums require you to check your bags into lockers that require a euro, which is returned after you retrieve your belongings. If you don’t want to lose your money, like I did, make sure you check the money slot before you leave.
Tally (As of May 2012):
1. Bus and tram costs 1.90 Euro ($2.30 USD) and lasts for 1 hour (you can get 24 hour tickets for around 4 Euro or 5 USD)
2. Museum passes are as follows (Photo taken at Joanneumsviertel)