Christmas in the center of Graz is a lovely time of year, the streets are decorated with lights, the festive shop windows and the smell of roasted chestnuts all make for a lovely atmosphere. And of course the famous Christmas markets!
The Christmas markets (also known as Christkindlmärkte, Weihnachtsmärkte or Adventmärkte ) open November 18 – December 24. They are all within walking distance of each in the historic city center.
• Christkindlmarkt vor dem Rathaus
• Advent-Treff am Eisernen Tor
• Adventmarkt am Glockenspielplatz
• Adventmarkt am Mehlplatz
• Kunsthandwerksmarkt am Färberplatz (ab 25.11.)
• Altgrazer Christkindlmarkt im Franziskanerviertel
• Kinderadvent in der kleinen Neutorgasse
• Adventmarkt im Joanneumsviertel
• ARTvent im Lesliehof (ab 25.11.)
• Aufsteirern-Adventmarkt am Schloßberg
• Adventmarkt am Südtiroler Platz
• Wonderlend am Mariahilferplatz
• Grieskindlmarkt am Nikolaiplatz
• Buntes aus aller Welt am Tummelplatz (ab 25.11.)
Each market has their own theme and atmosphere so it’s worth visiting them all to find your favourite. My favourites are drinking mulled wine / Glühwein at the stylish stands in the Joanneumsviertel (usually quieter then other markets) or visiting the traditional Styrian market at the top of the Schlossberg (Friday – Sundays only). Small kids will enjoy the rides at the Kleine Neutorgasse. Visit the Graz Tourist website or Graz Holding for more information and opening times for each market.
A fun way to view the markets is to take the tiny advent train through the city center. It runs daily 10 am – 8 pm from Hauptplatz, €3 adults / €2 kids.
Take a free ride on the Advent bim , an old tram decorated inside and out with christmas lights, from Jakominiplatz to Laudongasse and back. From November 25, Friday to Sunday 4 pm – 10 pm
The christmas lights will be turned on a week later than normal and with shorter times this year to save energy – November 25 – January 6, 4 pm – 10 pm (2 am on Dec 24 and 31). The Rathaus and Mariahilferkirche will both have colourful light projections on their facades.
One of the main features is the ice nativity scene in the Landhaus courtyard. Made from 35 tons of crystal-clear ice, the well-known ice sculptor Kimmo Frosti and his team will start work on Friday, Nov 25th with a celebratory opening at 6 pm on Saturday Nov, 26th.
The Grazer Winterwelt ice skating rink at the Landesportzentrum, at the foot of the Schlossberg in the Stadtpark, will open from Nov 15 to Jan 29th, along with the Advent Paradies market offering hot drinks and snacks.
Outside of Graz, at the Murhof Golfclub near Frohnleiten, you can also enjoy Lumagica – a 1.5 km long circular path leads past an enchanted fairtale world, full of luminous objects and installations with music in the background. Tickets from €8 – €17. A shuttle service for visitors is available on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from Frohnleiten.
There will be a big water, fire, laser and light show in front of the Rathaus (fireworks are banned in the city of Graz) on December 31st at the following times.
17.30 – 17.50 Family Show
19.30 – 19.50 Family Show
21.00 – 21.20
22.30 – 22.50
00.00 – 00.20
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