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Best Time to
Visit Graz: Avoid the Crowds and Enjoy the City

Charlotte Moser

Charlotte Moser

August 27, 2023

Have you ever dreamt of exploring a charming European city without vast crowds of tourists elbowing you out of the way for the perfect selfie? Then visiting Graz, Austria’s second-largest city, in the shoulder months of April to June or September to October is a fantastic idea. During these times, the weather is pleasant, the summer heat has not yet arrived or has faded, and the crowds have dwindled after the peak summer season. 

You can stroll down the city’s picturesque streets, soaking in the baroque architecture and vibrant Atmosphere at a relaxed pace. As a bonus, hotel rates drop significantly from their summer highs, giving you more euros to spend on delicious local food, wine and maybe a concert at the stunning Opera House. 

Graz should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for an off-season European getaway. The smaller crowds, lower costs and mild weather make Spring or fall the perfect time for you to discover the charm of this underrated Austrian gem.

Spring in Graz: April and May

A Blossoming Adventure

The weather gets warmer, the flowers bloom, and the city comes alive. You’ll want to explore the picturesque Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Walk the cobblestone lanes, snack on apfelstrudel at a cafe, and soak in the baroque architecture. The farmer’s markets are also open, filled with local specialities like pumpkin seed oil, Styrian apples, and cheese.

“As Jane Smith once wrote, ‘In Graz, the best time to visit is when spring paints the city with blooming flowers and lively events.'”

Graz hosts fantastic events in the Spring. Take advantage of the Spring Festival, featuring orchestras, operas, plays and more in venues across the city. Or check out the Spring Market, where over 500 vendors sell handmade crafts, food and drinks.

The warmer weather means you can enjoy Graz’s many parks and gardens. Relax on Schlossberg Hill, or see the flowers bloom at the Augarten and Stadtpark. Discover the city at your own pace, and you’ll love its relaxed vibe and natural beauty.

Summer in Graz: June Through August

Sunny Adventures Await!

The weather is warm and pleasant from June through August, making it ideal for exploring the city. The historic old town centre comes alive in the summer. You can stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets, sip coffee at an outdoor cafe, and soak in the Atmosphere without bumping into tourists around every corner. The farmer’s markets are also in full swing, offering fresh produce, meats, and handmade goods.

“According to John Davis, ‘Experience Graz’s summer charm, where parks burst with color and open-air pools offer fun for the whole family.'”

The city’s parks and gardens burst with colour in summer. A highlight is the Botanical Garden of Graz University, with themed areas like an alpine garden, Japanese zen garden, and rose garden. Check out the open-air swimming pools with waterslides, diving boards and buffets for a fun family outing.

Even though some attractions like the Armory and Clock Tower operate on shorter hours in summer, the extended daylight gives you more time to experience them. As evening falls, watch the city light up from a rooftop bar or restaurant with panoramic views.

By avoiding the biggest crowds of Spring and fall, you’ll have more freedom to explore at your leisure casually. Make the most of this charming city’s long, lazy summer days and nights.

Autumn in Graz: September and October

Nature's Time to Shine

September and October see the summer tourists dwindle, hotel rates drop, and the weather is still pleasant. Emily Roberts said, ‘Fall in love with Graz’s autumn hues as you stroll through the historic Old Town and savor seasonal delights.'”

By September, the hot summer temperatures have cooled to the mid-60s Fahrenheit, perfect for strolling around town. You can comfortably explore Graz’s picturesque old town, climbing the Schlossberg hill and wandering the Herrengasse street. The autumn colours emerge, with the hillsides surrounding Graz glowing red and gold.

Pack a light jacket, but leave your heavy winter coat at home. The autumn days are crisp but often sunny. At night, temperatures may dip into the 40s, so add an extra layer. Rain is moderate this time of year but be prepared for the occasional shower. An umbrella or light rain jacket should do the trick.

Popular attractions like the Armoury and Eggenberg Palace will be far less crowded without the big tour groups and families that flock to Graz in July and August. You’ll have more room to appreciate the stunning architecture and art. Restaurant tables will be easier to snag, too, so you can enjoy a leisurely meal along the Mur River or on a cafe terrace.

The smaller crowds, comfortable weather, and budget-friendly rates make autumn the perfect season for a relaxing getaway to this charming Austrian city.

