Be enchanted by the Merano Christmas Market, discover the curiosities it hides and delight your palate with South Tyrolean culinary specialties.
As the first snow falls on the surrounding mountain peaks and the temperatures slowly begin to drop, a period begins in the town of Merano Christmas market that for many is a true experience for all the senses: Advent.
The city is tinted in typical Christmas colours and the unique atmosphere of the Merano Christmas market makes it all the more special. Watching, hearing, smelling, tasting and experiencing Advent in all senses on this stage covered in soft snow is something that touches your heart.
The thousands of little lights decorating the city, the traditional wooden huts of the Merano Christmas market in the area of the Lungo Passirio, the atmospheric music and Christmas melodies, the tantalizing scent of hot drinks and freshly baked sweets wafting through the air, and, of course, their delicious taste: this is the true magic of Christmas in Merano.
The Merano Christmas market warmth and cosiness to visitors of all ages. Stop and enjoy a steaming cup of hot tea or mulled wine, comfortably seated at the stands, while the little ones have fun ice-skating, riding ponies or experimenting with Christmas baking in the workshops. Enjoy cosy moments of joy and serenity while enjoying pleasant hours in the company of family and friends.
Visit the Merano Christmas Markets: here, spend the most contemplative time of the year!
Experience the relaxing atmosphere full of Christmas scents and flavours amidst the Merano Christmas Market. Enjoy unique moments of meditation during the Christmas concerts on the Lungo Passirio Promenade. Spend your Christmas holidays visiting this magnificent city and the Merano Christmas Markets. Savour the delicacies of South Tyrolean cuisine and confectionery, let your taste buds be tantalised by these quaint treats, visit the gourmet stalls. All this you can only find among the most famous Advent stalls at the Merano Christmas Market. Here, pleasant walks along the famous promenades and through the old town centre await you. The view is idyllic thanks to the festively decorated city surrounded by white mountains. In this article, we present the Merano Christmas Markets and all the interesting facts about the city during the most contemplative time of the year.
Merano Christmas Market and the devils’ parade
What do the Merano Christmas Markets have to do with devils? We are talking about the Krampus, demonic figures dressed in goatskins, wearing masks made of wood and carrying a large cowbell.
The Krampus are devils who accompany St Nicholas and parade through the stalls of the Merano Christmas Market on the evening of 5 December. Originally, these devils accompanied St Nicholas and punished children who had not behaved well.
Each costume is unique and, to make the mask requires, many hours of manual labour by expert craftsmen; they are true works of art.
Young and old devils precede the advent of St Nicholas, and on 5, sometimes even 6 December, they descend on the streets of South Tyrolean villages and towns, wreaking havoc, making noise and frightening passers-by.
Today, the parade of devils has turned into a tradition that is more fun than threatening, but in the past, the Krampus were an educational measure to scare children who had not behaved well during the year.
The legend of the Krampus
As tradition has it, the Krampus burst into the Merano Christmas Markets dressed in their goat furs and wearing grotesque devil masks.
Legend has it that long ago, during times of famine, young inhabitants of small mountain villages would dress up using furs made of feathers, skins and animal horns.
Making themselves unrecognisable in this way, they would descend into the valley into neighbouring villages to terrorise and rob the inhabitants of the supplies they had gathered for the winter season.
But after a while, the young people of the mountain realised that there was an impostor among them, hiding among the demonic faces. The devil himself, had inserted himself into the group, recognisable only by his goat's hoof-shaped paws.
To exorcise the ominous presence, Bishop Nicholas was therefore summoned. Having defeated the devil, every year the mountain youths, disguised as demons, continued to descend the valley and parade along the village streets, no longer to plunder but to bring gifts or to 'punish the naughty children', now accompanying them was the figure of the bishop who had defeated evil.
Merano Christmas Market
The Merano Christmas Market is located on the Kurpromenade, far away from the city traffic and noise. As is tradition, the city awaits you with illuminated and decorated fir trees, new stalls full of beautiful and good things, mulled wine, hot chocolate and the ever-present strudel!
The Merano Christmas market, with its special atmosphere of lights, candles, Christmas music and scents, creates a Christmas mood full of emotion and warmth, you will not be disappointed.
