Last chance to visit Manchester's world-beating Christmas Markets

  • Sunday 17 December 2023

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Two figures silhouetted walking through an arcade towards a brightly lit market stall

Manchester's world-beating Christmas Markets close on Thursday 21 December

Christmas shoppers have only days left to visit Manchester's world-beating Christmas Markets before they close this Thursday 21 December.

The last five weeks have seen record-breaking numbers of visitors to the markets which this year celebrate 25 years of bringing Christmas joy and festive feels to city centre Manchester.

And with a Santa's sackful of accolades this year for the markets - from best Christmas Market in the UK (of course!), Europe's favourite Christmas Market, to the latest Best in the World - the markets are definitely worth a visit before they close.

With over 225 stalls spread over nine sites across the city centre, selling food, drink, crafts and seasonal gifts, last minute Christmas shoppers are sure to find something to delight everyone - from the tiniest tots celebrating their first Christmases to those with considerably more years of Christmases' past under their belts.

With stalls featuring amazing crafters and producers, selling all kinds of things from tweed hats and personalised stationery, to candles, fine soaps, jewellery, and gift sets of cheese truckles, anyone still looking for Christmas presents will be spoilt for choice.

And if the Christmas shopping is all done and the presents are already wrapped and under the tree, there are plenty of food and drink stalls across the market for visitors with time on their hands to enjoy.  

Whether it's Korean Hotdogs, Bratwurst, or vegan 5-bean Chilli, washed down with a steaming hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, whipped cream and festive sprinkles, a glass of traditional Gluhwein, or a cocktail or two, there's plenty to satisfy foodies and Christmas shoppers alike.

Visitors to the markets will also love seeing the Christmas lights trail - perfect for all those crucial Christmas selfies - illuminating the city centre throughout the festive season with giant walk-through baubles, a Manchester bee and of course Santa Claus himself, keeping a watchful eye on everyone for his naughty or nice lists from his perch on high in front of Central Library on St Peter's Square.

And for those who enjoy a seasonal skate, Skate Manchester's covered ice rink is open to Christmas skaters in Cathedral Gardens until 2 January.

Councillor Pat Karney, Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council, said: "Twenty five years on and it's clear visitors just can't get enough of Christmas in Manchester and our world-beating Christmas Markets.

"The stalls are off-the-scale amazing selling some fabulous things - and I should know, I've been to the markets every day so far since they opened in November, and I keep finding even more fantastic things that I haven't seen before. 

 "What I love most though is the atmosphere, which across all the markets is just incredible - it's just brilliant to see the city centre so busy again after these last few years.

 "There might only be a few days left 'til the markets close for another year, but if you haven't been yet there's still time to come down and check out the stalls, soak up the atmosphere and get in the festive mood.  Come on down and join us!"

Manchester Christmas Markets close on Thursday 21 December.  

They are open daily until then at the following times:

All craft stalls 10 am - 8 pm
All bars and food stalls 11 am - 9 pm

The food and drink stalls in Cathedral Gardens alongside the skate rink will remain open until 31 December.

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