Top Tourist Attractions in Graz, Austria You Can’t Miss

Graz is a beautiful city and the second-largest behind Vienna. It is one of the best-preserved historical areas in Europe and filled with grand institutions and exciting new attractions. Here are several tourist attractions in Graz that you can’t miss when traveling.

Tourist Attractions in Graz

1. Old Town Graz

tourist attractions in Graz: Old Town Graz

 

The UNESCO-designated Old Town center of Graz is filled with historical architecture and is a pleasure to explore on foot. Highlights include the Hauptplatz, the Main Square, on the left bank of the River Mur. Here, you’ll see a fine statue of Archduke Johann (1782-1859), who did much to bring industry to the region and improve communications and trade. Also of note is the Town Hall (Rathaus), built in 1893, and the 17th-century Haus am Luegg, with its attractive arcaded and stucco-decorated facade.

2. Schlossberg

One of Graz’s most recognizable features and standing proudly in the center of the city, the Schlossberg is a tree-covered hill that once served as a fortress and has now been converted into a public park.

The history of the Schlossberg goes back to the 10th century and has been the main point of fortification and defense for the city.

All that remains now is the iconic clock tower which is one of the major attractions of Graz.

The Schlossberg has a beautiful park and an ornate set of stairs that criss-cross up the side of the hill and is the perfect place to see views of the city.

3. Styrian Armoury

tourist attractions in Graz: Styrian Armoury

 

Located on Graz’s Herrengasse, the Styrian Armoury (Landeszeughaus) is, like many of the town’s other top attractions, a part of the Universalmuseum Joanneum collection of museums. This important historic site has, in fact, been home to the provincial arsenal since 1644.

Known to be the worlds’ biggest historical armory, its permanent collections include 13,400 small arms and accessories, of which 4,259 are pistols. The artillery collection contains volley guns, mortars, cannons, falconets, and their accessories, and there are more than 2,000 edged weapons – swords, broadswords, and sabers.

Most impressive is the display of armor, showing how soldiers of all ranks protected themselves from the weapons of their time.

4. Kaiser-Josef-Platz Market

This daily market is located in the square originally called Holzmarketplatz or (‘Wood Market Square’), but in the 19th century was renamed Kaiser-Josef-Platz after the Emperor who granted the Protestants religious freedom. All the food is organic and/or is traditionally Styrian. Look out for the local aromatic apples such as Kronprinz Rudolf, Schafnase, or Ilzer Rose, and wonderful unctuous pumpkin seed oil.

5. Grazer Burg

Grazer Burg

 

One of the best tourist attractions in Graz is the Grazer Burg (Graz Castle) which is located directly in the city center and was built as early as 1438. Badly damaged in the Second World War, it was rebuilt in 1947. In the process, various new buildings were constructed, which are known today as the “New Castle”. Many areas of the castle area are open to the public and many attractions there, such as the castle courtyards, the double spiral staircase, the Styrian Gallery of Honor and the “city center” can be visited free of charge.

Beautiful and really worth seeing is also the Burggarten, a lovely park with its picturesque rose gardens. It is a true oasis in the city and the perfect place for a relaxing sightseeing break.

6. Herz Jesu Kirche

Herz Jesu Kirche (‘Church of the Sacred Heart’) is the largest church in Graz and has the third-highest church tower in Austria, measuring in at 109.6 meters. It was designed in the Neo-Gothic style by architect Georg Hauberrisser and constructed from 1881 to 1887. The stained glass windows are breathtaking from inside, and admission to the church is free.

7. Graz Art Museum

Graz Art Museum

 

Looking a little like some alien life form plunked in the middle of Graz’s splendid old architecture, the ultra-modern Graz Art Museum(Kunsthaus Graz) was built in 2003 to mark the city’s choice as the European City of Culture. Focusing on works of contemporary art of the mid-20th century, the gallery hosts artists from around the world with regularly changing temporary exhibits.

The best views of the building are available at night when the building lights up like a spaceship. The English language guided tours and audio-guides are available.

8. Graz Hauptplatz

Graz Hauptplatz is the center of the old town and certainly the most beautiful square in the state capital. Already laid out in 1160, this historic place still enchants with an extra portion of charm and the many beautiful attractions, such as the Archduke Johann Fountain Monument and the magnificent City Hall. Really cool are also the traditional Graz market stalls, where hearty sausages and delicious organic juices are offered.

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