Gay Guide • GRAZ | What to See, Where to Stay, Best Gay Bars and Restaurants | LGBT Guide
Discover this City with our Quick and Practical Guide to Visit the Best Attractions, Savor Typical Dishes and Have Fun in the Best Gay Bars. All this through the Rainbow Eyes of the World Mappers
What to See, Best Places to Sleep, Where to Eat and to Have Fun in GRAZ ?
Find it out with the World Mappers !
WHAT TO SEE in GRAZ?
10 THINGS TO SEE in GRAZ
Schlossberg & Clock Tower
A hill 475 meters high on the banks of the Mura river which once housed an imposing fortress, destroyed by order of Napoleon, of which the Clock Tower is still preserved today. With restaurants, bars and shops, the Schlossberg today serves as a public park, from where you can admire one of the most beautiful views of the city. The Clock Tower, one of the symbols of Graz, octagonal in shape and 34 meters high, is characterized by a peculiarity: the hand that should mark the hours (the short one) marks the minutes, while the one that should mark the minutes (long ), marks the hours... what a mess! Another interesting fact is that the watch still retains the original mechanism, which was made in 1712 by master watchmaker Michael Sylvester.
The Graz Art Museum, a modern bubble-shaped building with over eleven thousand square meters for the exhibition of contemporary art. Its exterior is in stark contrast to the historic architecture of the nearby buildings, which is why it has been affectionately dubbed as the "Friendly Alien". The building also houses a bookshop, cafeteria, meeting rooms and offices. Whether it's admiring the works displayed inside, or the artwork that is the building itself, this is a must-see in Graz. Don't miss it at night when the facade is illuminated by plays of light, such as if the alien wanted to communicate with space.
Hauptplatz & Rathaus (City Hall)
The central square of the old town of Graz. It has a particular trapezoidal shape, and it is here that the main shopping streets of the city lead. The town hall is certainly the most striking building that overlooks the square, it almost looks like a castle. At the center of Hauptplatz we find a fountain and the statue of Archduke Johann, also known as "the prince of Styria", one of the few Habsburgs of the 19th century to enjoy real popular support, thanks to a series of reforms that would have been fundamental for the development of the city.
Armory (Landeszeughaus) & Landhaushof
Also called the "Styrian Armory" or "Graz Arsenal", it is the largest and best-preserved collection of historic weapons in the world. Located in the heart of the Altstadt or "Old Town" (in the same building as the tourist office), it holds more than 30,000 objects including weapons, war dress and armor from the late Middle Ages to the early 19th century. Not far away, don't miss the Landhaushof, the Courtyard of the Landhaus, a beautiful building located in Herrengasse (the Via dei Signori), today the seat of the Regional Council of Styria. The courtyard, one of many in Graz, with the various orders of loggias and the well with a bronze canopy represents one of the most beautiful examples of Renaissance architecture in Central Europe. During the Christmas period, a life-size ice nativity scene is set up here.
Founded in 1811, it is the oldest museum in all of Austria and the largest "general" museum in Central Europe. Originally conceived not only as a museum, but as a place of education, it takes its name from its founder, the Archduke Juan de Hasburgo-Lorraine. Today it has numerous locations in Graz and beyond, with over 4.5 million objects, exhibitions and various activities.
Cathedral & Mausoleum
In the part of Graz known as the "Crown of the City", the Cathedral and the Mausoleum of Ferdinand II are located next to each other. The first, with a modest external appearance (the only surviving frescoes are on the right facade), has Gothic frescoes inside and a splendid Baroque altar, one of the most beautiful in Austria. Next to the Cathedral, Emperor Ferdinand II had his majestic funeral monument built. Upon entering, one is enveloped in the marvel and richness of the frescoes and interior decorations. A curiosity: the dome that dominates the crypt is not round, but oval.
Burg & Doppelwendeltreppe (Double Spiral Staircase)
Inside the Grazer Burg, the current seat of the city's Parliament, are these truly unique stone staircases. Built in 1499, they form a double spiral that joins and separates on each floor, giving it a unique and spectacular style. A local tradition has it that lovers come to exchange a kiss right here, where the stairs meet.
Austria's second largest opera house, built in neo-baroque style in the heart of the city, in what is now known as the "Ring of Opera", between the Old and New Towns. Even if the facade we see today is much simpler than the original, the wide staircases, the auditorium, the gilded stuccos and the internal frescoes are the originals.
