It’s been a long 2 years since we last sipped mulled wine and scoffed a bratwurst with our nearest and dearest at Manchester’s world-famous Christmas markets, but finally this year they are back and better than ever! We have spent the last week hitting the pavement to tell you exactly where to head and when, so what are you waiting for? Grab some mates and get in line at Porky Pig for a Yorkshire pudding wrap (seriously they are life changing!).
This year’s locations are slightly different to the markets of yesteryear and the main winter hub is Piccadilly Gardens due to ongoing works on the Town Hall at Albert Square. The markets will be open until 22ndDecember, but the winter hub will stay in situ until 3rd January, perfect for New Year wanders to walk off the many pigs in blankets enjoyed over the festive season. Opening 10am until 9pm, there is plenty of time for you to have a browse and soak up some northern Christmas spirit.
Why not kick things off with some ice skating at the rink in Cathedral Gardens, before then trailing down through Exchange Square and Market Street, carrying on through St Ann’s Square onto King Street and St Peter Square.
Speaking of Exchange Square, everyone’s old favourite Mill Exchange Bar has made its return, located outside Selfridges (you can’t miss the enormous chimney on it!). This is also predominantly a foodie’s paradise, as Porky Pig that got a shout out earlier is nestled in this area too. Once you’ve got a tummy full of seasonal fare, the markets become a little more gift orientated, so they’re perfect for picking up some last-minute presents.
New Cathedral Street (the one between Harvey Nichols and Selfridges) plays host to high-end shoemakers, local vegan skincare products, jewellery, and crafted produce perfect for gifts and treating yourself too. Some of Manchester’s best food traders such as East New York and Wrap Up are also situated here; a great way to introduce friends and family to your favourite bites whilst enjoying the atmosphere.
St Ann’s is the area a lot of seasoned Christmas market pros head to immediately, and it’s no surprise that they do. The huge Bavarian bar has made a comeback with impressive swing grill sausages and as much gluhwein (mulled wine FYI) as you fancy. A new addition that we also highly recommend getting your hands on is a hand pulled pizza - seriously good and perfect to chomp on whilst you walk.
Finish off your Christmas markets experience by passing by the huge light up Santa outside Manchester Central Library and get all the selfies you need for your socials here.
Will you be heading to the Christmas Markets this year, and if so, what are you hoping to pick up? We’d love to hear what you got up to and any standout areas or sellers, especially if it’s your first experience. You can chat to us via our socials, and Happy Christmas!