Are you ready for an exciting adventure starting from Graz? I have a special guide for you featuring the 27 best day trips! Graz is a wonderful city located in Styria, Austria. It has a lot to offer with its historic buildings, interesting museums, and delicious food. But guess what? There are also amazing places nearby to explore in just a day!
“Day trips from Graz offer a delightful blend of history, nature, and culinary delights, creating unforgettable memories.” – Daniel Thompson
Our guide will help you discover these incredible destinations, all close to Graz. There’s something for everyone, from beautiful natural landscapes to ancient castles and fascinating cultural sites. Get ready to pack your bags, bring your camera, and join us on this unforgettable journey exploring Graz and its surrounding wonders!
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum and Unique Church in Thal
That is a small village near Graz that holds significance for two reasons. Firstly, it is the birthplace of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and visitors can explore the Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum in the house where he grew up. The museum showcases his life through photos, memorabilia, and multimedia installations.
Secondly, Thal is home to the Parish Church of St. Jacob, known for its unconventional and colorful design inspired by biblical scriptures. The Church’s exterior features patinated copper sheets, while the interior is adorned with rainbow colors and symbolic decorations. It also offers hiking trails and the Thalersee, an artificial lake for recreational activities.
2. Discovering Gamlitz: Wine, History, and Fun for Everyone
Gamlitz, a lovely town just 30 miles south of Graz, is perfect for a day trip. Start your adventure at Schloss Gamlitz, a beautiful old castle with a wine museum and a cozy tavern where you can try different wines. Take advantage of the South Styrian Wine Road, known for its amazing wines. There are seven wineries in Gamlitz, and one of our favorites is Weingut Lackner-Tinnacher.
During harvest season, Gamlitz offers food and wine festivals, Motorikpark for families, Pfarre Gamlitz for a stunning old Church, Weingut Sattlerhof for delicious meals, and Weinland Hof Hotel-Restaurant for delicious meals. The charming town is worth a visit, and cozy wine taverns or buschenschanks are available near Gamlitz. However, be aware that the South Styrian Wine Road can be dark at night, so book accommodation nearby.
3. Explore Schloss Seggau
Schloss Seggau, located 24 miles from Graz, is a stunning castle with a rich history and stunning countryside views. Originally a home for bishops, it has been transformed into a luxurious hotel and convention center. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings and purchase wines from the castle’s vineyards. The castle’s architecture features elements from Roman to baroque styles, and visitors can also visit St. Michael’s Chapel, featuring stained glass windows and a unique floating cross by Austrian artist Alexander Silveri.
To fully experience the castle and wine cellar, join the ‘Kombiticket’ guided tour on the castle’s website. After the tour, enjoy a delicious late lunch at the charming Schloss Cafe. Whether driving, taking a bus, or taking a train, Schloss Seggau offers an enchanting day trip with its captivating atmosphere and rich history.
4. The Lipizzaner Piber Stud Farm
Lipizzaner Piber Stud Farm, located 28 miles west of Graz in Piber, is a captivating day trip destination. The journey takes around 45 minutes via the Süd Autobahn toll road or a scenic route through vineyards, forests, and farmland. Piber’s main highlight is the renowned Piber stud farm, where Lipizzaner stallions are selectively bred.
These exceptional horses are sent to perform at Vienna’s esteemed Spanish Riding School. Visitors can tour the stud farm, observe the horses, learn about their care and breeding, and enjoy other attractions like horseshoe making and application. The farm also offers a children’s play area, historic buildings, a cafe serving traditional Austrian cuisine, and a gift shop, providing a well-rounded experience for visitors of all ages.
5. Schloss Eggenberg: A Majestic Palace and Garden
St. Barbara’s Church in Bärnbach, located 25 miles from Graz, is a fascinating day trip destination. Although bus service is limited and time-consuming, renting a car is convenient. The Church is known for its unique design and symbolic features, and a guided tour is recommended to appreciate its symbolism fully.
“With its proximity to Graz, the region offers an abundance of day trip opportunities that will leave you awe-inspired.” – Mark Anderson
Bärnbach also offers other attractions, such as the Stölzle Glas Center, GlasMuseum Bärnbach, and Piber. Combining a day trip to Piber with exploring Bärnbach offers a diverse and enriching experience. Before leaving, indulge in rich ice cream at Eis Salon Corso, conveniently in the town center.
