Located on the River Mur, Graz is Austria’s second largest city and is best known for its historical buildings and the famous Schlossberg. The entire town of Graz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its significant buildings and important cultural features. By the way…THIS is where the Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger was born and the town even boasts a fun little museum in his honor.
Top Attractions in Graz
Old Town Graz
The Old Town of Graz became a UNESCO Site in 1999 due to its vast historical architecture. It’s a great place to explore by foot and some of the best sites include the Hauptplatz, the Town Hall, the 17th-century Haus am Luegg, the Gothic Franciscan Church, the Graz Municipal Museum, the Robert Stolz Museum, and the Herrengasse pedestrian precinct.
Located in the heart of Old Tow Graz stands the marvelous Landhaus that plays home to the Styrian provincial government. Its considered as one of the best buildings in Austria that was built during the Renaissance in 1565. The superb arcaded courtyard with its three-storied pergolas and the beautiful Renaissance fountain is really spectacular to see.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum of Graz is part of the larger Universalmuseum Joanneum group of museums and it’s definitely one of the most important in the city. The impressive collections are spread out over several floors and include items relating to geology, zoology and botany.
Rising above Old Town Graz is the 473 meter high hill, Schlossberg, which is best known for its superb 28 meter tall Clock Tower, Graz’s best known landmark. You’ll also find the 94 meter deep Turkish Well here, as well as the 35 meter tall Belfry with its 8 ton bell. Schlossberg also boasts a great café with spectacular views over Graz as well as an open-air theatre and a miniature railroad for the kids to enjoy.
3km west of Graz city center stands Schloss Eggenberg, an impressive Baroque palace with 4 massive towers. It’s an absolute must-see for the fine state apartments and Rococo fittings that loom inside. The walls and ceilings of the banqueting hall are richly painted with over 600 works including zodiac and planetary system art. The Reception Room, known as the Room of the Planets is seriously impressive and you might also want to check out the amazing Alte Galerie.
Murinsel was a landmark of Graz built to commemorate the city’s award for the European Capital of Culture in 2003.The man-made island is constructed entirely out of steel and looks like an upside down seashell, essentially it’s a 47 meter long floating island on the River Mur, tethered to the banks by 2 footbridges. The middle of the shell houses an amphitheater, a café and a playground for children.
The Municipal Park
The Stadtpark of Graz is located at the eastern end of the Opernring and is one of the city’s oldest fortifications. The Emperor Francis Joseph Fountain surrounded by plenty of monuments is the main attraction. You might also be interested in the Botanical Gardens of Graz with the beautiful greenhouses and exotic plants from across the world on show.