Christmas Season in Graz: Christmas markets & tips on planning your stay

Visiting Graz at Christmas time: Oooh yes!

The foodie capital of Austria very atmospheric indeed, especially during the Christmas season, and welcomes visitors like me with an open heart (and a variety of attractive offers).

Let me share some of them with you today.

Advent in Graz with the magic of lights on Graz's main square. The Styrian capital is also aware of its energy balance; Thanks to a reduction in switch-on times and the conversion to energy-saving LEDs, the total electricity consumption here "only" corresponds to the annual consumption of 9 households.

Christmas lights in Graz on the town’s main square. The Styrian capital is also well aware of its energy balance; thanks to a reduction in switch-on times and the conversion to energy-saving LEDs, the total electricity consumption here “only” corresponds to the annual consumption of 9 households.

 

Christmas markets in Graz

Graz offers a total of 14 different Advent markets. Each of them is unique. I was able to visit pretty much all of them during the day and in the evening and I can assure you: All of them are worth a visit! Especially as the motto is real arts and crafts before kitsch (well, a bit of kitsch is always allowed at Christmas time).

The city of Graz also offers Christmas market tours; official Graz Guide Sigrid Alber took me on one of them. We went to Mehlplatz, Glockenspielplatz, the “Artvent” in the Joanneum district and, of course, to the main square. All the information on all the markets and event tips can be found here.

The quality of the products offered will most certainly satisfy you. I bought a green tractor Christmas tree ornament for my son (hello kitsch – he’ll be happy!), treated myself to one or the other gem and, of course, tried some mulled Schilcher wine (only available in Styria!).

Willkommen beim "Steirischen Advent" in Graz ...

Welcome to the “Steirischer Advent” Christmas market at the Glockenspielplatz in the old town of Graz …

 

... als Mama sticht mir ins Auge, dass es hier auch attraktive Angebote für Familien im Advent gibt ...

… as a mum, I notice the range of attractive Christmas tours and offers for families …

 

... so richtig zauberhaft wird es natürlich erst bei Einbruch der Dunkelheit ...

… of course, all the magic starts after dusk in the late afternoon – evening…

 

... der berühmte Grazer Uhrturm findet seine beleuchtete Entsprechung übrigens am Eingang zur Herrengasse ...

… check out the local Herrengasse Main Street for a lit equivalent of the city’s iconic clock tower …

 

... wir lassen uns treiben und genießen die Adventstimmung am Hauptplatz (super Foto spot!) ...

… we go with the flow and find this perfect picture spot on the main square of Graz (#GrazLove welcome!) …

 

... aber auch die Murinsel wirbt mit dem Thema Advent ...

… the Mur Island also features Christmas celebrations …

 

... und ganz gemütlich ist es auch hier, am Südtiroler Platz beim Kunsthauscafé Graz.

… and I particularly like this little Christmas market at the Südtiroler Square near the Kunsthaus Café in Graz.

 

Visit the Diocesan Museum and listen to the city’s public Christmas carol singing!

I have absolutely loved the opportunity to sing Christmas carols together while in Graz. Eva Maria Hois, the local responsible, hands me a special Christmas song edition “meine Lieder deine Lieder” (my songs your songs) and asks us right away: “So what do you want to sing?”

At the local “Office for Christmas Carols”, we choose some of the well-known German classics “Es wird scho glei dumper”, “Stille Nacht”, and “Schneeflöckchen Weißröckchen”. Eva Maria Hois tells us: “We have collected about 7,000 Christmas carols … but before we count them all exactly, we prefer to sing”, she laughs and starts right away.

My little son Levin, nine months old and listening firmly on grandpa’s lap, is thrilled!

Gemeinsam Lieder singen ...

Singing Christmas Carols at the “Office for Christmas Carols” is an offer I’ve only ever found in Graz …

 

... im Steirischen Heimatwerk könnt Ihr übrigens auch dem Christkind einen Brief schreiben (bitte vor Ort bis 17.12. einwerfen, dann kommt auch eine Antwort!).

… you can ever write a letter to the Christkind here (and post it before December 17 in order to get an answer!).

 

The nearby Diözesanmuseum (entrance opposite Graz Cathedral) also offers an attractive Christmas exhibition, "O Jubel, O Freud" ...

The nearby Diocesan Museum (entrance opposite Graz Cathedral) also offers an attractive Christmas exhibition, “O Jubel, O Freud” …

 

... hier informiere ich mich beispielsweise zur Geschichte der Weihnachtslieder ...

… including information about the history of Christmas Carols …

 

and marvel at the variety of nativity scenes on display here, for example this one made of alluvial wood here!

… I marvel at the variety of nativity scenes on display here, for example this one made of alluvial wood here!

 

Nativity walk, Nativity Scene made of ice and the largest Advent wreath in the city!

