Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Graz Travel Guide: Best Places To See, Eat, Drink + Stay!


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Dulcia Fowlkes



Welcome to Graz, the charming capital city of Austria’s Styria region. Nestled in the southeastern part of the country, Graz is a vibrant, historic city with a rich cultural heritage and a modern twist. With its picturesque old town, diverse culinary scene, and plethora of attractions, Graz is a destination that offers something for every type of traveler.


As you wander through the cobblestone streets of Graz, you’ll be captivated by the harmonious blend of architectural styles. From medieval buildings to modern masterpieces, the city’s diverse architectural landscape is a testament to its rich history and vibrant present. Graz has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, largely due to its well-preserved historic center.


One of the city’s highlights is its vibrant arts and culture scene. Graz is home to numerous museums and galleries showcasing everything from contemporary art to historical artifacts. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, history buff, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the local culture, Graz has a wealth of cultural landmarks to explore.


No visit to Graz would be complete without indulging in its delectable cuisine. From traditional Austrian dishes to international flavors, the city’s culinary scene offers a wide range of options to satisfy every palate. Be sure to try local specialties such as schnitzel, strudel, and Styrian pumpkin seed oil, which are all highly regarded in Graz.


When it comes to accommodations, Graz offers a variety of options to suit every traveler’s needs and budget. Whether you’re looking for a cozy guesthouse in the heart of the old town or a luxurious hotel with stunning views, you’ll find plenty of choices to ensure a comfortable stay.


So, get ready to explore the best that Graz has to offer. In this comprehensive travel guide, we’ll take you through the top attractions, recommend the best places to eat and drink, and provide insights into the city’s vibrant nightlife. Whether you’re visiting Graz for a weekend getaway or a longer stay, this guide will help you make the most of your time in this captivating Austrian city.


Historical Attractions

Graz is steeped in history, and its historical attractions are a testament to the city’s rich and diverse past. From medieval castles to beautifully preserved old town squares, there are plenty of sites to explore for history enthusiasts. Here are some of the top historical attractions in Graz:

  1. Schlossberg: Dominating the skyline of Graz, Schlossberg is a hilltop fortress that has stood for centuries. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll or ride the funicular to the top to enjoy panoramic views of the city. Explore the clock tower, the castle ruins, and the charming gardens that surround the fortress.
  2. Graz Old Town: The old town of Graz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit for history lovers. Wander through the narrow, winding streets and admire the well-preserved medieval architecture. Explore the Hauptplatz (main square), which is lined with beautiful buildings such as the Rathaus (City Hall) and the Landhaus (Provincial Government Building).
  3. Eggenberg Palace: This magnificent palace is a prime example of Baroque architecture in Graz. Explore the opulent rooms adorned with intricate frescoes and marvel at the stunning gardens surrounding the palace. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Alte Galerie, an art gallery located within the palace grounds.
  4. Graz Cathedral: Located in the heart of the old town, Graz Cathedral (Dom) is a stunning example of Gothic architecture. Admire the intricate details of the facade and step inside to see the beautiful interior, including the famous Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II.
  5. Landeszeughaus: Known as the Armory, the Landeszeughaus is the world’s largest historic collection of weaponry and armor. Explore the vast collection of medieval arms and armor, including suits of armor, swords, and firearms.

These historical attractions offer a glimpse into Graz’s rich history and allow visitors to immerse themselves in the city’s medieval past. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply looking to explore the cultural heritage of Graz, these sites are not to be missed.


Modern Architecture

While Graz is known for its rich history and well-preserved medieval architecture, the city also boasts an impressive collection of modern architectural wonders. From avant-garde structures to innovative designs, Graz is a hub of contemporary architectural marvels. Here are some of the top modern architectural highlights in Graz:

  1. Island in the Mur: This unique floating platform in the Mur River is a striking example of modern architecture in Graz. Designed by New York artist Vito Acconci, the Island in the Mur serves as a public space for relaxation and social gatherings.
  2. MURINSEL: Located in the middle of the Mur River, MURINSEL is an island made entirely of steel and glass. Designed by artist Vito Acconci, this floating landmark houses a café and an open-air theater, offering a unique space for cultural events and performances.
  3. Kunsthaus Graz: The Kunsthaus Graz, also known as the “Friendly Alien,” is an iconic piece of modern architecture in the city. Designed by architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, this futuristic building houses contemporary art exhibitions and events and has become a symbol of Graz’s modern art scene.
  4. Universalmuseum Joanneum: The Universalmuseum Joanneum is the largest museum complex in Central Europe, and its modern architecture seamlessly blends with the surrounding historic buildings. The complex includes a variety of museums and galleries covering art, history, and natural sciences.
  5. Helmut-List-Halle: This state-of-the-art concert and event venue is an architectural masterpiece designed by Klaus Kada. The Helmut-List-Halle hosts a variety of cultural events, including concerts, exhibitions, conferences, and more.

