Having just come back from a weekend in Madrid, I was on my way again four days later. This time to Graz. Graz is the second largest city of Austria with around 300k inhabitants, give or take a bit. I know it’s a city but compared to Madrid it seemed more like a village. Which was perfect for us because we just wanted to relax, enjoy each other’s company and have a good time.
We left Friday afternoon by car and in no time at all arrived at the Augarten Art Hotel in the “center” of Graz. It was not really in the center but within easy walking distance and as the name suggests, it’s full of art. Some better, some weird, definitely art though.
What the hotel distinguished was a lovely indoor pool and sauna area, as well an apparently wonderful breakfast that we hadn’t booked. We wanted to be out in the world and get acquainted with Graz. So on Saturday morning we had breakfast at Blendend. The place is a mix of café/bistro/bar, all very hip and stylish in a retro sort of way. The bar in the evening is actually quite lively, we had ended there Friday night. Breakfast by the way was excellent. The buffet was the right mix of everything, with freshly baked goods, different breads, fruit salads, cold cuts, home-made spreads and different egg dishes. Really a great way to start the day!
The day was spent with a mix of walking around Graz and seeing nothing in the sense of sightseeing but enjoying it all. To just let go and stroll through a city with no aim and purpose is a beautiful feeling. The weather was beautiful and we finally ended up on a rooftop.
The rooftop bar was actually right on top of a shopping temple, the famous Kastner & Öhler house in Graz. Besides finding everything you never knew you wanted, it also has an amazing bar on top with excellent djaying on Saturday (check out the music here). With the weather being so sunny, it was no wonder we sat down with a bottle of rosé. Here also Pat finally joined the group for the weekend.
More walking around the city, another pit stop to refuel at Der Steier where Styrian tapas are served and we headed back to the hotel for a break at hotel pool.
Dinner was at the restaurant Eckstein, where we sat in one of the little squares that seem to line up in Graz, one after the other. Graz definitely has Italian flair with most of its city life happening outdoors. Dinner at Eckstein was fabulous but way to dark for me to make pictures.
On Sunday morning we had one more reservation for breakfast, right on top of the Rosenberg. The Café Rosenhain offers a fantastic view on the city but that allows them to cut back on the buffet. This is really place to only come for coffee.
Last stop before leaving Graz was of course going up to the Clock Tower. The city’s landmark is on top of the Schloßberg which can be reached by foot or funicular railway. Sporty as we were, of course we walked. It’s actually quite steep up there and you can feel the steps a bit, but the view from each turn gets better and better.
What an excellent weekend and Graz was the just the right destination for us. Within easy reach of Vienna but with lots of Italian flair already. I am sure the nightlife is fantastic too, we just didn’t make it. Yours, Pollybert