Sleep, eat and drink in Graz
Graz is a great place for a mini break. The second largest city of Austria has many sights to discover, cool activities, century old history and modern art. Now just add trendy accommodation, excellent food and the coolest places for a drink to the equation, which I listed below.
Hotel Wiesler, somewhere between soul and art nouveau
A work of art by Gustav Klimt decorates one of the dining rooms, while cheerful hand-painted Mexican washbasins brighten up the bedrooms. The hotel has five stars, is funky and hip. The light-flooded building has been used as a hotel for over a hundred years.
Famous guests such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mick Jagger, the Dalai Lama and Jennifer Lawrence have been guests here. The bedrooms have wooden floors, comfortable beds and all the comfort you expect from a five-star hotel, such as hairdryers, safe, fridge, television and air conditioning.
A five star breakfast buffet
If the hotel is above your budget, try at least the breakfast buffet. It includes fresh fruit, yogurt, salmon (yum yum), all kinds of bread, jam, cheeses and a chocolate fountain. Yes, that’s right, a chocolate fountain.
Lendhotel, modern comfort
The Lendhotel is housed in a modern building, where art is omnipresent in the communal areas. The spacious bedrooms on the other hand are decorated in 50 shades of gray.
Their roof terrace is the ideal place for a sundowner whilst enjoying a 360º view of the city. On the same floor you will find a well-equipped gym.
A la carte breakfast
The Lend hotel serves an ‘a la carte’ breakfast with locally produced ingredients from the nearby farmers market.
Try the ‘Lendfrühstück’ (photo) with delicious bread, scrambled eggs, different types of cheese, yogurt, jam, ham, fresh orange juice, fruit and coffee or tea.
This hotel is located in the trendy Lend district. That is approximately 1 kilometer walk from the clock tower and the old town of Graz.
Grüne Gasse 2, Lend, 8020 Graz
The best restaurants in Graz and surroundings
What better place to dine than in ‘the capital of culinary delights‘?
The yearly highlight is in August when the city celebrates its gastronomic status with a ‘long table‘. A ticket for an evening filled with culinary delights, music and regional top wines will set you back 140 euros. That is if you happen to be one of the 750 lucky ones. Tickets at the long table with the Schlossberg, the clock tower, the historic town hall in the background are sold out well in advance.
Luckily there is plenty of choice during the rest of the year. The better restaurants in Styria region use regional products. Some places only serve traditional dishes, others boast a more innovative cuisine.
Aiola is represented with various restaurants in Graz. These restaurants operate at the top of the market in terms of price range, dishes and especially locations.
The main reason to visit Aiola Upstairs is the prime location. From the terrace on the Schlossberg you have a view of the entire city and the iconic clock tower. Start at 9 a.m with breakfast or indulge in a sumptuous dinner til midnight.
The restaurant is quite large, with 60 seats inside and 120 outside. Keep in mind that the service can be a bit slow. Count on around 25 euros for a main course. 3.50 pp is added to the bill for service costs.
Schloßberg 2, 8010 Graz
Aiola im Schloss
Slightly outside the city centre is the spectacular Aiola im Schloss. The ‘Schloss’ is one of the favourite wedding locations in Graz. In the summer months enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail on the terrace. In the winter start with a local red wine by a roaring fire.
Andritzer Reichsstrasse 144 8046 Graz
If you have transportation and a little more time, go to the town of Frohnleiten. This is a picturesque town 30 km from Graz. Here you will find the Beer Bar. The restaurant is built in a wall that dates back to 1615.
The Beef Bar is a tiny restaurant that specializes in, yes, beef. To be honest I would normally choose fish or a vegetarian dish over meat, but for this restaurant I gladly make an exception. The meat is cooked on green eggs. It is delicious, juicy and tender.
It is open Wednesday to Friday from 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
Cafés in Graz
The regional capital of the Styria province has a variety of terraces, cafés and other places of entertainment. The historic centre of Graz has countless possibilities to grab a beer. Really this is a problem of overload. And we don’t want that on a break. Therefore, I have listed below my two favourite locations for a bit of social lubrication.
The Schlossberg Biergarten is surrounded by greenery, has a relaxed atmosphere, fantastic views over the city (because Schlossberg) and of course plenty of beer. From April to October you can regularly enjoy live ‘austropop’. Entrance is free.