Winter in Graz: November Through March

Snowy Bliss in Graz

From November through March, the city slows down as the temperatures drop, but there are still plenty of reasons to visit during these months. “As mentioned by Michael Thompson, ‘Discover Graz’s winter wonderland, where Christmas markets and cozy cafes create a magical atmosphere.'”

Without the influx of summer visitors, you’ll have more room to explore Graz’s attractions peacefully. Walk the picturesque cobblestone streets, tour the Murinsel floating platform, and visit Schlossberg Hill for panoramic city views without bumping elbows with other tourists. The smaller crowds also mean shorter lines at museums like the Kunsthaus Graz and easier access to popular restaurants.

Hotel rates and airfare are often significantly cheaper in the winter than Graz’s busy summer season. You may find discounts of up to 50% on lodging. Budget-friendly winter deals, like the Graz Advent or Christmas packages, can also help you save on activities and transportation.

Despite the chilly weather, Graz comes alive in December for Christmas. The city centre has holiday markets selling handcrafted goods, food, and mulled wine. You can go ice skating, take in a concert, or stroll under strings of twinkle lights. Graz’s festive and cosy Atmosphere of winter is perfect for a relaxing city break.

While winter may be colder, the smaller crowds, lower prices, and festive vibe make it an ideal time to cosy up in Graz. You’ll find that the city hasn’t hibernated for the season.

The Best Season for You to Visit Graz

The best time to visit Graz depends on what experience you’re after. If you want to avoid the biggest crowds, skip the summer season from June to August. Graz gets very hot during these months, and tour groups flock to the city.

Spring (March to May)

Visit Graz in the Spring, from March to May, and you’ll enjoy smaller crowds, blooming gardens, and cultural events like the Spring Festival. Average highs of 65 F mean pleasant weather for exploring the city by foot or bike. Late Spring, especially May, offers long days with up to 15 hours of daylight.

Fall (September to October)

Early Fall, September and October also make a lovely time to visit Graz. The summer heat and crowds have dwindled, yet the weather remains mild during the day, in the mid-60s, perfect for sightseeing. Autumn colours start to emerge, with golden hues coating the city. As a bonus, hotel rates drop significantly after August.

I highly recommend Spring or Fall to experience Graz without the masses. The weather is temperate, the gardens and nature are beautiful, and you’ll feel like you have the city. An ideal time to avoid the madding crowds and soak in the charm of this picturesque Austrian city.

Special Events and Festivals

The best time to visit Graz is during its many annual festivals and events. The city comes alive with music, food, culture, and merriment.

Cultural Festival

Enjoy the annual Cultural Festival in June, which showcases art, music, food, and dance worldwide. Experience exotic music and dance performances, sample international cuisine, and shop for unique handicrafts. It’s a cultural experience not to be missed!

Christmas Markets

From late November to December, Graz’s picturesque town squares are filled with the aroma of mulled wine and the sounds of Christmas carols. The charming wooden huts of the Christmas markets sell handcrafted gifts, sweets, and hot food. Stroll the markets, sip glühwein, and feel the holiday spirit.

Music Festivals

Music lovers will enjoy one of Graz’s summer music festivals, like the Spring Festival or Klanglicht Electronic Music Festival. Hear live rock, pop and electronic music from international and local artists. Dance the night away at an open-air concert or club.

With exciting events happening year-round, anytime can be the perfect time to visit Graz. But scheduling your trip to coincide with one of the city’s lively festivals will give you memories that last well after you’ve left. Experience Graz at its most vibrant and festive!

Budget Considerations

Are you planning a trip to Graz on a budget? The shoulder months of April to May and September to October are ideal. The summer crowds have dwindled, hotel rates have dropped significantly, and the weather is still pleasant for exploring the city.

Accommodation

Hotel rates in Graz are most affordable in the Spring and fall, with potential savings of 20-50% compared to peak summer prices. You’ll have more choices of centrally located hotels and apartments at lower price points. For extra budget-friendly options, consider hostels which offer private and shared rooms, or check vacation rental sites for deals on apartments.

Food

Graz has a lively food scene with many reasonably priced options. In the shoulder months, you can take advantage of lower-cost daily menus at restaurants and cafes. Or pick up tasty and affordable street food like Bosna sausages, kebabs, and pretzels. Grocery stores and farmers’ markets also have good deals on local specialities like pumpkin seed oil, apricot jam and Styrian wines that you can enjoy on a budget.

