Attracting annual visitors in the thousands, Manchester’s Christmas Market is celebrating its 20th year.
Since 1998, the festive stalls have become a fixture of the Holiday Season. With people traveling the width and breadth of the country to visit 100’s of traders selling unique gifts, and taste the best in global cuisine.
As the countdown to Christmas begins, this year is set to to be the best one yet, offering all you’d expect from the city and more. This is quite possibly your very last chance to witness the market’s central, traditional location of Albert Square. As the main hub of the market is moving to make way for a major revamp to the public plaza in the heart in the city in 2019.
Every year, the giant glowing Santa Clause – called Zippy, that sits atop the Town Hall is a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike, and this year is set to be no different – as you can already see him happily watching over the busy stalls and shoppers.
This season, the market stretches over nine city-based sites: Albert Hall, St Ann’s Square, King Street, Exchange Street, Market Street, The Corn Exchange Cathedral Garden, Exchange Square and New Cathedral Street. Market-goers will notice that Brazennose Street is missing this time around – due to ongoing developments in the area.
The prices of the market stalls are set by the individual trader, rather than the council, which could mean you could get yourself the best German Sausage in all the land for a pretty decent rate, and of course, enjoy a mulled wine or two while you’re there.
Every Christmas, the Manchester Christmas Market shows huge attraction through its collectable hot chocolate mugs that signify the day. 2018 will illustrate a new design, sporting a reindeer nose that lines up with the drinkers face while they enjoy a tasty, warm beverage. The mug has taken a comical approach to the season and already is a huge hit with Christmas lovers, hot chocolate lovers, coffee lovers and Manchester lovers.
The mugs have long since been purchased through leaving a deposit of £2 when ordering a drink, which can be returned if you choose not to keep your mug. This year, there has been a slight increase with the mug deposit costing £3 – but for a cheeky souvenir of the day, it’s not so bad.
Although you can still find the traditional German favourites, 2018 sees 70% of traders coming from more local territories, including Greater Manchester and the North West.
Expected to be a massive hit once again is the Yorkshire Pudding Wrap, courtesy of Porky Pig, trading at Exchange Square, along with old favourites like Bratwurst and Beer.
The Manchester Christmas Markets are open from November 9th – December 22nd. With December 23rd being that lucky day where some traders sell the last of their items at discounted prices.
However you celebrate this Christmas, a trip to the Manchester Christmas Markets might just be the bauble on the tree, and give you that festive feeling of holiday cheer!