These modern architectural gems add a contemporary flair to the cityscape of Graz. Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast or simply appreciate innovative design, these structures are well worth a visit.


Cultural Landmarks

Graz is a city with a rich cultural heritage, and its cultural landmarks play a vital role in showcasing its artistic and historical significance. From theaters to concert halls, Graz offers a diverse range of cultural landmarks that cater to all artistic tastes. Here are some of the top cultural landmarks in Graz:

  1. Opera House: Located in the heart of the city, the Graz Opera House is a majestic building that showcases world-class opera performances and ballet productions. Be sure to catch a show and immerse yourself in the magic of the performing arts.
  2. Styrian Armoury: The Styrian Armoury is the world’s largest historic armory and a cultural landmark that showcases Graz’s military history. Explore the vast collection of weapons, armor, and military artifacts that provide insight into Styria’s past.
  3. Escalier du Rire: Translated as “Stairs of Laughter,” the Escalier du Rire is a whimsical outdoor staircase adorned with colorful mosaics and quirky sculptures. This cultural landmark adds a touch of whimsy and fun to Graz’s streets.
  4. Schloss Eggenberg: This magnificent palace is not only a historical attraction but also a cultural landmark due to its stunning architecture and vast art collection. Visit the palace’s Alte Galerie to admire works of art from different periods.
  5. Zeughaus: The Zeughaus is another cultural landmark in Graz, housing the Styrian State Archive. This architectural gem features beautifully preserved Renaissance and Baroque elements and is an important part of Graz’s cultural heritage.

Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or simply enjoy immersing yourself in culture, these landmarks offer a glimpse into Graz’s artistic and historical identity.


Parks and Gardens

Graz may be known for its historical and cultural attractions, but it also offers a plethora of beautiful parks and gardens where visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the beauty of nature. These green spaces provide the perfect opportunity for relaxation, recreation, and recreation. Here are some of the top parks and gardens in Graz:

  1. Schlossberg Park: Located on the top of the Schlossberg hill, this park offers breathtaking views of Graz. Take a leisurely stroll or find a quiet spot to enjoy a picnic while reveling in the beauty of the city below.
  2. Stadtpark: Stadtpark is a popular urban park located near the city center. It features beautifully landscaped gardens, fountains, and sculptures. It’s the perfect place to take a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or simply relax in a serene setting.
  3. Botanical Garden of Graz University: This botanical garden is a hidden gem in Graz, offering a wide variety of plant species from around the world. Take a peaceful stroll through the garden, admire the vibrant colors and scents, and learn about different plant species.
  4. Augarten: Augarten is a tranquil park located on the banks of the Mur River. It features spacious green lawns, flower gardens, and a small lake. Enjoy a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or simply unwind in this peaceful oasis.
  5. Hilmteich: Hilmteich is a picturesque lake surrounded by lush greenery and walking trails. It is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, offering opportunities for boating, picnicking, and enjoying the tranquility of nature.

These parks and gardens provide a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle and allow visitors to connect with nature. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or a place to enjoy outdoor activities, these green spaces in Graz are worth exploring.


Museums and Galleries

Graz is a city that embraces art, culture, and history, and its vibrant museum and gallery scene is a testament to its commitment to preserving and showcasing these aspects. From contemporary art to historical artifacts, there is a wide range of museums and galleries in Graz that cater to all interests. Here are some of the top museums and galleries in the city:

  1. Kunsthaus Graz: The Kunsthaus Graz is not only a stunning architectural landmark but also a contemporary art museum. It hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions featuring works by renowned national and international artists.
  2. Albertina: Located in the heart of the city, the Albertina is a world-class museum that houses an extensive collection of art, ranging from Old Masters to modern and contemporary works. It features rotating exhibitions that showcase various artistic styles and periods.
  3. Landesmuseum Joanneum: The Landesmuseum Joanneum is the oldest museum in Austria and offers a diverse range of exhibitions covering art, history, culture, and natural sciences. It comprises several different museums, including the Neue Galerie, the Natural History Museum, and the Folk Life Museum.
  4. Museum der Wahrnehmung: The Museum der Wahrnehmung, also known as the Museum of Perception, is an interactive museum that explores the nature of perception and sensory experiences through various exhibits and installations.
  5. Schloss Eggenberg: In addition to being a cultural landmark, Schloss Eggenberg houses the Alte Galerie, an art gallery that displays a collection of European art dating from the Middle Ages to the Baroque period.

