Graz is the capital of Styria (Steiermark) and the second largest city of Austria with a population of just below 300,000 - about 40,000 of which are students of its six universities. It has been a vital urban centre for both Styria, Austria and Slovenia, and has produced a number of talents in many fields, ranging from the inventor Nikola Tesla to the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Graz maintains a balance between its illustrious past and modern present and features spectacular architecture from all periods, while the warm and sunny climate influenced by the closeness to the Mediterranean makes it a very nice city to visit.
The roots of Graz can be traced back to Roman times, when a small fort was built where the city centre is today; Slovenians later built a larger fortress in the same place. The name "Graz" is derived from the Slovenian word gradec, which means small castle. Graz was first mentioned with its German name in 1128 when the dukes of Babenberg turned the place into a commercial centre. During 15th century Graz became the capital of Inner Austria (referring to Styria, Carinthia and Carniola) under the Habsburgs.
Due to its importance as a strategic position, Graz was often assaulted by Ottoman Turks in the 16th century. The fortress located on the Schlossberg (the picture to the right shows the clock tower, which is located on top of the hill) never fell to the Turks (the only place in this region).
During WWII, Graz was part of Nazi Germany (along with rest of Austria). At the end of the war, Graz was surrendered to Soviet troops largely intact; the historic old town was not seriously hit during Allied bombing raids on the city. In 2003 Graz was the Cultural Capital of Europe.
Some 40,000 of the city's population is made up of students, as Graz is home to no less than six universities (four "standard" universities and two dedicated solely to applied sciences), and is associated with names as illustrious as Johannes Kepler, Erwin Schrödinger and Nikola Tesla. The first university was founded in 1585 (Karl-Franzens-Universität).
Graz is also known for the Magna Steyr (formerly called Steyr-Daimler-Puch) automobile and truck manufacturing plant located there. It is also the birthplace (in nearby Thal) of actor and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Its UPC-Arena was renamed in Schwarzenegger's honor in 1997, but was renamed again in 2005, following controversy over the governor's support of California's death penalty.
The City of Graz, Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg, is a world heritage site.
Graz airport (IATA: GRZ), (Flughafen Graz Thalerhof) is a relatively minor regional airport around 9 km south of the city centre. Scheduled flights operate to Graz from Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Vienna and Zurich, connecting to intercontinental hubs of Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, AirBerlin and Etihad Airways, while in the summer there are charters to many holiday destinations around the Mediterranean.
From the airport you have several possibilities to reach the centre:
- by taxi: approximate fare to the center is between €20-25.
- by bus: the bus station is directly in front of the arrival zone. Bus lines 630 and 631 are going to Jakominiplatz (the central point of public transportation) from approx. 05:20 to 23:45, travel time is 20 minutes. Fare is € 2,10 for a single ticket (2013).
- by train: to reach the train station you have to walk ~5 minutes (easy to find, just head straight out the airport and continue to the east). Line S5 connects to Graz Hauptbahnhof (main station) from 04:47 (Saturdays and Sundays 05:17) to 22:47 (Sundays: 21:47). Travel time is 15 minutes.
Other nearby airports are in Maribor, Klagenfurt, and a little farther away in Linz, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Vienna International Airport. Contrary to what one may think, there is no easy direct public transportation connection from Vienna's Schwechat Airport to Graz (one has to take a bus to the minor station of Wien-Meidling and the RailJet train to Graz), and flying directly to Graz may be a better option to avoid the hassle and conserve time.
The main station (Hauptbahnhof) is on the western edge of the city centre, at the end of the Annenstrasse. Graz has frequent connections to Vienna with direct trains every hour. Connections to Salzburg and most other Austrian Cities and Munich are also reasonably frequent. Night trains serve destinations as far as Zurich, and there are two direct day services each day to Zagreb. There are also less frequent services to Slovenia and Hungary. To reach the old town, take tram line 1, 3, 6 or 7, or simply walk down Annenstraße for about 20 minutes and cross the bridge. You can obtain a map from the Tourist Information in the Hauptbahnhof.
It is worth noting that the direct services from Vienna to Graz pass through the Semmering Railway, a rail line listed in the UNESCO World Heritage due to its unique construction involving 14 tunnels and 16 viaducts. Keep your eyes open! From Vienna to Graz, sit on the left; from Graz to Vienna, sit on the right.
The A9, runs north-south through Graz, mostly via the 6 mi Plabutsch tunnel. The A2, just south of the city, runs east-west. Vienna (Wien) is 127 mi up the A2 to the east. A just as fast but much more scenic alternative route to Vienna is via Bruck/Mur taking the S6. (Beware that there are lots of tunnels on the S6.) Some might also find the 5 mi (single carriageway) Gleinalm (Toll) tunnel on the A9, 15 miles to the north of Graz, unnerving. Toll charge: Gleinalm Tunnel: cars and motorhomes up to 3.5 t: €7.95 | with caravans/trailers: €9.95 | Motorhomes over 3.5 t: €11.50. It is possible to avoid the tunnel by travelling on the rather longer route via Bruck an der Mur.
