Are you nervous about taking your baby or child on a plane trip? You aren't alone, most parents are nervous about it. We have moved with the kids to Alkmaar by car this holiday and drove some distances by car on when we were there and we learned a few things that hopefully will help you.
Bring books, old favourite toys and new surprise toys. Do remember that balls are not a good idea as they can end up anywhere! Our best buys were definitely books, especially sticker books are great! They can peel the stickers off, are glossy, have thick pages to turn easy, have bright colours and come in endless subjects. They're a nice break from the other books your child might be tired of, too. Put aside fears of setting poor eating habits, and bring on the snacks! We told Iris: “Welcome to the world of boredom eating."
Toy bars meant for stroller use are a big help in the car, as they often feature toys plus a snack cup, and are big and easy for you to grab from the front seat for refills. During the car trip it’s always a good idea to play a game and sing some songs. It sounds rather easy, but it does work!
We only have one last statement! Just do it! Don’t be afraid that it might go wrong. We have learned this, because we have been travelling with Iris from the beginning. She was only 6 weeks young when we had our first short vacation and stayed in a hotel. Iris has been used to it rather fast and (maybe because of it) has always been an easy kid to get along with.
The metro system of Graz consists of busses, trams and the Schlossbergerbahn funicular, all of which can be travelled on with same ticket or pass bought from machines at the station (train or Schlossbergerbahn). There are a few machines elsewhere, and you can also buy online or at the Mobil Zentral (Mobility Center) at Jakoministra?e 1. The ten journey strip cards can also be bought in many shops, including tobacconists. You can also buy one-hour tickets on the bus.
For zone 1, where most tourists will go, the prices are:
One Hour Ticket: 1.70 euros
Ten Zone Ticket Strip: 14.00 euros
24 hour pass: 3.50 euros
Don't forget to validate your ticket if you don't buy it from the driver.
Every hour by bus (nr. 630 and 631, 20 minutes) to Graz Jakominiplatz and Griesplatz from outside the terminal building (70 meter).
Every 30 minutes by train (S 5, 12 minutes) to Graz Hauptbahnhof, about 400 meter walk.
Both are € 1,90 for a 1 hour ticket, € 4,20 for a 24 hour ticket.
Graz is about half-way between Vienna and Zagreb, about 30 minutes from the Slovenian border, and an hour from Slovenia's second city of Maribor. There are direct connections between Graz and Vienna (2-3 hours) and Zagreb (4 hours). It also has direct internal connections to Bregenz, Salzburg and Innsbruck, as well as international connections to Prague and Ljubljana. Because of Graz's location on the far eastern edge of Western Europe, it has few regular trains outside of Vienna, Ljubljana and local destinations.
The station is a little out of town, on the opposite side of the river Mur from the city center, but it's not that far to walk. It's about 2-3 km away, so if you have a large amount of luggage, grab a cab or a bus.
To get to Graz by air you can fly direct from London Standstead with Ryanair who also fly to various other Austrian cities from the UK. But from Ireland, unless you go by charter, I think the only routes are Dublin to Vienna with Aer Lingus, Austrian Airways and Lauda Air (I think). Hopefully Ryanair will start a direct flight there soon.
Ryanair and Aer Lingus now operate flights from Ireland to a number of cities in Austria (not Graz though)
Local transport is run by GVB, buses and our favourites, trams.
Always a good idea to invest in a day ticket a cheap way to see any city.
Cost for a 24 hour ticket (Oct 2010) is 4.2 euros, it's valid on the Schlossberg funicular too.
Another option to get up / down the Schlossberg. This lift runs right through the mountain - become a Chilean miner for a few moments!
You'll have to buy a ticket, GVB tickets are not valid here but only 80 cents(Oct/10)
Next to the stairs leading up the castle hill, there is a tunnel that leads to an elevator running to the top. It drops you off near the cafe behind the clock tower. It only costs 0.60 cents per adult (as of Oct. 2007) and takes less than 1 min. to get to the top or the bottom.
An excellent and very economic way to come - even for a short visit - to Graz are the Ryanair flights from London Stansted. You can fly from London Stansted to Graz for the price difference for a reasonable dinner between England and Graz.
Parking in Graz is maybe the most difficult and expensive one among all Austrian cities. Therefore I suggest to leave the car far ouside the centre and to use the Public Transport (tram and bus). In the centre you find almost all interesting sights in walking distance.
The so-called "Lift im Berg" (lift inside the mountain) takes you from Schlossbergplatz and Kriegsteig directely to the Uhrturm. In Contrary to some brochures printed by the Graz-tourist-office, this lift is NOT included in the means of transportation of the daytickets of buses and trams (ONLY Schlossbergbahn is included !!) BUT each ride is just 50 cents and takes you easily and quickly to the famous Uhrturm.
The small, black Uhrturm that you may see in front of the real one is ment for blind people, who may "see" the construction of the tower by their hands that way.
Graz is not really such a very big town and it has a really perfect system of trams and buses. Walking from the train-station to Herrengasse & most of the sights in the centre of Graz is about 25 minutes, so it might make sense to take a tram !
When arriving by car, try to park at one of the many Park & Ride-places and take the tram/bus into the centre. In the city there are plenty of one-way-streets and only a few spaces to park...
Ordinary tickets, beeing valid for 1 hour are 1,70 Euros
a ticket for 24 hours is 3,40 Euros
both of these tickets are for sale at the tram- and bus-drivers
and at most newspaper-shops.
Tickets for the whole week are 8,20 Euros
You may get them at all the Tabak-trafik & newspaper-shops.
Always CANCEL your ticket right away !!!
For more infos and timetables, please click on my link below !
Unfortunately that webpage is only in German !! :-((
There are several possibilities to get on top of the Schloßberg - one of them is this wonderful staircase that will take you directely to the Uhrturm - and when walking up the stairs you will realize that is was impossible for enemies in the ancient times to get up the hill at this side of the mountain (before these steps were made)
click on the pic to see the beautiful structure of the stairs, that were built during WW II - and are therefore called "Krieg-steig" (war-stairs)
The small square at the foot of the Kriegsteig is called Schlossbergplatz,and it is about 200 meters from Hauptplatz and next to the spot, where the stairs start, you may see also the small gate for the lift taking you up to the Schlossberg.
Grazer Schlossberg-Grottenbahn is a small train for children, taking them into the world of dwarfs.
You may find this small train next to the "Lift im Berg" that takes you up to the Uhrturm.
The Grazer Schlossberg-Grottenbahn runs daily :
Monday-Sunday from 10.00a.m. till 05.00p.m.
Use the entrance below Krieg-steig !
Marien-Lift is one of the strangest art-projects in Graz. The sculpture of Virgin Mary stands at the beginning of Herrengasse and it may see this main-shopping-street from a different angle for hundreds of years already. The idea of the art-project is that Marienlift gives also ordinary people the possibility to see that street in the same way and shifts as the statue of Mary. Thats all !!!
You may insert 1 Euro and the lift gets up, stays there for 1 minute and goes down again.
It was built recently and in my opinion it is quite a waste of money at a time, when cities like Graz & Vienna do not have enough money to build a lift for handicapped people at all of the Metro-stations, BUT they have money for such a non-sense !!