These museums and galleries offer a diverse range of artistic and cultural experiences, allowing visitors to delve into Graz’s rich cultural heritage and explore various facets of art and history. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, history buff, or simply curious about the world, you’ll find something to capture your interest in Graz’s museums and galleries.


Local Cuisine

When visiting Graz, one must indulge in the local cuisine to truly savor the flavors of the region. Graz is known for its diverse culinary scene, offering a mix of traditional Austrian dishes and regional specialties. Here are some of the top local dishes you must try during your visit:

  1. Schnitzel: A quintessential Austrian dish, schnitzel is a breaded and fried cutlet, typically made from veal or pork. Served with a side of potato salad or fries, this dish is a crowd-pleaser and a must-try in Graz.
  2. Käferbohnen: These large, creamy white beans are a staple in Styrian cuisine. Often used in salads or as a side dish, Käferbohnen pair well with other regional specialties and add a unique flavor to the dishes.
  3. Brettljause: This traditional Styrian platter is perfect for meat lovers. It includes an assortment of cured meats, sausages, cheese, and bread, often accompanied by pickles, onions, and horseradish.
  4. Backhendl: Backhendl is a popular dish in Graz, featuring tender, breaded, and deep-fried chicken. Served with a side of potato salad, this dish is sure to satisfy your appetite.
  5. Pumpkin Seed Oil: One of the signature ingredients of Styrian cuisine is pumpkin seed oil. Its distinctive nutty flavor and vibrant green color make it a versatile condiment to drizzle over salads, soups, or even ice cream.

In addition to these traditional dishes, Graz also offers a range of international cuisines, including Italian, Asian, and Mediterranean. The city’s vibrant food scene caters to all tastes and dietary preferences.


When exploring Graz’s local cuisine, be sure to also visit the bustling farmers’ markets and food festivals to sample fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, homemade bread, and other local delicacies. Graz is a city where food is celebrated, and taking part in its culinary offerings is a delightful experience for every food lover.


Fine Dining Restaurants

Graz is a culinary hotspot in Austria, offering a range of fine dining restaurants that cater to discerning palates. These establishments combine exceptional cuisine, top-notch service, and a sophisticated ambiance to create unforgettable dining experiences. Here are some of the top fine dining restaurants in Graz:

  1. Der Steirer: This renowned restaurant celebrates Styrian cuisine with a modern twist. Using locally sourced ingredients, Der Steirer crafts exquisite dishes that highlight the flavors and culinary traditions of the region.
  2. AIOLA im Schloss: Nestled within the picturesque gardens of Schloss St. Veit, AIOLA im Schloss offers fine dining with breathtaking views. The menu features innovative dishes inspired by international and regional flavors.
  3. Kunsthauscafé: Located within the Kunsthaus Graz, this stylish café offers not only a delightful selection of food and drinks but also a stunning view of the museum’s unique architecture. Indulge in a sumptuous meal while immersing yourself in artistic surroundings.
  4. Landhauskeller: Housed in a historic building, Landhauskeller is known for its refined atmosphere and exceptional Austrian cuisine. With a focus on regional specialties and seasonal ingredients, each dish is masterfully prepared and presented.
  5. Ristorante Il Centro: If Italian cuisine is what you crave, Ristorante Il Centro is the place to go. With its elegant ambiance and expertly crafted Italian dishes, this restaurant is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

These fine dining restaurants in Graz consistently deliver memorable dining experiences, showcasing the city’s culinary prowess and commitment to gastronomic excellence. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply seeking an extraordinary culinary journey, these establishments are sure to leave a lasting impression.


