Impressions Of A Weekend In Graz, Austria.
Graz is one of these cities in Austria which I used to visit quite often (my uncle lived there for many years) but for the last … I don’t know, maybe ten years or so, I haven’t been back there. Until last weekend. While Ulli was on her way to London, I decided to hit the road and head down South. And I’m really glad I did!
Since I grew up in a small town just outside of Vienna, I always knew that I would be living in a big city once I start with University or work. For the last four years now, Vienna has been my home and I have to say that I start liking the idea of living in a smaller town again. After visiting Graz, this thought has been even more on my mind than before. Graz has so much more flair and heart than Vienna. Everything is close together and therefore more manageable. If I would have to compare it with another city in Europe, I’d say that Graz is the Berlin of Austria (though obviously not as large); trendy, stylish, worth living. I think I have a new crush … Graz, I love you!
Where to stay?
Graz is only about two hours from Vienna, which is a nice distance because you don’t arrive there fully exhausted. My friend and I booked ourselves into the lovely Hotel Wiesler along the Mur River. Such a nice hotel with much love for details. For example: We stayed in one of the “Independent Rooms” with a wonderful view up to the Clock Tower. Sure, that’s nothing too special but get this: there was a pair of binocular attached to the wall next to the window … Hmmm, the hotel leaves it up to you if you rather spy on the people living on the other side of the Mur then take a closer look at the Schlossberg ;) Just one of hundred cute details, which made the hotel stand out even more.
Where to eat?
Breakfast: The coffee shop tribeka is supposed to offer the best coffee in town … I couldn’t tell since I didn’t visit any other coffee shops but what I can tell you is that it’s one hell of a good coffee! They also have a great variety of sweet or savory breakfast food. Really lovely place and if the weather permits, you can enjoy your breakfast outside.
Dinner: I knew that Hotel Wiesler was a well known hotel but I didn’t know that the Speisesaal (which is a part of the hotel) is one of the best (burger) restaurants in Austria. The burger was absolutely fantastic! I can really recommend this place – not only because of the superb food but also the great atmosphere.
Sights worth seeing.
Schlossberg: Obviously one weekend is not enough to see an entire city – not matter how small it is. But I did the best of my time and started walking along the Mur river to the steep way up to the Schlossberg. The way up there is long and exhausting (you can also take the escalator for 0.90 € if you don’t need the work-out) but so worth it. 260 steps lead up from the Schlossbergplatz to the Clock Tower. Between 1914 and 1918, Austrian & Russian pioneers built these steps which is why they are called “Russensteig” (Russian steps) or “Kriegssteige” (war steps) as they were build during WWI. Up there, you have a wonderful (pretty much) 360° view of Graz.
The Clock Tower: The landmark of Graz is also one of the cities oldest buildings. The tower on the highest spot of town has already been named in 1265. In 1560 the Clock Tower received its characteristic wooden ambulatory and the clock.