Graz does not have a dedicated bus terminal. Private and public operators all operate from separate terminals:
- Eurolines operates from Hauptbahnhof. They offer reasonable cheap tickets to many destinations throughout Europe.
- Linie G1 - Dr. Richard offers busses from Vienna to Graz.
- Regional Busses run frequent services from terminals at Andreas-Hofer-Platz (City Bus 40, 67 or three minutes walk from Hauptplatz), Hauptbahnhof (Tram 3, 6 as well as 1, 7 evenings and Sundays, City Buses 50, 52, 53, 58, 63, 85) and some others, with many destinations throughout Styria. Many Busses also pass Jakominiplatz.
For travels to Austrian or Slovenian destinations check out , they will find you routes with public buses, trains, and trams to your desired destination. (Although in Carinthia and Tyrol it is limited to trains.)
The old town of Graz is easily explored on foot and is reachable with a 20 min walk from the main train station. Stop at the Tourist Information at the train station, or any hotel lobby that you come across to pick up a brochure on attractions in Graz. This brochure also contains a map with most of the sights marked, as well as recommended self-guided walking routes through the town.
For other needs, public transportation options exist:
Graz has an excellent tram service running through the Jakominiplatz where the different routes meet and you can change trams and buy tickets at the tobacco kiosk (Tabak). Make sure you punch your ticket inside the tram (If you get caught without a valid/punched ticket you will have to pay a fine of €60). You can buy hourly, daily, 3 day tourist, 10 strip, weekly or monthly tickets (also available at a vending machine in the tram, but you need coins or a working European V cash card or credit card). They are valid on all modes of public transport throughout Zone 101 (Graz plus immediate surroundings including the airport!)
Graz also has an excellent city bus network taking in the parts of Graz not serviced by trams. Many buses go through Jakominiplatz, Hauptbahnhof and Geidorfplatz. The tickets are the same as for the tram. Be sure to get yourself a map (at Jakominiplatz) of the network if you plan to use it frequently. Also check out .
Ticket prices: Single ticket (available from the driver) € 2.10 (valid for one hour), day ticket (available from the driver), € 4.70 (valid for 24 h), weekly ticket € 12.70, available from the Office of Transportation at the Jakominiplatz and a 10-single-ride ticket (valid for 10 single rides) €19.20 available at most of the tobacco kiosk (Tabak).
Keep in mind that bus and tram services operate from 5AM to midnight during the week. Trams usually stop around 23:30 from Jakominiplatz in all directions. Nightbuses operate only on Fridays and Saturdays and before public holidays. They leave from Jakominiplatz in all directions at 00:30, 01:30 and 02:30.
Graz is a city of cyclists, featuring an excellent network of cyclepaths. Due to this using a bike to get around (at least the central areas of Graz) is one of the best choices. It also helps that it does not rain a lot in Graz. Bikes may be rented, although if you are staying a bit longer buying a used one (and maybe reselling it) from one of the many bike stores may be cheaper (get one of the great restored vintage bicycles from Rebikel, Keplerstraße 55). Bike theft is a common problem in Graz, so take care that your bike is properly locked (if possible against a bar) when you are not using it. Also, if you are inexperienced bicycling around trams, take extra caution (especially noting that getting your wheel stuck in a tram rail could knock you down, with trams potentially coming right behind and beside you!). Counter-flow cycling (cycling in the "wrong" direction of a one-way street) is allowed almost everywhere in Graz - watch out for "one-way street"-signs with a small additional "ausgenommen Radfahrer" ("except cyclists") sign.
An online map of Graz for cyclists is available here: . You can get a big map for cyclists from the Tourist info office (Herrengasse 16), at "Mobil Zentral" (Jakoministraße 1) or at the "Radstation" (Cycling station) next to the central railway station.
Rental bicycles are available for example at the "Radstation" (German only) next to the central railway station (leave the station through the main exit, turn right, walk approx. 200 m) or from one of the shops of "Bicycle" (German only).
Taxis are available 24 h a day. You can hail one on the street, go to a taxi rank or simply order one by phone. The taxi ranks with the best chances of getting a taxi day or night are "Hauptplatz" (Right side of City Hall) or "Hauptbahnhof". There is a base rate of €3-4 for all rides. Avoid taxis in the early morning and early evening when traffic congestion can make a taxi ride very expensive. A ten-minute taxi ride usually costs about €10. Taxis can be booked at the same price as on the street by calling 0316-878, 0316-889, 0316-222, 0316-2801.
