Graz Styria Austria

Graz city trip

Graz, the second city in Austria, is entirely different than I expected. Or, to be completely honest, I didn’t expect anything because I had never heard of it before an invitation to visit appeared in my inbox.

But when I started contemplating a visit, I assumed I would see Mädel in traditional costume, green meadows, Lederhosen, eat Apfelstrudel and Schnitzel. And in truth, I did, but I also found a place where traditions and the 21st century go hand in hand.

Graz is a university town with ancient and modern architecture, innovative gastronomy, convivial terraces, blood-curdling attractions, delicious locally-produced wine, and a generous dose of Gemütlichkeit.


Furthermore, Graz has the most important medieval centre in Central Europe, a prominent place on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. In 2003, Graz was the Cultural Capital of Europe and, in 2008, a City of Culinary Delights.

This makes it a perfect destination for a city trip. Visitors can fill their days simply by strolling through the medieval streets, sipping drinks on top of the Schlossberg, or, if they wish, discovering the city and its surroundings by visiting a long list of places of interest.

Styria, or Steiermark in German, is the second-largest state of Austria. Graz is its capital. The region produces fantastic wine and has incredible nature and beautiful century-old attractions.

Graz will indeed have something to their liking, be it as a romantic getaway, group of friends or family.

Places of interest Graz and Styria region

Graz, the regional capital of the Styria region, has an impressive number of museums, sights and restaurants for a relatively small city with only 290,000 inhabitants. The most important sites are listed below:

Beer culture
stairs Schlossberg
Bell tower Schlossberg
Schlossberg slide Graz



360º view

The most prominent attraction in Graz is undoubtedly the Schlossberg, if only because it is impossible to miss. The 475 m high mountain in the city centre towers above everything else.


On top, you have a 360º view of the city. There are several restaurants, cosy terraces, a bell tower, and a fort’s remains.

Inside the mountain is a tunnel network carved out during the Second World War as shelters.

Cable car

The mountain top can be reached via steep spiral staircases, cable cars, lifts, or hiking trails. However, going down is a lot easier and faster.

Indoor slide

Especially if you go racing down on the highest indoor slide in the world (a whopping 175 m) with a speed of 25 to 30 kilometres per hour.

During the descent, the slider makes several turns, flies through the dark, and probably ends slightly nauseous. But that is just all part of the fun…. Fortunately, there is a method for controlling the speed to some extent. Just press down hard with your body on the mat to reduce the speed.

Forty seconds of entertainment will set you back six euros and ten cents.

Gothic spiral staircase

Another notable attraction, neat and petite, is a double spiral staircase in a castle built between 1438 and 1453 by Emperor Frederick III. This Gothic artwork almost looks like an optical illusion. The “stair of reconciliation” consists of two opposite spiral staircases, which briefly flow together on each floor and then separate again.

Nowadays, the building is the seat of the government of the Styria region. The entrance to the staircase is free of charge.

Address: Hofgasse 15 8010 Graz.

Gothic staircase Graz

Kunsthaus Graz

Peter Cook and Colin Fournier designed the iconic contemporary art museum on the banks of the River Mur. The building is also popularly referred to as the ‘friendly alien’.

Address: Lendkai 1, 8020 Graz.

Friendly Alien Graz

Styria museums and places of interest

The Graz art museum is part of the Joanneum Universal Museum. This collaboration is between 18 historical, cultural, art and architectural museums in and around Graz. The Joanneum Universal Museum is considered the largest of its kind in Central Europe, with around 4.9 million objects. One can visit the various museums within 24 or 48 hours with a combination ticket.

Stift Rein Monastery
Stift Rein Monastery
Stift Rein church
Stift Rein library

Cistercian Rein Monastery

The oldest of its kind, the Cistercian Rein monastery is my favourite in this list of attractions. The monastery was founded in the year 1129.

