Best Things To Do In Graz

Located in the south-east of Austria, this is a stunning city and the second largest in the country. Graz has a long and established history with many settlements dating back to the early ages. The city has a history underpinned by education and an important university population puts it on the map. Austria’s second largest city has World Heritage status and it’s easy to see why. It is a city where modern and traditional architecture sit side by side. There are many art galleries, museums and palaces to be explored so lets have a look into some of the best things to do in Graz.

View over Graz square

The city is centred around the old town where you will find alleys, courtyards surrounded by the traditional feel. There is a hill to climb if you want to get to the centre of the town. Why not take the Schlossberglift to the top, a modern glass lift embedded into the rock face? At the top you will find many fortifications dating from the 11th century. Among the many museums and art galleries you will find the Archeological museums, the House of Science, the House of Architecture and the Natural History Museum. 

Art galleries include the Kunsthaus, which is set within a contemporary building. It has quickly become an architectural landmark. Sitting amongst traditional buildings, it is probably a love it or hate it appearance, but is worth a look nonetheless. It is also quite a spacious city. There are many parkland areas, including the one set the grounds of the Eggenberg Palace. While here why not view the Alte Gallerie, with shows dedicated to the city’s history. Other parks include the Stadtpark, the Burggarten, the Botanical gardens, and the Hilmteich. The later is especially good for a romantic afternoon, with boat trips on the lake available.

Schlossberg Clock Tower

The Schlossberg Clock Tower in Graz

Head to Schlosberg Hill and you will find the Schlossberg Clock Tower. This is a building that can be seen from many places within the city. It has stood in place for hundreds of years and is now a symbol of Graz. The amazing design is captivating with bright white walls and a large wooden balcony as well as a tiled pointed roof that date back to the 15th century. The clock is now electronic although the reversed minute and hour hands can prove to be confusing. The bells which still ring today used to be rung as a way of informing people of fire or when execution was taking place.

Eggenberg Palace

View of the front of the Eggenberg Palace

This is a symbol of the once powerful region of Styria, the palace is an important historical building and cultural location. Positioned in the western part of Graz, it is encompassed by stunning parkland and gardens that were designed to show of wealth and power. The state rooms are highly decorated and the planetary rooms are filled with frescos as well as a Planetary Garden and Pavilion.

The Styrian Armoury

Suit of armour in the The Styrian Armoury

Grazer zeughaus by Grazer zeughaus – Source: WikiCommons

If war weapons are your thing then the Styrian Armoury is the perfect place to visit. Here you will find over 30,000 items of arms and armour, making it the biggest collection in the world. The region of Styria is known historically as one of the main areas of conflict against the Ottoman empire. And so, a state armoury was created in order to arm the people. This amazing collection can be seen in the original building and it really will blow you away. There are spears, pikes, rifles and pistols as well as suits of armour and artillery pieces such as cannons and mortars.

Mausoleum of Ferdinand II

Mausoleum of Ferdinand II in Graz

Mausoleum of Ferdinand II by gugganij – Source: WikiCommons

Considered to be one of the most stunning in Europe, the Mausoleum of Ferdinand II cannot be matched by many in Europe. Ferdinand was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1619 to 1637 and played a heavy role in the thirty years war. The Mausoleum pays tribute to the power he had and with stunning architecture and design, it is pleasing on the eye. Inside there are sculptures of Jesus and paintings relating to scenes from the bible as well as one of himself.

Graz Botanical Gardens

Greenhouses in the Botanical Gardens in Graz

Modern Greenhouse Botanical Garden Graz by Gugganij – Source: WikiCommons

Wonderful architecture is met with the wonders of nature. A blend of armadillo-shaped greenhouses come together to create an unusual shape. Inside, you will see amazing plants and flora from exotic locations. There are also cacti and natural elements, all of which is split into for different climates. The plants here are studied by scientists and admired by tourists. And with no entry fee, it is a great place to go to view the wonders of nature.

The Murinsel

The Murinsel on river in Graz

You might be mistaken for thinking that this dome was floating or hovering above the river Mur but that was the idea behind the design of the Murinsel. This was designed and constructed to honour the fact that Graz was designated the European Capital of Culture in 2003. In fact, this is suspended over the river by two bridges and inside the stunning glass-panelled dome as every bit amazing as it looks from the outside. Inside there is a cafe and a children’s play area, giving you the chance to enjoy splendid and unique views of the river.

Herz-Jesu-Kirche

Herz Jesu Kirche church

Herz-Jesu-Kirche Graz by Blacky – Source: WikiCommons

This is a relatively new church that is easily accessed to the east of the city. However, it is impressive with its Neogothic Architecture and so, you should make sure you pay it a visit. Built in the 1800s, the exterior of the building has a Gothic design that links back to centuries gone by and it has a very different colour scheme of orange and white. The bell tower is one of the tallest in Austria and the pointed green roof cannot be missed. Once inside, the décor is every inch lavish and the circular stained glass window is one of the more prominent features.

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