Flights to Graz
Situated in south eastern Austria is the country’s second largest city (after Vienna), Graz. Best known for its very well preserved old town Graz is a popular tourist destination with plenty to see and do.
The Graz Airport is 9 kilometres outside the city centre, and there is a railway station near the airport for quick access into the city. One-stop flights to Graz from South Africa are available with South African Airways and Lufthansa, with connections in Frankfurt and Munich respectively. If you fly with British Airways, you’ll have 2 transfers, in London and Berlin, while a flight to Graz with BMI travels another way through London and Munich. Flights to Graz generally take between 15 and 20 hours when flying from South Africa.
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The Tourist Attractions of Graz:
Graz Old Town
For many visitors to Graz the city’s old town is the main attraction. Dedicated to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1999 Graz Old Town is a beautiful part of the larger city that features an excellent collection of different architectural styles from the city’s varying periods in history. There are actually over a thousand buildings here and they range from Gothic to Contemporary.
Of these buildings some of the best known landmarks include the City Hall (Rathaus) and the Landhaus which is home to the federal government. The latter is a great example of Renaissance architecture.
Grazer Sclossberg (meaning Castle Mountain) is one of the best known landmarks in Graz. As the name suggests this was a castle on top of a small mountain overlooking the city. The castle was never occupied but was used as a refuge place for the residents of Graz at any time that the city was under siege. It was mostly demolished in 1809 but the clock tower remains. From the attractive gardens surrounding the clock tower you get some great views over Graz Old Town. You can take a funicular up to the Castle Mountain but if you have the energy the staircase route is recommended for the views and the charm.
Graz Cathedral (Dom) is another landmark in the Old Town. This is one of a few Gothic architectural buildings in Graz. In the 1480s there were numerous magnificent frescoes painted on the outside walls but only a few remain now – the Picture of Plagues is one of them. Talking of frescoes you can also visit the Painted House (Gemaltes Haus) in Graz. It’s called this because the whole of the outside is decorated in frescoes that were painted in 1742.
Outside Graz Old Town
Though the Old Town has most of the popular tourist attractions you shouldn’t ignore the rest of the city as there are a number of things to see here too. Schloss Eggenberg is one such attraction. This grand palace lies on the edge of the city and is the most significant Baroque palace complex in the region. You can tour the palace itself but also don’t miss the gardens and several attractions within the gardens including an Archaeological Museum.
When Should You Visit?:
You may expect Graz to have a cool climate but several factors mean this is actually quite a warm city with more sunshine hours than most cities in the region, and less rain and wind. Summer is still the most popular time to visit though as winters are relatively cool.