Manchester Christmas Markets 2023
October 23, 2023 3:09pm
Manchester’s Christmas markets are back! If you’re looking for some festive cheer, Manchester plays host to one of the biggest and best Christmas Sehenswürdigkeiten outside of Germany, with more than 300 wooden chalets spread across 10 different locations throughout the city.
Originally introduced to the city in 1999, the Christmas markets have grown bigger and better each year, attracting Europe’s finest street food vendors and crafters. It’s a great place to buy Yuletide gifts, such as fine jewellery, handcrafted leather bags and artisan soaps. Your taste buds will also be tantalised with so many wide ranging food options on offer, including things like German bratwurst, hog roast, Spanish paella and Dutch pancakes. Yum!
Thought Christmas markets were just for December? This year the Christmas Markets will open in November in Manchester city centre, so there’s plenty of time to don your best Christmas jumper, drink mulled wine and chow down on pretzels.
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Since Manchester’s Christmas Markets are scattered all over the city, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you plan your visit:
- Dates: 10th November – 22nd December (3rd January for The Winter Gardens at Piccadilly Gardens)
- Opening hours: the Albert Square Market usually runs from 10am until 9pm.
- Locations: Cathedral Gardens, Piccadilly Gardens, Market Street, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, Corn Exchange, King Street, St. Ann’s Square and Brazennose Street
Manchester Christmas Markets 2022
This is the big one! Watched over by a giant illuminated Santa Claus, the market in Albert Square is the main place to eat, drink and be merry, with the largest bars and two rows of stalls. To get the best view, grab a beer on the second floor of the two-storey Windmill Bar, which has a nice little terrace where you can watch all the action below. If you’re popping out for a quick lunchtime break from work or an after work catch-up with friends, this is the place to go.
Albert Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 2LA
Winter Gardens in Piccadilly
Piccadilly Gardens will be transformed into the family-friendly Winter Gardens this year. Expect yuletide bars, food stalls and craft sellers along with a stage where bands, carolers and Djs will play Christmas soundtracks throughout the season. Soak up the festive atmosphere will a locally brewed ale or a cookie dough pudding. There’s a marquee with covered seating for rainy days, so there’s never a bad time to visit.
Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 1HX
Up by Manchester Cathedral, Cathedral Gardens usually plays host to an ice rink and funfair, and is the most family-friendly area at the Christmas Markets. The atmosphere here is more relaxed than Albert Square but still has some great food and drink options, including mulled gin and prosecco for the adults.
The Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 3BG
Being the city’s major shopping thoroughfare, Market Street is definitely worth a visit if you need to shop from high-street stores. The pedestrian street is also lined with several chalets selling gifts, should you wish to stop and buy something a bit more unique.
Market Street, Manchester, Lancs, M1 1WR
Corn Exchange & Exchange Square
The Corn Exchange is the oldest grade II listed building in Manchester and was originally used as a corn exchange, hence the name. The area outside the front of the building by Selfridges and the Arndale Centre is a popular Christmas Market spot, with a range of arts and craft stalls selling gifts such as scarves, hats and Christmas baubles. This area is also easily accessible as it’s right by Exchange Square tram stop.
Exchange Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 3TR
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St. Ann’s Square
In St Ann’s Square you’ll find the market’s oldest gluhwein stall, Manke Markets, as well as a bunch of other street food vendors selling cheeses, gingerbread, chocolate fruits, salamis and other artisanal products. There’s a good mixture of food and gift options, plus permanent seating where you can sit down with the family and enjoy a snack from one of the stalls.
St Ann Street, Manchester, Lancs, M2 7LF
Soak up the atmosphere at Manchester’s most upmarket shopping street, King Street, is lined with stalls selling a mixture of Italian and French produce. Food lovers can purchase things like Italian cheeses, panettone, cured meats, macaroons, crêpes and French saucisson.
King Street, Manchester M2 7AZ
If you’re feeling peckish and Albert Square is a little too busy for you, head down nearby Brazennose street, which has an array of interesting food stalls selling everything from fish and chips to pick ‘n’ mix and Christmas pudding gin. Expect plenty of traditional foods too, including goulash, schnitzel and bratwurst.
Brazennose Street, Manchester, M2 5EB
Exchange Street and New Cathedral Street
Situated between Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, Exchange Street has a stretch of chalets selling Christmas gifts such as soaps, jewellery and toffee vodka. New Cathedral Street nearby has more of the same, so it’s an ideal spot for anyone looking to buy presents. Here you’ll also find the Witch House, which serves bratwurst and hot toddies to hungry shoppers.
Exchange Street, Manchester, M2 7EE
Festive accommodation in Manchester fills up faster than the Christmas markets! So don’t miss out — book your stay with us today! But be sure to join our new Stay Sweet loyalty club first to enjoy 10% off all rates as well as a range of exclusive member benefits you won’t get anywhere else! Merry Christmas y’all!
Our top tips
- Remember your deposit – you’ll have to pay a deposit for your mulled wine glass, so don’t forget to give it back before you leave, unless you want to keep it as a souvenir of course!
- Bring cash – While some of the vendors take credit/debit cards, many still only take cash, so make sure you get some cash before you arrive. Sometimes the nearest ATM can be a bit of a trek from the festival sites, so best to do it on the way.
- Visit on a weekday – Albert Square can be really packed on weekends, which makes for a very fun vibe. However, if you don’t want to stand in line for a mulled wine, the best time is on a weekday before people get off work.