If you can avoid it, just avoid it. Graz has areas with an inscrutable one-way system which makes it easy to get lost. Parking space in central areas are rare and subject to a fee from Monday to Friday (9.00am to 8.00pm, in front of Hauptbahnhof to 9PM) and on Saturday from 9AM to 1PM. Tickets can be bought from ticket machines placed in every street. A ticket for half an hour costs €0.60 ("blue zones", "green zones" are a bit cheaper). The maximum parking duration in blue zones is three hours and in green zones one day. Be aware that there are a lot of 'ticket-police' around so don't even try to park without a valid ticket (Fine € 25). There are a number of underground car parks in the city centre for example under the Karmeliterplatz which is called Pfauengarten Parkgarage which is open 24h a day. A ticket for one hour costs €2, a 24h ticket costs €12, other are as much as €4 per hour.
- The historic old town. It has been designated a World Heritage site.
- The Schlossberg (Schloßberg), the castle perched upon a hill in the middle of the city around which Graz sprang up. The funicular (Schloßbergbahn) (10 day and tourist tram/bus ticket covers the ride), and elevator (Schloßberglift) (€1,20) will take the effort out of the walk to the top, although to use them would be to miss the wooded paths and some spectacular views.
- Clock Tower (Uhrturm) on the top of the Schloßberg, the symbol of Graz.
- The Glockenspiel, which comes to life with song and rotating dance figures every day at precisely 11:00, 15:00 and 18:00.
- Eggenberg Castle (Schloss Eggenberg). Early Baroque architecture with lavish state rooms. There is a small (€ 1.00) fee for entering the park surrounding the castle, which they likely will not charge if you say you intend to take the castle tour. The castle tour is highly recommended though, as it contains dramatic wall and ceiling paintings, elaborate ceramic stoves, and inlaid wood floors. (Tram 1 direction Eggenberg/UKH) Tel: 583264-0 (free entry to the museum with euro<26 card)
- Don't miss the double spiral staircase in the Burg, a castle complex built between 1438 and 1453 by Emperor Frederick III which is today inhabited by the government of Styria.
- The mannerist-Baroque Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II., with impressive interior decor by famous Styrian artist Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. Its elliptical dome is the oldest of its kind outside Italy. Next to the Mausoleum is the Cathedral of Graz with an exceptional exterior fresco, the so-called Gottesplagenbild (picture of plagues), which is the oldest remained painting depicting Graz.
- There are some more remarkable churches in Graz: The oldest one is the Romanesque Leechkirche with its tympanon Madonna. The highest building of Graz is the Herz-Jesu-Kirche, designed down into the last detail by architect Georg Hauberrisser in Gothic Revival style. Except the altar area, which had to be re-modeled after the liturgical renewals of the Second Vatican Council, everything still retains the original conception. On the other side of Mur river there are some beautiful Baroque churches like Mariahilf or Welsche Kirche. In St. Andrä, Baroque and modern elements combine, whereas St. Lukas, situated at one of the largest traffic routes of Graz, is a great example of contemporary sacred art.
- Kunsthaus. Is Graz's newest exhibition place. It's worth a visit, even if you only look at its design from the outside. It's right across the river from Hauptplatz at the Suedtirolerplatz (Tram 1,3,6,7,14 direction Hauptbahnhof). (You will definitely notice the blue bubble) (3€ with euro<26 card)
- Murinsel. Originally a temporary project during 2003 for the Cultural Capital of Europe (Graz 2003) celebrations, people liked it enough so it stayed. Designed by the New York artist Vito Acconci, this accessible artificial island in the river, contains a stage for performances and a coffeehouse.
- Joanneum Museum of Styria (Steiermärkische Landesmuseum Joanneum), ☎ . Raubergasse 10. (cheaper with euro<26 card)
- Armory Zeughaus, in the Herrengasse Tel: 8017 9810, . Open April 1 - October 31: M-Su 10AM-6PM; November 1 - March 31: M-Sa 10AM-3PM, Su 10AM-4PM; Adults €8, Groups €5.50, Students €3. Contains an amazing collection of arms and armor, from large two-handed swords and maces to the more modern pistols. Originally the local armory was built to readily equip the people in the event of an attack, and so the weapons you'll see here were made for use, not show. English tours are available; inquire early in the day to see what time one will be offered. If you are incredibly enthusiastic about weapons and ask nicely, your guide might treat you to further description of the use and care of the weapons after your tour is completed. Pictures are not allowed, but postcards with pictures of the main pieces can be bought in the gift shop. Be warned, this building gets extremely warm in the summer (especially on the upper floors). Weapons enthusiasts may wish to go early in the day, or you may find your interest waning rapidly as the puddles form around your feet. Note without a guide it is just row upon row of armour with no information at all on any items in any language.
- Simply work round the centre of the town and explore the many courtyards and narrow streets discovering many interesting shops,restaurants and cafés as well as the impressive architecture.
- Walk or climb up the Schloßberg and have a meal in the open-air at the top whilst admiring the views. The easiest way is to walk up the Sporgasse from the Hauptplatz to the "Karmeliterplatz" where you walk under an archway on the left where a road meanders up the gentler eastern side of the Schloßberg. From the west and north you have a choice of zig-zag paths or to climb the steps from "Schlossbergplatz". There is also a lift going up at Schlossbergplatz. You also might see some of the tame red squirrels (Eichkätzchen) at the top. Use the Schloßbergbahn, a cable car which you'll find at the Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Kai, to go up or down if you don't feel like walking.
