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Things to Do in Austria – Go to a Viennese Ball

Things to Do in Austria – dance the waltz at a Viennese ball

 

Did you know that there are around 450 Viennese balls that happen each year during the Carnival season? That’s a lot! So if you plan to go to Vienna in February, make sure to fit one into your travel plans.

You’ll get to dress up, meet locals and see if you can dance a Vienna waltz!

Waltzing at a Vienna Ball

A lot of people have the misconception that you need to be an elite member of society or part of an organisation to attend these ballroom events.  But I’ll let you in on a secret – these balls are actually open to everyone – including curious travelers! Read More

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Graz Austria Tourism Guide

What to see in Graz, Austria

Getting close to Graz, Austria’s student town

Graz is Austria’s second biggest city, but I hadn’t heard of it until I made friends with two Austrians who were studying there (we were on exchange together in Russia, but that’s another story).

They assured me Graz is a great student city with a Mediterranean vibe that’s worth a visit. They insisted I come and visit sometime after our exchange was over. A few years later, I did.

Graz Austria Travel Guide

Doing some spiels in Graz’s main square.

A quick backgrounder on Graz:

  • Graz is the second biggest city in Austria and the capital of the region Styria.
  • It’s known for having a lot of greenery, red rooftops and a small river that runs through the city.
  • Structures are a mix of renaissance and modern architecture.
  • Large student population with around 50,000 in four universities…which means it has great  nightlife!

Top sights in Graz

Clock Tower – Check out the massive clock and let me know if you notice something different. Take a closer look and you will see that the minute and the hour hand are reversed.

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You have to go uphill before you can see the clock up close. It’s not an easy feat, most especially if you are holding a microphone and a camera is following you. 🙂

Graz Austria Travel Guide

I can tell that they are trying hard to smile but in reality, they are having a hard time going up too! Haha.

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The famous clock tower. You get to enjoy the great view beneath as well. The climb up the hill was worth it!

Schloßberg 

The site of a fortress, in the centre of Graz. The hill is now a public park with great views of the city that make the climb up the hill worthwhile!

Kunsthaus

If you are a fan of contemporary architecture, this should be on your lists. It looks like a large balloon hovering on top of the historic city. This was built in 2003 as part of European Capital of Culture celebration.  Art exhibitions are usually held here.

Eggenberg Palace

This is considered the most important landmark in Styria. The structure is well – preserved and the garden is jaw-dropping. It is located in the western edge of Graz and boasts amazing views from each corner of the palace.

Glockenspiel

The Graz Glockenspiel plays three times a day. Male and female statues emerge from the clock to “dance” and once the show is done, you can have a quick coffee break at the nearby cafe.

Cathedral

The cathedral will surely take you back in time. You will also have the chance to see Conrad Laib’s painting of the crucifixion. To date, it is known as one of the best late- Gothic paintings in German-speaking countries.

Double Spiral Staircase

It is also known as the ‘staircase of reconciliation’ and has two opposing spiral staircases that merge on each floor. Which means you can start on one side and switch staircases at every floor if you want. There’s no point to it, but it’s cool.

Graz spiral staircase decisions

I had a hard time picking which staircase to take since they both lead to the exact same place.

Graz view from spiral staircase

The view when you reach the top of the staircase (no matter which staircase you decide to take).

Graz Nightlife

Now that the tourist sites are taken care of, it’s high time that you experience Graz’s nightlife. I did mention that Graz is an exciting place for after – hours booze considering that there are a lot of university students. Didn’t I?

During one of our stops, I met Graz’s best looking bartender!

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During our fun interview with Graz’s Best Looking Bartender

Graz Cafe

Priviledged to meet Markus, Graz’s best looking bartender on the job at his cafe.

It seems my friend Sophia knows famous people wherever she goes. She informed us that she knew Graz’s best looking bartender. He was very modest about his status and hung out with us during our  whole stay in Graz, even though none of us have ever won any such award for our looks. You can see our interview from my video but here’s a glimpse of what we talked about.

Interview with Markus, voted best looking waiter of Graz in a local newspaper in the year 2010

Me: “So do you think you may have aged since then and you might not be the best-looking one anymore?”
Markus: “(grins) I dunno. Maybe there is someone better looking. But still looking good though! (laughs)”
Me: “What do you think, Sophia, is there anyone better?”
Sophia: “I don’t think there is anyone better. No.”
There you have it. Graz’s best looking waiter.
 Graz sunset
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Top things to do in Vienna

Get close to Vienna, Austria

From riding one of the world’s oldest Ferris wheels to pretending to be an intellectual while soaking up the local café culture, Vienna is a city you will thoroughly enjoy. Here are the top things to do in Vienna if you have a short amount of time!

Vienna travel guide

Vienna’s one of the great capitals of Europe. And like any famous European city it’s got history, from Celtic and Roman settlements to serving as the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Read More