What to do in Graz, Austria’s most sustainable and trendy city

Discover Graz, Austria’s second largest city and the capital of Styria: a jewel of classic and contemporary design. This eclectic guide will give you addresses of restaurants, shops, and other things to do and see in Graz.

“Ah, another beautiful European city,” I thought to myself before arriving in Graz. It must be said that since Porto in 2013, no other major European city had seduced me as deeply as Graz. It’s a clever mix of ancient and modern, very Germanic in organisation and cool, but with a touch of Italian dolcevita. You feel good between the colourful walls and the baroque façades of Graz: it’s an immediate call to stroll, an invitation to pass through every door and every arch to discover some local, sustainable or innovative project. If Austria and Tuscany have made love, it is here that the fruit of their union nests.

Graz, a city of heritage but also of modernity

The historic centre of Graz, with its beauty and trans-Age architectural wealth (from the Middle Ages to the 18th century), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But it is in my opinion its title of UNESCO City of Design and its status as a student city that makes it extremely relevant for a city trip. The work done by the city to enhance the aesthetics and make the lives of its 280’000 citizens (of 155 different nationalities!) more beautiful and richer has made it a gold mine of fascinating events, places and initiatives. It is hard to get bored in Graz, where there seems to be no room for mediocrity.

Visit Graz and then relive it: a green city.

If there’s one thing that particularly put the balm in my heart, it’s the amount of fair, sustainable and family-friendly businesses that can be found within the walls of Graz.

Each small bar, restaurant or shop is a small world of its own, with a unique and well-groomed identity and an impeccable and humane welcome: that’s what happens when creative minds decide to get involved, but also when people and communities make it a point of honour to encourage and support them.

Graz is an example of a successful urban success story that we should all learn from. It sends a strong message that slow travel is possible (and should be encouraged!) in the city.

With these fine words, I am giving you all my small and large addresses not to be missed during your stay in Graz. An eclectic mix (for all tastes and all wallets), you’re bound to find something you’ll like. Have a nice trip!

Eating in Graz: Restaurants and specialities

In Graz, don’t worry! There are no “tourist restaurants”. You will share the tastes and tables of the locals, usually for the best, whether it’s a food truck at the corner of a square or a fine table. I have tested a wide selection of establishments for you, and I have not given up (!) because I would have liked to try many more.

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