Car Hire from Graz Airport
The Styria region of Austria is home to spectacular scenery, a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, the country’s second biggest city, Graz and lots of quaint little towns. Hiring a car from Graz Airport allows you to explore this beautiful part of Austria at your own pace and discover those memorable places off the beaten tourist track.
Where to hire a car at Graz Airport
There are five car hire companies operating at Graz Airport. These are Sixt, Avis, Europcar, Megadrive and Hertz. Passengers will find the car hire offices located on the ground floor of the airport car park, accessed by a covered walkway from the arrivals hall.
Petrol Stations near Graz Airport
If you are asked to return your hire car with a full tank of petrol, you will find petrol stations close to the airport. If you’re approaching on the B67 from the south, you’ll find an OMV garage about five minutes before you reach the airport. It’s located at the L373 roundabout. Alternatively, if you’re approaching from the north, you will come across a BP petrol station about a few minutes before you reach the airport off of B67/Triester Strasse.
Driving around Graz Airport
Graz Airport sits on a well-connected road network. The B67 is the main road going to and from the airport. It heads north to Graz and south to Spielfeld. Other major roads nearby include the E59 which travels south towards the Slovenian border and northbound, changes to the A9 before heading for Leoben. There’s also the E66 which goes west to Villach and east to Gleisdorf.
Roads in Austria are very well-maintained and driving is a straight forward experience. You will need to ensure your car is fitted with a toll sticker in order to pass through toll booths. If your car hire company doesn’t include one with your rental agreement, you can buy one from local petrol stations or post offices and then fix it on the left side of your windscreen. It costs €8.70 for a 10 day sticker and €25.30 for a two month sticker. If you pass through a toll booth without the required sticker you will face a hefty fine.
Another thing to check with your rental company, if you’re travelling between 1 November and 15 April in any given year, is that your car is fitted with winter tyres. This is a legal requirement in Austria.
Getting to your destination
When you hire a car from Graz Airport, it’s easy to get to lots of great destinations. Here are a few of them:
Graz is the second largest city in Austria and home to no less than six universities. The city’s historic old town, with its impressive architecture, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Top of any list is a visit to the Schlossberg, a castle up on a hill in the middle of the city. Visitors who walk up to the top will be rewarded with spectacular views. There’s also swimming in the city’s outdoor swimming pools during the summer and skating on nearby lakes during winter to enjoy.
Graz city is around 20 minutes’ drive from Graz Airport, taking the B67 north. Driving in the city can be a little tricky. There are lots of one way streets and parking is at a premium. You’ll have to pay to park during weekday daytimes and on Saturday mornings. An alternative is Graz’s extensive park and ride system, including some free parking options, which will allow you to avoid navigating the city centre altogether.
At 1445 metres, Schöckl Mountain isn’t the highest of mountains. However, it offers a popular retreat from the city of Graz and features walking and cycling routes and an incredible view from the top. For those who fancy the views but not the walk, there’s a cable car heading up to the top. Visitors will find restaurants at the top of the mountain and the Hexenexpress, a summer toboggan run for all the family.
Schöckl Mountain is around 40 minutes’ drive from Graz Airport, taking the A9 north to bypass Graz city centre and then picking up the L329. If you park at the lower station you can take the cable car up to the top of the mountain. Otherwise, there are various car parks at walking points around the mountain.
The Bärenschützklamm Gorge is home to strange rock formations, rare wildlife and incredible waterfalls. The walk to the top of the gorge passes over wooden bridges and up ladders and you can either go it alone or with a guide.
Bärenschützklamm is 40 minutes north of Graz, taking the A9 and then the S35. There is a well-signposted car park for the gorge from where you can start your walk.