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  • Farm holidays - Styria © Österreich Werbung / Nina Baumgartner Farm holidays - Styria © Österreich Werbung / Nina Baumgartner

    Food, Wine, and the Simple Life in Graz

  • Food in Graz © Graz Tourismus  / Toni Muhr Food in Graz © Graz Tourismus / Toni Muhr

    Food, Wine, and the Simple Life in Graz

  • Styrian Wine Roads © Österreich Werbung / Peter Burgstaller Styrian Wine Roads © Österreich Werbung / Peter Burgstaller

    Food, Wine, and the Simple Life in Graz

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Taste your Way Through Austria's Culinary Capital.

Highlights

  • Browse produce and local specialties at local farmers' markets
  • Visit the Kunsthaus - Graz' museum of modern art
  • Try the most succulent fried chicken of your life at a Styrian tapas restaurant
  • Visit Graz' nearby wine country for Sauvignon Blanc and easy hiking

Quick Facts

Population: 325,000
Nearest Airport: Graz Airport (GRZ)
Province: Styria
Itinerary Length: 2 Days

Day 1


Morning

What makes Graz Austria’s “Culinary Capital”? For one, the city is surrounded by lush farmland and peaceful wine country that supply Graz with the freshest ingredients. This is most apparent at one of Graz’ colorful farmers’ markets, where producers sell their choicest meats, vegetables, eggs, and baked goods to hungry locals. 

Start exploring Graz’ food scene at the market on Lendplatz, surrounded by the city’s up-and-coming neighborhoods. Have breakfast at Die Süße Luise, stocked with lovingly mismatched furniture and a great pastry selection.

Pick up a snack for later from one of the farmers: Styrian runner beans are thumb-sized beans you can buy pre-cooked and seasoned with salt. They’re a staple in local salads and a delicious source of plant protein!

Walk towards the river Mur until you see a blue, amorphous construction by the water. This UFO-like building is Graz’ modern art museum and a futuristic masterpiece in itself. The Kunsthaus was designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier for Graz’ tenure as European Capital of Culture. Since then it has shown works by Ai Weiwei, Sol LeWitt, Andy Warhol, and many more.

 

Lunch

After walking the Kunsthaus’ yawning exhibition rooms you’ve earned a great lunch. One of Graz’ specialties is a juicy fried chicken, often served with buttery rice or potatoes. Get a mean fried chicken (and other local nibbles) at Der Steirer, just a short walk down the river. 

There, you’ll also find restaurant Speisesaal, with a chandelier-lit dining room and a lunch menu that changes daily. Speisesaal puts an Austrian twist on international soul food.

  • Styria's traditional fried chicken salate with pumpkin seed oil © Österreich Werbung / Wolfgang Schardt Styria's traditional fried chicken salate with pumpkin seed oil © Österreich Werbung / Wolfgang Schardt

Afternoon

Walk across the river, through Graz’ Old Town, down winding Färbergasse street. Once you hit a small plaza towered by two historic mansions, look up. Under the gable of one are two metal doors that open three times a day for a special show: a carillon with two dancing figures chimes at 11am, 3pm, and 6pm. The so-called Glockenspiel was built in 1884 and plays three different melodies for each show. 

Just around the corner, find two of Graz’ ecclesiastical treasures. Graz Cathedral looks a bit hefty and unadorned from the outside - a stark contrast to the opulent Baroque decorations and Gothic vaulted ceilings that wait inside. Peer up at the golden high altar where a crowd of intricate white stone sculptures enact the Coronation of the Virgin.

Next door to Graz Cathedral stands the Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II, a grand Baroque tomb with its own small church. There’s an air of Florentine refinement to the mausoleum with its turquoise domes and beautiful stucco. Visit the gravesite of Ferdinand II and the red marble sarcophagus where the Emperor’s mother found her final resting place.

 

Dinner

Gasthaus Stainzerbauer sits just behind the Mausoleum and has served food for over 100 years. The menu is traditional Austrian: order a veal Schnitzel prepared in concentrated butter and, of course, the obligatory Styrian fried chicken. 

Once a month, you can sample one of Graz’ most iconic flavors at Stainzerbauer. Try a variety of pumpkin seed oils, which are Styria’s flagship food products. Explore the nutty taste of this dark oil on anything from salads, to soup, and ice cream.

  • Shopping at the Kaiser Josef Markt © Graz Tourismus  / Gerald Plattner Shopping at the Kaiser Josef Markt © Graz Tourismus / Gerald Plattner
  • The Kaiser Josef Market in Graz © Graz Tourismus  / Harald Eisenberger The Kaiser Josef Market in Graz © Graz Tourismus / Harald Eisenberger
  • Die Süße Luise on Lendplatz square © Graz Tourismus  / Tom Lamm Die Süße Luise on Lendplatz square © Graz Tourismus / Tom Lamm
  • Dining at in the Landhaushof courtyard © Graz Tourismus  / Tom Lamm Dining at in the Landhaushof courtyard © Graz Tourismus / Tom Lamm
  • Schlossberg Graz © Graz Tourismus  / Werner Krug Schlossberg Graz © Graz Tourismus / Werner Krug
  • Restaurant Der Steirer in Graz © Der Steirer Graz Austria Restaurant Der Steirer in Graz © Der Steirer Graz Austria

Day 2

Morning

To understand the culinary abundance that surrounds Graz, you have to see it for yourself. On your second day, venture south towards the hilly wine region known as Southern Styria. Before you leave, grab a casual breakfast at one of Martin Auer’s many locations. We recommend the bakery's dark country bread and the scrambled eggs with pumpkin seed oil.

Leave a little room for something sweet, because your next stop is the Zotter chocolate factory an hour south-east of the city. Chocolate manufacturer Zotter makes exceptional chocolates largely by hand and lets you tour the facilities where their cocoa-fueled magic happens. Taste chocolate in all stages of production and bring home Zotter’s most outlandish creations from the gift shop. You can easily treat this as your lunch and take full advantage of the all-you-can-eat ticket.

 

Afternoon

If your stomach can handle a little digestive walk, Riegersburg castle sits just a ten minute drive beyond Zotter. Hike up the castle trail (or take the panoramic elevator) and walk the 12th century stronghold’s storied chambers. The museum of witchcraft inside the castle offers a spooky look into the fascinating history of witches in Austria’s south. 

If you’d rather spend the afternoon outside, drive straight into Styria’s stunning wine country. Gentle, sun-soaked hills, small historic villages, and a sing-song-y local dialect make the wine region of southern Styria one of Austria’s most charming patches of land. Take a gentle hike in one of the vineyards and enjoy the warm sun on your back.

 

Dinner

The ultimate place to finish your culinary exploration around Graz is a Buschenschank. These traditional wine taverns dot the wine region and serve their home-grown Sauvignon Blanc and other varietals. Locals love their Buschenschank not least because of the hearty Styrian food that’s often sourced from nearby farms. Try Weingut Schauer in Kitzeck! Weingut Kästenburg also offers cozy rooms for an overnight in the country.

Take the train to Graz

Useful information

Itineraries through Austria

Looking for unforgettable experiences in Austria? Here are our suggestions for amazing places to see and delicious food to taste. Need inspiration for your trip?

Austria Hotel Collection

Looking for exceptional Austrian hospitality? Here is a list of hand-selected hotels for your stay in Austria. Download the Hotel Guide

Wine region around Graz

Discover the vast wine region just outside the city of Graz.

Graz’s Wine Region

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