Graz Christmas market attracts more than 2 million visitors and you will realize why, when you will visit it by yourself too. With its numerous and diverse attractions it is no wonder it has been one of the most popular Christmas markets in Austria.
The old city center of Graz, the medieval town, is worth visiting just for its tourist attractions, but nothing can bit the romantic and charming look, when everything is upgraded with Christmas decorations, lights and stands offering full of tempting culinary delights.
14 different Christmas markets and its locations
Graz old town might seems small, but it is still large enough that you will find 14 different locations with their Christmas markets there. The best feature of them all is, you can all reach on foot, even if you are visiting them with small children. Our Ren, not yet being 3 years old, managed to walk from one to another by himself, without the help of the stroller.
If you enjoy walking or not, you for sure will not want to miss the Christmas train (Adventzug), which circles the old town center. The Christmas train is not free of charge, but it is for sure one of the best things to do, if you are visiting the Graz Christmas market with kids. There’s even an old, historical tram running around the city center, all decorated in Christmas lights, what makes it a wonderful sight and fun experience too.
200 year’s old Christmas tree
All 14 locations of the Christmas markets in Graz offer something different, so no matter the taste, you for sure will find the perfect match for yourself and your interests. The largest Christmas market among them all is the one on the main square (Hauptplatz), where the 200 years old and 29 meters high Christmas tree can be found. It is decorated with 25.000 LED lights and it sure looks spectacular. We also liked the decoration of the town hall, where video projection of the Advent calendar is taking place.
Perfect for kids
Everyone visiting Graz Christmas market with kids will love the fact, one Christmas market is dedicated specially for the little ones. You will find the Kids Christmas market at the Kleine Neutorgasse Street, along the River Mur. Kids will enjoy the nostalgic big wheel, train and the carousel. Older kids will also take a shine over the 1000 m2 large ice-skating rink at the Karmelitzerplatz square. There’s even a tent for everyone not being keen on ice-skating and rather play inside or attended different creative workshops, what makes it a great hide away place.
Ice nativity scene – symbol of the Graz Christmas market
If there is something you really have to see when visiting the Graz Christmas market, I would definitely go with its nativity scene. It is carved out of the 35 tons of ice by the ice sculptor Kimmo Frosti. Found at the courtyard of old Landhaus and lightened up with lights, this really is one of a kind and spectacular look.
Staying one or two days?
If you ask us, you should definitely stay two days in Graz for the Christmas market and joining it with its other tourist attractions too. We have stayed at the Weitzer Hotel, just steps away from the kids Christmas market. The central location of the hotel was perfect for exploration on foot as it was easy to wander around and coming back to the hotel if/when needed.
We spent one whole day just for the Christmas markets and enjoyed the second day for some other sightseeing too. Visiting Graz with Ren, we decided to take a ride on the Fairy tale train (Marchenbahn) and the amazing Frida & Fred museum. The Frida & Fred museum is one of the best things you can do in Graz with kids. There are two different exhibitions – one for older children, as it is about money and the other is good for kids between 3 to 12 years, where the kids will become abstract painters. They will be properly dressed and have the perfect equipment to reveal their artistic side without any limitations.
If you will be visiting Graz for Christmas market without kids, you will also have plenty of other things to do in the city itself or nearby locations. We have heard a visit of the Zotter Schocoladen Manufaktur is really interesting, fun and tasty.
Krampust parade just for the brave ones
If you will be visiting Graz for the weekend before St. Nicholas day, you better behave well, as the Krampus parade takes place on Sunday. Krampus is actually an anthropomorphic figure in Central Europe, known as a half goat, half-demon, who punish misbehaved children.
More than 400 Krampus masks take part in this spectacular parade, which can really become a bit scary from time to time. Even though I have always wanted to see it, we decided to skip it because of Ren, as it would just be too scary for him for now. But nevertheless, when Ren and I enjoyed the Frida & Fred museum, Simon took photos and videos for us to see. The Krampus parade is for sure one of the things you should not skip if you plan to visit Graz for Christmas market, so schedule a reminder for next year.
We visit at least one new Christmas market each year, so I guess every Christmas market has harder challenge to impress us. Graz Christmas market did a good job and we really were happy we decided to spend two days in the city to enjoy it without rushing. Walking from one Christmas market to another also showed us, how rich in history and architecture Graz really is, what for sure makes the Christmas market even more spectacular.
Graz Christmas market – video (subtitles on)
We visited the Graz Christmas market on the invitation of the Graz Tourism, but everything written is strickly our own opinion.