#GrazLove : Summer fun, city trip & culinary delights in Austria’s capital for foodies

So here’s the story: My last trip 2020 and my first official trip 2021 took me to the same Austrian city, Graz! Coincidence? No. Graz really is for life! I have already been fascinated with the Mediterranean flair of Austria’s second-largest city way back when the Styrian capital became European capital city of culture almost twenty years ago. For the past ten years, and ever since its official award as “Genusshauptstadt” (Austria’s foodie capital city), I have visited Graz at least once or twice a year. Graz is a city to come and enjoy all over again, as you will learn from reading my blog posts about the city’s annual foodlover event, the Graz Truffle Festival or the Graz Beer Walk ..! So much #GrazLove to discover!

Das ist Graz: An jeder Ecke ein Genuss.

Welcome to Graz. Above all, do make sure you bring enough time to laze around in between sightseeing, eating and drinking ..!



Why not discover Graz the sporty way? #LetsGoGraz & #7SummitsGraz may have just what you are looking for!

“Dear Elena! You’ve already been to Graz many times. But, do you know about our ‘Seven Summits’ ..? No? Ah, you must come and join me, then”, says Susanne Höller of the city of Graz marketing. She has got my attention: What on earth is meant by the hashtag expression #7SummitsGraz ?

Susanne und ich am "Gipfel" des ... hohen Fürstenstand. Mit sagenhaftem Blick auf die Stadt Graz hinter uns!

Susanne and I, climbing one of the #7SummitsGraz, the Fürstenstand hill (763 metres above sea level). It offers wonderful views over the city of Graz in the background!


“Launching our own ‘7 Summits Graz’ is actually a result of the pandemic”, Su explains. “Everybody started to climb our iconic hill, the Schlossberg in the city centre of Graz. But there are many more little hills and summits all around Graz. To encourage their use as day hike destinations with top views over Graz, we’ve created the platform Seven Summits Graz“.

What a nice idea! Our hike up and down the Plabutsch – Fürstenstand hill has actually been really easy-going. Climbing the local Seven Summits of Graz has nothing to do with their “true cousins”, climbing the seven highest summits on each continent! After all, it wouldn’t be Graz if it wasn’t, once again, all about food and drinks, too. Check this out.

Los geht's: Vom Jakomini-Platz nehmt Ihr Bus Nummer 40 nach Graz-Gösting und steigt hier bequem an der Endhaltestelle aus: Sie ist gleichzeitig der Einstieg in eine der #7SummitsGraz Wanderungen.

Take bus number 40 from Jakomini-Platz to Graz-Gösting and exit at the final stop. It is right where one of the #7SummitsGraz day hikes begins.


Das Anfangsstück ist zwar für rund 15 Minuten sehr steil, geht dann aber in flaches bis mäßig steiles Gelände über ...

The first part of the hike (about 12km in total, covering an altitude difference of about 600 metres) is pretty steep, but only for about 20 minutes or so. It’s fairly easy-going afterwards.


Erste Belohnung entlang des Weges: Ausblick auf die Göstinger Burgruine!

Rewarding you for the initial climb: A view of the Gösting castle ruin towering up ahead of you!


Wieder unten angekommen, erfahre ich in der Ortschaft "Thal am See", dass der hier gebürtige Arnold Schwarzenegger seiner Maria Shriver einen Heiratsantrag in diesem Kanu gemacht hat! Ein Foto der beiden zeugt noch heute davon.

After reaching the tiny village Thal am See, the place where Arnold Schwarzenegger has been born, Su tells me that this lake commemorates him proposing to his Maria Shriver! A local canoe has been erected on the occasion.


Merkt Euch für die Wanderung:

During the hike, keep following these yellow signs towards Plabutsch – Fürstenstand. You can buy food and drinks up at the top, or stop in one of the grocery stores in Thal am See.


Et voilà: Graz ganz groß, mit seiner grünen Schlossberg-Oase inmitten der Altstadt vom Fürstenstand aus gesehen.

This is the final viewpoint of the tour, overlooking the city of Graz and its iconic clock tower hill, the Schlossberg.


Keine Mühen ohne auch ein bisschen Genuss:

Afterwards, I recommend stopping at Gasthaus Zur Sonne in Graz-Gösting. They will spoil you to a nice beer and a typical, Styrian salad made of fried chicken, string beans, potato, cabbage and green leaf salad. It has to be topped with typical Styrian pumpkin seed oil. Yum!


Don’t travel to Graz without indulging in at least one of these foodie travel delights!

Culinary delights are on, then! Together with my fellow Austrian travel writers, we have finally been able to meet and eat together again after many months of lockdown and forced shutdowns of bars, restaurants and hotels. It was SO LOVELY! And I can definitely recommend the place we chose for our reunion: The renowned Graz restaurant Landhauskeller.

Genuss im Landhauskeller Graz: Einstimmung auf den Sommer!

Bring on summer foodie vibes: Enjoying my veggie + salmon risotto at the Landhauskeller restaurant in Graz!


