You want to know what is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to visit the Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum in Austria!
If you’re a fan of Heavy Metal, you’re probably a fan of the one and only Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger too. Also known as the Austrian Oak, the Styrian Oak, The Governator or simply Arnie, he is unquestionably the greatest action movie actor of all time, the most successful bodybuilder in history and, of course, a hero for millions of people all over the world. Movies like The Terminator (I, II and III), Predator, Last Action Hero, Conan the Barbarian, The Expendables II, among others, are either an inspiration for many heavy music bands such as Austrian Death Machine, with awesome songs like Get To The Choppa and I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots, and Your Motorcycle, or their soundtracks are full of powerful Heavy Metal/Hard Rock tunes like AC/DC’s Big Gun, Megadeth’s Angry Again and, of course, one of Guns N’ Roses’ greatest hits, the awesome You Could Be Mine. Who doesn’t love when Arnold stares at Axl Rose, grins and walks off in the official video for this song?
That’s why the third (and last) installment of my recent trip to Europe will be dedicated to reviewing one of the coolest museums in the world, and by far my favorite one of all: the Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum (or Arnie’s Life) in Thal bei Graz is not just a regular museum with some of Arnold’s old stuff and memorabilia, but a place where you can live his life and truly breathe all his accomplishments as a Hollywood star, his work as a the Governor of California and his exceptional achievements in bodybuilding. And the location of the museum was not chosen in vain, as it’s the actual house where Arnold grew up and spent a great part of his life, including his childhood and adolescence, and where he started his path to glory in the world of bodybuilding. Moreover, the overall quality of this amazing collection of documents, awards, props and everything else you can imagine about his bodybuilding, acting, political and personal life is enhanced by all the beauty and peace of the sorroundings of Thal. Arnold himself said many times how all the nature and peace in Thal inspired him to be a protector of the environment, especially during his years as “The Governator”.
In regards to the museum itself, I would say the top must-see items available are everything related to his role as the T-800 terminator, including his totally awesome Harley-Davidson from Terminator II, all his bodybuilding equipment (which by the way are all original from when he started working out), and many documents and other items related to his years as a politician. In addition, things like the sword used by the mighty Conan, the jacket and gun used by Sheriff Ray Owens and the costume used by Mr. Freeze make the whole experience even more fun, and of course, the Arnold statue at the entrance of the museum, just outside the front door, is truly inspirational for anyone, even if you have never been a fan of Arnie.
Finally, although many people say the museum is located in the city of Graz, it’s not that easy to get there from the city centre, especially walking. Arnie’s Life is actually located in the city of Thal, which is about 20 minutes from downtown Graz if you’re driving. I went there by car and used my GPS, typing in the museum’s postal code (8051) instead of the city name as it wasn’t finding Thal in the list of cities, and that worked perfectly. However, if you’re backpacking and travelling by train or bus only, there are some options available by public transportation from Graz which you can see HERE.
To sum up, instead of “getting to the choppa”, get to Arnie’s Life and enjoy all your moments there: it’s such a pleasant and entertaining environment you won’t even notice time quickly passing by. In a world where pretty much all blockbuster movies are pure garbage and the actors and actresses have zero charisma, it’s good to “go back in time” and admire the history of a man that has always helped change the world for better, no matter what he does. I just loved the museum, and when I left it the only sentence I could think of was, of course, I’LL BE BACK!
Monday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (last entrance: 4:30 pm)
From June 1, 2014 on: every Saturday and Sunday guided tours through the museum (start: 11 am, 3 pm)
Adults: € 6,50
Concessions*: € 5,00
Children from 5 to 14 years / school groups: € 3,00
Regular guided tour: € 10,00 (unique for a group)
Audioguide (German or English): € 2,00
* Valid for groups of 10 or over, children up to age 15, teens, students up to age 27, senior citizens over 65 or on presentation of a valid pensioners´ ID, challenged people, military and community service conscripts, unemployed persons.
Contact info & location
Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum
A – 8051 Thal, Austria
+43 (0) 316 571 947