Manchester hosts the largest and most popular Christmas market in the country, attracting millions of visitors every year.

But what makes the Manchester Christmas market so special, and why do people love to visit it?

Here the team look at some of the reasons why you should not miss this festive extravaganza.

A long tradition of Christmas cheer

Pic of Manchester Christmas market stalls and rides The Manchester Christmas market has a long history of bringing joy and magic to the city centre. It started in 1998 when the first-ever Christmas market took place in St Ann’s Square. Since then, it has grown to nine sites that have more than 225 stalls, including the Corn Exchange, Piccadilly Gardens, Cathedral Gardens, Exchange Street, St Ann’s Square, Market Street, New Cathedral Street, Exchange Square and King Street.

The market celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2023, making it a special occasion for both locals and visitors. The market will run from 10 November to 21 December – with Cathedral Gardens open until; 31 December for the ice rink.

And after last year’s successful debut of the Manchester Christmas Parade, it will return this year on Sunday 3 December. Visitors will find that it is bigger and better this year too with floats, bands, dancers and characters.

You can also join the Festive Sundays, which take place on 26 November, 10 and 17 December, and feature family-friendly pop-ups, such as face painting, balloon modelling and storytelling.


Manchester Christmas Market 2022 Complete Tour

This video from Cities Through My Eyes is in hi-definition which really helps to bring the market to life. Along with the food stalls, visitors also get to enjoy the sights and sounds with the video visiting each of Manchester’s Christmas market areas in detail.


A variety of stalls and products

Pic of Manchester Christmas market attractions One of the main attractions of the Manchester Christmas market is the diversity of stalls and products on offer. You can find everything you might need or want at Christmas, such as crafts, clothes, jewellery, toys, books, candles, ornaments and more. Whether you are looking for a unique gift, a festive decoration, or a treat for yourself, you will be spoilt for choice at the market.

The market also features a wide range of food and drink stalls, offering delicious delicacies from around the world. You can enjoy traditional German sausages, French crepes, Spanish paella, Dutch pancakes and Italian pizza. And of course, you can’t miss the famous mulled wine, hot chocolate and spiced cider, which will keep you warm and cosy in the winter weather.

A festive atmosphere and entertainment

The Manchester Christmas market is not just a place to shop, but also a place to have fun and enjoy the festive spirit. The market is decorated with lights, garlands, and huge walk-through baubles, creating a stunning visual display. You can also see a Manchester bee, a symbol of the city’s resilience and community, with Santa Claus watching over the city from his seat at the Central Library on St Peter’s Square.

The market also offers various entertainment options for all ages and tastes.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can also try the Skate Manchester in Cathedral Gardens where you can skate around a lovely Christmas tree, surrounded by twinkling lights and festive music.

A Winter Gardens experience

Pic of visitors to Manchester Christmas market A new addition to the Manchester Christmas market this year is the Winter Gardens, which transforms Piccadilly Gardens into a magical winter wonderland. The Winter Gardens features a mix of gift, craft and food and drink stalls, offering a cosy and intimate setting for the market1.

The Winter Gardens also features a Scandinavian-style tipi, which is covered with lights and has log fires for warmth. The tipi hosts live entertainment each night, as well as undercover seating for the visitors.

The Winter Gardens is a must-see attraction for anyone who wants to experience a different and enchanting side of the Manchester Christmas market.


Ultimate guide to Manchester Christmas Markets

This video by Abby and Gaz does a good job to cover the 220 festive stalls and the market’s 10 main hubs. It’s a fun run-through with various tips and advice to enjoy the festive atmosphere.

The couple recommend starting in the Winter Gardens to enjoy the festive lights and since they have been several times before, they highlight the improvements and the additions.


A reason to visit Manchester

The Manchester Christmas market is not only a great way to celebrate the festive season, but also a great reason to visit Manchester and explore its rich culture and heritage. Manchester is a vibrant and dynamic city, with a lot to offer to its visitors, such as museums, galleries, theatres, restaurants, bars and shops.

You can also discover the city’s history and identity, from its industrial past to its musical legacy, from its football clubs to its social movements. Manchester is a city that has helped to shape the world, and continues to do so, with its creativity and innovation.

The Manchester Christmas market is a perfect opportunity to experience the best of the city, and to enjoy a memorable and merry Christmas.