Manchester Christmas Markets Continue to Expand

  • The Manchester Christmas markets started this year on 10 November running through to 20 December
  • Each year they become more extravagant, but will they ever be able to live up to the original German equivalent?

Since 1999, thousands of people have been flocking to the city of Manchester in search of everything the Christmas markets have to offer. You can find anything from mulled wine and sausages to soaps and toiletries. In Germany, the markets are a vital part of the country's festive tradition, and date as far back as the 17th century.

The Manchester markets began in St. Ann's Square alone, later expanding to include 10 different sites and almost 350 stalls. Many stallholders come from abroad, bringing together a variety of festive traditions in one city.

But for some, the Manchester markets simply do not compare to the festive atmosphere of their German counterparts. Rachel Abitz, who has experienced both the Manchester markets and those in her home city of Munster, says the Germans will always do it better: “In Germany the markets are quieter and sell more handmade stuff. They definitely have more style and Christmas spirit!”

Others look forward to a trip abroad at the end of the year to experience the more traditional feel of a German market: “The Christmas markets in Bremen were amazing, so much better than the Manchester ones,” said Lynsey Mee.

“You really can't beat the traditional German sausages and crepes! They had open fire pits where people could gather around to keep warm with mulled wine. I just loved the atmosphere – it was busy but so Christmassy and festive. They really take the decorations to the next level too!”

Promising to be even more extravagant than last year with the opening of a new ice rink in Cathedral Gardens, the Manchester Christmas markets are also taking place in Brazennose Street, St Ann’s Square, Exchange Street, New Cathedral Street, The Corn Exchange, King Street, Market Street and Exchange Square, as well as a European market held in Albert Square.

For more information visit their official website.