The majority of tourist attractions in Graz are located in the historical center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the heart of the historical center is Schlossberg Park and its iconic Clock Tower. You can walk or take the cable car, and once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Old Town. Several walking trails crisscross the park, going past Schlossberg Museum, the Gothic Gate, and eventually leading to StadtPark, the largest urban park in Graz.
These two green spaces wrap around the historical center, where important landmarks include the medieval city gates, Graz Cathedral, Graz main square, the City Hall and Landhaus Palace. In this area, there are multiple museums displaying Graz’s cultural heritage, the most visited of which are the Modern Art Museum, the Folk Life Museum, the New Gallery and the Armory, home to the world’s largest collection of historical weapons.
The River Mur runs through the city, and several bridges link the historical center with the new town. Right on the river, you’ll find Murinsel, an artificial island with a café whose ultra-modern design contrasts with the views it offers over the Old Town buildings. Not far from this spot is the distinctive building that is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Family friendly attractions include Eggenberg Palace, a Baroque building featuring 24 spectacular state rooms and surrounded by manicured gardens, and the Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum, both located on the outskirts of town. If you rent a car or van in Graz Thalerhof, you can reach them in less than 30 minutes. A 50-minute drive takes you to the impressive hilltop Riegersburg castle, which you can visit as a day trip that includes the nearby Zotter Chocolate Factory. In Graz itself, the Frida & Fred Children’s Museum is worth a visit.
Graz is a great destination for foodies, as it was designated Austria’s Capital of Culinary Delights. The restaurants in the historical square are the best place to sample Austrian seasonal cuisine, as well as regional wines. Just remember that most restaurants are closed on Sundays.
Sunday closures also apply to supermarkets, grocery stores and gift shops like the ones on Mariahilfer Street, a popular shopping destination with locals and tourists. The biggest shopping malls are Murpark, City Park and Shopping Nord.
Major annual events include Fasching (the Austrian equivalent of Mardi Gras), Styriarte, Graz Food Festival and Aufsteirern Folk Festival.