We’ve been to Austria many times, but for some unknown reason we’ve never visited Graz. With it’s population of 280000, Graz is second largest city in Austria. I must warn you upfront that this post will contain way more photos than usual because the places worth taking pictures are literally everywhere you look. The charm of Graz lies in the harmonious blend of Old and New.
Rathaus (City Hall) dominates the main square and it has been a popular meeting spot for a long time. It was once full of markets and also a place for public punishment.
One of the best examples of this mixture is Kunsthaus, or “friendly alien” how locals call it because it looks like it dropped from out of space. It is a modern art museum which stands out with it’s shape. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5 pm, entrance costs 9 €.
In order to come to the Schloßberg (Castle Hill) you have to cross the Mur river. The most fun way to do so is over Murinsel. It is an unusual landmark that sits on the water in form of a floating shell. It is linked with footbridges on the banks on either side of the river.
Schloßberg is a 400m high hill in the heart of Graz. There are a few ways to go up there: by funicular for 2,20 €, by elevator for 1,50 € and of course stairs for free. As always we decided to walk up the 260 stairs.
Once you climbed all those stairs you get rewarded by an amazing view. This unique view across the city’s rooftops makes it easy to understand why the old city of Graz has been designated as a world heritage sight. There is also another symbol of Graz, Uhrturm (Clock Tower).
Fun fact: the clock’s hands are reversed compared to regular clocks, meaning the long hand stands for hours and the short hand for minutes.
The mausoleum of Ferdinand II was build between 1614 and 1633 and is another must visit spot in Graz. It is open daily from 10.30 – 12.30 and from 13.30 – 16.00, entrance costs 4 €. Next to it is the gothic cathedral. Emperor Friedrich III had it built in 1438 as both a church for the city’s inhabitants and also for the royals. Cathedral is open daily and the entrance is free. If you are lucky (like we were), you might drop by during a concert to hear the magnificent organ being played.
One of the famous landmarks of Graz that we unfortunately didn’t get to see this time are the double stairs. But this is just one more reason to come back to this beautiful city.