The highly-anticipated Manchester Christmas Markets are set to return for 2023 with hundreds of stalls across the city. Open from November 10 at multiple locations across Manchester, Mancs and visitors can enjoy the event at full scale, with tons of food traders, gift stalls and pop-up bars back for the occasion.
Manchester Christmas Markets celebrated a bumper year of festive trading in 2022 with crowds back up to pre-Covid levels. According to Manchester City Council, visitor numbers to the Christmas Markets were further boosted by the very first-ever Manchester Christmas Parade – a magical and unforgettable festive-first for the city. So popular last year, the specially produced Manchester Christmas Market mugs for 2022, which the markets’ traditional offering been of Gluhwein and mugs of hot chocolate laden with marshmallows and all the trimmings are served in, were a complete sell-out, breaking all previous records.
But as the town hall continues to undergo renovations, the market has needed to seek a new home once again and therefore take place at a number of Manchester city centre locations. Manchester City Council has confirmed that there will be over 225 stalls across nine sites throughout the city centre this year’s Christmas markets will see the iconic ski chalet market stalls take over Piccadilly Gardens – once again set to be transformed into the Winter Gardens – as well as Market Street, Cathedral Gardens, Exchange Street, New Cathedral Street, St Ann’s Square, Exchange Square, The Corn Exchange and King Street.
When will Manchester Christmas Markets take place?
Manchester Christmas Markets 2023 will take place between November 10 and December 21. However, the market stalls at Cathedral Gardens have opened earlier this year (from October 26) and will remain open alongside the ice rink in the run-up to Christmas and again after Christmas until New Year’s Eve (December 31).
Where will Manchester Christmas Markets take place?
The main hub will be at Piccadilly Gardens this year, however, you’ll find stalls across the city at locations such as:
- Piccadilly Gardens
- St Ann’s Square
- Exchange Square
- New Cathedral Street
- King Street
- Exchange Street
- Market Street
- The Corn Exchange
- Cathedral Garden
How to get to Manchester Christmas Markets
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has urged people to use public transport wherever possible to travel in and out of the city centre for the Manchester Christmas Markets. But the markets are just the start of the festive period, with the city centre seeing events galore over the next seven weeks, including performances at AO Arena as well as Black Friday and Christmas shopping, sports matches and work Christmas parties on the horizon.
The nearest train stations are Manchester Piccadilly, Victoria and Deansgate Castlefield. The closest tram stops to Manchester Christmas Markets are Victoria, Market Street, Piccadilly Gardens, Piccadilly, Exchange Square, St Peter’s Square and Deansgate Castlefield. There is also the free city centre bus which you can hop on and off of.
What are the Winter Gardens?
Bigger and better than ever this year, Piccadilly Gardens will once again be transformed into Winter Gardens for the festive season. Serving up pancakes, churros, and an array of winter tipples it will be at the heart of Manchester’s festive action.
Newcomers Parmageddon will join a mouth-watering line-up of food and drink and two bars serving continental and foreign ales. Old favourites the Pig and Barrel will be making a welcome return to the Winter Gardens offering up their delicious pork barms and cosy seating area with entertainment on most nights. Winter Gardens will also be home this year to the iconic Manchester Windmill which comes in a whopping 4metres high!
The Winter Gardens will once again be home to a giant Nordic-themed double tipi bar for over 18s. Fully heated, and festooned with ambient lighting, wooden benches, fake furs, and a fire pit, the new tipi promises to be a perfect meeting place for those seeking a cosy Christmas atmosphere full of festive cheer.
With entertainment throughout the week including live music and DJs, some amazing food vendors will make their temporary Christmas home next to the tipi including last year’s smash hit, Korean hotdogs.
Which traders will be at Manchester Christmas Markets?
Manchester City Council announced a long list of traders, all of will be dotted across the Christmas Markets locations including well known names in Manchester like Yard & Coop, Porky Pig, The Great North Pie Company, The Salford Rum Company, The Flat Baker, El Gato Negro, Oi Dumplings and Parmageddon.
How to get a Manchester Christmas Markets mug
The Manchester Christmas Markets mugs are a tradition in itself with Manchester City Council revealing a new design every year. This year’s edition of the much-coveted mugs feature festive Nutcracker designs with a distinctive and on-trend Scandi feel and will be available at all of the city centre Christmas market sites from November 10 while stocks last.
Manchester’s special edition Christmas mugs can either be bought outright by Christmas shoppers or ‘rented’ when they purchase a hot drink at one of the Christmas Market stalls. Customers will be asked to pay a deposit of £3.50 for their mug when they purchase a hot drink and can then either choose to return their mug to the stall afterwards to get their deposit back, or keep the mug and take it home with them as a souvenir of their visit to the markets.
Will there be a Christmas Parade?
Manchester BID has announced the Festive Sundaysseries are coming back to the city, with sparkling street performances taking over Manchester city centre in the run up to Christmas. Festive Sundays will see roaming puppets and illuminated acts take to the city’s main shopping streets, every Sunday from November 26 – December 17. The events will create a fun and festive atmosphere for those doing Christmas shopping and enjoying Manchester’s bars and restaurants or visiting the Christmas Markets.
Also published on Medium.