The UK’s original, award-winning Christmas Market is set to return, transforming Manchester city centre in a festive wonderland.
The world-famous markets – brought to you by Manchester City Council – will feature nearly 350 stalls across ten distinctive sites and will open for the festive season from Thursday, 10 November until Tuesday, 20 December.
The Albert Square site will close Wednesday, 21 December at 6pm. Full listings below.
At 41 days trading (42 in Albert Square), this year’s Manchester Christmas Markets will be open longer than ever before giving eager shoppers even more chance to sample the merry delights of the UK’s first festive market.
Welcoming back traders from every corner of Europe, this year’s market will see the addition of traders from across the globe as the street food revolution inspires new stalls across the market.
The UK’s first gourmet grilled cheese restaurant – Northern Soul – will take their award-winning wares to Albert Square for the first time, along with their own “hard shakes”, with an adult twist.
One of last year’s most popular stall, The Greater Northern Pie Company, return selling their handmade pies, and an icon of Albert Square – The Big and Barrel pork sandwich emporium – will return bigger and better than ever.
Continuing the street food theme, King Street welcomes the fresh Turkish tastes of the Zouk Grill, while Exchange Square will become the new home of gourmet hot dog experts Street Dawg Co, and some of the best Indian food this side of the Asian subcontinent in Tikka Kebab Kitchen – with one of the best vegan curries going.
Piccola Eatalia’s stone-baked pizza tops off the inaugural list for Exchange Square cooking up the authentic tastes of the Mediterranean, while the authentic taste of the North is wrapped up with artisan bakers George and Shelley’s Pie Shop at Cathedral Gardens – who also do a warming range of mulled gin.
Festive Cathedral Gardens is building on the success of the family-friendly area last year with a Manchester Christmas Market first – an ice rink.
The Rink at Cathedral Gardens opened a week ahead of the markets (Friday, 4 November) and will be joined with the return of the traditional fun fair – including Ferris Wheel, carousel, Helter Skelter, and a tea cup ride - from Thursday, 10 November.
As the biggest Christmas Market in Europe, Manchester’s Christmas Market attracts a huge range of different stall holders offering a massive array of produce.
From the traditional favourites, such as Bratwurst, hog roast, crepes or macaroons to the more adventurous delights from across the world, such as Paella, Flammkuchen or the British gourmet pie.
Each market site boasts the finest in gift ideas, including jewellery, ceramics, handmade toys, puppets, clocks, glassware, and a market favourite, the limited edition Manchester Christmas Market coffee and Gluhwein mugs.
And of course, the iconic, tweet-happy,
six-tonne giant Santa will take his place above Albert Square – so get in touch @MCRsanta and join the festive conversation.
Launched in 1999, the Manchester Christmas Markets was the first festive market in the UK growing from only a single site in St Ann’s Square in 1999 – each completely free to visitors.
Regularly named one of Europe’s best Christmas Market attractions, nine million people visited last year – along with two million visiting the Albert Square site alone – and is responsible for generating millions of pounds for the city’s economy.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “It really is the most wonderful time of the year and my Christmas dreams have come true now the markets are open for longer than ever before. I’d have them open from September if I had my way – I love the transformation of the city during the Christmas Market season, when the dark nights are bathed in a warm festive glow.
“There’s something for everyone at the Christmas Markets, a truly family-friendly attraction, and at Festive Cathedral Gardens, we have achieved our hopes of bringing an ice rink to the family zone for the first time.
“More than anything I enjoy seeing generations of people all soaking up the atmosphere, so get your loved ones together and enjoy the thousands of delicious treats the markets have to offer.”
And stay up to date on twitter with #MCRCHRISTMAS
Manchester Christmas Markets
Thursday 10 November – Tuesday 20 December.
European Christmas Market, Albert Square (Open until Wednesday, 21 December)
10.00am – 9.00pm daily.
ALL OTHER MARKET SITES
(Brazennose Street; St Ann’s Square; King Street; Exchange Street; Exchange Square; New Cathedral Street; the Corn Exchange; Market Street; and Cathedral Gardens)
In November 10.00am – 7.30pm
In December 10.00am – 8.00pm
ALL BAR AND FOOD AREAS OPEN UNTIL 9.00pm
The Rink at Cathedral Gardens
4 November 2016 – 7 January 2017
Daily 11 am – 9 pm (closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day)