Lidija By 

ROAD TRIP TO GRAZ


Only 2 hours of driving from Zagreb, there is a small town I was once in love with. Didn’t even know of his existence up until then. Since then, I’ve been here numerous times. Stopped counting after a while. I would go with my parents to Metro, Segro, etc… buying everything we could get our hands on, hoping for some not to strict custom officials. Later on it turned to Ikea, Kika, H&M, Zara…a lot of new brands (at least new for Zagreb).
And then, things have changed, we became a part of Europe, and all those reasons to travel abroad lost its meaning cause you had and still have all those brands here.

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Back then, Graz was just another city. Small town, similar to my hometown, 2nd biggest in Austria, has a bit of an aura that takes you back in to 900 years old history that this town speaks. A town of pleasant residents, cyclists, cute places, charming shops, green surfaces, parks, museums, yards…, a fascinating combination of small town and worldwide tourist metropolis.
It has been proclaimed the only city of Design in 2010 and a lot of other festivities; concerts, gastronomy, rich night life, etc. Culturally rich and historically accurate town. I could go on and on for days.

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But if you really want to learn more about the city and all its happenings you click HERE!

So the time has come for us to escape Zagreb. Just a tiny bit, enough to stretch our legs before soaking it in a perfectly clean and blue Adriatic sea. Let’s go to Graz!!!

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STARTING POINT

Pleasant 2 hour drive. Little bit rainy but the fear of rain falling in Graz was swiftly replaced with happiness and sunshine. First thing we did, faithful co-worker and my photo master, me, was visiting a destination called Opern cafe. One of landmarks of Graz is located on Operning street, where we have come to drink Illy coffee and try those small cookies… adorable! Beautiful interior, just right for taking picks, and going through our game plan.

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Orientation is really not our strong side so with the help of Windows 10 Maps app we were able to locate every single destination we was hoping to. Great app that can literally show us the distance, the mileage and the best route to our destination. We couldn’t get lost even if we wanted to.

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ABSORBING THE ARCHITECTURE

Herrengasse, the main street in Graz, has some beautiful gift shops that we caught with a glimpse of an eye. After that we go to Landhaus, a beautiful masterpiece of an Italian renaissance, that is, according to our guide, an amazing place to party.

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Hauptplatz and Rathaus (city hall) are the heart and soul of public and private life in Graz. We don’t have much time cause the trams keep on coming and leaving, daily life rhythm is constant and people don’t have the time to spot us on the street with our phones and cameras. And as it always is, first thing we do after a bit of sightseeing, shopping in the Meka of shopping places…

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SHOPPING

Like in the old times when we were searching for H&M, Zara and other brand stores, today we search for COS.
COS is a chain of branded clothes stores for women and men which delights me every time I see it with its creativity and material quality. It’s been in business for the last 10 years but the closest one here is – Graz. Lucky us!! When I go inside I lose my mind, so it’s probably better that it does not exist in Zagreb. Of course I had a list of all my friends with their shopping wishes so we had to do that on our way back so we don’t have to handle all those bags through the day.

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HEART OF THE CITY

Graz is supposed to be a small town but there is so much here to see. We’ve decided to take a stroll down Stempfergasse street, only to stop in front of Vogue store where all the brands such as Chloe, Givenchy, Celine, Tod’s put their new products up for sale immediately. We headed to Glockenspielplatz cause I wanted to show to my co-worker these 2 amazing places;

Reastaurant Delikatessen Frankowitsch

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Frankowitsch is an adorable self-service dining shop where you can have a quite and peaceful brunch, have a cup of coffee, or buy some souvenirs. The thing I love about this place is the movement indoors and a little deck outside where everyone loves to come and hang out. And a birdie told me that cupcakes in this place are heavenly. Luckily, we didn’t make sure for ourselves.

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… and little designer shop MuR ↓

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MuR is relatively small, designer shop located in the centre of this city. You can find all sorts of clothing there, from famous designers to some little known ones. Furniture, glass, chandeliers, coffee tables and lots more can be find there as well… it looks a bit like a design museum that you never wanna leave.

