Living And Retiring In Graz Austria

Brown and White Concrete Building

Graz is known for its natural beauty and rich history dating back for centuries so no wonder a lot of people have decided to retire here. In this article we will discuss all you need to know before deciding to move and start a new life in Graz Austria.

Here are all the questions you may have about Retiring to Graz:

  • Is Graz Austria a good place to live?
  • Is Graz safe to live?
  • How much does it cost to live in Graz Austria?
  • How much do groceries cost in Graz?
  • Is there a retirement visa in Austria?
  • What is Graz Austria known for?
  • How to get around Graz?

Let’s take a closer look at each of the things you need to look up to before retiring in Graz Austria.

Is Graz a good place to retire?

Population: 284,000
Currency: Euro
Language: German

Graz which is Austria’s second largest city and is also one of the country’s best-kept secrets. This medieval city in Styria’s south has a lot to offer particularly to foodies, history enthusiasts and outdoor lovers.

Graz was crowned the Eu Capital of Culture and City of Design in 2003 and 2009. It is one of Europe’s most well-preserved historical cities with an abundance of remarkable architecture and interesting cultural attractions.

Graz is a foodie’s delight with a wide array of foods to pick from and most of the ingredients locally sourced. Pumpkin soup with domestically sourced pumpkin oil sprinkled on top and a pork spread are two popular Styrian meals. 

Aiola is a stylish restaurant with a stunning backdrop of Graz and the hills beyond the city which is an excellent spot to try Styrian food. It has an amazing menu for the restaurant’s guests, famous for its ethnic food with a local Styrian touch.

Graz has a picture perfect backdrop like most towns and cities in Austria. Graz is a great place to visit if you would like a slow paced city with the option of escaping to the countryside. When I travel I am always going to the second or third biggest city to get a more cultural feel for the country, people and most of all its food.

LINK: Tourist Information for Graz

Is it safe to live in Graz?

Austria is in fact a very safe country with a relatively low level of risk and a low rate of violent crime. However just like with any foreign town or city you should always exercise caution when out late at night in the poorer parts of town.  You should be ok in most places in Graz but follow the simple travel safety best practice and you should be fine.

The inhabitants of Graz are welcoming but there has been a rise in small offenses with foreigners being the most vulnerable targets. Pickpockets at railway stations, on packed city buses, and even at airports are the most common sorts of crimes. Be mindful of your surroundings and keep an eye out for anyone paying too much attention to you.

Women can feel totally safe while visiting when alone but all tourists should exercise caution when going out at night. The most common threat to tourists is purse stealing, or the stealing of other bags. As a result it is advisable to not make yourself a subject or target of thieves. When you’re out and about don’t flash huge sums of money and keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

When visiting tourist destinations such as galleries, landmarks, cafés, resorts, beaches, trains, railway stations and airports in a rental car make lock the doors and not leave anything in plain sight. This is the same for anywhere in the world.

Duplicates of proper documentation and bank cards must be completely separated from the originals and contact information for banks should be kept on hand in case credit and debit cards stolen.

LINK: Austria Travel Advisory

How much does it cost to live in Graz?

Graz’s cost of living is on average 23 percent lower than that of the United States. Graz’s rent is much less expensive than in the United States.A three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Graz’s city center will cost roughly $280k USD. A one-bedroom apartment with one bathroom near the city center and the coast will set you back roughly $100k USD.

You can expect to have to pay around $450 USD per month for a two bedroom apartment in the center of Graz or less if you live outside the center. Then you can decide how many extra rooms you need and whether or not you want a private residence or share accommodation. My advice is to stay for a time in rented accommodation utilizing Airbnb’s long term discounts and look around to find the right place to buy.

If you’re looking for anything really cheap then you can go to Facebook Marketplace. Select the country and city as your filter (in this case Graz) then click on Property Rentals or House Sales. Remember that most of the prices will be in euro. 

You’ll be interacting personally with the owners while looking for a house to buy or rent on Facebook Marketplace. If you’re buying a property in any country, you should seek legal guidance first to ensure all the paperwork is in order before handing over any money.

It’s often better to go through a realtor for acquisitions or long-term leases, and I will list a few for you to choose below. They’ll inform you of any applicable municipal restrictions, fees, or taxes, as well as verify that the home has a valid title deed.

Here Are A Few Real Estates Agent You Can Look Into:

TIP: If you want to search Google Maps for more realtors in Graz, use the phrase “Immobilien” to narrow down your results.

NOTE: Some of these websites are in German so enable your browser’s auto translation feature to get results in English.

How much do groceries cost in Graz?

Restaurant prices in Graz are slightly higher than in the United States. Therefore to save more money during retirement it’s better to cook most of your meals at home and go to restaurants once a week or during special occasions. We will show you the prices for basic cooking staples in Graz below. 

Here is the overview of the average monthly groceries:

Milk1 Liter / 1 quart$1.3 USD
Bread1 Loaf$2.3 USD
Eggs1 Dozen$2.7 USD
Pork1 kg/ 2.2 pounds$9 USD
Chicken Breasts1 kg/ 2.2 pounds$9 USD
Beer20 x 500ml reusable bottle$15 USD
Vodka1 Liter / 1 quart$13 USD

Here are a few local supermarkets you can look at for current prices:

NOTE: these prices were only valid at the making of this article so check the grocery websites above for current pricing.

Is there a retirement visa in Austria?

Americans can apply for a variety of visas in Austria, but the most popular for retirees is a settlement visa. A person must show that he or she has adequate finances, health insurance, and a place to live in order to be eligible for a settlement visa.

Furthermore, residency in Austria includes passing a language test that demonstrates that you are fluent in German. The settlement visa is for financially self-sufficient people who do not plan to work in Austria. 

You can apply while on a travel visa in the country or even while still in the United States. Because the online application is completely in German and can take several weeks, it is recommended that you consult with an immigration lawyer if you want to speed up the process.

LINK: Austria Visa Requirements

What is Graz Austria known for?

Graz is known for being a vibrant, modern cultural center earning it the title of European Cultural Capital in 2003. Its beautiful historical center is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and is a colorful combination of different influences ranging from the Baroque to the Renaissance and the Middle Ages.

The late-gothic church, for example, pays homage back to the days when Graz was an imperial residence and the baroque Mausoleum of Emperor Kaiser Ferdinand II is right next door to it.

Prince Johann donated the Murinsel, an artificial floating site located in the center of the Mur at the turn of the nineteenth century. It is the region’s largest museum which focuses on the Styrian period, culture, and art.

And if you’re looking for something to do outside, Graz has you covered. The trek up Rettenbachklamm is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts in Graz, Austria. The walk begins in a number of locations throughout Graz, including Mariatrosterstraße. The climb ascends to the peak of Platte Stephanie Warte through leafy trees and along the calm waters of the valley. 

Here Are Some Activities You Can Do During Your Off Day:

NOTE: Use the keywords “Attraktion” if you’d like to see more things to do in Graz when searching on google maps

You can also check Living In Austria: 10 Pros And Cons to know what are the most common pros and cons that many retirees in Austria say about this beautiful country.

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