6. Fun and Relaxation at Terme NOVA Spa
Terme NOVA Spa is just a short distance from Graz, about a 45-minute drive by car. You can also take a beautiful scenic route through hills and vineyards. You’ll find a big pool you can swim in when you get there. The water comes from a special spring called Barbara Spring, and it’s always a nice temperature of around 36.5°C (96°F).
The spa has a modern and peaceful feel, with saunas and massage rooms on two different levels. If you get hungry, they have a perfect restaurant where you can enjoy tasty Austrian food and snacks. It’s a great place to relax, have fun, and stay overnight if you want to.
7. Visit Zotter Chocolate Factory for a Sweet Adventure
Zotter Chocolate Factory is a must-visit place near Graz, just a short drive away. It’s not your ordinary chocolate factory tour! They make their chocolates with organic fair trade ingredients right there, and you can taste the chocolate at every stage of its making. Imagine trying over 500 different chocolates!
There’s so much to do outside the factory, like meeting animals, playing in the kids’ area, and enjoying yummy food at the restaurant or snack stands. Whether you’re a family or a chocolate lover, a trip to Zotter Chocolate Factory is a fun and delicious adventure you won’t forget.
8. Discover Kornberg Castle: A Magical Castle near Graz
Kornberg Castle is a special place, just a short drive from Graz. It used to be a fortress, but now it’s a beautiful castle where people live. The castle has a long history and has been owned by the Counts of Bardeau for a long time. While you can’t see all the rooms, guided tours show you some special parts of the castle. You’ll see amazing artwork and even Europe’s biggest carpet exhibition. There’s also a planetarium where you can learn about the stars.
Kornberg Castle is a popular spot for weddings, and it has a restaurant where you can enjoy delicious food. Remember to visit the handicraft shop and see the pretty things made by local artists. If you have time, you can also see special exhibitions for Easter and Christmas. The castle and its grounds are small, so it’s easy to visit, along with a trip to the Zotter Chocolate factory.
9. Knappenhof: Wine, Alpacas, and Relaxation
Just 34 miles south of Graz, in the lovely village of Gamlitz, you can visit Knappenhof for a special fun day. At Knappenhof, you can stay in cozy accommodations like the Holiday House or the buschenschank in Eichberg. But the best part is meeting the cute alpacas in the vineyards!
Please walk to see them or join a guided walk with the alpacas for extra excitement. Knappenhof also offers nature tours, an outdoor spa with a sauna and hot tub, and even a mushroom hunt in the right season. Don’t miss out on their delicious wines; remember to make a reservation for any activity, tour, or tasting.
10. Experience Die Brauerei Brewery
Enjoy the amazing Die Brauerei brewery in the cozy village of Leutschach, just a short 45-mile trip from Graz. This special place is perfect for people who love beer and wine. You can reach the brewery by driving on the toll road or taking the scenic country roads, which are a bit longer but very pleasant. At Die Brauerei, they make unique and delicious beers without any additives or preservatives.
“Each day trip from Graz unveils a new chapter in the captivating story of Styria’s fascinating heritage.” – Michael Brown
The owner, Wolfgang Dietrich, believes that beer is good for you and likes food. During our visit, we tried different beers like RossNatur, which is light and natural, and Ginseng Dragon, a dark beer with ginseng. They also have wine beer, which combines beer with wine. If you want to learn how to make beer, you can join one of their classes and even brew beer for special occasions like weddings or birthdays. Die Brauerei is a fantastic place to enjoy tasty beers and has a fun experience.
11. Aeijst Gin Distillery: A Fun Day Trip for Gin Lovers
Are you ready for a super fun day trip from Graz? Hop over to the Aeijst Gin Distillery in St. Nikolai Im Sausal, just 22 miles away. They make something called gin, which is not like wine but is still super tasty! The owners are nice and use only healthy and organic stuff to make their special gin. You can take a special tour, taste their yummy gin, and even buy some to take home.