- Take the number 1 tram to the terminus at the bottom of the Plabutsch, a hill on the western edge of Graz, and hike up it. It's quite strenuous, and you really need walking boots and perhaps a map.
- Take bus number 40 to the terminus and walk up (very steep) to the ruins of Gösting castle and enjoy the view over the city.
- Swim. Normally after May, the water in the outdoor swimming pools very quickly warms-up enough to enjoy swimming:
- Eggenberger Bad, Janzgasse 21
- Augartenbad, Schönaugürtel 1, right next to the river Mur and the Schönaubrücke bridge.
- Bad Strassgang, Martinhofstraße 3.
- Margarethenbad, Grillparzerstraße 10.
- Ragnitzbad, Pesendorferweg 7.
- Stukitzbad, Andritzer Reichsstraße 25a.
- Boat or skate on the Hilmteich or Thalersee (just outside Graz), depending on the season.
- Football at the UPC-Arena, the home of GAK and SK Sturm Graz in the district of Liebenau, south of the city centre. Ticket prices from €22-36.50.
- Every summer, the AIMS (American Institute of Music Studies), the leading European summer vocal program brings future opera and concert performers together. Locals and visitors enjoy opera and operetta concerts, song recitals and other musical programs in concert halls, castles, courtyards, churches and other venues. The AIMS Festival in Graz features operatic and symphonic works and culminates with the annual Meistersinger Vocal Competition presented with full orchestra.
- During summer months, in the centre between the Jakominiplatz and the Hauptplatz, along the Herrengasse, you'll come across musicians of all sorts. Perhaps a small quartet playing Mozart. Perhaps a barrel-organ.
- KIZ RoyalKino, Conrad-von-Hötzendorf-Straße 10, Tel. 826133 has Hollywood films in English language and with German subtitles. Take tram number 4, 5 or 13 and get out at Finanzamt. If you are at Jakominiplatz it's a five-minute walk there. Alternative films can also be found at the Rechbauerkino, Rechbauerstraße.
- On the Kaiser-Josef-Platz, right opposite the Opernhaus, is a fruit and vegetable open-air market where small farmers from the countryside around Graz bring their produce for sale (or rather their wives do). Morning only. The other main farmers market in Graz is located on the "Lendplatz". Morning only.
Be sure to buy a bottle of "Kernöl" (pumpkin seed oil). This oil is typical for Styria and has a very unique and wonderful taste. Ideally buy it at a (farmer) market (like Kaiser-Josef-Platz, Lendplatz,...). But you can also buy good quality oil at the normal supermarkets.
There are many possibilities to go shopping in Graz. Good places to shop are:
- Herrengasse - the most important shopping street in Graz. It connects the main square (Hauptplatz) with Jakominiplatz.
- numerous lanes in the old town like "Schmiedgasse" or "Sporgasse".
- in Kastner+Öhler Graz's big department store, right in the center, next to the main square. Doesn't offer cheap prices. There is an underground car-park right underneath.
- Steirerhof, Jakominplatz 12. Named after the demolished hotel that occupied the site until recently. Tel: 83 55 70
- Mariahilferstraße Just stroll around from "Suedtirolerplatz" behind the Kunsthaus, have a coffee in the "Cafe Central" and advance to Mariahilferstraße with little designshops, 70ies retro furniture and custum made t-shirts and many more to discover
- City Park shopping mall situated on south-western edge of central Graz. "Lazarettgürtel 55"
Bigger shopping complexes located outside the city center are:
- Shopping City Seiersberg - A new build shopping complex just outside the city limits. Take tram 5 to Puntigam and from there take bus 78. Although the center lies outside of Graz it's still Zone 101, meaning that you will not have to buy an additional public transport ticket.
- Shopping Center West - Being already quite a few years old it's a lot smaller than the Shopping City Seiersberg, but it's also nearer to the center. Take tram 5 to Puntigam and then bus number 64.
- Murpark - Only mayor shopping center in the east of Graz. Only shopping center in Graz to have direct access by tram. Take tram 4 to end of line in Liebenau.
All restaurants have cheap lunch deals ("Mittagsmenü") (12-3PM) or a dish of the day ("Tagesempfehlung") that are usually very good, fresh and have the best value.
- There are a lot of Döner Kebab sellers in Graz, good ones are on Jakominiplatz (Kapadokia), Dietrichsteinplatz (Pamukale), Hauptplatz (Euro-Kepap). A Kebap costs you about €2.70-2.90.
- The supermarket in the Hauptbahnhof is the only major one open on Sunday. There are various Turkish markets around town, but their selection is limited.
