European Travel > Exploring Graz, Austria

Exploring Graz, Austria

Published: September 12, 2008

Graz is a little-known town in the south-east of Austria. While it is infact the second-largest city after Vienna, many people have not heard of it, let alone visited it.

Situated on the Mur River, about 200km southwest of Vienna, Graz offers many activities that will easily fill in a two or three day trip. Primarily a student town, Graz has six universities with more than 44,000 students combined. A wander through any of the campuses will always provide some items of interest.

For a little bit of exercise visit the Schloßberg, a large hill in the middle of town which was previously the site of a fortress. Stair cases wind up it's steep sides, and at the top it provides amazing panoramas over the city, with red rooftops and mountains stretching out in the distance. At the top of the Schloßberg is a clock tower, the symbol of Graz.

If walking up the many flights of stairs is not your style there is also the Schloßbergbahn, a railway that will take visitors to the top of the hill.

For those with a penchant for armourments, there is the Landeszeughaus, the largest armoury of its kind in the world. Or on the other side of the coin, there are many historic buildings to investigate, such as the Dom (cathedral) and the Rathaus (town hall).

There are many museums to visit in Graz, ranging from the museum of contemporary art (Grazer Kunsthaus) and the museum of contemporary photography (Camera Austria) to the museum of criminology (Kriminalmuseum) and the key and lock museum (Hanns Schell Collection).

Once all the museums and historical sites are out of the way, stop by the latin quarter for a glass of wine in the square. Take in the sites, watch fellow travelers and locals stroll by and sip on the beverage that Europe does best (wine of course!)

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