If you want, you can join a special workshop and make your own gin with cool ingredients like fruits and spices. It’s a beautiful place, and they’ll ensure you have a fantastic time. Oh, and remember to visit another place called Die Brauerei Brewery in Leutschach on the same day. It’s a bit farther but worth it. Have a blast exploring these awesome places!
12. Step into the Past at Oberkapfenberg Castle
Explore Oberkapfenberg Castle (Burg Oberkapfenberg), a cool old castle on a hill in Kapfenberg, Northern Styria. You can take a special tour of the castle and see interesting things like a big hall for knights, a pretty chapel, and a special furnace used by alchemists long ago. They even have a show where you can see powerful birds up close.
You can see beautiful views of Kapfenberg and the area around it from the castle. The castle is open every day from 10:00 to 17:00, and it costs 8 EUR to go inside. If you’re hungry, there’s a fantastic Austrian restaurant called Preiselbauer nearby, where you can enjoy tasty traditional food while watching animals like goats and horses.
13. The Amazing Lurgrotte Caves
Explore the amazing Lurgrotte Caves, the biggest underground cave in Austria, on a thrilling day trip from Graz. These caves are full of breathtaking stalactites, stalagmites, giant rock domes, and hidden passages. You can join a guided tour from Semriach or Peggau, and even though the tour is mostly in German, there are informative leaflets in English to help you understand.
You’ll be surrounded by a cool temperature and dampness inside the caves, so remember to wear a light sweater and comfy shoes. Look out for bats that call this cave home! The guided tour takes around an hour and costs 9 EUR. Get ready to discover the magical wonders of the Lurgrotte Caves on this unforgettable day trip.
14. Mariazell: A Lovely Town for Pilgrims and Gingerbread Lovers
Mariazell is a charming village in Northern Styria that attracts many people for two special reasons. First, there is a big and beautiful church called the Mariazell Basilica. People visit this Church to see a special statue of the Virgin Mary and her baby. It’s a place of prayer and pilgrimage.
Second, Mariazell is famous for making delicious gingerbread cookies. You can try these tasty treats and visit a gingerbread factory to see how they are made. Mountains surround the town and have a peaceful and scenic atmosphere. Whether you come for spiritual reasons or to satisfy your sweet tooth, Mariazell offers a wonderful experience for everyone.
15. Riegersburg Castle: A Beautiful Castle on a High Cliff
Riegersburg Castle is a stunning castle near Graz that people love to visit. It was built long ago to keep enemies away and sits on a big rocky hill made of special volcanic rock. The castle has strong walls, gates, and moats added later to protect it from invaders. Nowadays, some parts of the castle are still used as a home. Inside, you can explore the Witches’ Museum, where you can learn about witches and how they were treated in the past.
“From charming vineyards to enchanting castles, the day trips from Graz offer a tapestry of captivating experiences.” – Sarah Johnson
There are also fancy rooms to see, like the Knights Hall with its beautiful wooden decorations and the White Dining Room with amazing artwork on the ceiling. Riegersburg Castle is a special place with a lot of history and great countryside views. You can visit from April to October, and the entrance fee is 19 EUR, which includes access to the castle, museums, and a lift.
16. Vorau Abbey: A Historic and Stunning Library
Vorau Abbey, located in the town of Vorau in Styria, is a remarkable abbey with a rich history. Originally built as an Augustinian abbey in the 12th century, it was later transformed into a fortress before renovating in the 17th and 18th centuries. The main highlight of the abbey is its magnificent library, adorned with beautiful frescoes and stucco decorations.
Housing over 17,000 books, including ancient manuscripts, is a treasure trove of knowledge. The abbey church also features elaborate frescoes depicting Christ and a stunning high altar portraying the Virgin Mary’s ascension. Guided tours are available to explore the library and sacristy, while the Church is open to all visitors. A guided tour of Vorau Abbey costs 8 EUR.
17. Seckau Abbey: A Peaceful Monastery in Styria
Seckau Abbey is a calm and beautiful monastery in the town of Seckau in Western Styria. It was an important place for the Church in Styria and is now home to Benedictine monks. The abbey’s Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is a must-see, with its simple and peaceful interior.
Inside, you can find a special wooden Crucifixion artwork from a long time ago and the impressive Mausoleum of Karl II. If you want to learn more about the abbey’s history and explore its treasures, guided tours are available for a small fee on specific days and times. The basilica is open daily; you can visit it for free.
