Jul 8, 2017

Graz Holiday

My husband and I love Austria. I think it is because living in a small Island like Malta, which is surrounded by sea, and is very small and busy, we both feel the need to take breaks from the hectic life and immerse ourselves in a green environment. What we love most is going from town to town by train as well as exploring the big cities through their exceptional public transport. Obviously shopping and great food are always on our to do list. 

After having visited Vienna twice, and Salzburg once, we decided to explore a new town. We chose Graz, which is the second largest city in Austria after Vienna. As you will see from the images which follow, Graz is a charming city, with a mix of old and new and an atmosphere which balances perfectly traditional and youthful.

I would suggest spending between 3 to 7 days in Graz. Three to four days are enough to explore the old town while also venturing into the outskirts. Any extra days will allow you to visit nearby towns either by car or train. You can try Frohnleiten, the Open Air Museum in Stubing, the Austrian Outdoor Sculpture Museum and Bruck an der Mur.

Airbnb, Birgit's apartment right in the centre of the old town (can be a little noisy at night but you can use the ear plugs which are provided by the host).
Hotel Wiesler and Hotel Das Weitzer, both facing the River Mur.
Schlossberghotel, beneath the clock tower.

Where to eat:
Whelscher Stub'n for traditional food in the heart of Graz
Der Steier for a modern take on traditional food
Speisesaal for a scrumptious burger in an upscale yet relaxed atmosphere
Santa Catharina for good Italian food in a charming spot of the old town
Martin Auer and Cafe Tribeka for breakfast
Meszaros Macarons for macarons and desert


Shopping: If you opt to stay in the heart of the city, shops will be all around you. Make sure to visit the Kastner & Ohler shopping building.

Tips: If you are going in Summer keep in mind that mornings can be chilly but days and nights are very warm.
If you have landed in Vienna, you can take the train to Graz directly from the Airport. Search for the route Wien Flughafen to Graz on the Obb Austria website.
When you arrive in Graz, the day ticket will enable you to take all trams and buses travelling within Graz, as well as visiting the Clock Tower for free.
Keep in mind that most shops and many restaurants are closed on Sundays and public holidays. You can find open supermarkets inside Graz station, which you can reach via a 10 minutes tram ride. 

If you were to ask me what I liked most about Graz, my answer would be the following: I loved the relaxed atmosphere, the charming and upscale vibes, the great food, the beautiful architecture, the happy and friendly locals and the great views of the river Mur, the clock tower and the surroundings villages we spotted during our train journey. Would I go again? Definitely, but next time I would choose to go around Christmas.

Have you been to Graz? Are you planning to go? Share your experience in the comments below.



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