Pick up your hire car at Graz airport and you're ready to explore Austria's vibrant cultural hub.
"Vienna might have a reputation as Austria's cultural hub, but in terms of nightlife and beauty, the capital has nothing on us!"
Austria's second city is certainly a lively place, but as well as some cracking after-hours hotspots, its historic city centre is one of the best-preserved in Central Europe.
There are six universities in the city, and the young student population helps to explain why the city has such a vibrant feel.
If you're visiting in winter, bring a bobble hat - temperatures usually drop below freezing. Summers can be pretty warm, though.
It might not be as cold as you’d expect. Annual temperatures average 8-10°C but pack extra socks anyway, it can get very cold at night-time and in winter.
A trip to any Austrian city wouldn't be complete without indulging in an apple strudel (a sweet pastry) or a wiener schnitzel (a slice of breaded veal).
Arnold Schwarzenegger bid "hasta la vista" to his hometown Graz back in the 1960s.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the man whose assassination sparked off World War One, was born in Graz.
"Willkommen - Welcome - Benvenuto! No matter what language you speak, Graz will welcome you with an international smile and a hearty, Styrian 'Gruess Gott'!" - The Graz Tourist Board.
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Graz's enchanting hill-top castle is the sort of thing you'd expect to see in an illustrated book of fairytales, and it offers some spectacular views of the city.
Parking is available at PH Schlossberg in Sackstrasse 29, for around €3.40.
The town hall is one of Graz's most striking sights and dominates the city's famous Hauptplatz. Grab a coffee at the open-air cafe and enjoy the grand building in all its majesty.
As it is within the city walls, there are plenty of places to park.
The city's football stadium was originally named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it's the home ground of the city's football team SK Sturm Graz.
There is a 650-space onsite car park.
The gothic castle complex dates back to the 15th century, and these days it serves as the base for the local government.
Street parking is available.
The Schlossberg has a fascinating history - back in the early 1800s it was attacked by Napoleonic forces. Find out all about the city's past at the castle's museum.
You can use the Schlossberg car park for €3.40.
This beautiful national park looks like a setting straight out of The Sound Of Music, and while you may not see the von Trapp family dancing around, you'll definitely witness some breathtaking views.
Follow the A9, then merge onto the A1 - be aware that you may need money for the tolls as you enter Germany. Continue on the A8 and follow signs for Sachsenkam. The journey should take around four hours.
If all that foreign currency is burning a hole in your pocket, Seiersberg's Shopping City is the perfect place to spend it.
Head south-west on Joanneumring toward Schmiedg and take the B67c towards Grazer Bundesstr. Traffic depending, the journey should take no more than 15 minutes.
The largest mountain in the region is a great place to take a scenic hike. And if you're looking for an adrenaline rush, Schoeckel has its own tobogganing track.
Follow the A9 and take exit 165-Knoten Deutschfeistritz-Friesach for the S35, toward Peggau/Deutschfeistritz/Bruck/Mur. Follow signs for S35/Bruck an der Mur, then merge onto Brucker-Schnellstrasse/S35. The journey will take just over an hour.
The Austrian Open-Air Museum is set in the grounds of a 13th-century abbey, and its courtyard has remained unchanged since the mid-1800s.
Follow B67/Grazer Bundesstr, then exit onto the A9. Follow signs for Enzenbach. The journey should take no more than half an hour.
" Graz is easy to get around by car and makes for a scenic drive, with quaint cobbled streets, small alleyways and squares. The Schlossberg rises out of the centre of Graz, and the views across the city from here are excellent - if you're driving, follow the Fuerstenstandweg road, branching off from the Steinbergstrasse. There are strict rules on street parking, so always look at the signs. And never park on red or yellow lines. "