Traditional Bars and Cafés

Graz is not only known for its culinary scene but also for its vibrant bar culture and charming traditional cafés. These establishments offer a cozy and relaxed atmosphere where you can unwind, socialize, and enjoy a wide range of beverages. Here are some of the top traditional bars and cafés in Graz:

  1. Café Sacher: Located in the heart of the city, Café Sacher is a renowned café with a rich history. It is famous for its delicious Sacher Torte, a moist chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam, often enjoyed with a cup of coffee.
  2. Zur Steirerstub’n: This traditional tavern is a favorite spot among locals. Step inside and you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time. Enjoy a glass of local wine or beer while savoring hearty Styrian dishes and soaking up the authentic atmosphere.
  3. Kaffee Weitzer: Kaffee Weitzer is a classic café that has been serving locals and visitors for over 100 years. Indulge in a cup of coffee and sample delicious Austrian pastries while enjoying the cozy ambiance and friendly service.
  4. Kaiser Josef Platz: This vibrant square is lined with bars and cafés, offering a lively atmosphere particularly in the evenings. Join the locals as they gather to socialize, sip on refreshing drinks, and enjoy the vibrant energy of Graz.
  5. Schlossbergkeller: Nestled within the Schlossberg hill, this historic cellar bar is the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring. Enjoy a glass of wine, locally brewed beer, or a refreshing cocktail while taking in the unique ambiance of the underground setting.

These traditional bars and cafés in Graz provide a charming and authentic experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city’s cultural heritage while enjoying a delightful drink or snack. Whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely afternoon coffee or a vibrant evening out, Graz’s traditional bars and cafés have you covered.


Nightlife and Entertainment

Graz truly comes alive after dark, offering a vibrant nightlife and a wide range of entertainment options. From cozy pubs to trendy bars, the city has something for everyone when it comes to enjoying the evening hours. Here are some of the top nightlife and entertainment spots in Graz:

  1. Postgarage: Postgarage is a popular venue that hosts a variety of events, including live music performances, DJ sets, and themed parties. With a diverse lineup of artists and genres, you’ll find something to suit your musical taste here.
  2. Murinsel: As mentioned earlier, Murinsel is not just a modern architectural landmark, but it also serves as a hub for entertainment. Enjoy concerts, theater performances, and cultural events on this unique floating platform.
  3. Stockwerk Jazz Bar: If you’re a jazz enthusiast, Stockwerk Jazz Bar is a must-visit. With live jazz performances and a cozy atmosphere, this bar offers a great opportunity to relax and enjoy the music.
  4. Kaiserfeldgasse: This street is lined with hip bars and clubs, making it a popular spot for the younger crowd. Explore the various venues and dance the night away to different music genres and styles.
  5. Orpheum: The Orpheum is a renowned concert venue that hosts a range of events, including live music concerts, comedy shows, and theater performances. Check their schedule to see what’s happening during your visit.

Whether you’re in the mood for live music, clubbing, or simply enjoying a drink in a cozy bar, Graz offers a vibrant nightlife scene. The city’s diverse entertainment options ensure that there is always something happening to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.


Accommodation Options

When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay in Graz, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The city offers a range of accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly stay or a luxurious retreat, Graz has something to suit every traveler’s needs. Here are some of the top accommodation options in Graz:

  1. Hotels: Graz boasts a wide selection of hotels, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxurious five-star establishments. Located throughout the city, these hotels provide comfortable rooms, modern amenities, and excellent service.
  2. Apartments and Guesthouses: For a more independent and homey experience, consider booking an apartment or guesthouse in Graz. These options often provide fully equipped kitchens and living spaces, allowing you to have a more flexible and personalized stay.
  3. Bed and Breakfast: Graz has several charming bed and breakfast accommodations that offer a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Wake up to a delicious homemade breakfast prepared by your hosts and enjoy personalized attention during your stay.
  4. Hostels: If you’re traveling on a budget or looking for a more social experience, hostels in Graz are a great option. These budget-friendly accommodations offer dormitory-style rooms, communal areas, and the opportunity to meet fellow travelers from around the world.
  5. Unique Stays: For a truly memorable experience, consider booking a unique stay in Graz. From boutique hotels housed in historic buildings to eco-friendly accommodations in the countryside, these options offer something out of the ordinary for the adventurous traveler.

When choosing your accommodation in Graz, consider factors such as location, amenities, and your specific travel preferences. Whether you prefer a central location close to the main attractions or a quiet retreat on the outskirts of the city, Graz has a diverse range of options to accommodate your needs.


It’s recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your preferred choice and ensure a comfortable stay in this captivating Austrian city.


