Styria was a duchy of the Holy Roman Empire and later a crown-land of Austria-Hungary. During those times Styria also included parts of Slovenia. It borders Carinthia, Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Burgenland, and Slovenia.
The province can be split into three main regions.
- Upper Styria lies to the north of the Mur-Muerz valley.
- Eastern Styria lies to the east of the Mur and to the south of the Mur-Muerz valley.
- Western Styria lies to the west of the Mur and to the south of the Mur-Muerz valley.
- Lower Styria referred to the ancient slovenian parts of Styria, however today most Austrians use it to refer to eastern and western Styria at once.
The capital is Graz.
Styria speaks Austro-Bavarian along with the rest of Austria, however you will find that most people also speak German, including just about all residents of Graz. Most people also have a functional command of English, and in the southern parts Slovene is also spoken by many, and this is not limited to the strong Slovene minority residing there.
Styria has its own international airport (Graz Thalerhof, GRZ IATA) located in the south of Graz. There are daily connections to Frankfurt (FRA IATA), Munich (MUC IATA) and Vienna (MUC IATA). Several flights a week to Stuttgart (STR IATA), London Stansted (STN IATA), Düsseldorf (DUS IATA) and Berlin Tegel (TXL IATA).
Major train routes pass into Styria from all neighbouring provinces and countries. There is an hourly Inter-City connection to Vienna and Carinthia as well as regular Inter/Euro-City connections to Linz, Salzburg and Maribor
Eurolines operates a few international destinations from/to Graz.
Otherwise it will be difficult to find a long distance bus leaving to Styria.
There is an excellent bicycle route available next to the river Mur. It starts in Salzburg and ends at the border to Slovenia, at Spielfeld you can cross the border to Slovenia and from there use the bicycle route 1 to get to Maribor.
There is also a possibility to get to Styria using the Drau bicycle route from Tyrol and Carinthia, either via Maribor or via another bicycle route at the very south of the Styria/Carinthia border that crosses over to the Mur bicycle route.
The Austrian hiking routes "Weitwanderweg" 01, 02, 03, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 cross through Styria as well.
By train or busEdit
There exists a vast network of public bus an train services. You will be able to reach nearly every town of the province, although sometimes the connections and operating hours may not be perfect. The whole public transport is part of a single network called "Verbundlinie". They offer a pretty good route planner on their homepage .
If you want to enquire offline concerning your transportation needs you can contact their information bureau at Jakoministraße 1 in Graz, right next to the Jakominiplatz. Phone: +43 316 820606 Fax: +43 316 820606-82.
Styria has a well developed tourism infrastructure with many things to see and do:
- Murauer Bier. The Murauer Brewery has a permament brewing museum (just turn up on Tuesdays and Thursdays). The tour includes the museum, brew house, a video presentation and a free Murauer beer or lemonade in any of their bars in the town. Price: 3€
- Judenburg Sternenturm. In the town of Judenburg there is a (locally) famous planetarium. The town also has a town tower which can be climbed offering views of the entire area. Even though the town is very industrial, it is worth the visit.
- Burg Riegersberg. This wonderfully preserved medieval castle (in the town of the same name) is privately owned by the ruling family of Liechtenstein. Entry is cheap, although photographers will have to buy a permit to use their cameras. The castle can be reached by walking up the original access path that winds its way through the castle's defensive gates. For those who don't wish to walk there is a cable car which ascends the other side of the hill.
- Zotter Chocolate. Also near Riegersberg is the Zotter chocolate factory. They make all their chocolate in an ethical and organic manner. The tour of the factory allows you to taste all of their varieties of chocolate (around 150).
Styria is famous for its white wine. If you get a chance be sure to stop at a wine yard ("Buschenschank") near the border to Slovenia. There you'll also get great food - order a "Brettljause", but not if you're vegetarian, or fond of small portions, because what you'll receive is a circular wooden tray stacked high with an enormous range of cold meats, and perhaps garnished with horseradish shavings (Kren).