Among the castles in Graz, this is the most important. Its extensive gardens and four museums that are part of the Universalmuseum Joanneum make it one of Austria's most important cultural attractions.
At the top of the Purberg hill, in the Mariatrost district, we find this beautiful Basilica, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Austria. Baroque in style and a striking yellow colour, its most characteristic elements are two tall frontal towers and a large dome, visible from afar. To get to the church you have to climb the 216 steps that make up the so-called "Scala dell'Angelus".
Visiting this city at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:
Day 1 - Complete Graz - Google Maps
Extra - Eggenberg Castle & Hundertwasserkirche (by Car) - Google Maps
Extra - Mariatrost Basilica (by Car or Tramway) - Google Maps
(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our path)
10 BEST EXCURSIONS from GRAZ
Austrian Open Air Museum
Styrian Wine Road
Riegersburg Castle, Bad Blumau & Vorau Abbey
Hundertwasserkiche, Seckau Abbey & Murau
Road of the Castles / Schlösserstraße
Leibnitz & Seggau Castle
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WHERE TO SLEEP in GRAZ?
10 BEST GAY FRIENDLY HOTELS in GRAZ
Aiola Living Boutique Hotel ® Tested by World Mappers
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WHERE TO EAT in GRAZ?
5 BEST RESTAURANTS in GRAZ Quality / Price
€€€ - Restaurant Florian
€€€ - Restaurant Schlossberg
€€€ - Aiola Upstairs Panoramaterrasse ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Gösser Bräu - Graz
GAY NIGHTLIFE in GRAZ
10 BEST GAY PLACES, BARS & CLUBS in GRAZ
STARS Cafe-Bar (Gay Bar) ® Tested by World Mappers
KATZE-KATZE (Gay Friendly Cocktail Bar) ® Tested by World Mappers
Cafe Silber (Gay Friendly Bar)
VINTAGE Café Bar Graz (Gay Friendly Bar)
Aiola Upstairs Panoramaterrasse (Gay Friendly Cocktail Bar & Restaurant)
TRAVEL TIPS about GRAZ by World Mappers
If you want to move around the city comfortably, the Graz Card 3 Days is right for you. It allows you to use the city's public transport for 72 hours, the system of which is very efficient and connects the entire city. The Card also includes the glass lift inside the Schlossberg and the funicular that takes you to the top of the mountain.
The Joanneum 24-hour or Joanneum 48-hour Ticket allows you to enter all exhibitions and shows at the Universalmuseum Joanneum. If you want more details on info and costs, click here.
Do you want to have a unique experience inside the historic galleries of the city? Don't miss the world's largest underground slide with a length of 170 meters. Get ready for The The Slide (Schlossberg Rutsche), click here for more info. A word of advice: don't do it on a full stomach!
In the tunnel that was once used as an air-raid shelter by the population, today you also find the Dom im Berg, an area where events and evenings are organised..
One of the unmissable events in Graz is the Ice Crib, in the Landhaushof, with ice sculptures, plays of light and a magical atmosphere.
St. Barbara's Church in Bärnbach called Hundertwasserkiche is another must-see near Graz, as it seems to defy all conventional religious schemes with its quirky exterior and artfully designed gardens making it unique.
Close to Graz is the Schlösserstraße (Road of Castles), a wonderful area of Austria with many castles and palaces to visit. It takes several days to be able to see them all because they are in different parts of the region. Among the main castles we find: the historic center of Bad Radkersburg, Kapfenstein Castle, Kornberg Castle, Riegersburg, Hotel Obermeyerhofen Castle, Neuhaus Castle, Schielleiten Castle, Herberstein Castle, Pöllau Castle, Hartberg Castle, Tabor Feldbach , Güssing Castle, Schlaining Castle, Deutschlandsberg Castle and Aichberg Castle. If you want to know more click on this link.
