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Manchester Christmas Markets named best festive markets in Europe

The Manchester Christmas Markets is the place to be

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@mcrchristmasmarkets / Instagram

As the festive season is underway, it’s good to know that we have Europe’s favourite Christmas market experiences right on our doorstep.

As you’ve probably already seen the wooden Alpine huts popping up in several areas in town, the Christmas Markets will officially open on Friday, November 10th, to kick off the season’s festivities.

The festive extravaganza has been named as Europe’s best Yuletide markets, according to a new study conducted by security expert Heald LTD.

Manchester City Council

The Mancunian markets took the top spot ahead of Vienna, Austria, which came in second place.

This Austrian Christmas market attracts around 3 million visitors per year. Open for 45 days, it features 150 stalls and boasts a Tripadvisor rating of 4.5. With over 8,000 monthly searches and 1.5 million TikTok views, Vienna’s market is a magical winter wonderland.

Paris ranked fourth in the new study, with its markets drawing in around 15 million visitors. With 200 stalls and a Tripadvisor rating of 4.5, it’s Christmas market continues to enchant visitors.

Manchester City Council

Manchester’s markets boasts 220 stalls, rakes in a whopping 13.2 million TikTok views, and is rated highly on Tripadvisor at 4.5 – not bad, eh? They’re also typed into Google with a monthly search volume of up to 40,500 searches.

A great place to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with colleagues, friends and family, the Manchester Christmas Markets offer plenty of festivities for all to enjoy.


According to Heald’s Christmas market index – based on the average number of visitors and stalls, overall Tripadvisor rating, global search volume, length of opening and TikTok views – the top ten Christmas markets in Europe are:

  1. 1) Manchester (UK) 
  2. 2) Vienna (Austria)
  3. 3) Birmingham (UK)
  4. 4) Paris (France)
  5. 5) Glasgow (UK), Frankfurt (Germany)
  6. 6) Cologne (Germany)
  7. 7) Brussels (Belgium)
  8. 8) Bruges (Belgium)
  9. 9) Dresden (Germany)
  10. 10) Winter Wonderland London (UK), Nuremberg (Germany)


This year marks 25 years of the city’s markets, which first began back in 1998 and has been a prominent feature ever since.

To mark the special quarter of a century anniversary, this year’s markets will boast 225 stalls over nine sites throughout the city, so you won’t have to travel far to stumble across some festive cheer and a hot mulled wine to warm you up.

Manchester City Council

Also coming back to get you in the Christmas spirit is the popular Manchester Christmas Parade, set to tale place on Sunday, December 3rd. Last year’s parade saw thousands line the streets to watch this wonderful winter celebration.

As the nights draw in, The Christmas Lights Trail is set to illuminate the city again. Features include giant walk-through baubles, a Manchester bee, and a giant Santa Claus watching over St Peter’s Square.

Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “Christmas is looking even better than ever in Manchester this year, with the opening of our world-famous Christmas markets now only three weeks away and a stocking rammed full of things for all the family to see and enjoy over the festive season, including our magical Manchester Christmas Parade.

Manchester City Council

“And what a special year for our world-beating markets!  Hard to believe it was exactly 25 Christmases ago that Manchester’s first-ever Christmas market took place.

“A quarter of a century later the markets bring visitors from quite literally all over the world to fill upon the fantastic festive treats on offer. Everyone knows Manchester is the city that Santa loves best and we just can’t wait to share all the Christmas fun and festivities with everyone.”

Manchester’s Christmas Markets open this Friday, November 10th and close on Thursday, December 21st.

@mcrchristmasmarkets / Instagram

The Christmas Markets are open daily at the following times:

All craft stalls 10 am – 8 pm

All bars and food stalls 11 am – 9 pm

Father Christmas will take up residence in St Peter’s Square after Remembrance Sunday, on November 12th. The Ice Rink in Cathedral Gardens will be open from November 2nd – January 2nd.

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

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Huge beer festival with more than 500 different varieties coming to Manchester

Can’t wait for this!

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Manchester Craft Beer Festival

Manchester Craft Beer Festival is back for another year, bringing with it more than 80 breweries and 500 different beers to sample.

The fourth edition of the festival will be taking place at Depot Mayfield on Friday July 5th and Saturday July 6th.

Cloudwater, Track, Marble, Northern Monk, Bundobust, Sureshot and Seven Brothers will be there to represent Manchester, alongside other UK stalwarts like Deya, Verdant, Siren and Leeds’ North Brewing Co.

