During my recent trip to Austria, I hit major cities like Vienna and Salzburg but it wasn't until my last few days in town that I stumbled upon Graz.
Before planning my trip, I hadn't even heard of Graz but perhaps that was all part of its allure. After three days in Salzberg, once I arrived to Graz's train station, I immediately noticed how much quieter it had become. Yes, it was still busy, as most cities are, but the terminal was not terribly crowded and the people I did see walked at a slower pace. After a whirlwind week of seeing and doing everything I could pack into my itinerary, Graz's laid-back atmosphere was just what the doctor ordered.
Two main things struck me: the music history associated with the city, and the booming local food scene. Even walking the streets I found a tram covered in colorful graffiti. Thanks to a large student population, budget travelers will fare well here thanks to lower prices for food, cultural attractions and their daily farmers market.