Graz Main Square (Hauptplatz)
Graz Main Square (Hauptplatz)

Graz Main Square (Hauptplatz)

Hauptplatz 1, Graz, Styria, 8010

The basics

All of the city’s major roads—Herrengasse, Murgasse, Sackstraße, Sporgasse, and Schmiedgasse—converge on the Hauptplatz, making it a handy meet-up and finish point for many Graz walking tours. Convenience aside, the square’s architecture makes it a staple on tour itineraries, as the buildings and monuments here explain much of the city’s history.

See the 15th-century Luegg Haus with its stucco façade, the 19th-century Rathaus (City Hall), and the Archduke Johann Fountain, built in testament to the Habsburg archduke considered to be a modernizer of industries like agriculture and railways. The Hauptplatz also features on many photography tours, especially at night when the square is illuminated.

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Things to know before you go

  • The Hauptplatz is closed to traffic, although you should be on the lookout for trams and bikes when strolling around.
  • The square is mostly manageable with a stroller or wheelchair, but be aware that many nearby alleys and streets are made of cobblestone.
  • If you are joining a walking tour of Graz in the summer, bring a sun hat as shade is limited.
  • There are plenty of eating options in the Hauptplatz, with cafés, restaurants, and bakeries to complement the market stalls.
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How to get there

The Hauptplatz is in the Old Town (Innere Stadt), on the eastern side of the Mur River. It’s easily walkable from many city attractions, and most passersby can help with directions if you get lost. Alternatively, hop on a tram: Every city line has a Hauptplatz stop. While buses can’t access the square, many routes stop nearby. Look for “Hauptplatz” in the bus stop name for the closest stop.

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When to get there

Graz isn’t on the tourist trail like Vienna or Salzburg, but it follows the seasonal rhythms with more people in the summer. During the warmer months, the Hauptplatz hosts open-air events like festivals, concerts, and rallies. Cafés and bars also spill out onto the edges of the square, making it a pleasant hangout this time of year. Winter crowds appear in the holiday period when the popular Advent Market takes center stage by the Rathaus.

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History of the Hauptplatz

While some aspects of life in the Hauptplatz continue today as they did in medieval times—including the market and the use of the square as a meeting point—entertainment here has fortunately taken a less brutal turn. Back in the 14th century, the square was used as a public punishment spot where locals would gather to watch criminals humiliated, tortured, and even beheaded.

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