Austria's second largest city (pop. 300,000) and capital of Styria is worth a visit. Wait, that is a bit of an understatement. Because while it might not be immediately obvious to many, within this city at a 2 hour drive from Vienna you will find one of the best kept old towns in Europe. One which is, in fact, UNESCO listed.
Located along the River Mur and surrounded by rolling green hills, the red-roofed old town features Italian Renaissance buildings and Baroque palaces, and remained mostly intact after the second world war. UNESCO listed it in 1999, calling it an "exemplary model of the living heritage of a central European urban complex influenced by the secular presence of the Habsburgs and the cultural and artistic role played by the main aristocratic families". This part of town is super picturesque and an absolute joy to explore on foot, with highlights including the Hauptplatz (or Main Square), a Gothic style church, the Rathaus (Town Hall), the Styrian Armoury and plenty of small streets with boutiques and restaurants.
The other absolute must-see in Graz is the Schlossberg and its Clock Tower. The castle that used to stand here was assaulted by Ottoman forces many times, but could never be taken. You go up here by furnicular and are then treated to magnificent views over the old town. The Baroque Palace of Schloss Eggenberg on the outskirts of town is equally worth checking out. [Review by travelindicator]
- Graz is a city in Austria's region of Steiermark. It has a population of 269,997, is situated at an altitude of 1191ft and the best airport to fly into is GRZ (Thalerhof, Graz)
- The main spoken language here is German, and the average English skill is intermediate
- Note: Graz is a good point of entry for trips to Austria as it is well internationally connected (by air)
- The currency used in Austria is the Euro (EUR)
Other cities in the region (Steiermark, Austria)
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More Graz travel resources
As far as I am concerned the only link you will really need to check out other than Travelindicator are our pals at Planetware. If you must, then you can always check Wikitravel or Lonely Planet. Austria.info is predictable, while a travel blog with some really nice photos and impressions is Cookiesound.