The whole city becomes an ensemble of Christmas joy, the market itself stretching all along the Kurpromenade to the Rena Square, magnificent with its winter forest. Already in the late afternoon and evening hours, the Merano market awaits its many visitors with a sea of lights arranged not only on the stalls, but also on the bridges and surrounding squares of the city, such as Piazza delle Terme.
Experience the magic of the Merano Christmas Market
More than 80 stalls await you at the Merano Christmas Market, spread out over the magnificent Kurhaus promenade, the Piazza della Rena and the Piazza delle Terme, where you will also find the modern Merano Thermal Baths.
The sound of the river Passirio accompanies visitors along the long promenades, while children can have fun on the large skating rink set up in Terme Square. There are also the famous giant heated spheres in the shape of Christmas tree decorations, which house a table with comfortable seating, where you can sit quietly and enjoy a typical meal.
A living nativity scene and a children's carousel await visitors of all ages. The old town center with its festively decorated arcades is only a few steps away from each market place.
The gastronomic huts
The gastronomic huts serve hot drinks such as mulled wine and hot apple juice, the famous Glühmix. But also, sausages with sauerkraut, goulash soup and sweet doughnuts. The many typical regional specialties such as apple strudel, bacon, cheese, as well as bread and a wide selection of fresh baked goods are not to be missed.
In the typical wooden houses of traders and craftsmen you will find local and typical handicraft products. Among the exhibitors you will find candles, Christmas decorations, perfumes, but also all kinds of warm clothes such as jumpers, hats, scarves and cosy warm slippers. Here, you will find only and exclusively unique and handcrafted local products, which is important to know.
The city of Merano during the Christmas Market
Of course, the city during the Merano Christmas Market period also shows its most beautiful side!
A few steps from the Market we can find the old town centre, full of Christmas lights and colours, Libertà and Corse Streets and above all in the historic arcades you will find the most beautiful decorations that this time of year has to offer.
A visit to the historical center is perfect for Christmas shopping, you can enjoy shopping in a truly unique and relaxed atmosphere, visiting the many shops set up in a historical environment with a Christmas theme.
You can also visit the museums, always open during this period and of course the famous Merano Thermal Baths, also open daily until late in the evening.
When do the Merano Christmas Markets open?
The Merano Christmas Markets are open daily from 25 November 2022 to 6 January 2023 and will only be closed on December 25. This year the opening will take place the 24th of December 2022.
You can enjoy the offer of the gourmet stalls from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and until 10.30 p.m. on weekends from Friday to Sunday and on holidays.
The stands of the craftsmen's huts close at 7 p.m. on weekdays and remain open until 8 p.m. on weekends from Friday to Sunday and on holidays.
Where are the Merano Christmas Markets?
Embedded at the piazza della Rena are the historic Merano Christmas Markets, celebrating centuries-old traditions and Christmas specialties. But also, on the Kurpromenade in the magnificent Kurhaus promenade on the Passer Promenade, on the piazza della Rena and on the piazza delle Terme.
How to get there and where to park at the Merano Christmas Market?
Every half hour on weekdays and every hour on Sundays and holidays, there is a connection from Bolzano to Merano.
The bus parking area is located in Palade Street, near the Meranarena.
To reach the city center, take the A22 exit of the Brenner motorway, BOLZANO SUD, and continue in the direction of Merano on the Merano-Bolzano motorway, the SS MeBo, exiting at MERANO MAIA BASSA / MARLENGO or MERANO CENTRO.
Merano-Lagundo Christmas train and way back:
The free shuttle train stops at the Terme Hotel, the ALGO shopping center and the Christmas Market in Lagundo.
It runs every hour on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday.
Parking Terme Merano
Address: Spa boulevard
Address: Goethe Street
Parkautomatic Karl Wolf
Address: Karl Wolf Street
Address: Scena Street
Address: Via Palade
It is only a 15-minute walk to the city centre.
Free parking at Prader Plaza
Address: Via IV Novembre
There is a partial ban on parking here every Tuesday of the year, because they hold a small weekly market, while for the whole area, there is a ban on parking every Friday of the year for the weekly market.