Graz is the second-largest city in Austria, a place that boasts a rich history, diverse cuisine, and unique modern culture. Not only that but it is also known as quite a shopping mecca in this part of Europe. Therefore, no matter the reason why you’re coming to spend one day in Graz, you are definitely going to have a great time. This beautiful city attracts tourists from all over the world for a very good reason, so keep on reading to find out why this amazing city deserves a place on your travel bucket list.
What’s The Best Time To Visit Graz?
Graz is beautiful in any season. However, if you want to make your trip really special, you should visit Graz before Christmas. Graz Christmas markets are one of the best in Western Europe – they will provide you with an unforgettable, magical Christmas experience and truly make you feel the holiday spirit.
Christmas markets in Graz are open from the 19th of November to the 24th of December. The Christmas lights are lit daily from 4.30 pm until midnight, and the best places to visit are Advent Market in front of the City Hall, the Old Town Traditional Christmas Market, the market in the Franciscan Quarter, the Christmas market on Glockenspielplatz, and WonderLEND on Mariahilferplatz.
In case you plan to visit Graz in summer, don’t miss the chance to attend the week-long Food Festival. Here you will try the best food offered by the most reputable restaurants in the area. This festival is a spectacular event that every foodie should attend.
A Few Facts About Graz
The name of Graz first appeared in 1128–1129. During the Middle Ages, the city officially became the capital of Steiermark (Styria). In 2003, Graz got the title of Cultural Capital of Europe.
Graz was built as a fortress to defend the Roman Empire against its enemies in the southeast. Glockenturm, a clock tower, and Uhrturm, a bell tower, were constructed at that time – now, these buildings are seen as the main landmarks of the city.
Graz is famous for truffles: seven varieties of truffles grow in the city forests, so naturally, you can visit the annual summer Truffle Festival. The program of the festival typically includes guided hikes, an international truffle market, and other activities.
Graz is also a city of students. There are six universities that attract learners from Europe and all over the world.
Finally, most Graz residents use bikes rather than cars as their preferred mode of transport, so don’t be surprised to see people cycling wherever you look.
One Day In Graz Itinerary:
Whether you come to Graz for the magnificent architecture, museums, or tasty food, you will have lots of fun and experience positive emotions. Use the following itinerary to get the most out of your one day in the city.
The first thing you should do in the morning is to explore the Schlossberg, a hill in the middle of the city that is famous for its clock tower and demolished fortress. Schlossberg is the best place to enjoy the spectacular view of the red-tiled roofs of the Old Town. In case you’d like an organized tour, Old Town private walking tour is highly recommended.
To get the best experience, travel experts recommend climbing the stairs from Schlossbergplatz to the top of the hill. In case you find it challenging, you can use a funicular railway, Schlossbergbah. The price for a one-way ticket is €3.30, and an up-and-down ticket – €5.50.
Visit Hofbäckerei Edegger-Tax and enjoy tasty croissants
After a long walk, you will need to fuel your body with some deliciousness, such as pumpkin seeds croissants or “Sissi-Busserl” or Styrian “Panthertatzen”. You can do it at the oldest bakery in Graz, called Hofbäckerei Edegger-Tax.
It’s hard to believe, but this bakery was founded in 1569 (!) and is still open to this very day. Hofbäckerei Edegger-Tax is famous not only for freshly baked goods but also for its original carved neo-baroque wooden facade.
Take a lovely stroll to Murinsel
The next thing you should do is to head to the Mur River and explore the Murinsel, an artificial floating “island”. Murinsel is a unique, modern-style construction that links the city and river. Here you can enjoy your coffee and simply “feel” the moment.
Admire the modern art pieces at Kunsthaus Graz
Your next stop will be the Kunsthaus Graz, the art museum. Even if you are not into art, you still should visit this place. Why? Because the museum’s building is a masterpiece itself and is worth your attention. Like Murinsel, the Kunsthaus was part of the European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2003.
The exhibition center presents both: international contemporary art and local art. The Kunsthaus exhibits art objects that reflect current social, political, and ecological issues.
Stop for dinner at Dreizehn by Gauster
If you get hungry, take a short walk to Dreizehn by Gauster. This restaurant is widely regarded to be one of the best if not the very best place for a bite in Graz. It has a stylish interior and serves food of the best quality. Beef tartar, pumpkin cream soup, and risotto are must-try.