But that’s not all. Did you know that there is a larger-than-life, freely accessible Nativity Scene made entirely of ice in Graz?! Spectacular enough during the day, it unfolds its true magic after dusk. The ice artist is Finnish and his name is actually Kimmo Frosti (Nomen est Omen!). He has created no less than four “editions” of his ice sculptures in order to save one or the other from a complete meltdown …!

Incidentally, opposite its location at the Landeszeughaus in Graz, at the entrance to Stempfergasse, you may find the “Krippenweg” Graz Nativity Scene Trail, which is no less worth seeing. Numerous shop windows in the shopping street display nativity scenes on loan from the Diocesan Museum. And what about the largest Advent wreath in the city? Well, it can be found on Schlossbergplatz right in front of the entrance to Graz Schlossberg.

Truly spectacular: Die abends beleuchtete Eiskrippe im Hof des Landeszeughaus von Graz.

Truly spectacular: The illuminated Nativity Scene made of ice sculptures at the Landeszeughaus courtyard in Graz.

 

Gleich gegenüber findet Ihr den Krippenweg in der Stempfergasse ...

Check out the Nativity Scene Trail “Krippenweg” opposite in the Stempfergasse street …

 

... schon interessant, WO die Krippen-Leihgaben da überall ausgestellt sind!

… it is interesting which shop windows have a Nativity Scene on display!

 

Here is also a view of the largest Advent wreath in the city (about the size of an old wagon wheel), including an explanation of where it originally came from.

Here also is a view of the largest Advent wreath in the city (about the size of an old wagon wheel), including an explanation of where it originally came from.

 

Staying in Graz: Hotel Weitzer

I can recommend you this central, comfortable hotel with nice rooms and a delicious breakfast buffet, located at the Grieskai address right opposite the old town with a view of the Schlossberg of Graz. Our room on the third floor with a view towards the river Mur offered us this.

The hotel is also neighbours with the restaurant Der Steirer, one of my favourite addresses for good, typical cuisine and wines from Graz and Styria (be sure to book in advance).

Nächtigen im Hotel Weitzer ...

Sweet welcome at the Hotel Weitzer : “Sweet as life at Hotel Weitzer”, it says.

 

Foodie travel tips from Graz: Der Steirer, Die Scherbe, Das KochGenussAtelier and more!

Austria’s capital of delights (more about this motto of the city of Graz here) scores many points in culinary terms. My family and I have been to Graz often. Nevertheless – or perhaps because of this – we have once again scouted out new foodie tips.

South of the Mur, in the city’s Lendviertel district, I can recommend the cosy restaurant Die Scherbe: After a tour of the local Christmas markets, we warm up with a good curry and homemade lemonade. Der Steirer restaurant is my absolute favourite for the typical Styrian fried chicken (don’t forget to order the potato salad with beans and cabbage, and pumpkin seed oil, as a side!)

And then, there’s a new, very nice family-run business called KochGenussAtelier, which Graz Guide Sigrid Alber and I find out about together (diagonally opposite the Steirisches Heimatwerk, on Sporgasse in Graz). Be sure to order grandma’s homemade vanilla bakery to go with the hot lemonade!

Abends in Graz: Studentenlokal Die Scherbe im Grazer Lendviertel.

A typical, local student pub: Die Scherbe at the Lendviertel district in Graz.

 

Klein aber fein (und neu): Das KochGenussAtelier in Graz ...

Nice new find: The KochGenussAtelier in Graz …

 

... die heißen Limonaden plus die hausgemachten Vanillekipferl sind ein Traum!

… I loved their hot lemonade and Vanillekipferl typical Austrian Christmas bakery!

 

Travel Video about my experience of the Christmas Season in Graz

I’ve produced and recorded the following travel video myself, including vivid impressions of my journey through the Lumagica light show as well as the Christmas season in Graz. Enjoy!

 

More information and event tips for the Christmas season in Graz can be found here. In another blog post, you will find detailed information about the Lumagica light show, which will take place in the Graz region for another four years after 2022.

Check out all of my Lumagica and Graz Christmas photos in the gallery:

 

Disclaimer: I have been invited on this trip by the City of Graz Tourism Board. All opinions are my own.

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2 comments

David K. Ortiz 13 December 2022 - 19:20

Wow, so amazing. Coincidentally, my family plans to travel to Graz this Christmas. Thank you for such a detailed guide. I was able to get all the information needed for a trip from you. But do you know if there is any place that is a children’s play area during Christmas, such as an ice skating rink,…?

Reply
Elena 22 December 2022 - 10:17

Dear David,
Reading your comment makes me so happy in being able to provide exactly the information you’re looking for, at exactly the right time !!
There is indeed (an ice skating rink) just near Graz Schlossberg that could fit what you are looking for. Do check out this link also: https://www.graztourismus.at/en/sightseeing-culture/discover-graz/graz-for-families once again, I am sure it has all the information you need.

Best of luck and enjoy your travels xx

Reply

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