This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Graz. To help you make friends with Graz before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Graz is the second largest city of Austria and the capital of the state Styria, which is located in the southeast of the country and borders Slovenia. It is known as a student city with a couple of universities. Besides buses, the city also offers an excellent tram network, which makes it easy to move fast throughout the entire city without needing a car. Finding accommodation should not be a problem. There are more than enough hotels to choose from and a couple of reasonably priced hostels in Graz.
There is a lot of interesting sights to see in the city centre. One of the main attractions is Schloßberg, a beautiful park and clock tower located on a quite small hill right in the city centre. You can simply walk to the top, which shouldn't take you more than twenty minutes, or you can take a so-called Schloßbergbahn to take you up. It offers amazing views of the city, especially on a nice sunny day. On your way you can even explore tunnels, created during World War II, that lie right bellow Schloßberg.
Besides old town and numerous different museums, there are two fascinating modern attractions. One of them is Murinsel, an artificial island on the river Mur; the other is a Kunsthaus, a house of modern art with one of the most fascinating architectures in this part of Europe. It might be worth mentioning that Thal, hometown of Arnold Schwarzenegger, is just a few minutes drive from Graz. There is a museum dedicated to him and his career that is definitely worth checking out if you are a fan.
Graz is also known for holding plenty of concerts and sports and cultural events throughout the whole year. Especially worth visiting is a relatively new, but popular free festival Grazer Stadtfest, which is held annually in June. It offers plenty of entertainment and different types of music acts (from traditional Austrian music to popular international performers) on various stages throughout the city.
Although there is a lot to see in Graz no matter what time of the year, visiting it in late November or December (Advent time) is a particularly special experience. A gorgeous Christmas market, hospitable people, and snow make for a fabulous atmosphere you certainly won't soon forget.
Written by local enthusiast for Graz hostelschaser