Austria’s second-largest city is possibly Austria’s most relaxed, and after Vienna it is also Austria’s liveliest for after-hours pursuits. It’s an attractive place with bristling green parkland, red rooftops and a small, fast-flowing river gushing through its centre. Architecturally, it complements Renaissance courtyards and provincial baroque palaces with cutting-edge modern designs that fascinate, provoke or arouse curiosity. The surrounding countryside, a mixture of vineyards, mountains, forested hills and thermal springs, is within easy striking distance, and Graz has a very beautiful bluff connected to the centre by steps, a funicular and a glass lift. Last but not least, a large student population (some 50, 000 in four universities) helps propel the nightlife and vibrant arts scene, creating a pleasant, lively and liveable city.
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