Inside Schlossberg mountain a former air raid shelter was transformed into something completely different. The Graz Fairytale Express is a 30 minute train ride thorugh the mountain that passes by animatronic installations a la "It's a Small World." Like the Disney ride, the Fairytale Express is fun for all ages and focuses on folk and fairy tales from Austria and beyond. Especially in the summer months, a train ride inside the cool mountain is a great way to experience the Schlossberg from a new perspective.
Just a short walk from the mountain you'll feel like you were catapulted into the future. The Kunsthaus Graz art museum was nicknamed "friendly alien" by locals and the moment you lay eyes on the amorphous building you'll know why. It looks like a UFO landed in the heart of Graz. Since its construction in 2003 the Kunsthaus became the city's architectural landmark and has housed countless exhibits featuring international contemporary art.
Culinary Capital Graz
Your time in Graz will be full of great food. Styria is known for fresh, local ingredients and the signature cuisine is all about of feel-good dishes like crispy battered chicken, colorful salads, and artisan chocolate. There's plenty of casual eateries that serve hearty food from the area. Gasthaus Stainzerbauer deserves special mention for elevating Styrian cooking in an elegant but inviting atmosphere and being located inside one of Graz' oldest buildings. The owners are careful to keep the balance between traditional specialties and modern techniques that transform them into dishes worthy of a gourmet restaurant. Of course the ingredients hail from nearby farms and with one of the city's largest wine cellars, Stainzerbauer offers excellent pairings for its entire menu. Their daily special menu "From Grandma's Recipe Book" has hearty, old recipes that warm your soul.
The Ultimate Party
Balls are at the core of Graz' social scene. There are traditional events like the farmers' ball with a whopping 16,000 attendees, or the "Tuntenball," an iconic Drag Ball. This colorful affair is evidence that, while Graz certainly has a buttoned-up and conservative side, it knows how to celebrate diversity in a big way. The Tuntenball was conceived as a charity event to benefit the RosaLila PanterInnen, a local LGBTQIA outreach organization that gets their entire operating budget from the ball. The Drag Ball is one huge party with stunning costumes and lots of dancing. 2018's theme was "Let's Play," which inspired Mario Brothers costumes, Barbie and Ken cosplay, as well as a few playing cards and chess pieces. Graz' Tuntenball is the perfect occasion to go all out and show off your loudest and most colorful side.
The next Tuntenball takes place Februar 15, 2020