Never heard of Graz? Don’t beat yourself up. Austria’s best kept secret, and second-largest city, flies under the travel radar letting glitzy Vienna and golden Salzburg bask in the limelight. What we found in the beautiful valleys of Styria, however, was a city packed to its Baroque rafters with joie de vivre.

If you’re after a lesson in art, culture, food, design and history, then look no further than look no farther than Graz – a haven for the curious.

  1. It’s Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hometown

Hailing from a small town just outside the red-roofed city, the Terminator grew up on a diet of pumpkin seed oil and Graz sausages. Want to get gains? Go to Graz.

  1. It birthed the Frankowitsch deli

Don’t leave town without stopping by the famed Frankowitsch deli. There will likely be a line, but oh gee is the prosecco and pate worth it. Want a lobster sandwich? Go to Graz.

  1. It’s got the Eggenberg Palace

Literally the stuff fairytales are made of, this huge Baroque palace has been perfectly preserved since the first stone was laid in 1625. Want aristocracy? Go to Graz.

  1. It’s all about farmers markets

Whether it’s the Kaiser Josef or Lendplatz, Graz’s medieval courtyards are covered day in and day out with local produce. Want dark bread? Go to Graz.

  1. It’s got wine

Good wine, too. The region of Styria is renowned for its vineyards. Want gruner veltliner? Go to Graz.

  1. It’s got modern art

What Graz does best is bridge that gap between modernity and tradition, and the local legend at the pinnacle of that is the Kunsthaus. Want contemporary art? Go to Graz.

  1. It’s super Mediterranean

Graz is actually hella close to the border of Slovenia, which makes it super close to everyone’s favourite ocean – the Med. Long weekend by the coast? Get to Graz.

  1. It’s the culinary capital of Austria

With its Mediterranean influence and first class farming, it’s no surprise Graz is a foodies haven. Want fine dining? Go to Graz.

  1. It’s home to the Schlossberg

The best sunset view in town is high up at Castle Hill underneath the watchful eye of the 13th century clocktower. Want a horizon? Go to Graz.

  1. It’s got an island

It might not be tropical, but this island is on a river and is an architectural feat of genius. Want a coffee between two shores? Go to Graz.

  1. It’s home to the double staircase

Okay stairs might not that exciting but we bet you’ve never seen the 1499 Gothic ‘Staircase of Reconciliation’. Want to see two become one? Go to Graz.

  1. It’s got rooms at Hotel Wiesler

This was our absolute favourite hotel in Austria. Sitting right on the Mur River, this decadent hotel is light, bright and the restaurant Speisesal is delicious. Want a robe? Go to Graz.

  1. It’s got historical weapons

The Landeszeughaus is the world’s biggest armory, holding around 32,000 items of weaponry dating from late 15th to the early 19th century. Want a suit of armor? Go to Graz.

  1. It’s got UNESCO-listed red-roofs

Yeah, we know, another really old historic town in Europe. Crazy. But trust us, this one’s ridiculously pretty and uniquely red-roofed. Want archicture? Go to Graz. 

  1. It inspired Lena Hoschek

Known for her line of ‘40s and ‘50s inspired dresses that have been worn all over Hollywood, Hoschek also creates elegant and luxurious dirndls (albeit expensive). Want to go window shopping? Go to Graz.

We hit up Graz in partnership with the guys at the Austrian Tourism Office. Thanks gang!

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