- Sausages with mustard, ketchup and/or horseradish are best at the sausage-stand at Franziskanerplatz. Try "Krainer" or "Käsekrainer", which are very popular sausages in Styria.
- Sägewerk, ☎ . Schlögelgasse 1 (between Dietrichsteinplatz and Kaiserjosef-Platz), - they serve excellent and cheap pizza (€4,80).
- Posaune, Zinzendorfgasse (at roundabout next to KF University) - Same Company like Sägewerk.
- Grammophon, Maiffredygasse (near Music University) - Same Company as Sägewerk.
- 3 Goldene Kugeln, 6 restaurants in Graz, Griesplatz (next to the telekom tower), Heinrichstrasse (near K.F. University), Riesplatz, Bahnhofgürtel (near Hauptbahnhof), Leonhardstrasse (Near University of Music and Dramatic Arts), Citypark and Murpark. Fast cuisine of anything breaded chicken like. Large portions, very reasonable prices.
- Jausnstadl, Brückenkopfgasse 9 (next to Griesplatz) - They have only two dishes a day (usually local ones) which are available in small and regular portions. Even the small ones are huge, let alone the regular ones. The inn is run down, shabby and smoky, but dishes are rather good quality and quite cheap.
- Schlossberg Biergarten. Good portions of classic beer garden food with good beer and a spectacular view above the town.
- Brot & Spiele, Mariahilferstrasse 17, ☎ . They offer American and Asian style food for reasonable prices (go for the steaks)
- Don Camillo & Peppone, Franziskanerplatz, ☎ . Has really good Pizza & Pasta. (They have two restaurants almost next to each other. One has pizza (7-9€) & pasta. The other one a lot of dishes and a really cheap Pasta lunch menu for 3.90€.
- Ginko, Grazbachgasse 33 (near the Dietrichsteinplatz) - vegetarian restaurant and take away, menu changes daily, has a buffet, take whatever you want, pay €1.20/100grams of food. Excellent quality food,cakes and cookies, coffee, tea, wine. Open daily until 21:00, Saturdays until 19:00, Sundays closed ! http://restaurant-ginko.at/.
- Gloeckl Braeu, ☎ . Glockenspielplatz 2-3. It is possible to sit outdoors and the food is reasonable priced but very tasty! Try the fillet steak or Styrian seasonal specialties!
- Die Herzl, Prokopigasse 12, ☎ . Very reasonably price good portions of classic local dishes. Simple décor.
- Malaga, Glaciestrasse 43a, Tel. 319678, open Mo-Do 6PM-1AM, Fr and Sa until 2AM - A nice restaurant which offers a huge menu including mainly Spanish and Mexican dishes.
- Midori, Sackstrasse 27, offers Asian food, including Sushi and a variety of vegetarian specialities. All-you-can-eat buffet and running sushi. http://www.midori.at/.
- Pension Gasthof Zur Steirerstubn, ☎ . Lendplatz 8, - offers Styrian specialties and reasonable prices. Nice traditional furniture.
- Take the number 5 tram to Puntigam and eat in the Puntigamer Brewery restaurant, Triesterstraße 361, Tel: 297100, open 10AM-12AM, or outside in the Gastgarten, when the weather permits.
- Römerstube, ☎ . Liebenauer Hauptstraße 103, also has 3 skittle alleys (nine-pin bowling), costing 12 € per hour.
- Schloßberg-Restaurant, Schloßberg 7/8. Tel: 823050
- Torona. Prokopiegasse 2 (Bermuda Dreieck). New Spanish bar specialising in Pinchos (northern Spanish skewers), 13 Spanish red and white wines and cava, San Miguel, wide range of sherrys and Spanish brandy. Open M-F from 4PM, Sa from 9AM serving Spanish breakfast.
- Landhaus Keller, Schmiedgasse 9, ☎ . Upscale restaurant which features Styrian traditional dishes, which are heavy on the pumpkin and pumpkin seed. White tablecloths and nice lighting complement the excellently prepared food.
Due to its importance as a university city, Graz has a vibrant night life. Bars are concentrated around the old town as well as the Karl-Franzens-University to the west of the old town. The old town has a mixed audience while the bars around university are mostly attended by students. In the old town you'll also find a few Irish pubs. Whereas the most Irish of them is O'Carolan's right next to the main square (Hauptplatz) others include Flann O'Briens and Molly Malone's. The Office is a very laidback and unique new addition to the Irish/British pub scene in Graz. The Office features regular live music and jam sessions, as well as the odd bit of Karaoke, and darts (steel - you know, the real ones from England) every Sunday.
- Kombuese Small, wooden bar in the Stadtpark, near Kuenstler Haus (Erzherzog Johann Allee 2) . Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, after 22:00 - best times after 1:00 in the morning. Cheap beer, a few but very good sandwiches, sells also cigarettes. What's special about this place is that you can see people of all ages and styles. No-one will care who you are or what you look like, it s all about having this one thing in common: having fun here and now without other concerns. Different Djs every night, especially Friday and Saturday everyone dances until very early in the morning ! It usually gets very crowded after 01:00 but if you relax and get into the mood, you will always find your space in there.
