Because of the early check out from the accommodation, we waited about two hours in the Salzburg station to catch our train to Graz. With a 4 hours of train ride, we arrived in Graz, which is the 2nd largest city in Austria after Vienna and happens to be the Birthplace of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Our new location is a shared apartment which located about 15 minutes by walk from the station.
After dropping our bags we headed to do some groceries to buy food 2 breakfasts, one lunch and 2 dinners. All for 14 Euro. Luckily we already had some leftover instant coffees, rice and vegetable oil that we baught in Salzburg.
As mentioned, Graz is the 2nd largest city of Austria after Vienna . And just like Salzburg , it is another one of the best preserved cities in Central Europe and a World Heritage Site. And because it is not a known city to me, I did a little research on interwebs to know more about the city and to make a plan for What to do in Graz.
Honestly, we are here in Graz to take a break from our long haul travel. Luckily this city is concentrated and not so many touristic things to do comparing to our previous stops. Hence, our stay and outdoor activities were very short and we spent our spare times to do all the lazy staffs. Eating, watching movie, sleeping etc. We had a TV in the apartment which we could watch but there were no TV antenna connection, thanks to the apartment owner. The landlord later apolozied for not providing us that little bit information to us. Which was okay but we thought she could have updated the Booking Website to avoid such confusion.
Oh well, we didn’t have enough energy to make a big deal out of it.
Our Traveling around Graz lasted from 10.30am to 2pm. About 3.5 hours of walking.
Our first stop was the UNESCO world heritage listed Old town via Mur river. The historic old town represents a number to different colors and designed buildings from different ages. City’s design and architecture is influenced by Italy, Balkan states and other neighboring states because it’s situated in central Europe.
Through the city centre, we walked up on top of the Castle Hill or Schlossberg Hill. It is 475 meters high and basically right in the middle of the city centre. We could take the Funicular but decided to take a walk. Which was totally worthwhile. Once we reached on the top, the view was exquisite. We were first welcomed by the clock tower. The Clock Tower which happens to be the Symbol of Graz, can be visible from almost any part of the old town.
From there we walked futher up to the Bell Tower . Inside there is a bell on 4th floor which is 4632 kg. Outside the tower on the information board it’s written that One hundred and one strokes are rung on here every day at 7:00, noon and 19:00. Right next to the Bell Tower, there were the ruins of the fortress.
The Castle Hill was actually a fortress, destroyed by Napoleon around 1809. However , those two towers were spared because of the intervention by the citizens of Graz. Because the people of Graz paid ransom for their preservation.
The remains of the castle is a public park today. Where we have spent a good time to enjoy the view of Graz.
Under Schlossberg hill, there are as well an extensive amount of tunnels with was created during the world war 2 to protect the public from the bombings. We saw some of them are still accessable.
So far, understandably there were many ways to go up the Castle: Via steep stairs, Funicular, Via park, Lift and Tunnels.
Then we walked back down after enjoyed the sun and the formidable view. Took a detour via Graz Cathedral to the MUR River. Once we reached near the river, we noticed that there was an weird shaped artificial island which was connected with 2 foot bridges from both ends of the river. It’s called Murinsel or Mur Islande in English. It is another Landmark of modern day Graz.
The shape of the Islands reminded me of Sea shell.
Then we headed back to the apartment via Museum of Contemporary Art.
Personally, The Castle Hill and it’s view was the most beautiful and interesting things to see in Graz. Rest was just came along the way. 3 hours was enough to visit Graz. We did enjoy but we were glad that it was short and quick though.
Next stop: Ljubljana, Slovenia