St Valentine’s day is approaching (well, as an annual holiday, it’s always approaching no matter the time of the year, isn’t it) and there’s a city in Austria you might not consider as a romantic destination at first. See why I do!
Yes, it might be a small city. Yes, it is not as famous as the capital Vienna. Yes, it is not on the most-popular-destinations lists.
it’s easy to reach (they’ve got a well-developed railway system as well as an airport), can be seen in 1-2 days (if you hurry) at any weather and it is not “too famous” yet. What else? It will steal your heart and make you come back again.
The (more or less) hidden courtyards
Wandering around the historical centre will take you no more than 10 minutes during which you will discover a number of fairytale-like courtyards and alleys. One courtyard that speaks for all is on Sporgasse 25. However, Herrengasse is also worth it. Those arcades will amaze you even if you primarily don’t care about architecture. 😉
After the hike, “breathtaking” might be a bit too literal, but always worth it. When you get up to the symbolical clock-tower, you oversee the whole city and marvel at the beautiful red roofs, realizing how good a job UNESCO is doing. 🙂
Not much help is needed to find a cosy café in Graz, that’s for sure. They’re on every corner and each one is original. I recommend trying three or four different ones to pick your top. My personal favourite is right next to Mariahilferplatz – Blendend – which can serve as a cosy bar too.
A historical lovers fable
According to a story, the double spiral staircase in the castle complex (Grazer Burg) was built for lovers to meet on each floor again and again while they’re going up the stairs separately. They are supposed to kiss on the shared platform so they make their true love last forever. Its original name in German kills all the romance though – DOPPELWENDELTREPPE.
(*the struggle gets real when you try to capture the staircase in a nice angle while the purpose is visible…)
All the street lights together with the reconstructed facades, wooden shutters at the windows and medieval-like paving throw you literally back in time. Maybe it is time to get off your bike and truly appreciate it. 😉
Some of the most impressive spots can be found on Schmiedgasse or Franziskanerplatz.
Or try Karmeliterplatz together with Sporgasse. This could truly be a never-ending list.
Graz is a valuable destination to visit even if you’re not primarily looking for the greatest romance. It has the right vibes for artists, designers, hipsters, bikers or the more alternative ones of us. It’s a young and living student city, so if you rent a bike and visit some galleries, you’ll sneak in very smoothly too. 😉
Graz is just recommended.