- Molly Malone Irish Pub, ☎ . Färbergasse 15, 8010 Graz. Popular Irish Pub located in the Bermuda Triangle part of the city. Open 7 nights with live music. Live Premier League football, Champions League, 6 Nations Rugby. Serves Guinness, Kilkenny & Fish & Chips and much more. Irish Staff.
- The Office Pub, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Trauttmansdorffgasse 3. Bus stop: Line 30 at Palais Trauttmansdorff. Open every day from 5.00pm to 2.00am (or later) Where the ex-pats get together in Graz! An authentic style English pub, right in the center of Graz, cozy atmosphere and affordable prices. Premier League football - all the big matches live. English speaking staff. Pub Quiz every Tuesday, live music. Serves home made chili, curry, soup or toasted sandwiches. Free Internet and Darts!
- Parkhouse, ☎ . Stadtpark 2. Located in the center of the municipal park, this is a popular place with students and a lovely outside seating area. Has laid-back electronic music, concerts and live-DJs in summer. Probably the best place to go for a relaxed drink in spring & summer when it's warm. Open daily from 11AM to 4AM.
- Babenbergerhof, Babenbergerstrasse 39. Further out of town, towards the station (just off Keplerstrasse) is a legendary old style "Gasthaus". Complete with local art, old wooden decor and a rambunctious landlady one cannot fail to like, they also feature excellent jazz bands and sessions every Wednesday. Serves basic cold, local dishes and Schilcher wine. This place probably pulls the best pint of Gösser Spezial in the city. The crowd is mixed - anyone from about 20–85 years, from roadsweepers to university professors - you will find all sorts in this place. The two common languages are drink and music.
- Verein Forum Stadtpark, ☎ , fax: +43 316 827734-21, e-mail: email@example.com. Stadtpark 1, 8010 Graz, , Tue-Fr 10.00am to 6.00pm, Sa,Su, 2.00 to 6.00 pm
- Bierbaron, ☎ . Heinrichstr. 56. An old, classic student pub.
- Theatercafe, ☎ . Mandellstr. 11. very famous, old (it opened back in 1885) cafe. Popular with people who have a late-nite drink after being in the opera. There is a piano in the cafe offering anyone the opportunity to play if he/she wants to. Famous for its excellent scrambled eggs. Open until the early morning hours. Except during the summer months, cabaret and small stage performances organised by the theater promotion group Hin und Wider (Closed Mondays)
- Eschenlaube, ☎ . Glacisstrasse 63, - nice cosy, pub offering Asian, Moroccan, Italian and Styrian food. Open from 11.30am to 1.00am.
- Brot und Spiele, ☎ . Mariahilferstraße 17. Open from 10.00am to 2.00am. Very relaxed pub offering different kind of steaks and burgers and a small variety of Mexican/Asian food both in a smokers and non-smokers area. Offers at least 20 pool tables, and several snooker tables.
- Die Scherbe, ☎ . Stockergasse 2, - nice cosy bar / pub with two floors (usually there more people in the downstairs where smoking is allowed). Good, cheap & big salads. - open till 2.00am.
- Drei Affen (Three Monkeys), Elisabethstraße 31 - Some kinde of bar/pub. If you don't know where to go after 4AM this is the place where all people and students go who want to stay out till 8AM. Don't go there before 1AM, as it will be empty. Entry Fee usually €3. (Opening times Sun-Tue usually till 3AM, We-Sa at least till 6AM, when it's crowded it can be open till 9AM)
- Piere's, Lendplatz - Cheap bar offering the local brew Gösser and nice variety of scotch whiskey. Piere himself will tend bar. Super friendly guy! Fairly close to the redlight part of town if that's your thing.
Graz has a lot of cafés all around the town, very concentrated in the city center and university district and you get tasty coffee almost everywhere. Prices are the same in most cafes, they just get slightly more expensive in Herrengasse or on Schlossberg. The most common coffee beverages are a "Verlängerter" (a small Americano with milk; 2,20-€2,40), a "Cappuccino" (2,40-€2,60), a Café Latte (coffee with lots of steamed milk; 2,60-€2,90). It is common that you get a glass of tap water to your coffee, if not don't hesitate to ask for it.
- Café Tribeka, ☎ , fax: +43 316 723669, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Grieskai 2. Coffee-to-Go, free WLAN access. The best and finest coffee in town!
- Café/Bar Ritter, Rittergasse 2, 8010, ☎ . open till late. nice, Café/Bar with good cakes and tramezinis and lots of Newspapers and Magazines.
- Stern, Sporgasse/Karmeliterplatz. Excellent cocktails with excellent outside seating area on Karmeliterplatz. Cocktail Happy-Hour (€4 all Cocktails) every day from 17-20h.
