The second largest city in Austria, Graz is known as a student city, as it has over 6 universities and 40,000 students. However, it is also an important European historical and cultural centre, with its Old Town being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, and in 2003, Graz was awarded the title of Cultural Capital of Europe. The city is also known for its link with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was born and raised in Thal, a small village around 4 miles from Graz.


The Schlossberg is a hill located in the centre of Graz in the Old Town, and offers visitors spectacular views of the city; to get to the top visitors can take a railway carriage, the Schlossbergbahn. The city’s name is derived from the Slavic word “gradec” which means “little castle”, and on the hill over 1,000 years ago a castle was built; it was however destroyed by Napoleon in 1809. One of the city’s other landmarks that remained intact however is the Clock Tower, also situated on the Schlossberg, and which dates back to the 16th century.

The Provincial Armoury is considered one of the best, if not the best, collections of historical weapons in the world. Housed over 5 floors, it contains a collection of approximately 32,000 pieces of armoury and military equipment.

Mur Island is an island in the River Mur that was constructed by New York architect Vito Acconci to celebrate Graz being designated Cultural Capital of Europe in 2003. It is now a popular attraction, and consists of a café and an amphitheatre for artistic or musical performances.

The Town Hall is home to the city’s administration, and features a large dome, a clock, and corner towers. The Cathedral was built by Frederick the 3rd in the 15th century, and the interior is a blend of Gothic architecture and Baroque furnishings. The Mausoleum is a prominent feature of Graz’s skyline, and is the final resting place of the mother of Emperor Ferdinand the 2nd. Its green domes, golden caps, and statues are striking features of one of the most important Hapsburg tombs. Finally, one of the most beautiful buildings in Graz is the Schloss Eggenberg, built in the early 17th century by a political adviser to Emperor Ferdinand the 2nd, and which today is used to host cultural events.


For a variety of branded goods and items, Kastner and Ohler, a well-known department store chain, and Centre West, a large shopping centre, are good options. Graz has a number of smaller boutique shops, and some that are recommended include [ Bruehl & Sohne] for clothes and Hofbackerei Edegger Tax for baked goods and confectionary. The Farmer’s Market offers shoppers a large selection of fresh food produce from the local area.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Graz offers a high standard of cuisine to visitors. For good quality Austrian cooking, recommended restaurants include Mohrenwirt, Alte Munze, Glockl Brau, and Kehlberghof. The city also offers a range of international cuisine for visitors to sample, and some of the better known restaurants are Hofkeller for Italian dishes, [ Pharaonentempel] for Middle Eastern food, Grosse Mauer for Chinese cuisine, and Yamamoto, which has perhaps the only Japanese chef in Graz, for Japanese food.

The city has a number of pubs and bars to entertain visitors. Perhaps surprisingly, one of the most popular pubs in town is Flann O’Brian’s Irish Pub, where everything is Irish, from the drinks to the staff. The Steirer Pub and The Wartburg are also worth trying. In terms of bars, Stern, Eckhaus, and Claweki are some of the trendier places in town.

Tourist Information

  • Tourist Information Office, Herrengasse 16, A-8010, Graz
  • Telephone: +43 316 80 750
  • Email:
  • Website: []


[ Graz Airport] is easily reached from the city centre by bus or taxi. There are a number of airlines that serve the airport, though almost all services are to and from European or North African destinations.