Often overshadowed by Vienna and Salzburg, Graz – Austria’s second city – is the place to indulge in time on your own. 

It’s an intriguing city and, if you explore on foot, you’ll find a fusion of grand, colonial buildings with ultra-modern re-development. This is where traditional Austrian life meets cutting-edge contemporary culture.

Graz clock tower at sunset

Seeing the sights of Graz 

The obvious first on anyone’s agenda is the iconic clock-tower in the heart of Graz. This imposing edifice sits on top of a steep wooded hill called The Schlossberg. A thousand years ago, the site was a fortress, chosen for its commanding views over the entire city. If you start here, you’ll immediately get your bearings and will be rewarded with a unique panorama over the city’s red roof-tops. Be prepared for a steep climb to the top and take your time. Well-laid gardens and far-reaching views will make it worthwhile.

Steps on Uhrturm in Graz and view of the city

A solo stroll around Graz’s Old Town

The Old Town has UNESCO World Heritage status – and it’s not hard to see why. Many of its ancient buildings feature elaborately-painted facades, while others mix delightful pastel shades that brighten up the dullest day. Allow yourself to be lost in the cobbled streets, take some memorable photos and feel part of this slice of Austrian history.

Old town

Visit Graz’s famous museums

Museums are a popular pastime for anyone travelling alone – and Graz has plenty. Start at the underground Archaeology Museum, which features artefacts of ancient life from around the world. Progress to the House of Architecture and discover the complexity of the Graz’s buildings.

Then, there’s the more curious Museum of Perception. This tests the boundaries of perception through unique sensory experiences. If you book in advance, you can try the magical Samadhi Bath, where you float weightlessly in complete darkness. Perhaps you’ll connect with some inner peace once all the outer stimuli have died down.

Graz main square

Solo-shopping in Graz

And then you can shop! Kastner & Ohler is the department store and it’s been around for 140 years. This is very stylish shopping – in a huge, traditional building brought bang up-to-date by a continual process of re-design and renewal since the 1990s.

There’s upmarket fashion at every turn, so you can people-watch to your heart’s content. This store is a focal point for the cool crowd, and its swanky rooftop bar — with far-reaching views over the whole city — is the perfect place to drop once you’ve shopped.

Solo shopping

Hangouts for the solo traveller

Graz isn’t short of cool places to hang out – especially in the eastern district of Lend. By day, this buzzy neighbourhood is popular with students, who crowd the cosy cafés with their laptops and chatter. Later, the area throbs with popular nightspots, such as the uber-cool Postgarage. Here is electronic music at its best. Also, Exil, a laid-back, smoky venue with live music at its core, features edgy new bands and DJs. You might be alone in this city, but you’ll easily blend in with the local crowd and swing to the finest grooves.

Graz at night

Tempted to explore Graz for yourself? Discover the best cafes in Graz to visit to start your day.

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