The second-largest city in Austria after Vienna, Graz is the capital of the state of Styria in the southeastern part of the country. Graz itself has a population of just over 330,000 people, with its surrounding metro area being home to more than 600,000 people. The city’s rich history dates back to the 13th century, making Graz a popular destination for many tourists visiting Austria.
Flights to Graz arrive at Graz Airport (GRZ), which is located about six miles south of the city center. Graz Airport is the largest international airport in southeastern Austria, serving most of the cities and towns near Graz. Direct flights to Graz, Austria, are available from many large cities in Europe including Berlin, Hamburg, Zurich, and Istanbul.
Travelers who fly to Graz Airport can take advantage of the city’s extensive public transportation system to get into and around the city without having to rent a car. In addition to a large and efficient bus network, Graz has a comprehensive tram system. Train service from the city’s central rail station is available to several other cities within Austria as well as to cities in Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Germany. A funicular railway located in Graz’s city center can takes passengers up to the Schlossberg, a historic castle and fortress located on a hill above the city that is today a public park and museum.
Most people who cheap flights to Graz, Austria take time to see some of the city’s notable sites. Among the most visited is its historic city center, which is home to more than 1,000 buildings and was named an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Some of the buildings in the city center are among the oldest in Graz, dating back to the Gothic Period in the 14th and 15th centuries.
One of the most iconic structures in Graz’s city center is the Graz Opera House, which was built in the late 19th century. In addition to hosting opera performances, the Graz Opera House is also the home of the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra.
Other noteworthy buildings in the city center include the gothic Saint Giles Cathedral, built in the 15th century; and “The Castle,” an enormous gothic stone mansion built by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III in 1438. The Castle was the home of the Austrian Royal Court until the early 17th century. Today the building is home to offices belonging to the government of the state of Styria.
Many of the people who fly to Graz also make a point of visiting a few of the city’s many museums. These include the Museum of Contemporary Art Graz, located in the city center; the Camera Austria photography museum; the Styrian Armory or Landeszeughaus, home to the world’s largest collection of medieval armor and weapons; and the Kindermuseum Frida & Fred, a children’s museum.
Students from throughout Austria, and from other countries in Europe, take cheap flights to Graz to study at the University of Graz. The city’s oldest, the University of Graz was founded by the Archduke Charles II of Austria in 1585. The University of Graz is one of the most prestigious in Austria, with programs in the natural sciences and humanities as well as in business, economics, law, and social sciences. Other universities in Graz include the Graz University of Technology and the Medical University of Graz.
Notable people who were born or lived in Graz include Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former bodybuilder, actor, and governor of California, and Serbian-American electrical engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla, who studied at the Graz University of Technology.