Experience the Glockenspiel
Do you want to feel the romantic vibe of Graz? Go to the Glockenspielplatz square and enjoy a “little show” of Glockenspiel. Here is how it looks like: traditionally dressed girl and boy come from the little upper window of the building and dance, while twenty-four bells play one of three beautiful melodies. The “show” goes three times a day at 11:00, 15:00, and 18:00.
Take a photo at Landhaus Courtyard
Your penultimate destination is Landhaus Courtyard. This building is a true masterpiece of the Renaissance. Its arcaded inner courtyard will make you feel like you traveled in time back to Italia of the 15th century.
Chill at Der Keller
If you want to end your day at the bar, go to Der Keller. This bar is one of the most popular in the area. It offers not only good wine and nice bacon but also live music. Come here to finish your one-day trip on a positive and tasty note.
Where To Stay In Graz, Austria?
Palais Hotel Erzherzog Johann
Sackstraße 3-5, City centre, 8010 Graz
Palais Hotel Erzherzog Johann is located in the heart of the city, close to Graz Town Hall and Clock Tower. This family-owned hotel combines the elegant atmosphere of the former baroque palace with modern furniture and appliance. If you are looking for accommodation that has a gym, offers delicious breakfasts, and allows pets, this hotel is the best option for you.
BOOK A ROOM HERE
Grand Hôtel Wiesler
Grieskai 4-8, Gries, 8020 Graz
Travelers choose Grand Hôtel Wiesler for its perfect location, spacious rooms, comfy beds, and superb breakfasts. The highlight of suits is a baroque style chandelier and free-standing bath that overlooks the river. If you want to make Instagram-worthy pictures, choose Grand Hôtel Wiesler – it will not disappoint you.
BOOK A ROOM HERE
Lendplatz 8, Lend, 8020 Graz
If you’re looking for a hotel that’s close to Graz’s city center and fairly affordable, Zur Steirerstub’n is the perfect place. It’s a very charming hotel that fits in perfectly with the surroundings, and the place also boasts several awards, too. You can enjoy a great breakfast, rest in modern rooms, and generally get a great feel of the city’s vibe. A great stay, no doubt about that.
BOOK A ROOM HERE
a&o Graz Hauptbahnhof
Eggenberger Straße 7, Gries, 8020 Graz
Are you traveling on a budget? a&o Graz Hauptbahnhof hostel is an excellent place to stay for a night. It has friendly staff, clean rooms, and comfy beds. You can get to the center by tram – the hostel is located a minute walk away from a tram stop.
BOOK A ROOM HERE
Day Trips From Graz
Austrian Open-Air Museum
The Austrian Open Air Museum is located near the small town of Stübing (just 15 km away from Graz). This museum provides visitors with a unique opportunity to learn more about architectural styles, tools, and materials used in different regions of Austria during the last six centuries. The ticket price for adults is €13, and for children over the age of four – €5.5. If you travel by train, you will need to take a 30-minutes walk from the nearest station to the museum.
Lipizzaner Piber Stud Farm
Lipizzaner Piber Stud Farm is a place where you can see world-famous Lipizzaner horses and watch how professional farrier creates horseshoes. Here, you can walk around the historic buildings and enjoy a delicious dinner at a local café. The farm is located 45 km west of Graz. You can get to the farm by car (if you rent one), or you can take a train to Köflach and then catch a taxi.
Zotter Chocolate Factory
If you travel with kids, or if you are a great chocolate lover, visit Zotter Chocolate Factory. Zotter is one of a few manufacturers in Europe that make the chocolate in-house going through all processes from cocoa beans roasting to chocolate bar molding.
The best part of the Zotter factory tour is that it offers various interactive tasting stations and provides visitors with an opportunity to create their very own chocolate bar using the ingredients of their choice. The price of Choco Tour for adults is €18.9, for teenagers – €15.9, for children (6-10 years) – €12.9, and children (4-5 years) – €6.9.
Extra Tips For Visiting Graz:
– Don’t rent a car if you plan to spend all day in the old city center. All attractions and restaurants are located pretty close to one another, so you can explore Graz on foot. If you are not a big fan of long walks, you can buy a 24-hour ticket for public transport. It costs €5.60 and allows you to use busses, trams, and some local trains.
Now you know everything to start planning a perfect one-day trip to Graz, Austria. Go travel and explore this beautiful city!