The shoulder seasons in Graz offer an ideal balance of smaller crowds, lower costs and pleasant weather. You’ll be able to experience the city at a more relaxed pace without breaking the bank. Explore the picturesque old town, stunning architecture, cultural attractions and beautiful countryside surroundings. Graz in the Spring and fall is a perfect budget-friendly getaway.

Crowds and Tourist Attractions

Summer months (July and August) have the biggest crowds in Graz, especially at significant attractions like Schlossberg and the old town. For fewer crowds and lower prices, visit in April-June or September-October when the weather is still pleasant. 

Winter (November to March) is the low season, with deals on hotels but colder temperatures. Early mornings and weekdays are less busy times to visit top sights. By planning your trip smartly, you can experience the charm of Graz without the overwhelming crowds.

Local Events and Traditions

Graz hosts several events and traditions throughout the year that provide insight into the local culture.

Almabtrieb

In late September, Almabtrieb celebrates the return of cattle from their summer pastures in the Alps. Farmers decorate their cows with wreaths of flowers and bells before parading them through the city streets. This festival highlights Graz’s agricultural roots and long history of cattle farming.

Christmas Markets

From late November through December, Graz hosts enchanting Christmas markets. Stalls sell handcrafted goods, ornaments, and local delicacies like stollen, apfelstrudel, and gluhwein. Two of the most popular markets are the Old Town Christmas Market, with an ice skating rink and carousel, and the Christmas Market at Eggenberg Palace. 

You can visit Graz until early January and experience the Austrian Christmas tradition through daily markets. The city preserves its history and culture through events like the Almabtrieb festival and Christmas markets. Visiting during September or December allows you to enjoy pleasant weather and the festive Atmosphere without large crowds. It’s a great time to explore Graz and discover its uniqueness!

Personal Preferences and Interests

If crowds and tourist season turn you off, the shoulder months of April-May and September-October are ideal times to visit Graz. The weather is pleasant, the city less crowded, and hotel rates more affordable.

Personal Preferences

If you love art and culture, visit Graz in April or May for fewer crowds and pleasant weather. September is also lovely, with autumn colours and cosy wine taverns. For outdoor activities, late April to May and September are excellent, with comfortable temperatures for cycling and hiking. Accommodation rates are cheaper compared to July and August. 

The best time depends on what you want to experience and your preference for weather and crowds. April-May and September-October offer a good balance of mild weather, fewer crowds, and various events. You can’t go wrong with either of these times!

Conclusion

The best times to visit Graz, Austria, are during April-May or September-October, known as the shoulder months. These times offer pleasant weather, beautiful spring blooms or autumn foliage, and fewer crowds. You’ll also find better deals on accommodation and activities. 

Graz has something to offer all year, but visiting during the shoulder seasons allows you to explore the city at your own pace without the tourist crowds. So, plan your perfect spring or fall getaway to Graz and enjoy its charm without hesitation!

FAQs

What is the best time of year to visit Graz?

The best time to visit Graz is between April and September when the temperatures are milder. However, remember that the summer can also be the rainiest.

Is Graz, Austria, worth visiting?

Yes, Graz is worth visiting for its charming countryside, including farms, small towns, mountains, and hiking trails. Explore wineries, historic places, and museums in Styria, making it an authentic and sustainable destination.

Why is Graz famous?

Graz is famous for its vibrant cultural scene, earning it the title Cultural Capital of Europe in 2003. Its UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, the beautiful historical centre, showcases a mix of influences, from Baroque and Renaissance to Art Deco and Medieval architecture.

How many days should I spend in Graz?

Stay in Graz for two days! You can explore the pretty Old Town, climb Schlossberg Hill, and even go on trips outside the city. It’s double the fun with lots to do!

Is Graz an expensive city?

Yes, Graz can be considered an expensive city to live in. The average cost of living is $1441, ranking it in the top 32% of the most expensive cities globally, 2969th out of 9294, and 8th out of 26 cities in Austria.

Charlotte Moser

Charlotte Moser has a passion for traveling and exploring different cultures, cuisines, and lifestyles. She loves to share her experiences and trips with his readers, who are looking for some inspiration and guidance on how to make the most of their time in Austria.

Charlotte Moser



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