The reception’s insider tip: On the way to the city center, take a look at the inner courtyard of the castle of Graz. There you will find somewhat hidden, the unique double spiral stairs of Graz, built in 1499. Two opposing staircases merge only for some stairs on each floor, join together and separate again. It is considered a symbol of eternity and therefore called the “Stairs of Reconciliation” – separate ways join again.
Sightseeing, Museums & Shopping
The old town of Graz is a real jewel of historical architecture – and was declared a UNESCO world cultural heritage site in 1999. The number of sights in Graz, well restored monuments and old buildings, makes the city center of Graz a tourist attraction experienced best during a walk through the town.
Historic old town - Sightseeing in Graz
As a guest at the Parkhotel Graz in Styria you benefit from having so many sights within short distance.
Schlossberg and Uhrturm
Above the old town rises the majestic Schlossberg, green oasis and site of the symbol of Graz with its lookout point, the clock tower. Take the stairs or the elevator or the Schlossberg cable car to have a splendid view over Graz. Those who like it particularly fast can use the 175 meter long and 64 meter high underground Schlossberg slide for the descent. In about 40 seconds you can get from the Schlossberg back to the old town of Graz.
The vibrant heart of Graz
The one-kilometer-long main street Herrengasse is the central axis of the old town and leads from the Jakominlatz to the main square. Here, young and old meet to go shopping and strolling, and travelers can obtain advice at the tourist information. Come and see the wonderful arcades in the courtyard of the Landhaus, the painted house and the baroque façade of the church Stadtpfarrkirche. Coming from the main street, you arrive at the main square, Hauptplatz, the heart of the old town. Here you can see the city hall, built at the end of the 19th century, and the fountain monument in the middle of the square.
The Landeszeughaus is the most historically significant weapons arsenal worldwide. It bears testimony to past times rich in conflicts and is the sensitive heritage as a museum of the history of Styria with 32,000 objects. The collection of the Landeszeughaus presents armaments and weapons from the 15th to the 18th century. Thus, it is an incomparable memorial of bygone days.
Between Bürgergasse and Burggasse stands the cathedral, a historically significant building, both artistically and culturally, and one of the most famous sights in Graz. This late gothic sacral building forms together with the neighboring mausoleum, the theater and the castle the ‘crown of the town’ of Graz lying at the foot of the Schlossberg.
Art House Graz
The art house, called ‘friendly alien’ due to its striking architecture, sticks out of the red roofs of the old town, on the left side of the river Mur. The museum with period art exhibits of modern and contemporary art is part of the Universalmuseum Joanneum.
Murinsel – island in the Mur
Not to be missed – the island in the Mur is floating in the middle of the river. It was installed in 2003, the year Graz was the Capital of Culture, and has remained a popular attraction in Graz. Bridges from both sides of the river lead to a café and a shop with regional products. Furthermore, it is also a place for different cultural events. The colorful lights make it an eye-catcher at night as well as one of the most popular sights of Graz.
Graz offers a wide range of museums – enough to keep you busy for several holidays in the second largest city of Austria.
On rainy days, in particular, you might like to visit a museum, while fans of art and culture will find their passion fulfilled in the holy halls in every kind of weather. Graz has a lot to offer – archaeological collections, historical and cultural treasures, popular and contemporary art. Visit our museums in Graz and delve into its fascinating history.
House of Science
Science as an adventure. There is a laboratory for contemporary history located in the House of Science at the Karl-Franzens-University of Graz. There, you can find exciting and modern audiovisual presentations of scientific achievements. Austria’s only audiovisual museum shows multi-media expositions about the history of the 20th century.
The oldest and second largest museum in Austria harbors more than 4.5 million objects in 500 rooms in over 10 locations. Enjoy extraordinary museums unified in the Association of the Universalmuseum Joanneum:
- Natural History Museum
- Art House
- Museum at the Palais
- New Gallery
- Museum of Popular Art
- Austrian Park of Sculptures
- Open Air Museum Stübing
- Hunting Museum in Stainz
- Castle Eggenberg
- Stately rooms and gardens
- Museum of Archeology
- Old Gallery
- Cabinet of coins
- and much more …
Take the opportunity and get a 24-hour or 48-hour ticket to have free access to all of these exhibitions. The perfect all-in-one offer for unlimited cultural enjoyment of the museums of Graz.
At the GrazMuseum you can follow the traces of the past of Graz. Here, the chronological development of the city is documented and shows the past from today’s point of view using the formal resources of today. The GrazMuseum is known as meeting point for all those who are interested in the urban development of the city of Graz, for its political, economic and social history and for those interested in art and culture related to Graz.
Children’s Museum FRida & freD
Here, children will find an almost unlimited multitude of experiences. First of all, the expositions at the Children Museum FRida & freD at the Augarten, are designed for children.
‘Hands on – minds on’ means story telling for children from 3 years old up to 12 years old, to make interesting experiments and objects tangible. Children are allowed to touch, to whisper and snuggle, to listen and laugh, to try out and turn on, off, around. Complex matters are presented in a way for children to understand.
On the scene of a crime. Not exactly but nonetheless: at the Criminal Museum, guests get in touch with the exciting and scary perspectives of numerous criminal cases and the mentalities of offenders and victims. At the end of the 19th century, Hans Gross founded this collection of criminal cases and corpora delicti as a source for teaching material for lawyers and policemen. The methods for solving crimes that the ‘father of modern criminology’ has developed, are known and used worldwide.
The Parkhotel Graz is ideally situated to make a spontaneous stroll to the center of the city, because many shopping places of the old town are within walking distance. Here you can enjoy shopping without wasting time looking for a parking – you can park for free in the hotel parking area during your stay at our hotel.
Shopping miles in the old town of Graz
A 10-minute walk from the Parkhotel Graz and you are in the main street, the baroque avenue, and vibrant center of Graz. There you will find modern boutiques alongside shops for everyday use. If you walk till the end of the main street, you will reach the main square with even more shopping opportunities.
Shopping mecca Kastner & Öhler
Probably one of the classiest shopping centers in our country. In the very heart of the ‘City of Design’ and just a few steps from the main square, Kastner & Öhler offers the largest range of fashion - on 40,000 m2 - in Austria. This elegant house provides space to more than 500 international brands – on 6 floors. From premium to trendy, sporty to classic, for women, men and children.
Traditional and modern
In the small streets around the main square, there are a multitude of shops to discover, too. Stroll through Murgasse, Sporgasse and Schmiedgasse that invite you to look, buy and stay.
In the art mile Kunst Meile Sackstraße, fans of art may get lost in the different antique stores, galleries, museums, jewelry shops and ateliers.
Around the Lendplatz and Mariahilferplatz, on the other side of the river Mur, individualists and fans of design will get their money’s worth. You can browse, discover and be amazed - and even purchase exclusive souvenirs in countless design boutiques.
Come to one of the farmers markets, at the Kaiser-Joseph-Platz or the Lendplatz, where farmers from the surroundings of Graz present and offer their delicacies for sale. Stroll from stand to stand and taste Styrian and Austrian specialties: juicy apples, scarlet runner beans, pumpkin seed oil, farmer’s bread, bacon and sausages and so much more to entice the eyes, nose and palate.