Graz is Austria's second largest city. She's been around since Roman times, flourished as a commercial centre in the 12th Century, became the capital of Habsburg Austria in the 15th Century, and is now known of as a place of learning: Graz has six universities. Our pick of the best places to stay in Graz has something for everyone, from the hip and contemporary to the elegant and traditional.
The lively student culture gives this city a relaxed, youthful exuberance, despite her age. There's lots to do in the evening, a wealth of restaurants, bars and cafes to choose from and there are several local breweries.
But Graz's age is also one of the reasons to visit. As well as modern buildings, Graz has lovely old palaces and plenty of green space to explore. This city is a perfect size to stroll around. And you'll never be short on things to see.
The historic centre is probably the best place to stay in Graz. Easily explored on foot, most of the highlights of Graz are within the boundaries of the old town.
Despite being under Nazi rule, and being surrendered to Soviet troops, Graz escaped major damage during WW2 and the beautiful architecture has helped the old town win a place on the World Heritage list.
⁃ Schlossberg, the castle on the hill, around which Graz sprang up, is a good place to start exploring. Catch the funicular if your knees aren't up to the climb. And you'll be rewarded by a wonderful view of pretty red roofs from the top.
⁃ Followed by the Cathedral of Graz,
⁃ and the impressive domed-roofed Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II, right next door.
⁃ Schloss Eggenberg is an early Baroque charmer also worth visiting for its murals and inlaid wood floors.
⁃ And if you're interested in arms and armour you may want to visit the Armory Zeghaus, which has a really amazing collection.
Another interesting Graz fact is that Arnold Schwarzenegger was born here...!
If you're on a tight budget you'll find that many of the best places to stay in Graz are out from the centre of town. There are youth hostels around Hauptbanhoff and Rosselmuhlgasse. If you're looking for something simple, clean and reliable, plenty of the best places to stay in Graz can be found around the main station.
If you want to book something edgy and hip then take a look at these:
A cool contemporary hotel built for the 'modern traveller'. Great value rooms all in white, excellent breakfast area and bar, good meeting rooms, and a sauna. A youthful spot with a trendy vibe.
Contemporary design hotel with spacious light filled rooms. Excellent Mediterranean restaurant, stunning views over the city from the roof top terrace, great spa and business centre. Chic, and great value.
A traditional house with lovely rooms, suites, and XL suites. Elegant contemporary rooms with splashes of modern art. Largest suites have private balconies, private terraces, and two bedrooms. An ideal spot for families, groups, or couples on romantic breaks.
A traditional hotel with a history of star guests, from Schwarzenegger to the Rolling Stones. It binds contemporary, quirky, vintage, and retro into luxury rooms, each different to the next. Fantastic spa, good restaurant, and great value. Super cool.
Gorgeous traditional house with equally elegant interiors. Selection of rooms, suites and self-catering apartments, all with parquet floors, antique furniture, and lots of natural light. Lovely terraces, garden and swimming pool. A romantic choice for couples, families and groups.