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FOOD TIME

After Opern cafe, we stopped at one of the most famous bakery shops in Graz, Auer, and bought ourselves croissants, so we don’t starve. But we still needed to drink something so we went to a famous coffee shop/restaurant/bar Caffe Mitte at Freiheitsplatz. My dear Insta friend, Andrea, who lives here said that people still eat and drink together outside in front of the Caffe Mitte, so we did that as well. Some other places we went to were; Kunsthauscaffe, Parks, Sorger, Tribeka…and a lot more we just didn’t have time to visit. But some day…
And our Hugo cocktails that we ordered gave us strength to keep moving forward during the day.

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OBVIOUSLY BAKERY SHOPS ARE OUR WEAKNESS...

On our way to Schlossberg, we stopped at one of the oldest bakery shops in Graz. We have managed, somehow, not to give in to delicious taste and smell of baked braed and just decided to take pictures of Edeggers bakery shop in Hoffgase. Eventually we just glimpsed inside for a peek and left as soon as we can worry about our firstly made decision.
But as it always is, something stopped us. A most kind and graceful owner of the bakery invited us in to try something and we almost try everything. We need to go for a hike! Like right now!… Yeah no way that’s happening.

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SCHLOSSBERG HILL

You have 3 different routes to the main sightseeing place in Graz.
One of them is with your own feet, walking, believing it or not…we didn’t though.
Other one is elevator through an amazing tunnel, and the way back is with a gondola. Is this a dream or what? We decided for the elevator ofc. The ticket wasn’t expensive so…decided-executed.

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When we’ve arrived to the top, the view was breath-taking. But before taking picks of the cities panorama, we saw a small rose bush and it took us about an hour to literally try out every single pose around it… totally worth it.

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Schlosseberg hill is not only an amazing viewpoint, but a romantic place for the loved ones. Uhrtum, a giant tower with an distinguish clock on it, is itself a landmark. For example, the big and the small clock handles are reversed, so the big one is showing minutes and the small one hour. It confused us and every other tourist for quite some time. There is an anecdote that when Napoleon Bonaparte wanted to take it down and blow it up during one of his conquering quests, the people from Graz simply bought it from him. It meant that much to them.

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Tired but satisfied, we ate our lunch at Aiola restaurant. Pasta and risotto, ice coffee, wine and the view made us believe we were in some fairy-tale. It was really hard to get on that gondola, cause no one wanted to leave that place, but I’m sure we will be back soon.

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You already know about our little companion on this road trip. Thanks to Microsoft Croatia and Lenovo Croatia for making it possible to stay connected with the world via this little laptop, a miracle worker. So while we are eating, we can check our e-mails and see what’s happening on IG and Facebook… wherever we go, virtual life can’t be forgotten

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CLOSED CIRCLE

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Finally, we’ve come to our starting point. We even stopped by at Kastner&Ohler, beautiful fashion shop filled with all sorts of clothing, which we just had to see and let’s face it, buy. Izipizi glasses were in my bag, Tom Ford male perfume Oud Wood stayed behind for its not so little cost and on our way we go.

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But there was this little visit to COS and Aurer cause we needed to keep our promise and by some jams and buns. We wanted so much and didn’t have any time, what so ever.
For example, see the city from Burgruine Gosting point of view, go to Streer Art exhibition at Gries, have a coffee at Purberg, Hilmteich, have something to eat in one of those Bausatzlokaleu, which is special in Graz. You get the basic stuff and everything else is on you… and pretty cheap tbh.

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And yet again Windows maps make our lives much more easier as we can find the fastest way to Zagreb in no time.

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So Graz… what can we say! So long, my friend, see you again soon I hope! :-)

Text: Lidija Šeatović for MLZ

Photos: Marija Laća for MLZ

Translation: Filip Šeatović for MLZ

Thanks to our partners Microsoft Hrvatska i Lenovo Hrvatska for making this road trip possible.

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