Budget-friendly Stays

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort and convenience in Graz. The city offers a variety of budget-friendly accommodations that provide affordable options without compromising on quality. Here are some of the top budget-friendly stays in Graz:

  1. Hostels: Graz has several well-maintained hostels that offer comfortable dormitory-style accommodation at affordable prices. These hostels often provide communal areas, kitchens, and social events, making them ideal for budget-conscious travelers who wish to meet fellow explorers.
  2. Budget Hotels: There are budget hotels in Graz that offer comfortable rooms and essential amenities at affordable rates. While they may not have all the luxuries of higher-end hotels, they provide a clean and comfortable stay, allowing you to save on accommodation costs.
  3. Guesthouses and Apartments: Guesthouses and apartments are another great option for budget travelers in Graz. These accommodations often offer affordable rates, especially if you’re traveling with a group. Plus, having a kitchen allows you to save money on dining out, as you can prepare your meals at your own pace.
  4. Bed and Breakfast: Graz has charming bed and breakfast establishments that provide cozy rooms and a homely atmosphere at affordable rates. Wake up to a delightful breakfast prepared by your hosts, setting the perfect start to your day of exploring Graz.
  5. Camping: If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, consider camping in and around Graz. There are campsites that offer affordable rates for tents or camper vans. Enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings while keeping your accommodation costs to a minimum.

When searching for budget-friendly stays in Graz, it’s recommended to book in advance, as availability may vary. Additionally, consider the location in relation to the city center and public transportation options to ensure easy access to the main attractions.


In Graz, budget-friendly accommodations provide an excellent opportunity to explore the city without breaking the bank, allowing you to allocate your budget to other experiences and indulgences during your stay.


Luxury Hotels

If you’re seeking a lavish and indulgent stay in Graz, the city offers a selection of luxurious hotels that provide top-notch amenities, exceptional service, and a truly memorable experience. From elegant rooms to exquisite dining options, these luxury hotels ensure a lavish and pampering stay. Here are some of the top luxury hotels in Graz:

  1. Hotel Wiesler: Located along the Mur River, Hotel Wiesler is a stylish and sophisticated hotel that blends modern design with historic charm. Enjoy luxurious rooms, a spa and wellness center, and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Graz.
  2. Schlossberghotel – Das Kunsthotel: Situated near the Schlossberg hill, this boutique hotel provides elegant rooms with unique artwork and stunning views of the city. Indulge in culinary delights at the rooftop restaurant and enjoy the relaxing spa facilities.
  3. Grand Hotel Wiesler: Known for its classic elegance, the Grand Hotel Wiesler offers luxurious rooms and suites, a gourmet restaurant, and a stunning wellness area. Its prime location near the Mur River and the city center adds to its appeal.
  4. Schloss Seggau: Located in the nearby town of Leibnitz, Schloss Seggau is a historic castle hotel that exemplifies luxury and sophistication. Stay in beautifully appointed rooms, explore the expansive grounds, and indulge in fine dining at the hotel’s restaurant.
  5. Hotel am Schlossberg: This luxurious hotel is nestled on the slopes of Schlossberg hill, offering breathtaking views of Graz. Experience exceptional service, elegant rooms, and a gourmet restaurant that serves exquisite cuisine.

These luxury hotels in Graz provide a premium experience, ensuring that every aspect of your stay is meticulously catered to. From the moment you step into the hotel to the time you depart, you’ll be treated to unparalleled comfort and hospitality.


When booking a luxury hotel in Graz, consider the location in relation to the attractions you plan to visit, as well as the specific amenities and services that are important to you. Immerse yourself in the lap of luxury and savor the opulence that Graz has to offer.



Graz, Austria’s captivating capital city of the Styria region, offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modernity. With its well-preserved medieval architecture, vibrant arts scene, and diverse culinary offerings, Graz is a destination that captivates visitors from around the world. Whether you’re exploring the historical attractions, immersing yourself in the local cuisine, or enjoying the city’s vibrant nightlife, Graz has something to offer for every traveler’s taste and interest.


From exploring the Schlossberg hill and its stunning views to visiting the world-class museums and galleries, Graz provides endless opportunities to immerse yourself in its rich cultural heritage. The city’s parks and gardens offer peaceful retreats, while its fine dining restaurants and traditional bars and cafés provide a taste of the local flavors and hospitality.


Whether you choose to stay in a luxurious hotel, a budget-friendly guesthouse, or a charming bed and breakfast, Graz offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs. And when the sun goes down, the city comes alive with its vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene.


Graz truly is a city that leaves a lasting impression. Its charm, history, and dynamic energy create a destination where tradition meets modernity. Whether you’re strolling through the old town, indulging in local delicacies, or simply enjoying the vibrant atmosphere, Graz is sure to enchant and delight you at every turn.


So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the cultural tapestry, and discover the magic of Graz. This vibrant Austrian city awaits with open arms, ready to share its history, charm, and unforgettable experiences with you.