If typical fried chicken (Backhendl) is what you’re after, I can recommend you visit the iconic restaurant “Der Steirer”. Why iconic? They are known for having created an array of typical Styrian tapas, one more delicious than the other! My tip for you: Do try their Styrian salad as a side, and order a glass of white wine from the nearby South Styrian wine district. It’s also a good idea to book a table ahead, as places fill up quickly. Enjoy!

Mahlzeit aus dem Restaurant "Der Steirer", unter anderem auch für seine "steirischen Tapas" bekannt!

Welcome to “Der Steirer” and enjoy your meal: Typical Backhendl and Styrian salad for dinner here!


My third and final tip for you as a foodie traveller is to book a picnic basket filled with local products by Frankowitsch, one of the best delicatessen in town. Check out this page about Graz listing all picnic spots to go to, and how to book a picnic basket for you and your family, friends or group of travellers. A truly worthwhile experience!

Gut gefüllt sind diese schicken Picknickkörbe, welche uns die Wanderung am Grazer Schlossberg versüßen.

I loved our picnic after a guided tour of the Schlossberg hill.


Talking about guided tours in Graz: Should you follow an app, take a ride with the open air bus or make a complete discovery of the iconic Schlossberg hill?

Why not all three! Let’s start with the Schlossberg hill. It is not only worth the climb for having a picnic at the top, as we did. Book yourself a guided tour of the Schlossberg, such as one offered by Sigrid Alber of the certified Graz Guides. She tells us many fascinating historical aspects of the original settlement and development of this central part of Graz, from the iconic clock tower to the Turkish Well and all the way to the bell tower and its “Liesl”. I have never seen neither the bell tower nor the bell “Liesl” before!

Was wäre Graz ohne seinen allseits bekannten Grazer Uhrturm? Um ein Haar hätte das französische Heer ihn anno dazumal mitsamt der hier ursprünglich errichteten Festung sprengen lassen. Die Grazer haben ihn aber mit "Lösegeld freigekauft"!

What would Graz be without its iconic clock tower? Sigrid tells us during the Schlossberg tour that it was nearly blasted in the French invasion several centuries past, but that the local citizens at the time kind of bought it off the French invaders for ransom to save it from destruction!


Wasser, das Sigrid Alber demonstrativ in den Türkenbrunnen schüttet, braucht viele Sekunden um anzukommen: Knapp 100 Meter tief ist dieser historische Brunnen auf dem Schlossberg Graz!

Water poured from your drinking bottle takes many, many seconds to reach the ground of this well, some 100 metres deep!


Ganz in der Nähe hängt übrigens die drittgrößte Glocke der Steiermark mit knapp fünf Tonnen: "Liesl" im Glockenturm Graz! Dieser ist nur im Rahmen einer Führung zugänglich.

Further up the Schlossberg hill, you can find the bell tower and its “Liesl” bell, the third-largest bell in Styria weighing about five tons. You can only get in as part of an official, guided city tour.


Tipp: Wenn Ihr schon auf dem Schlossberg seid, dann besucht unbedingt das neu eröffnete Schlossberg Museum Graz ...

Once you’ve walked up the Schlossberg, make sure you stop at the modern Schlossberg Museum Graz …


... seine Multimedia-Ausstellung zur Geschichte des Berges ist wahrlich sehenswert, sowie viele weitere, auch künstlerische Exponate dazu!

… its multimedia storytelling exhibit about the history of the Graz Schlossberg is truly worth seeing.


Immer wieder ein Traum: Der Blick über die Stadt Graz vom Grazer Schlossberg aus, direkt neben dem Uhrturm.

The view over Graz from the Schlossberg never gets old! I have taken this picture right next to the iconic clock tower.


Hinunter geht es übrigens auch über die neu gebaute Rutsche: Rund 40 Sekunden lang rutscht Ihr durch den Berg hinunter in die Altstadt! Mir hat's mächtig Spaß gemacht, ich empfehle es weiter!

If you love some action, do make sure you “slide down” the Schlossberg – inside! A giant slide takes you down the mountain through a spiral tunnel in a run of about 40 seconds. Well worth it!


Last but not least, I can recommend you download the Locandy app and try the self-guided tour called “Grazer Grazien“. It includes a quiz about the historical facts you discover, and is – in my opinion – especially suitable for travelling with friends or kids! I have also loved my spontaneous decision to board the open air city bus tour in Graz, taking us a little further out than what you would normally see of Graz on a typical city tour. There’s that rumour that it soon runs with food on board, too!

Blick vom Cabrio Bus zurück auf Altstadt und Schlossberg Graz.

View over the Schlossberg hill from the open air deck of our city bus.


"Grazer Grazien" in der Anzeige auf meinem Smartphone.

“Grazer Grazien” a view of my using the app while navigating Graz. Also works offline (via GPS).


We have actually spent our days in Graz being hosted by the family-run Parkhotel Graz, a place I can recommend not only for its excellent location within Graz. It has a chandelier in its fitness area 😉 a nice big pool and a small, lovely wellness area to relax in after spending the day exploring the city. The restaurant and its food offer is great for both breakfasts and dinner, as we’ve experienced both! Check out more about the Parkhotel in my Instagram stories.


I have published even more travel photos from Graz on Flickr:


When will be your turn to #VisitGraz?


Disclaimer: I have been invited by the city of Graz to come on this trip. All opinions are my own.

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