Graz highlights & sights: The best things to do in Graz

Written by Hannes Wagner, Mar 23, 2023

The weekend is fast approaching, the holidays are around the corner or the summer or winter break gives you plenty of free time. But what should you do? The student city Graz offers numerous amazing excursions and leisure activities, which will leave you with unforgettable memories alone or with your friends or peers. There is something for everyone! Discover the most beautiful trips in and around Graz with our tips!

Aussicht vom Schlossberg Graz

1. Sights in Graz


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 newcomers, but it also offers you a perfect 360-degree view of the city. Depending on your level of fitness, you can climb the 260 steps to the clock tower or walk up the street that leads from Karmeliterplatz to the clock tower. If you want to keep it relaxing, you can use the Schlossbergbahn or Schlossberg lifts.

On the top, there are some of the best restaurants and bars in Graz to choose from. If you just want to relax, you can visit the rose garden or pick a quiet bench along the many pathways on the Schlossberg.

Aussicht vom Schlossberg Graz

Mariatrost Basilica

Address: Kirchplatz 9, 8044 Graz
Opening hours: daily 7am-7pm
Phone: +43 316 391145
Best season: all year

The Mariatrost Basilica is a must-see for architecture students and art fans. The basilica was finished in 1779 and quickly became one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Styria. The twin towers will catch your eye, but the true beauty of this basilica is hidden inside. Extravagant decoration and enchanting frescoes cover the whole building. There is something to discover in every corner of the church.

Castle Eggenberg

Address: Eggenberger Allee 90, 8020 Graz
Opening hours for the Eggenberg park and gardens: March to October: 8am-7pm; November to March: 8am-5pm
Opening hours for the State Rooms: April to October, guided tours every week from Tuesday to Sunday and on bank holidays from 10am-4pm
Phone: +43 316 8017-9560/-9532
Best season: spring to autumn

Castle Eggenberg is a highlight for all history enthusiasts. As the main residence of the royal family Eggenberg, this castle has a long and chaotic history, which is present to this day because of the perfectly maintained original furniture and well-made restauration. Curious cats can explore the many State Rooms of the castle and the beautiful gardens. A special highlight is the “garden of planets”, which amazes you with unconventional design.

STUWO tip: Are you a fan of the nature in the city? Here are the most beautiful parks and gardens in Graz!

Castle ruin Gösting

Address: Ruinenweg 50, 8051 Graz
Opening hours of the castle tavern: Tuesday to Saturday 10:30am-6pm
Best season: spring to autumn

The castle ruin Gösting is one of the most important historical buildings in Graz. The castle was built in 1042, so the walls have been standing for almost 1,000 years. They remained intact for almost 700 years, until a lightning strike in 1723 started a large fire, which turned the castle into ruins. Today this ruin with its spectacular view and the untouched nature nearby are ideal for a day trip.

STUWO tip: When you reach the top, you can enjoy the view with some snacks and refreshments in the castle tavern!

2. Culture and Art in Graz: Kunsthaus

Address: Lendkai 1, 8020 Graz
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday and on holidays 10am-6pm
Phone: +43 316 8017 9200
Best season: all year

The Kunsthaus Graz aka the “Friendly Alien” with its unique architectural concept and outstanding exhibitions is always with a visit. It was built in 2003 and has been an upgrade to the landscape of the city with its unusual style ever since. The façade facing the river Mur is the most exciting aspect of the design: the BIX façade. You can see the huge display clearly from the Schlossberg. The display shows animations of artists, personalised messages and more.

The Kunsthaus displays contemporary art. The exhibitions are only available for two to six months, so make sure to visit the museum regularly. After your visit, you can relax and treat yourself to some snacks in the Kunsthauscafé, which has a hip and fun atmosphere.

If art and museums make your heart beat faster, then you should dive deeper into the culture in Graz and visit the 15 best museums in Graz!

Kunsthaus Graz

3. Trip with children: Children’s museum FRida & freD

Address: Friedrichgasse 34, 8010 Graz

Opening hours: Wednesday to Monday and on holidays from 9am-5pm

Best season: all year

The children’s museum FRida & freD not only offers exciting exhibitions, but also many interactive stations. At the building station, children have to solve riddles together by using their inventive genius and curiosity. The little ones can get active in the “Mitmach theatre” and go on an adventure by solving problems playfully. In the button theatre, there are amazing plays and presentations from September to June for little theatre enthusiasts. Dive into this adventurous journey!

