Sponsored by Graz Tourism
Here’s why Graz is Austria’s dreamiest Christmas wonderland
Welcome to Graz, Austria’s second-biggest city. Located in the south of the country, this city is an undiscovered gem waiting to be explored.
Graz's historic city center ranks among the best-preserved in Central Europe and has been classified as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1999.
For the best views of the city center, head to the top of the historic Clock Tower atop the Schlossberg. It’s well worth the effort!
Each December, 14 different Christmas markets open across the city, attracting many visitors and inspiring them to explore.
The best place to start when touring Graz‘s Christmas markets is on the Main Square, the heart of the historic city center.
As night falls, the facade of the City Hall is transformed into a giant Advent calendar that counts down the days until Christmas.
Many stalls offer traditional Austrian Christmas decorations for those who want to bring back souvenirs to add Christmas cheer to their homes.
The markets are a great place to mingle with locals. Warm up with new friends over a mug of glühwein, mulled local red or white wine.
As you walk along the Herrengasse, look up! It's decorated with "hanging trees" that add to Graz's already-special atmosphere.
Step off Herrengasse into the Landhaushof, where you will find a unique attraction: The ice crib. This life-sized Nativity scene is made of ice.
Most markets have a Christmas tree. The Market in front of City Hall has the biggest tree, which is sponsored by a different Austrian region each year.
No matter which market you're visiting or whether it's day or night, each Christmas tree is beautifully decorated.
Beyond the Christmas markets, winter in Graz means fun in the snow. Sledding down the gentle slopes of nearby Schöckl mountain is a popular pastime.
There's nothing else in the world quite like the peacefulness and crisp, clean air found on the snowy trails in and around Graz.
This story was paid and controlled by Graz Tourism. It has been produced to reflect Lonely Planet’s high-quality storytelling, but it may not reflect our editorial views
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