- Barbara Boda
Graz is the second largest city in Austria and became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. The city is a popular destination, not only for its universities but for its amazing venues, good food and interesting museums. Also, if you are there around December don’t miss the advent market with its amazing lights and atmosphere.
If you like sitting under enormous chestnut trees, if you like enjoying life just sitting on one of the comfy benches, if you like watching children having a wonderful time in the great playground, then Stadtpark is designed for you. It is very popular among local people; they often sit in in one of the small cafés nearby or just stroll along the paths. If you carry some nuts in your pockets or bag, you can try to make new friends; there are lots of squirrels around who need a little encouragement to say hello.
Address: Stadtpark 1 Graz, Austria
Situated on a hillside, this park provides an amazing view of the city. Visitors can walk up the slope, but those who prefer a more sedate route can take the funicular railway. This park is a popular venue for entertainment and has lots of cafés and restaurants as well. If you are looking for a castle (Schloss means castle in German) then you won’t be disappointed; the remains of the old castle are still visible (the majority was demolished during the Napoleonic war). Here you can find the city’s iconic feature, the Uhrturm, which is a tricky clock tower. Despite the general rule, this timepiece’s small hand shows the minutes and the large one the hours.
Address: Am Schlossberg 1 Graz, Austria
A truly romantic spot for a stroll or for even a picnic, Burggarten is an enchanting venue with its beautiful trees and the unique Orangerie. The Orangerie was built to cultivate delicate plants such as orange and lemon trees. Now, after an extensive renovation, this amazing building is open to all and provides a nice environment for all sorts of events. An ideal spot for some peaceful, relaxing time out.
Address: Hofgasse 15 Graz, Austria
If you are an active, sport-loving person, Hilmteich could be your favorite place in Graz. You can participate in a boat trip on the lake (actually it can be quite romantic as well, especially if followed by a picnic!), or have a climbing experience outdoors in the nearby Erlebnispark (adventure park), or put on your running gear and take to the forest tracks in the adjacent Leechwald. And all of this is just a few minutes away from the city center.
Adventure park opening hours: April-November Tues-Fri 2pm-7pm, Sat-Sun 10am-7pm
Address and telephone number: Hilmteichstraße 70 Graz, Austria +43 316 328696
Kunstgarten is a site where nature becomes the playground for contemporary art. Set in 1,300 square meters, there are lots of projects and exhibitions to see, and occasionally readings and concerts take place too. There is an entrance fee (1 euro for adults) and visits are possible during the scheduled opening times or by prior arrangement.
Opening hours: Fri-Sat 3.30pm-7pm
Address and telephone hours: Payer Weyprecht Straße 27 Graz, Austria + 43 316 262787
Probably the best park in Graz as far young ones are concerned, not only due to the ample green surroundings, hedges and slopes, but the FRida & freD children’s museum is here to keep them entertained. You can also watch the cyclists who have a stop on their Murradweg cycle route (Mur is the name of the nearby river). There is also the possibility of relaxing in a bath after a walk here; the Augartenbad swimming pools are just a stone’s throw away.
Address: Augartenallee, Graz, Austria
Set in a tranquil environment at the outskirts of the city, Eggenberg Palace is an amazing place to spend a few hours. It is worth visiting the castle alone, but there are different gardens as well where you can just sit and relax. It is up to you whether you cozy up beneath a group of magnificent trees, enjoy the scents in the rose garden or get carried away by the clever scheme in the Planetengarten, where the planets are represented by different plants. One thing is for sure: from spring through autumn you probably won’t be alone, since there are many peacocks running loose around the gardens!
Opening hours: April-October 8am-7pm, November-March 8am-5pm (there is entrance fee)
Address and telephone number: Eggenberger Allee 90 Graz, Austria +43 664 8017 9560
By Barbara Boda