Manchester Craft Beer Festival


Heritage breweries like Timothy Taylor’s, Chouffe and Timmermans will also be there, as well as international breweries from the US, Greece, Spain and Australia.

There will also be some great food options to line your stomach, including bao buns, crispy chicken and katsu tater tots at Bone Daddies, as well as Almost Famous, Bundobust, MorMor and Voodoo Rays.

Manchester Craft Beer Festival


Greg Wells, director of Manchester Craft Beer Festival, said: “It’s been a disheartening year for Manchester’s beer scene so far with closure of the beloved Indy Beer Con Fest and the unsuccessful debut of the International Brewing and Cider Festival, but we’re pleased to announce our return and bring more of what has been loved in the past three years.

“With even more breweries and experiences on offer and larger capacity this year, we’re buzzing to be back to satisfy all the beer lovers out there.

“The addition of a complimentary trade session to our programme is all about promoting this world class beer city and a small gesture to support all the incredible people who work across the drinks and hospitality industries.

“We all have a mutual understanding of the hardships our industries have faced in recent times so we thought it’d be a nice gesture to get everyone together for the love of drinks, food and music to celebrate beer and ourselves!”

Manchester Craft Beer Festival


The entry price includes all your drinks throughout your session, as well as festival glass and access to all the events happening.

And as it’s on during the Euros, it will be screening the football too.

Day tickets cost £57 per day session – with a discount for four tickets – or £145 for the whole weekend. Grab tickets HERE.

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New makers market with everything from dog accessories to house plants and jewellery coming to Manchester

Get this one in your diary!

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Supplied

A brand new makers market is coming to Manchester this late May Bank Holiday weekend, with something for everyone.

Taking place at New Jackson – a new urban neighbourhood located at the southern gateway to the city – Manchester Made Market will be held on Saturday May 25th and Sunday May 26th.

Over the two days you’ll be able to browse a selection of local artisanal traders and small businesses from across the region.

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There’ll be everything, from food produce, homewares, crafts and creations to dog accessories, house plants, jewellery and homemade soap.

Among the traders will be Manchester and Cheshire-based florist and floral artists Dot & Flora, graphic artist Ablott MCR selling music prints, HGT with crochet fashion and homeware designs, and artisan candlemakers Leaves and Prickles.

Elsewhere, there will be essential oils and other treatments from Grounded Wellness, permanent jewellery from Sealed Links, and desserts from Cake With Heart.

Supplied


There will be plenty of street food options to keep you topped up while you shop, including The Wild Grill, Food Sorcery, Salvi’s and new favourite Medlock Canteen.


Neighbourhood Brew will be supplying some great drinks as well.

Supported by Renaker, the market is free, but you can upgrade your experience with a limited, free VIP ticket with access to the dedicated bar area.

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Manchester Flower Festival returns with tributes to Sarah Harding and Caroline Aherne

It’s taking place later this month!

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The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

The legendary Manchester Flower Festival is returning to our city later this month, complete with pop-ups, installations and tributes to some local icons.

Taking place over the late May Bank Holiday, the event will be headlined by its ‘Floral Trail’.

This year’s theme is Manchester Icons, with a host of names past and present being honoured in flower form, including the late comedy legend Caroline Aherne, pop star Sarah Harding and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Collaborating with Manchester illustrator Stanley Chow, floral designer Liv Woodward will create a portrait of Caroline Aherne at the Floral Marquee on New Cathedral Street, using sustainably sourced plants and flowers.

Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding will be remembered in a ‘tribute garden’, sponsored by the AO Arena, with visitors able to donate to the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal by scanning the QR code at the display.

The homage to Pankhurst has been created by female-led Decordia, featuring an ornate wooden Manchester Town Hall-inspired planter with sashes, posters and colourful icons, alongside a wicker figure of the suffragette herself.

This can be found at the corner of Cross Street and King Street, adorned with purple, green and white plants – the colours of the suffragette movement.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Other local legends will also be honoured with their own installations, including Happy Mondays vocalist Rowetta and iconic Manchester brewery Boddingtons .

Fringe events will be taking place too, at locations including Northern Quarter art shop Fred Aldous, The Bridgewater Hall, the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and the National Trust’s Castlefield Viaduct.

Selfridges Exchange Square, El Gato Negro, Tast Catala, Franco Manca, Grand Pacific Manchester and Urban Playground will also be taking part, with alfresco dining, festival-related dishes and cocktails.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Now in its seventh year, the Flower Festival, which is put together by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, with live entertainment, workshops, and arts and crafts markets.

It all happens from May 24th to May 27th – head over to the website HERE to find more information.

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