Graz really lights up during the run-up to Christmas and there are so many things going on that it is easy to miss something. Here are a couple of things that you should not miss during advent in Graz.
The Christmas Markets
The Christmas markets in Graz are lovely, varied and strewn all over the city.
Read more in-depth about them in my previous blog post: The best Christmas markets in Graz
Ice Nativity Scene
Every year in December in the Landhaus courtyard you can stand there and wonder how long the ice sculpture standing in front of you will still stay up before it starts melting due to climate change.
Jokes aside, the sculpture is a wonderful and unique addition to the Christmas Markets in Graz and should definitely be visited at least once.
Graz Krampus Parade on 1st December
On the first Advent Sunday the city centre of Graz gets overrun by Krampus impersonators, coming here to scare bad children and maybe some adults too. St Nicholaus and Krampus are a very old tradition in Austria and watching the parade is always a lot of fun.
In 2019 it takes place on 1st December from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Herrengasse in Graz.
More information here: https://www.graztourismus.at/de/sehen-und-erleben/veranstaltungen/veranstaltungskalender/krampus-und-perchtenlauf_ev-6158 (German)
Ice-skating in Karmeliterplatz (Winterwelt)
The ice-skating rink in Karmeliterplatz opens already in November and stays open until January.
You can skate under the watching eye of the Schloßberg, or leave your kids to do it while you enjoy a mug of mulled wine.
The Christmas Train
For just a couple of euro, you can ride around the city of Graz in style in a little toy train. It is surely a lot of fun for kids and parents can sit down after walking around the markets all day.
Read more about it here.
If you spend enough time on the main street and square at the weekend, you will notice and old-fashioned tram covered in fairy lights travelling up and down the street. This is the Advent Bim! Take a christmassy ride from Jakominiplatz to the main train station and back for free and take in all the lights and Christmas decorations in Graz. You can ride the tram for free and catch it at the following stations: Jakominiplatz, Hauptplatz and Südtiroler Platz. Open Friday to Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m.
Free public transport on Saturday
To get people to avoid coming to the centre by car, the city of Graz gives everybody free rides on every Saturday until Christmas on every bus and tram in the 101 zone. I think it’s a pretty good deal. You can enjoy the Christmas atmosphere without the headache of parking and sitting in traffic.