18. Frohnleiten: A Charming Town by the Mur River
Frohnleiten is a picturesque town in the scenic Mur River valley near the Gleinalpe mountains. Thanks to its network of hiking trails and cycling paths, it’s a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Founded in the 13th century, the town boasts remnants of its fortified past and a spacious main square lined with historic buildings.
Don’t miss the city-parish Church, adorned with beautiful ceiling frescoes and Rococo figures. Frohnleiten is also known for its vibrant flower displays, especially in the charming Volkshauspark along the riverbank. It’s a delightful place to stroll and admire exotic flowers worldwide.
19. St. Veit’s Church: A Beautiful Baroque Gem
St. Veit’s Church in Pöllau is a beautiful church you should see. It’s part of the old Pöllau Abbey and was built long ago, in the 18th century. The Church looks like St. Peter’s Basilica and is known as the “Styrian St. Peter’s.” Inside, you’ll be amazed by all the colorful paintings on the walls and ceiling that show angels and saints doing amazing things.
The big dome has even more paintings of important people from the Church. Make sure to check out the fancy golden altar and the huge organ, which is the biggest one in Styria. You can visit the Church any day for free, and it’s open from morning until late evening.
20. Bad Blumau: A Unique and Relaxing Spa Getaway
If you’re looking for a special place to unwind and recharge, Bad Blumau is a must-visit destination. Located in the beautiful countryside of Eastern Styria, this spa resort was designed by an artist named Hundertwasser. The buildings here are unlike anything you’ve seen before, with their interesting shapes and colorful walls.
You’ll find 14 pools filled with warm, healing water from natural hot springs. These waters are known for their health benefits, helping to ease aches and pains. You can also enjoy saunas, jacuzzis, and different spa treatments. Whether you spend a few hours or stay overnight, Bad Blumau offers a magical experience for relaxation and well-being.
21. Bruck an der Mur: A Journey through History
Bruck an der Mur, a peaceful town in Northern Styria, has a fascinating past waiting to be discovered. Founded long ago, it became an important center for industry and transportation. The main square, Koloman-Wallisch-Platz, is a delightful sight with its lovely ocher-coloured buildings. You can admire remarkable landmarks like the Gothic Town Hall, the charming Fabriziushaus with its arcades, and the elegant Renaissance Flössmeisterhaus.
“Exploring the picturesque region surrounding Graz is a delightful adventure that unveils hidden gems at every turn.” – John Smith
Remember to see the iconic iron well and catch a glimpse of the Clock Tower near the remains of the Landskron fortress. Step into the awe-inspiring Kornmesserhaus, a stunning Gothic building with open arcades and a beautifully decorated upper floor. And be sure to visit St. Rupert’s Church, where a remarkable fresco depicting a scene of judgment and salvation will captivate your imagination.
22. Explore the Beauty of Murau
Murau is a lovely town in Western Styria filled with colorful houses by the sparkling Mur River. It may not be as famous as other places, but it has some special things to see. The main square, Schillerplatz, is surrounded by beautiful old buildings from long ago when people traded goods here.
You should also visit the Church of St. Matthew, which is old and has pretty paintings inside. Up on the hill, there’s Murau Castle, where you can learn about how people used to live there. And if you like beer, you can visit the Murau Brewery and learn how they make it. Murau is also great for hiking and biking because it’s close to nature.
23. Discover Leoben
Leoben, the second-largest city in Styria, is a captivating destination combining its rich history and industrial significance. In 1797, a significant peace treaty was signed here by Napoleon and Emperor Franz II, marking an important moment in time. The main square, Hauptplatz, is a must-see attraction with its charming 17th-century buildings that showcase the town’s past prosperity from iron deposits. Take advantage of the striking Hacklhaus, a magnificent red Baroque building that stands out.
Take time to admire the Pest Column, Miner’s Fountain, and the Old Town Hall, each adding to Leoben’s unique charm. The Parish Church St. Xaver and the Romanesque Church Leoben-Göss are also worth a visit, as they boast beautiful interiors and intriguing features. Furthermore, you can explore the famous Gösser brewery, known for its delightful Styrian beer, and visit the Art Museum, where you’ll find ever-changing exhibitions. Leoben offers a delightful blend of history, industry, and cultural experiences to enchant visitors.