4. Sports and leisure activities in Graz

Murarena at Augarten

Address: Wielandgasse 43, 8010 Graz
Opening hours: 24/7
Best season: spring to autumn

The Murarena at Augarten is perfect for a relaxed summer afternoon. The newly developed spacious green spaces offer plenty of space for all leisure activities, such as a round of Frisbee or a get together with your friends. You can get cosy at the riverbank of the Mur and cool down in the bay. The best thing: The Augarten is only 15 to 30 minutes on foot from our STUWO dormitories Student City and Smart Living. The entrance is free! So, you only have to bring good mood and a towel for a fun day trip!

If you are looking for some active leisure time, discover the best running trails in Graz!

Figur mit Schokolade im Mund

Zotter Chocolate Factory

Address: Bergl 56, 8333 Riegersburg
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9am-7pm
Phone: +43 3152 5554
Best season: all year

Gourmets listen up! Your dreams will come true in the Zotter Chocolate Factory. In the Chocolate Theatre you will experience all the steps of chocolate production. You also have the opportunity to experience it with all your senses. You can taste everything from raw cocoa to rice milk chocolate. Of course, the extensive assortment of Zotter is included as well. You can go for a walk in the “Eatable Zoo” right next to the factory, see local animals and enjoy non-chocolate treats and drinks at the Öko-bar.


Address: Lurgrottenstraße, 8102 Semriach
Opening hours: 15. April to 31. October (guided tours daily at 11am, 2pm und 3:30pm)
2. November to 14. April (guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 11am and 2pm)
Phone: +43 3127 8319
Best season: all year

Do you want to explore a different world? Then Lurgrotte is perfect for you. As the biggest active river cave in Austria, the Lurgrotte is not only important to speleologists. The many stalactites and stalagmites have a plethora of forms and dimensions, which make up a magical scenery of rocks. Originally, this cave was famous for the survival battle of seven speleologists, who were enclosed in the Lurgrotte by heavy rain. However, there is no need to worry, the Lurgrotte is perfectly accessible, illuminated and secured, so that you can safely explore its inner landscape.

Berg Schöckl


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

The Schöckl is the highest mountain in the area and very important to Graz. The beautiful, untouched nature around the Schöckl is perfect for disconnecting and relaxing. There are numerous streets and pathways at the foot of the mountain that lead up to the top in 1.5 to 2 hours. If you don’t want walk all the way up there, there is a funicular at the southern foothill that takes you to the mountain hut “Stubenberghaus”.

You can get snacks at one of the many mountain huts. If you want to watch the sunset at the top of the mountain, you can stay overnight.

There is nothing better than spending a beautiful day hiking, so here are beautiful hiking paths around Graz!

Berg Schöckl

5. Day trip with a dog: hiking in Graz

Address (starting point): bus stop/train station Graz Gösting

Best season: spring to autumn

The hiking path from the castle ruin Gösting to Maria Straßengel is an amazing route for you and your furry friend. This route offers a fantastic view of the Styrian capital. The hike takes approximately 4h30min and is 13 km long. Here is a detailed description of the path. Bring enough water for you and your dog!

STUWO tip: In STUWO dormitory Smart Living Graz you and your dog are welcome! This means you can come home and relax in the garden of your dormitory after your hike.

6. Bad weather programme for Graz: Indoor mini golf

Address: Peter Rosegger Str. 55, 8053 Graz

Best season: all year

When it’s stormy, rainy and windy outside, you can enjoy yourself inside with some indoor mini golf. All of the mini golf courses are illuminated with neon lights, which creates a party atmosphere. After some rounds of mini golf, you can add a round of neon billiard! Fun is always guaranteed, no matter how bad the weather is!

We have a complete bad weather programme for Graz for all of the rainy days!

7. Secret tips for Graz: PPC and Explosiv

A reason for celebrating? Then get yourself to PPC! This club in the inner city of Graz (Neubaugasse 6, 8020 Graz, Austria) is always a good address for party vibes with great beats, events, live music and more! The fantastic parties of the Film Festival Graz “Diagonale” also take place in PPC!

If partying throughout the night is not your thing, you should take a look at the offer of Explosiv, the youth and culture centre. Different workshops, courses and events take place in Explosiv. There is something for everyone!

You see, there is always something going on in Graz… We cannot even fit all of the offers in one article. That’s why we have the best summer activities and things to do in autumn! Discover the immense offer of the Styrian capital! If you get hungry, then grab a snack in the best cafés or restaurants! There is so much to see!

We wish you a lot of fun!


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