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Getting There

By Plane -- Austrian Airlines (tel. 05176/67200) offers daily flights from Vienna to Thalerhof International Airport (tel. 0316/2902; www.flughafen-graz.at), 18km (11 miles) south of Graz. Tyrolean Air and Lufthansa also serve the airport. There's a white-sided, 15-passenger minivan that makes six trips a day between Graz's airport and the city center. A one-way trip costs 5€ ($6.50) per person. Departures coincide with the arrival of incoming flights, but the trips aren't frequent enough. The much more convenient cab ride from the airport to the city center (for up to four passengers) costs around 20€ ($26).

By Train -- Graz is Austria's southern center for rail lines between Vienna and Slovenia. It's also the junction for secondary rail lines that extend to Budapest and a series of valleys in western Styria. At least 10 trains depart every day from Vienna's Südbahnhof for Graz (trip time: 2 1/2 hr.). Through connections, it's easy to get here from other Austrian cities such as Innsbruck, Salzburg, and Klagenfurt. In addition, about one local train per hour arrives in Graz from minor rail lines in western Styria's isolated valleys and from the more populated areas of eastern Styria and the Hungarian border. For rail information, call tel. 05/1717 (www.oebb.at).

By Bus -- Graz is also the departure point for about 100 different bus lines, most of which head toward hamlets and small villages. For bus information, call tel. 0316/5987. Because of its excellent train connections, however, most travelers arrive by rail.

By Car -- If you're driving from Vienna, take Autobahn A2 south. The Autobahn doesn't stretch all the way to Graz; part of it is Route 54, which becomes Autobahn A2 again northeast of Graz.

Getting Around

Graz City Transport, Jakoministrasse 1 (tel. 0316/820606), operates streetcar and bus service throughout the city. Jakominiplatz, on the river's eastern bank, and Griesplatz, on the western bank, are the points where most streetcar lines intersect. The Graz City Transport office at Jakoministrasse 1 is open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm.

For information on Postal Buses, contact the Graz City Tourist office, Herrengasse 16 (tel. 0316/80750).

The city's largest underground parking lot is the Tiefgarage Andreas-Hofer-Platz, on the Andreas-Hofer-Platz (tel. 0316/829191). Parking costs 32€ ($51) for a full day or 4€ ($6.40) per hour. Within the city's historic center, you can park in the blue zones -- indicated by a blue line painted beside the curb -- for up to 3 hours. Parking costs .60€ ($1) per half-hour. You can either put coins in a parking meter or buy parking vouchers from tobacco shops or post offices. To use the voucher, fill in the blanks with the date and the time you parked in a spot, and leave it on the dashboard so it's visible through the windshield.

Major car-rental agencies in Graz (all also represented at the airport) include Avis, Schlögelgasse 10 (tel. 0316/812920); Budget, Europaplatz 12 (tel. 0316/722074); and Hertz, Andreas-Hofer-Platz (tel. 0316/825007). These offices are open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to noon.

Taxi service is available by hailing a cab on the street, lining up at any of the city's clearly designated taxi stands (the largest is in front of the main railway station), or calling tel. 878 (which gains access to the biggest company in Graz), 983, or 889.

City Layout

The Altstadt (Old Town) lies on the left bank of the Mur, centered on Hauptplatz (Main Square). To the south of this landmark plaza looms the Rathaus (Town Hall). Southeast of Hauptplatz is Herrengasse, a pedestrian area used by local shoppers, which comes to an end at Platz am Eisernen Tor, with its column mounted by a 17th century figure of the Virgin.

At the eastern end of the Opernring is the municipal park, Stadtpark, dating from the 19th century. Northeast of Hauptplatz looms the Burg, a 15th-century imperial stronghold. South of the Burg rises the late-Gothic Graz cathedral, and south of the cathedral is the baroque mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II. Rising above the Altstadt is the Schlossberg, which can be reached by the cable railway.

Visitor Information

The Graz City Tourist Office, Herrengasse 16 (tel. 0316/80750; www.graztourismus.at), will book hotel rooms and provide information about the area. Hotels throughout Styria can be booked here. It's open September to June, Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm; July and August, Monday to Friday 10am to 7pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm, and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.