If you have to choose one thing, visiting the monastery library, with 100,000 books, is an attraction in itself. The collection contains 300 medieval manuscripts, primarily produced in the monastery’s scriptorium. In addition to the religious scriptures and songbooks, the exhibition also has early prints of Shakespeare.

The heavily decorated abbey church is one of Styria’s largest and most beautiful churches.

The monastery is located 15 km north of Graz on a side branch of the River Mur near Gratwein.

Address: Rein 1, 8103 Gratwein-Straßengel.

Stift Rein renaissance trouwzaal
Stübing Open Air Museum

Stübing open-air museum

In a secluded river valley, between the steamy slopes of the nearby mountains, is the Stübing open-air museum. Around a hundred historic buildings (from 1452) make up the heritage collection.

A small school, a shop, the church and the homes vividly tell a story of a time when electricity and running water were unheard of. Between the ancient wooden buildings, one understands how difficult life must have been in this bygone era.

Address: Enzenbach 32, 8114 Stübing

Österreichischer Skulpturenpark

The Guardian has named the Graz sculpture garden as one of Europe’s best sculpture parks. Although I do not share their enthusiasm, I see it is a pleasant space to picnic or enjoy the greenery. And if you happen to be a Beatle fan or a hater,  you can indulge in a real ‘Yoko Ono,’ as one of the artworks in the park is made by her.

Address: Thalerhofstraße 85, 8141 Premstätten.

Lurgrotte, the largest dripstone cave in Austria

The Lurgrotte is the largest dripstone cave in Austria. Although the caves were only ‘discovered’ in 1894 by the Italian cave scientist Max Brunello, they have been inhabited for much longer. Inhabitants to this day are bats. Cave bears lived there 50,000 years ago. Remains of Neanderthals have also been found.

Brunello discovered the ‘great dome’, a huge hall with an area of ​​120 m by 80 m and a height of 40 m. This is one of the largest of its kind in Central Europe. Visitors follow a circular route of approximately two kilometres. A tour through these caves is not without risk. The water level in the cave can rise rapidly during heavy showers, thus running the risk of getting stuck. However, as visitors can only enter the cave under supervision, it is probably safe to assume that the tour leader checks the weather forecast in advance.

Fun fact: the caves are private property.

Address: Lurgrottenstrasse 1, 8102 Semriach.

Lurgrotte Oostenrijk

Fort Rabenstein

Rabenstein Fortress glazen lift
Rabenstein Fort

Fort Rabenstein is another typical example where history and modern times go hand in hand. To enter the castle, take a glass elevator. The cabin rotates 180° whilst in movement. The height difference from top to bottom is 52 m.

Within the fort are several halls that one can rent for events, a bar, and a museum, the Japaneum. As the name suggests, it is an exhibition of Japanese art.

The fort’s most spectacular part is a glass and steel structure. In this room, visitors have a spectacular view of the surrounding valley.

Address: Adriach 41, 8130 Frohnleiten.


Historical forge

This traditional forge is something for lovers of old crafts. In the heyday of the forge, 60,000 scythes were produced and exported worldwide.

The factory was and still is powered by six giant water wheels. The building is now a museum

Address: Rudolf-Klug-Gasse 2, 8121 Deutschfeistritz.

Practical information


If you want to see the surroundings of Graz, your transport is handy. You can reach Graz in three hours by train or Flixbus from Vienna. The city has an airport. KLM, Easyjet, Vueling, Lufthansa, Eurowings, and Austrian Airlines fly directly to Graz.

Hotel and Restaurants

Read this blog about the best hotels and restaurants in Graz


This blog was written in collaboration with Captivate Media and Graz Tourism.

You might also be interested in these

Undercover in wolf territory

Undercover in wolf territory

In search of the wolf Disguised as a granny, I embark on a search for wolves in the German wilderness with Biosphere Expeditions. Through the brothers Grimm, I know that wolves have a culinary preference for ladies of a certain age. So I plan to draw the wolves out of...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest