A Christmas miracle of Giant Santa proportions has come true as Manchester takes a coveted spot in the top fifteen festive markets across the continent.
Placing lucky number 13, Manchester shrugged off strong competition from a long list of 100 Christmas Markets, eventually being placed higher than stalwart Christmas destinations, including Dresden, Leipzig and Cologne.
Manchester is representing the British Isles as the only UK city to be nominated in the final 20 festive attractions by influential travel website, European Best Destinations.
The final positions were chosen by a European-wide vote by more than 200,000 people from 131 countries.
And here’s a taste of the feedback from this year’s Christmas Markets:
“Amazing place to try food from around the world. Great place to meet new people. Good German beer and traditional wurst. Bustling place but still not too crowded. Earlier in the day is good for kids in a pram too.”
“In town from the US for a Manchester United game and had a great time. The food was great, the drinks even better and a great atmosphere for all. Great place to shop with a lot of options. Loved the way it spread out from the centre into different neighbourhoods and connected visitors with conventional shopping.”
“The best one I've been to in years. Great variety of stalls selling trinkets, gifts, handbags, purses, numerous food stalls, both takeaway and cookies, cheeses etc. Set aside a few hours to see everything. Great!”
“Coming from Germany I’m used to very traditional markets. The Manchester Christmas market is very international with standards from various countries such as Germany, France and even Turkey! Well worth a visit.”
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “Although it often goes without saying – that Manchester has the best Christmas Market in the UK – it never hurts to be told. We have fought off competition from some of the most popular Christmas cities in the world and our reign as the UK’s capital of Christmas continues.
Cllr Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council’s executive member for school, culture and leisure, said: “Thank you to everyone who voted for Manchester, it’s an honour to be recognised as one of the best Christmas destinations alongside such illustrious European cities. Only one week to go until the market closes for another year, so fill your stockings!”
And stay up to date on twitter with #MCRCHRISTMAS