- Continuum, Sporgasse/Karmeliterplatz. Just on the opposite of Stern. Good cocktails with excellent outside seating area and chilled inside seating. Cocktail Happy-Hour (€4 all Cocktails) every day from 17-20h.
- M1, Färberplatz 1, Tel. 8112330. A fancy lounge bar on the third floor of the building. The bar is divided into two stories and an outside deck on top. Wide range of cocktails and drinks, also serves snacks. Opening times are 9.00am to 2.00am. Closed on Sundays.
- Cohibar, Leonhardstr. 3, Tel. 337470, Cuba-style cocktail bar. Serves tapas and has Latin-live music on Sunday. Offers free salsa dancing classes every Monday. Cocktails are around €6, opening times are 5.00pm to 2.00pm during work days, 5.00pm to 3.00pm on Friday and Saturdays.
- Buddhabar (Pfauengarten), Hartiggasse 4, Tel. 820630. Asian-style cocktail bar. Open Mo-Fr 4PM to 2AM. Offers barkeeper classes. Pricy, posh.
- Eckhaus, ☎ . Rechbauerstr. 15, close to the technical university (TU). Serves pizza. Has free wireless access. Open Mo-Fr 9AM to 2PM, Sa-So 6PM to 2PM. Cocktails are around €5. Especially popular with students.
- pharmacy bar-lounge, Leonhardstrasse 35, tel. 225074. lots of self-created cocktails as well as all classics, large choice of spirits, beers and wines. Serves finger food. enclosed garden lounge in the yard with a real mediterranean feel and another outside seating area (street lounge) in front of the bar. bbq every Thursday from June to October. fresh oysters every day from October to May. open mo-th 5PM to 2AM, fr-sa 5PM to 3AM. closed on Sundays.
Clubs usually open around 10PM and get crowded by midnight. All have entry fees (mostly 4-€12) depending on the event. Sometimes it is cheaper or even free before 10.30 or 11PM. A beer will usually cost you between 3-€4. Most places are open till 5AM.
- Postgarage, Dreihackengasse 42, close to Griesplatz. A popular dance & alternative live music club with two floors. Has Live Music, Live-DJs, Rock, Hip-Hop, Drum & Base, Techno depending on the event. Entrance fees are around €8; often free entrance till 23h. (usually €1 student discount). They have two floors, mostly there is different music on each floor and you have to pay separate. You reach the small 2nd floor via the door close to the park. The bigger dancehall (1st floor) has its entrance on the street. http://www.postgarage.at
- PPC, ☎ . Neubaugasse 6, close to Lendplatz. A club with two floors. Has Live-DJs, Rock, Hip-Hop, Drum & Base, Techno depending on the event. Usually open between We and So. Also popular with younger people. http://www.popculture.at
- Dom im Berg (DIB), Schlossbergplatz, This is a big hall in Schlossberg. There are few events, but it is a really good place to dance - most events are clubbings. Entrance fees around €10, opens 10-11PM. You reach it with the tunnel or lift going up Schlossberg). http://www.domimberg.at
- Generalmusikdirektion (GMD), Grieskai 74a, Tel. 717710 (close to Griesplatz) A popular dance & live music club. Entrance fees are around €8. Opening times are depending on the weekly program. http://www.generalmusikdirektion.at
- Niesenberger, Niesenbergergasse 16, (close to Main Train Station/Annenstrasse) Special hint for all lovers of alternative electronic dance music. Usually open on Fridays from around 11PM. http://www.niesenberger.com
You'll have plenty of opportunities to drink beer (Bier) or wine (Wein) but perhaps the best one would be sitting, on a sunny day, in one of the many open-air bars.
The local beer brands are Murauer (is considered as the best), Gösser, Puntigamer and Reininghaus. The latter 2 are brewed in Graz itself. But you'll also find lots of possibilities to drink other Austrian (Stiegl, Ottakringer, Schladminger) and international beers.
If you visit Graz in winter try a Bockbier. But beware they are a lot stronger (6-8%) than the usual Austrian beers.
Styrian wine is one of best wines in the world. Especially the white wine. Try a glass of Welschriesling if you get the chance.
All budget choices are quite far out of the city center.
- Jugendhotel & Jugendgästehaus Graz (Youthhostel Graz), Idlhofgasse 74 (Busstop Lissagasse / Jugendhotel - Route 31,32,33) €22. Close to Hauptbahnhof; 30 min walk to the city center, safe but not very nice neighbourhood.
- Etap Hotel Graz City, Neubaugasse 11, Lendplatz, (Busstop Kunsthaus) €35 (2 Persons: only €44). Close to Kunsthaus / Mariahilferplatz; 10min walk to the city center, safe. Quite nice bars around (Die Scherbe, PPC)
- Vital Pension Teuschler, Mariatrosterstraße 12, 321448
- Centralbackpackers, Rösselmühlgasse 13, 0650-7221070. Situated about 10min away from the city center. Very close to Postgarage - a famous dance club.
