Ranked number four on our list of Essential Destinations for Austria, the Styrian capital is an authentic, charming European city, much more than just an old-world theme park.
Although Graz doesn't attract the attention of Salzburg or Vienna, it has its admirers, among them UNESCO, which has designated the city's Altstadt a World Heritage Site, and the European Union, which has named it Cultural Capital of Europe for 2003.
Graz gets its name from the small castle that once sat at the foot of the Schlossberg, a rocky but verdant 400-foot outcropping located in the city center. Today, a small 16th century clock and bell tower perch above the Schlossberg, serving both as a symbol of the town and a wonderful spot to take in one of Austria's prettiest cities. From this elevated view you can look down on the centuries-old townhouse courtyards, the winding streets, and church spires of the extensive Altstadt ;(old town) along the River Mur, and the large swaths of park land that give the tourist office reason to call their town the "Garden City."
The town's cultured atmosphere and unique architecture are a result of a long and rich history, punctuated by strategic neglect. Many of the architectural treasures date from the 15th century when Graz served briefly as an imperial city under Friedrich III and during its years as the provincial capital of Inner Austria, which included the present Austrian provinces of Styria and Carinthia, as well as the Mediterranean peninsula of Istria (now divided among Italy, Slovenia and Croatia). During this period two Habsburg emperors resided here and Napoleon cared enough about the city to blow up the Schlossbergs' walls, which have since been replaced by a thread of scenic paths and stairways leading to the aforementioned view.
- Coffee & Cake, Graz
- Delikatessen Frankowitsch, Graz
- Gamlitzer Weinstube, Graz
- Gasthaus Stainzerbauer, Graz
- Gasthof-Pension zur Steirerstubn, Graz
- Graz Altstadt
- Graz Overview
- Graz: A European Cultural Capital
- Hotel & Restaurant Ohnime, Graz
- Hotel Erzherzog Johann, Graz
- Hotel Mariatrosterhof, Graz
- Hotel Zum Dom, Graz
- Landhaus-Keller Restaurant, Graz
- Restaurant Gambrinuskeller, Graz
- Restaurant Kirchenwirt, Graz
- Restaurant Krebsenkeller, Graz
- Romantik Parkhotel, Graz
- Schlossberg Hotel, Graz