If you find yourself in Northern England and you’re looking for some mulled wine, a chance to shop quirky gifts, and are in search for a Christmas vibe, then you should totally take the time to visit the Christmas Markets in Manchester. Here’s your total 2018 guide, as well as locations, opening times, and themed markets.
Award-winning and taking place on an annual basis, the 2018 event sees some three hundred wooden stalls comprising of both local producers and artisans from the rest of Europe. Of particular note is the variety of toys, jewellery, French soaps, Belgian kitchenware, and bags.
While you can buy traditional Christmas market foods like Bratwurst, there’s also something for sweet tooths and vegetarians. Other Christmas activities of note in Manchester include an Ice Village close to the Cathedral, as well as glittering lights located all around the city.
Christmas Markets in Manchester Locations
Throughout the city, there are numerous Christmas market locations. In each destination, you’ll find a variety of Bavarian style stalls selling decorations, themed gifts, mulled wine, and plenty of food. Here’s the best of locations around the city:
Albert Square Christmas Market
Open for longer than all of the other Christmas Market in Manchester locations, 2018 will be the last year that the market will be based in Albert Square for four years. From 2019, a revamp of the city centre means that the public plaza will be closed for business.
While you could easily spend all day wandering around the Albert Square market, be sure to check out some of the other sites the city has to offer! Some of the must-see stalls at Albert Square include the Amsterdam Frites (there are around thirty sauce flavours for your fries!) and sweets from Charlotte and the Chocolate Factory.
Cathedral Gardens Christmas Market
Situated close to the iconic Manchester Cathedral (which is free to visit and open on a daily basis), the Cathedral Gardens Christmas Market can be found just steps away from the Arndale Centre. 2018 sees Britain’s first ever ice village complete with frozen toy factory and Santa’s Grotto!
Exchange Square Christmas Market
Cinnamon pretzels, cheese, gins, and more: the Exchange Square Christmas Market is just as magical as the other locations in Britain’s Christmas capital, a.k.a Manchester. Close to Selfridges, The Arndale Shopping centre, and home to the BBC big screen, dogs on leads are allowed. Here, there’s also the opportunity to buy gold shimmer prosecco, a sparkly must-sample for those who love bubbly!
St Ann’s Square German-style Christmas Market
Home to some of the oldest tombstones in the Manchester area, St Ann’s Square was where the first solitary Manchester Christmas Market launched in 1999. Today, the Bavarian tradition is stronger than ever in the Northern English city. Of particular note in St Ann’s Square is the VV campervan photobooth.
New Cathedral Street Christmas Market
Home to some rather chic stalls, New Cathedral Street can be found midway between the National Football Museum and St Anne’s Square. Of particular interest for those who enjoy an après-ski atmosphere is Harvey Nichols’ “Bar No3”.
Market Street Christmas Market
As one of the main shopping streets in the city, it should come as no surprise that this road is also home to a Christmas Market. Close to the hipster Northern Quarter, this Christmas market is home to all kinds of stalls ranging from places to buy gifts to eateries.
Corn Exchange Christmas Market
Manchester’s Corn Exchange can be found in the city centre and is well-known as a Grade II listed building which is home to many an eatery. This year, many of the restaurants are joining in the festive fun with Christmas menus. When it comes to festival stalls, of particular note is Pure Indulgence Soaps
King Street French Christmas Market
If you enjoy more of a French vibe to your Christmas Markets but don’t have the opportunity to visit some of the best Christmas Markets in France, then you should head to King Street. This is one of the larger Christmas Markets in Manchester and it’s here where you’ll find stalls such as cheese stalls, as well as a stall selling ‘vin chaud’ (the French equivalent to Glühwein).
Exchange Street Arts & Crafts Market
Emerald City Cupcakes serve all kinds of sweet treats (including gluten-free snacks), while a yorkshire pudding wrap restaurant can also be found in the vicinity. Exhcange Street itself can be found close to St Ann’s Square and not far from the Arndale.
Best time to visit the Manchester Christmas Markets
As you can imagine, the markets are pretty popular and so can get fairly busy fairly quickly. This is especially true of the evenings and the weekends. As such, if you want to get more of the place to yourself, then be sure to visit earlier in the day and mid-week if possible.
Like many European cities, Manchester is best explored either on foot or via public transportation. And the city’s Christmas Markets are no exception. As such, use public transport to reach the city centre. The closest train stations are Deansgate and Victoria stations.
Manchester Christmas Markets 2018 Information: Dates & Opening Times
In 2018, the markets will be running from Friday, November 9th until Saturday, 22nd December. The market in Albert Square will run one day longer than the other markets, ending on Sunday the 23rd of December. All of the Christmas markets open at 10 AM and close at 8 PM.
The market in Albert Square is open between 10 AM and 9 PM on a daily basis. While there is normally a Christmas market in Brazennose Street, there isn’t one in 2018 thanks to renovations in the area. All in all, the festive markets are well worth checking out!