The city of Graz is a blend of old and new Austria. With one of the best preserved old-towns in Europe, it offers a glimpse into the past, and with four universities, it simultaneously establishes itself as a European capital of architecture and design. Here are five attractions that are not to be missed.
Old Town Graz
What is most striking about Graz is the beautiful architecture of its medieval and Italian Renaissance buildings. Explore the Old Town, a UNESECO World Cultural Heritage Site, with its stuccoed facades, secret courtyards and narrow alleys. With its galleries, museums, cafes, restaurants and shops, the Old Town is the lively heart of the city.
The Schlossberg (which literally translates to castle-mountain) is one of Graz’s most popular attractions, offering views over the medieval roofscape of Old Town. Though the massive fortifications have mostly been leveled, the Clock Tower, which dates back to the 13th century, remains a landmark of the city. Enjoy the sunset from the terrace of one of the restaurants, sipping a glass of local Sauvignon Blanc.
Come face to face with the history of Styria at the Armory. The historic armor and weapons remaining here, are preserved in near original state. The armory’s purpose was to have weapons ready to defend the province from invaders. Today you can immerse yourself in the extraordinary atmosphere of the armory, just as it was centuries ago.
Take an afternoon to visit this magnificent Baroque palace at the western edge of Graz. The palace’s layout, designed by Imperial Governor Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg, is based on astronomical symbolism taken from the Gregorian calendar. Here you will find exactly 365 windows, 31 rooms on each floor, 24 state rooms with 52 doors and four corner towers, all alluding to time, the seasons, weeks, days hours and minutes. Other highlights include romantic gardens and museums.
Kunsthaus Graz – The Friendly Alien
Take a walk on Graz’s modern side at the Kunsthaus Graz. Designed by architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, the Kunsthaus hovers elegantly and mysteriously over the River Mur and features exhibitions on international and contemporary art. The spectacular biomorphic shape makes it an unmistakable icon of the city.
Courtesy Austrian Tourist Office.