Despite being the second-largest city in Austria, Graz offers all the amenities of a larger city while still maintaining a small-town charm. It really is a multi-faceted southern gem with a stunningly romantic Renaissance city centre and modern, urban districts outside of the centre, like Lend and Gries, on the banks of the River Mur.
Graz is a centre of culinary delights. Here, vistirors will find the typical Styrian pumpkin seed oil, also known as ‘black gold’ (actually a natural dark green), shimmering on a special kind of lettuce that owes its name to the city: the Grazer Krauthäupel. The oil can often be found drizzled on top of vanilla ice cream or even on scrambled eggs.
While pumpkin seed oil puts Graz on the tourist map, the city offers many more regional culinary delights besides. Graz is known as ‘Austria’s delicatessen’, and the opportunities to indulge in the city’s local flavours are limitless. Countless pubs, cafes, wine bars, traditional Styrian taverns and upscale restaurants have earned Graz the title of ‘Epicurean Capital’ of Austria. Visitors should be sure to take a stroll through one of the charming farmers’ markets, where producers from the surrounding area offer fresh and organic products.
However, there’s so much more to this city than delicious food. Graz is a prime destination for culture lovers. With its thriving arts community and vibrant streetlife, the city buzzes with events and exhibitions. Visitors will find traditional and contemporary influences coexisting in all spheres of urban cultural life, and in a kaleidoscope of events and festivals. La Strada, the international festival for street performance and puppet theatre, turns the whole city into a performance venue, while Styriarte ranks among the world’s most prestigious international classical music festivals. There’s also Diagonale, a cutting-edge festival of Austrian film held each March, and the Austrian International Storytelling Festival in June — a must for those interested in literature and contemporary storytelling. Finally, there’s the eclectic Elevate Festival, a fascinating combination of alternative music and arts alongside political discourse.
Climb up the tree-clad Schlossberg and enjoy the amazing views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Graz