Just a scenic three hour drive South East from Salzburg in the province of Styria, Graz is one of Austria’s hidden gems that is just begging to be explored. Teeming with traditional cuisine and hospitality paired with lush farmlands and picturesque wine country, Graz is lush in every respect.
Known for being the Austrian culinary capital, Graz is simply brimming with delicious dining options, as well as rich history and postcard-perfect landscapes, making it the ideal destination for travellers who don’t just want a slice but are looking for the whole strudel.
Graz is most certaintly one we’ll be putting on our list for when we can all travel again. Here’s 9 reasons why.
1. You can taste the freshest local produce at Graz’s daily farmers markets
Nestled on the banks of the Mur River, you’ll find the bustling farmers market at Lendplatz. Rise early to bump shoulders with locals as you procure deliciously fresh fare ranging from crusty homemade bread, handpicked fruits and vegetables or cured meats. You might even find some delightful goodies to take home with you!
2. It’s finger-lickin’ good!
Thoughts of Austria might not bring fried chicken to mind; however, it sure will after your first bite. A Styrian speciality, the finger-lickin-good fried chicken, is a Graz staple. We guarantee this succulent and tasty fowl will ruffle your feathers!
3. Discover the Gregorian wonder of Eggenberg Palace
Even if numbers aren’t your thing, a visit to the grand Eggenberg Palace will be worth your time. This UNESCO World Heritage site is more than just a gorgeous relic of 17th-century Baroque architecture; it also pays tribute to the Gregorian Calendar.
To give you an idea, visit one of the palace’s 365 windows that wrap around the facade each day, and it would take a year. The second floor has 24 staterooms which you could take the whole day exploring and with 31 rooms on each floor you could easily stay for months.
4. Settle in with a picnic on Schlossberg mountain
Head for the hills and enjoy the views of the city from the tree-topped Schlossberg Mountain. Create a feast for the senses with a picnic basket full of delicious regional products from Graz Tourist Information and enjoy the views and tastes of the Styrian capital.
5. Have your mind blown at the Kunsthaus Museum of Modern Art
Graz culture isn’t all about the last century. One look at the futuristic amorphous construction by the water, and you’ll understand why this museum has been dubbed the ‘Friendly Alien’ by locals.
Its unique architecture lends itself to the art within its iridescent walls. Explore permanent exhibitions by Andy Warhol and Sol LeWitt, as well as the latest temporary exhibits.
6. Get your chocolate fix at Zotter Chocolate Factory
Sweeten your visit to Graz with a stop at the delectable Zotter Chocolate Factory. As one of the leading chocolate producers in the world and with over 500 different flavours to choose from, there’s a niche for every palate.
Need to sweeten the deal even more? Zotter is one of the country’s most sustainable businesses – meaning you can eat chocolate and feel good about it!
7. Enjoy a sunset in the river
Yes, you read that right. The best sunset in Graz can be found in the river! The Murinsel (Mur Island) is a conch-shaped building that floats on the Mur and is an eye-catching piece of architecture and offers the premium twilight aspect. Grab a drink, sit back, relax and enjoy the colours of sunset dancing across the river.
8. Did someone say vineyards? Get out of town to Graz’s nearby wine country
Head south towards the hills of Southern Styria and enjoy Austria’s picturesque wine region. Wander through sprawling vineyards and be charmed by the small historic villages scattered amongst sun-soaked hills.
Don’t miss sampling locally grown Sauvignon Blanc in one of the many traditional wine taverns known as Buschenschank.
9. Stay the Austrian way
One of the best things about Graz is experiencing its warm and traditional hospitality. There is a wide variety of accommodation options in Graz, so whether you’re looking for rustic chalets or luxury lodges, there is something for you.
For more information on the history, nature & food of Graz, click here.
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