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Graz: an Artsy Small Town

A lively design scene is growing around the city of Graz' medieval core. Contemporary architecture, an outdoor sculpture park, and a creative crowd shape the town.
 
Graz' impeccably preserved old town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Twelve years later, it added UNESCO City of Design to its titles. Discover modern architecture and design on an alternative tour through Austria's second largest city.
 

Breakfast with a view

Start your day with a bird's eye view of Graz' center. Schlossberg mountain at the heart of the old town offers panoramas of the evolving city scape. At the top sits the aiola upstairs, a restaurant inside a modern glass structure designed by local architects "Thomas Puchberger & Bramberger." The restaurant is partly built into the mountain and features an expansive terrace. On summer days the glass walls can be fully lowered, transforming the aiola into one large open-air spot.
 

Breakfast on Schlossberg

  • aiola upstairs on Schlossberg mountain © Joel Kernasenko aiola upstairs on Schlossberg mountain © Joel Kernasenko
  • Clocktower in Graz Austria © Österreich Werbung / Julius Silver Clocktower in Graz Austria © Österreich Werbung / Julius Silver

Graz' Rive Gauche

Walk back down the mountain and across the river Mur to see the up-and-coming Lend quarter. Formerly a scruffy neighborhood, Lend has become home to Graz' design scene and a meeting spot for the city's twenty-somethings. Especially popular is the farmers market on Lendplatz, which offers locally sourced produce and Austrian specialties. Amongst the vendors Die süße Luise a quirky cafe famous for delicious cakes and always being busy.
 

Midday at the Kunsthaus

If you're looking for an unconventional souvenir, head to one of the design shops on Mariahilferstrasse, or Graz' contemporary art museum: the Kunsthaus. The museum itself is an attraction, thanks to its blue bubble shape. Built to look like a futuristic space ship, the building is known to locals as "the Friendly Alien." At the Kunsthaus you will find innovative curations, a great museum shop, and another popular cafe. Modern art lovers and creative types line the Kunsthauscafe's communal tables.
 

Lend Quarter and the Kunsthaus

  • Graz Art Museum © Graz Tourismus, Harry Schiffer Graz Art Museum © Graz Tourismus, Harry Schiffer
  • Die süße Luise in the Lendviertel, Graz © Harry Schiffer Die süße Luise in the Lendviertel, Graz © Harry Schiffer
  • The Lend district in Graz © Harry Schiffer The Lend district in Graz © Harry Schiffer

The Sculpture Park at sunset

Head outside the city to see the 70 works by international artists on display at the Sculpture Park. You can touch and even climb the colorful constructions, which span an area the size of seven football fields. Strange metal machines and a huge inflated balloon poke out from the trees - it looks like a playground for adults.
 

The Sculpture Park

  • Sculpture Park in Graz © Österreich Werbung, Fotograf: kriskulakova Sculpture Park in Graz © Österreich Werbung, Fotograf: kriskulakova
  • Sculpture Park in Graz © Österreich Werbung, Mighele Sculpture Park in Graz © Österreich Werbung, Mighele

Weather in Graz

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