It’s creeping towards that time of year again. The leaves are falling, the weather is getting colder and those mince pies are calling. In what has become a yearly tradition, my friend Leah and I made plans to partake of some yuletide joy at one of my favourite markets. The Manchester Christmas markets run from the 8th November to the 22nd December for 2019, here’s what you can expect from this year’s festivities.
From past experiences, the markets can get quite hectic. Heading off on the first Saturday of this year’s Christmas markets in Manchester, we expected hordes of visitors wanting to get into the Christmas spirit.
How to Get to Manchester Christmas Markets
Whilst I live in Stoke, my friend (an American expat) now lives in Manchester making it much closer for meet-ups. To get to the Manchester Christmas markets this year we each took a different route and transport method.
If you are catching a train (like I did) from outside of Manchester, your best option is to travel into Manchester Piccadilly train station. This acts as a pretty common link across the country. Alternatively, depending on where you are travelling from, Deansgate and Victoria stations are also very close to the markets. Here you will be right in the city centre of Manchester meaning you can walk straight to the markets.
Head straight out of the main entrance to Manchester Piccadilly station and walk straight down the main road, continuing across any road you come across until you reach Piccadilly Square. If you see a selection of tents (including a gin tent) as well as the statue of Queen Victoria, you have found your mark.
If you are travelling in from the greater Manchester area, buses and trams will take you almost right to the Christmas markets. You can catch a tram to St. Peter’s Square tram stop or Market Street for your closest stops.
What to Expect at the Christmas Markets this Year
From Gluhwein to Greek food, you’ll find a fairy tale dream land of everything and anything at this year’s markets. Head to the town hall for foodie central and you’ll smell the incredible offerings before you even get there. Grab yourself a cup of mulled wine, or mulled cider or mulled-any-alcohol-you-like in one of the iconic Manchester Christmas Market mugs and either return it for your refunded deposit (£3) once you are done or take it home as a memento of your visit.
Over the years, I’ve picked up some pretty one-of-a-kind gifts from the markets, this year is no exception. You can expect hand-made pottery, intricate wooden games and much, much more as you pass the gingerbread house-esque huts, lined with Christmas lights. This year, there is even an ice village where you can don your skates for a twirl around the ice rink!
Where are the Christmas Markets?
The Manchester markets will once again grace all corners of the city centre, with light-covered wooden huts as far as the eye can see. Here are some of the places you can find the Christmas markets popping up:
- Albert Square
- Cathedral Gardens
- Piccadilly Gardens
- Market Street
- Exchange Square
- New Cathedral Street
- King Street
- St Ann’s Square
After a long day of exploring the markets, chomping down on incredible Dutch pancakes and drinking my body weight in hot drinks, I find myself planning my next trip to the markets because one time is never enough! Have your own memories or favourite things to see at the markets? let me know in the comments section!
Looking for a map of where to find the Manchester Christmas Markets? Check out Manchester Council’s map of market locations here. After more on the Manchester Christmas markets? Check out my list of things to most look forward to at the Manchester Christmas markets here.