Best excursion destinations in Graz

Written by: Hannes Wagner, June 02, 2020

More and more students are moving to the beautiful capital of Styria, Graz. Our STUWO student residences and holiday apartments in Graz provide you with the perfect accommodation to get to know the state capital. But what is there to discover in and around Graz? Which sightseeing spots do you have to see? Find out here!

Local Mountain: Schlossberg

Address: Am Schlossberg, 8010 Graz
Opening hours: 24/7
Best season: spring to early autumn

The Schlossberg is not only the trademark of Graz and the most important point of orientation for all new residents, it also offers the perfect 360-degree view of the whole city.

Depending on how sporty you are, you can either climb the 260 steps to the clock tower or take a leisurely stroll up the street that leads from Karmeliterplatz to the top of the mountain. If you don’t want to struggle with a mountain hike, both the Schlossberg rail­way and the Schlossberg lifts are available for your transportation.

Once at the top, you are rewarded with a huge variety of some of the best restaurants and bars in Graz. If you are only looking for relaxation, you can pay a visit to the rose garden or simply claim a quiet bench on one of the numerous paths around the Schlossberg.

Aussicht vom Schlossberg Graz

Basilica Mariatrost

Address: Kirchplatz 9, 8044 Graz
Opening hours: daily 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Phone: +43 316 391145
Best season: all year around

The Mariatrost Basilica is a must-see for architecture students, but also an ideal destination for art enthusiasts. Completed in 1779, it soon became one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Styria. Its twin towers are unmistakable from the outside, but the true beauty of this basilica is hidden inside. Extravagant decorations and enchanting frescoes run through the whole building, so that there is something to discover in every corner of the church.

Eggenberg Palace – View of the main entrance

Eggenberg Palace
Address: Eggenberger Allee 90, 8020 Graz
Opening hours:
Palace park and gardens: May 18 to Nov: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Nov to March: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
State rooms: July 1st to March 31st, guided tours from Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Phone: +43 316 8017-9560 / -9532
Best season: spring to autumn

Eggenberg Palace is a highlight for all history enthusiasts. As the ancestral home of the Eggenberg family, it has a long and turbulent history, which still can be felt, due to the almost perfectly preserved original furnishings and successful restorations. In addition to the numerous state rooms of the palace, there are also extensive gardens to explore. A particular eye-catcher is the planetary garden, which stands out due to its unconventional design.

Murarena in the Augarten

Address: Wielandgasse 43, 8010 Graz
Opening hours: all day
Best season: spring to autumn

The recently opened Murarena is perfect for a lazy summer afternoon. The newly created, spacious green areas offer enough space for all kinds of leisure activities, from playing Frisbee to having a picnic with your friends. In the inviting flat bank zone, you can make yourself comfortable right on the banks of the Mur and cool off at the bay at any time. The best thing about it: The Augarten is only a leisurely 15 to 30 minute walk from our two student residences and admission is free. Therefore, you only have to bring a good mood and a bath towel for a successful day!

The Kunsthaus Graz

Address: Lendkai 1, 8020 Graz
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Phone: +43 316 8017 9200
Best season: all year around

The Grazer Kunsthaus, also called ‘Friendly Alien’, is always worth a visit with its unique architectural concept and great exhibitions. It was built in 2003 and has graced the old town of Graz with its unusual style since then.

On the side of the building facing the Mur, the most remarkable aspect of the design awaits you: the BIX media facade. This is a huge screen that can be perfectly observed from the Schlossberg, for example. It shows animations created by artists, personalized messages and much more.

In the Kunsthaus you get a fascinating insight into contemporary art. All exhibitions only last two to six months, so paying a visit to the Friendly Alien on a regular basis is definitely worth it. By the way, there is also an opportunity to relax after the exhibition tour, stop by at the Kunsthauscafé and let yourself be pampered within a hip ambience.

Kunsthaus Graz

Gösting castle ruins

Address: Ruinsweg 50, 8051 Graz
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 10.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Burgtaverne)
Best season: spring to autumn

The Gösting castle ruins are one of the most historically important buildings in Graz. Built in 1042, the walls of this hilltop castle have stood for almost 1,000 years. The castle remained intact for almost 700 years. It was not until 1723 that a lightning strike triggered a major fire that transformed the castle into ruins. Today it is an ideal day trip because it provides you with wonderful views and largely natural surroundings. Tip: When you have reached the top, you can enjoy the view from the castle tavern while enjoying refreshments and snacks!

Figur mit Schokolade im Mund

Zotter chocolate factory

Address: Bergl 56, 8333 Riegersburg
Opening hours: Mon. to Sat. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Phone: +43 3152 5554
Best season: all year around

If you have a sweet tooth, this is your destination! In the Zotter Chocolate Factory you can make dreams of endless chocolate enjoyment reality. In the Schoko-Laden-Theater you will be introduced to all stages of chocolate production and you will have the opportunity to experience them with all your senses.

From raw cocoa to rice milk chocolate, here you can get an idea of ​​all possible taste experiences. This, of course, also includes Zotter’s extensive range of flavors, chocolate bar formats and more. In the “edible zoo”, which is directly adjacent to the factory, you can stretch out your legs, experience local animal breeds and also taste chocolate-free snacks and drinks at the eco-eating bar.


Address: Lurgrottenstraße, 8102 Semriach
Opening hours:

  • during summer: April 15 to October 31 (daily tours at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., individual tours can be arranged)
  • during winter: November 2 to April 14 (Saturdays and Sundays guided tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., individual tours can be arranged)

Phone: +43 3127 8319
Best season: all year around

Would you like to dive into another world? Then the Lurgrotte is just right for you. As Austria’s largest active water cave, it is of particular importance not only for cave explorers. The countless stalactites and stalagmites take on an unbelievable spectrum of shapes and dimensions, the result is an almost fabulous landscape fully made out of rock. The cave was originally known for the struggle for survival of seven cave explorers who were trapped in the Lurgrotte by heavy rains. However, you don’t need to worry: The Lurgrotte is now easily accessible, illuminated and secured so that you can enjoy its fascinating inner life without worrying.


Address: (cable car) Schöcklstraße 23, 8061 St. Radegund
Best season: spring to autumn

As the highest mountain in the area, the Schöckl, also known as Graz’s local mountain, has been of great importance for a long time. The beautiful, untouched nature on and around the Schöckl is perfect to unwind.

Once you get to the base of the mountain, there are numerous roads and paths that will take you to the top in around 1.5 to 2 hours. If you want to avoid the strenuous ascent, there is a cable car at the southern foot with which you can be comfortably transported to the “Stubenberghaus” refuge.

Insider tip: For an incomparably quick ascent, the lift road of the cable car is recommended!

No matter how you reach the summit, the view of the surrounding area will take your breath away. There are of course several mountain huts for food and drinks. If you want to enjoy a sunset from the very top, you can even stay overnight.

Berg Schöckl

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