- Ibis Graz, fax: 778300. Europaplatz 12 (in front of the main railway station), 7780. €62/€77 (single/double).
- Hotel Europa, fax: 7076606. Bahnhofgürtel 89 (opposite the main railway station), 7076. €71/€94 (single/double).
- Mercure Graz Messe, Waltendorfer Gürtel 8-10. Basic furniture in rooms, breakfast as the essentials. A hotel for smokers.
- Best Western Hotel Daniel, fax: 711085. Europaplatz 1 (next to main railway station), 711080. €86/€106 (single/double).
- Best Western Hotel Pfeifer Kirchenwirt, fax: 39111249. Kirchplatz 9 on the eastern edge of Graz, (take Tramway 1 to the final stop at Mariatrost), 3911120, . Quite a distance from the city center but has semi rural surroundings.
- Römerstube, ☎ . Liebenauer Hauptstraße 103,
- Hotel Gollner. Schlögelgasse 14 (take tram 3 or 6 to Dietrichsteinplatz). €120/€200 (single/double).
- Erzherzog Johann Hotel, Sackstrasse 3-5 (just off the Hauptplatz), ☎ , fax: 811515, e-mail: email@example.com. €102-330.
- Hotel Weitzer, Grieskai 12-14, 703-0.. €110-405. Has a less expensive alternative, €69 per night and room..
- Marriott Courtyard, Seering 10 (Unterpremstätten), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Generic but adequate Marriott hotel outside town but close to the motorway. €74-169.
- Romantik Parkhotel, Leonhardstraße 8 (near Kunstuniversität), ☎ .
As stated above, many pubs offer free WLAN access if you bring your own computer with you. An up to date list of pubs with free WLAN access can be found at wlangraz.
- Vienna is the capital of the Republic of Austria and by far its most populous city. It is Austria's artistic, cultural, economic and political centre.
- Take a trip through winding mountain passes on the 41 km long Semmering Railway, which runs from Mürzzuschlag to Gloggnitz. A World Heritage site. Ticket information from ÖBB (Österreichische Bundesbahnen - the Austrian national rail network). If you are limited in time and can't be bothered to stop at various points along the railway, just plan to take a direct train between Vienna and Graz, as it will pass through the entire stretch without stopping. From Vienna to Graz, sit on the left; from Graz to Vienna, sit on the right.
- Leoben is the industrial and educational centre of Northern Styria and home of the Austrian mining industry and university.
- Drive to the Schöckel, a mountain to the east of Graz. It has a funicular (gondelbahn) so you can drive to the lower station and go up in that if you do not fancy walking. There is a restaurant at the top and extensive views. You can walk down, even back to Graz, via Stattegg-Fuß der Leber and take city Bus 53 to Graz-Andritz and tram 4 or 5 to the city center, if you have a map. Take Bus 250 (Usually labeled St. Radegund) from Jakominiplatz or Andreas-Hofer-Platz to Seilbahn Talstation. Fare: €5.40. Duration: 40 min. You'll then be at the foot of the mountain, at the cable car station.
- Austrian Open Air Museum (Österreichisches Freilichtmuseum)  Stübing, a few miles north of Graz. Old farm buildings brought from all over Austria in a woodland setting. Tel: +43/(0)3124/53 700. mailto:email@example.com Open 1st of Apr – 31st Oct, 09:00-17:00 (tickets sold till 16:00) closed on Mo (except on holidays), walk yourself or guided tours.
- Loipersdorf, 45 miles to the east of Graz, has a spa where you can spend a day, swimming, sun-bathing, and being pampered. Tel: +43 (0) 33 82 / 82 04 -0, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Riegersburg is 45 miles to the east of Graz. An ancient castle, perched on a 482 meter high crag, that withstood the Turks. Open daily from 9:00-17:00. The lift operates from 9:00-18:00 (last descent). Various entry concessions but adult €9.50 Child €7. The lift is €2 each way. Tel: +43-3153/8346
- Bärenschützklamm. A walk up a gorge between crags and over waterfalls starting from Mixnitz, 25 miles north of Graz, which can reached by road or rail. Or Pernegg an der Mur, Tel: +43 3867/8044.
- Kesselfall A waterfall near Semriach, about 25 kilometres north of Graz.
- Lurgrotte A cave near Semriach.
- Schwarzl Freizeitzentrum (Schwarzl Leisure Center) - a leisure center where you'll be able to water ski, swim, dive, surf, sail, mountain bike, beach volleyball, go-kart, fish, and ice skate in season, all at the Schwarzlsee, 5 miles south of Graz. Thalerhofstraße 85, Unterpremstätten. Tel: ++43/(0)3135/53577-0
|Routes through Graz|
|Villach ← Klagenfurt ←||W NE||→ Hartberg → Wiener Neustadt|
|Becomes ← Liezen ←||N S||→ → becomes A1 → Maribor|