The Most BEAUTIFUL STREET ART WORKS of GRAZ
How could we not go in search of Street Art in Graz too? Absolutely not! While street art hasn't fully exploded here yet, there are some areas and some notable works. Here are the main ones:
Taggerwerk Complex in Puchstraße (the largest street art works are found here)
Papierfabrik with the work of Telmo Miel
City Beach & Murales by David Leitner
Reichengasse with works by Ekim&Zion, Keyvan Paydar and other artists
The Most BEAUTIFUL VIEWPOINTS of the GRAZ VALLEY
Enjoy the city from above from the best viewpoints in Graz that we recommend:
The best-known viewpoint in the city, you can go up by lift or funicular, otherwise you will face a beautiful staircase to the top.
Right on the roof of the Kastner und Öhler department store, you will find a beautiful panoramic terrace and you can enjoy the best view of the Schloßberg from the roofs of the city.
Little known, this vantage point is located inside the Gigasport store, on the terrace of the La Place restaurant. From here you can admire the Mur River and the Kunsthaus.
On the outskirts of Graz you will find Sankt Martin Castle, a prime location for weddings. In addition to the splendid visit to the castle, from here you can enjoy a unique view of the city.
From this splendid basilica, whose visit is unmissable, you will admire the city of Graz enclosed in the hills.
This is the quintessential mountain in the Graz area. You can reach the top either by hiking or by cable car.
Unusual and Particular Places to See in Graz
Outside the classic places to visit of the city, there is a "Secret Graz" that has simply bewitched us. Here are the 10 Things and Places to See in Secret Graz:
Island in the Mur (Murinsel) - A kind of futuristic island that connects the banks of the river Mura. Built on the occasion of Graz's nomination as European City of Culture in 2003 and never dismantled, today it is one of the most popular meeting points for having a good coffee directly on the river. We advise you to see it in the evening when the neon lights that light it up... the scenographic effect is truly unique.
ARGOS Eye - A modern and avant-garde building perfectly inserted in the urban context of the area. Looking at the facade, the windows look like many eyes scrutinizing passers-by.
Glockenspiel (Carillon) - On Glockenspielplatz is this beautiful clock with carillon. Three times a day (at 11, 15 and 18) a girl and a boy in traditional Styrian costumes dance to the melody of 24 bells.
Inner Courtyards - In Graz there are more than 50 open courtyards that can be visited for free. An advice? The same one that was given to us... if you see an open door, enter and explore! Sometimes real architectural jewels are hidden, witnesses of the history of the city and sheltered from the frenetic city life.
Gösting Castle Ruins - The remains of a medieval fortress with a breathtaking panorama over the whole area.
Priesterseminar - Study, discipline, meditation. With its linear architecture, the Seminar unequivocally communicates its didactic function. History is breathed in the large internal courtyard and it is easy to understand why the building, after the dissolution of the Jesuit order, was mainly used for educational purposes: as a school, barracks and even as a prison. Today it again houses Catholic church institutions, while the courtyard occasionally serves as a stage for theatrical and musical performances.
Märchengrottenbahn - More than six kilometers of tunnels run along the "Schlossberg", a hill in the center of the city. The tunnels were built during World War II as bomb shelters capable of housing up to 40,000 people. Today the tunnels house a concert hall and a miniature railway line known as the Märchengrottenbahn, or "Fairytale Grotto Line".
Österreichischer Skulpturen Park - One of the best sculpture parks in Europe, a must see when visiting Graz. Designed by the famous Swiss architect Dieter Kienast, the park is located in an area of seven hectares on the outskirts of Graz and houses over seventy sculptures by Austrian and international artists (also Yoko Ono) perfectly integrated with the natural environment.
Kaiser-Josef-Platz Garmers' Market - The beautiful and colorful market held every day (except Sundays) in Kaiser-Josef-Platz square. Here you can find fruit, vegetables and many local products... taste the pumpkin seed oil, typical of Styria.
Turkish Soldier of the Palais Sarau - Walking through Graz, head towards Sporgasse 25. You are in front of the Palais Saurau. Do you feel watched? Look up and you'll understand why.. a Turkish soldier is watching you from above! The Palais Saurau is worth a visit.
GAY FRIENDLY TOURS
Do you want to discover the city more deeply through Graz's Best Gay Tours? We recommend the following local operators:
Gaily Tour - Tour Operator offering tours and excursions dedicated to the LGBT + community throughout Europe. Special Tours and Gay & Lesbian Friendly Guides ready to make you discover the beauties of this destination. Info & Booking: info@GailyTour.com
What to See near Graz ?