Graz is the second largest city in Austria and an old university town with six universities. The beautiful historic centre is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and it is the reason for travelling to Graz, as well as the castle hill right next to it, Schloßberg, and the Eggenberg Palace.
Where to stay in Graz
The main shopping streets Herrengasse and Sackstrasse are marked on the map with a continuous red line. In the middle is the main square Hauptplatz. Somewhere close to them would be ideal to stay.
If you are travelling by train, close to the train station could be a good choice as well. There are some shops and a big supermarket for groceries (Merkur Markt) just in front of the station in the beginning of Annenstrasse. Annenstrasse is a wide street with a lot of stores and it leads straight to the old town and Hauptplatz. The distance from the train station to Hauptplatz is about 1.5 kilometers.
Things to do
Schloßberg is not just a hill with a fortress, but rather a place where it's comfortable to spend some time. The view is great and the area is well maintained. There are at least two restaurants and a few cafes or bars.
The stairs to Schloßberg begin at Schloßbergplatz, 300 meters north from the main square Hauptplatz (Hauptplatz is marked on the map). The stairs are somewhat steep and exhausting, but there is also a lift (for €1.60). Or a funicular (for €2.40), the starting place is about 250 meters north of Schloßbergplatz in Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Kai street.
Or if you wish to walk a more gentle path, there are several roads leading to the top. One starts at Karmeliterplatz, you can see it in this image behind the building.
Pictures 1-4 in the gallery above were taken at Schloßberg.
Eggenberg Palace is a Baroque palace built by the Eggenberg family in the 17th Century, and it's open for visitors. It is included in the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage Sites.
The palace is located on the west side of Graz, about 3.3 kilometers from Hauptplatz and 1.9 kilometers from the train/bus station. Walking from the train station couldn't be easier, just follow first Eggenberger Strasse and then Eggenberger Allee. Or take tram line 1 from any of the stations.
Inside the palace there are museums, exhibitions, guided tours etc. If you are going to visit other museums in Graz as well, it could be a good idea to purchase a 24-hour or 48-hour ticket that covers also the Eggenberg Palace. Admissions and more information: museum-joanneum.at
How to get to Graz
Graz international airport is about 10 kilometers away from the city centre.
- By train (S-Bahn) it takes about 11 minutes to the main station Hauptbahnhof (marked on the map). Timetables: oebb.at. Look for the route S5 from Flughafen Graz-Feldkirchen Bahnhof to Graz Hbf.
- Bus routes 630 and 631 run from the airport to Jakominiplatz (marked on the map). Timetables: postbus.at. Look for the routes from Abtissendorf Abzw Flughafen to Graz Jakominiplatz. The journey takes about 15-24 minutes.
Train ride from Vienna main station takes about 2 hours 35 minutes, the link is the same as above for the S5 train. From Vienna airport it takes 3 hours (Flughafen Wien - Graz Hbf).
Weather in Graz
Winter: The winter months in Graz are cold and the temperature goes below 0°C from December to February. On the coldest days it can get to -10°C, so a proper winter clothing is necessary, such as hat, winter shoes, gloves and scarf.
Spring: By March, the temperature starts rising towards further spring. The temperature is on average around 8°C - 15 °C. May can be already a very warm month with temperatures going occasionally over 20°C. The evenings aren’t that warm so it’s still good to have a coat with you along with a jumper and trousers. Late spring and summer months are the periods when it rains the most.
Summer: June, July and August are the warmest months of the year though the average high temperatures stay around 25°C, since Graz is located in a mountainous area. During these months Graz gets the biggest rainfalls during the year.
Autumn: The temperatures drop to 8°C - 15 °C in the Autumn months. In November the temperature can be already at 0°C. Similar clothing than in the spring time is advisable.