If you aren’t a fan of bumping into a lot of tourists during your holidays then there are plenty of beautiful and exciting locations that you can still go to that haven’t seen tourism take over. Usually when people speak about Austrian cities Vienna is the go to name but people will rarely mention Graz, the country’s second largest city.
Graz has a population of just over 300,000 people and not only offers you an alternative to the capital but also a place where there is a rich creative, culinary and artistic scene. The city was built around the Schlossberg, an ancient hilltop castle and is now filled with beautiful boutiques, restaurants and museums. Of course there are still remnants of the city’s old town and this gives you a great opportunity to do a bit of historical sightseeing and exploring.
It is a city that has a lot more to offer than you might expect, especially considering that it is just a few hours away from the capital! The city was in fact the 2003 Cultural Capital of Europe and definitely benefits from the tourism that the likes of Vienna and Innsbruck get. So if you are looking to visit a city that has everything you would want from a capital – beautiful views, plenty of culture, great access to points of interest – then Graz should definitely be a name at the top of your list.
Here are some of out favourite sites that you must visit!
As we already mentioned, the city was built around the Schlossberg, which is in fact one of the national symbols and treasures of Austria. It is definitely the must see spot in Graz and the castle, placed snuggly in the middle of the city, is renowned for its Clock Tower.
Not only is Graz a beautiful and vibrant city but it also has plenty to offer outside its castle walls. There are plenty of mountains and valleys that are ideal for walking along and they also make for some pretty breathtaking scenery photographs. If that all sounds like a little too much hard work then you can always venture out of the city to go on a wine tour or relax in one of the national parks.
One of the best things locked away in the city’s walls are the markets. As you might expect from an olden day castle, there are plenty of market stalls and boutiques just waiting to be explored. These markets are ideal if you are looking to make a picnic for a walk in the countryside and who doesn’t like having a browse around a farmers market with wonderful fresh produce?
The Eggenberg Palace is the 17th century castle that is just outside of Old Graz. It is the cultural centre of Graz and is wealth worth visiting to see the building itself and its amazing gardens.