24. Enjoy the Charms of Eisenerz
Eisenerz, an old mining town in Austria, offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and industrial history. At the foot of the remarkable Erzberg, known for its striking colors and unique landscape shaped by open-cast mining, Eisenerz showcases the contrast between vibrant forests and rugged peaks.
The picturesque Old Town features the Bergmannsplatz main square and the beautifully decorated Old Town Hall. The fortified Church of St. Oswald, dating back to the 13th century, reflects Eisenerz’s mining heritage. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore hiking trails and enjoy the serene Leopoldsteiner Lake, popular for swimming, boating, and winter activities like ice skating.
25. Explore the Historic Gem of Rein Abbey
Not far from Graz, you’ll find the enchanting Rein Abbey, a special place with a long history. It was founded in 1129 and held the title of the oldest Cistercian abbey that has survived to this day. The abbey’s main attraction is its stunning Baroque-style, lovely Church. The Church has amazing paintings on the ceilings, lovely decorations, and a golden altarpiece telling stories from the Bible.
It would be best not to miss the abbey’s library, which has old books and stunning frescoes on the walls. Look at the Abbot Gallery too, where you’ll find big portraits of the abbots who have been part of the abbey’s story. To explore Rein Abbey, join a guided tour available in both German and English. It’s a great way to learn more about this ancient place and its fascinating past.
26. Herberstein Castle: A Fairytale Fortress
Prepare for an enchanting adventure at Herberstein Castle, a medieval fortress hidden in the beautiful Feistritz ravine of eastern Styria. This castle has been owned by the same family since 1290 and holds a fascinating history. Explore its different architectural styles, from Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque. Be amazed by the grand banqueting hall with its intricate decorations and the charming Renaissance-style Florence Courtyard.
Stroll through the stunning castle gardens, filled with fragrant herbs, fruit trees, and cascading waterfalls. Remember to visit the popular Herberstein Zoo to meet exotic animals worldwide. Check the castle’s website for visiting hours and ticket information. Get ready to experience the magic of Herberstein Castle straight out of a fairy tale.
27. Exploring Styria’s Apple Paradise
Experience the beauty of the Styrian Apple Road, a picturesque route winding through the East Styrian hills. This enchanting road showcases vast apple orchards and introduces visitors to local fruit growers who cultivate various fruits, including apples, cherries, pears, and plums.
“Escape the bustling city and embark on unforgettable day trips from Graz, immersing yourself in the stunning natural beauty of the Austrian countryside.” – David Thompson
You can also indulge in delicious apple-based delicacies like juices, jams, and fruit liqueurs. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the “Haus des Apfels,” a fruit museum offering fascinating insights into the world of apples, with tastings of different apple varieties and homemade brandies. It’s a delightful journey celebrating the flavors and traditions of fruit growing in Styria.
“Discover the rich history and cultural diversity of Austria through these incredible day trips from Graz.” – Emily Wilson
In conclusion, Graz offers a fantastic starting point for exploring the surrounding areas. With its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and diverse attractions, numerous day trips cater to different interests. Graz has something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of history, nature, wine, or simply looking for relaxation. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and embark on an unforgettable journey to discover the wonders near Graz. Happy travels!
Absolutely! Graz is definitely worth visiting. Its rich history and close proximity of attractions make it a convenient and captivating destination
Yes, Graz is a highly walkable city, but if walking isn’t your preference, there are several public transportation options available, including buses, trams, the Schlossberg lift, and the Schlossbergbahn funicular, allowing you to easily explore and move around the city.
When in Graz, it’s best to dress in smart casual or smart business attire, opting for dark and solid colors. Avoid wearing t-shirts, baseball caps, or athletic/exercise suits unless you are engaging in physical activities.
Yes, Graz has its own international airport called Graz Airport (IATA: GRZ, ICAO: LOWG), also known as Flughafen Graz in German, which serves the southern region of Austria.
The best time to visit Graz is between April and September when the temperatures are milder. However, it’s worth noting that the summer months can be rainier.