Charming and picturesque, the lesser-known Austrian city of Graz has a lot to be proud of. Here is our pick of the top destinations.
Nicknamed “the friendly alien” by locals due to its exceedingly unusual external appearance, this structure is not just an architectural masterpiece, but Graz’s finest modern art gallery.
The stairs of reconciliation
This double spiral staircase is a rare phenomenon, and one of few in the world, is slightly baffling to behold.
Designed by American artist Vito Acconci during celebrations of the city being named European Capital of Culture in 2003, this peculiar landmark, known by locals as the Murinsel (“Mur island”), is not, in fact, an island, but a floating platform in the center of the river.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this historic gem is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, boasting impressive grounds, magnificently designed staterooms, and a wealth of history to uncover.
Graz Botanic Gardens
This unusual greenhouse contains an extraordinary wealth of plants, with varieties from all over the world.
Wandering through these gardens, located just outside Graz, you will find twisted metal and surrealist shapes of lurid color emerging from the ordinary landscape. Marrying nature and art harmoniously, the Austrian Sculpture Park makes for a wonderfully dreamlike day out, and will introduce you to the work of some of Austria’s most prominent modern artists, including Fritz Wotruba and Franz West, Erwin Wurm, Heimo Zobernig, and Michael Kienze.
This is an artfully designed restaurant with roots dating back to 1910. The menu focuses on traditional Styrian cuisine.
Catch some of the finest views of the city from the veranda of this stylish restaurant.
This is Graz’s oldest functioning bakery. In imperial times, the Hofbäckerei Edegger-Tax supplied the Hofburg family with their bread.
This is a homely and friendly bar serving delicious brunches and a wide range of cocktails.
Buna is one of the best venues in the city in which to get your caffeine fix. They are passionate about their craft, serving delicious coffee made with beans roasted in Graz.
The Parkhouse offers a monthly music program, with live concerts in the summer months and DJ sets in the restaurant during the winter.
This gourmet venue has an exquisite menu, featuring both Austrian and international specialties.
A traditional café where you can try all the famed Austrian pastries and cakes from Sachertorte to Apple Strudel.
Mix with the locals at this charming market, where you will find an incredible range of locally produced fruit and vegetables.
This Neo-Baroque-style opera house witnessed many early performances of Mozart’s music. Check their program for upcoming events here.
The Neue Galerie
Opened in 2011, this modern art gallery has gone on to become a powerhouse in Graz’s cultural scene, with an impressive collection featuring work from renowned contemporary artists.
Located in “the rumbling belly of the alien,” this trendy café is the perfect place to grab a coffee after a day’s sightseeing.
Although Austrian cuisine is traditionally very meat heavy, Graz has some fantastic exclusively vegetarian and vegan restaurants. This is one of the finest.
Austria isn’t purely for classical music buffs. This Jazz club puts on a fantastic program, featuring local and international artists.