Manchester Christmas Markets slammed with negative reviews after doing exactly what people asked for

Oh, we're a fickle species.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 3rd December 2022

The Manchester Christmas Markets have been torn to shreds by several users on Tripadvisor this year.

Complaining about the huge festive event has become as traditional as the event itself for Mancs – too crowded, too expensive, too disruptive, etc etc.

Previous complaints have usually centred around the choice of traders working out of the market stalls, with people objecting to the repetitive pattern of bratwurst, mulled wine, ornament.

Many have also had a moan that too many traders travel over from Europe, and say that the markets take too much footfall away from the year-round local businesses positioned nearby.

So in recent years, the markets have started to go through a bit of a transformation.


The main one would be relocating down to Piccadilly Gardens, where a huge wooden festive village has been built, this year with live music stage, apres-ski-style bar, and a festive tipi.

This is also home to a huge proportion of the food traders.


There’s even a secret bar here, hidden from view by a Narnia-like wardrobe entrance.

And as time goes on, more and more of the food traders are local to Manchester (this year including Parmogeddon, Oi Dumplings, Triple B and Yum Yum.

The Manchester Christmas Markets have listened to feedback and gone a bit more local overall, so you’d expect everyone would be pleased – but of course they’re not.


One scathing and lengthy review on Tripadvisor said: “Went on a day trip by coach to the Christmas Market, having been four years ago and LOVED it…sorry, but the difference between that experience and this year’s is like night and day.


If you try one thing today, make sure it’s Porky Pig’s battered pigs in blankets😍 find them on Exchange Square! #manchester #manchesterchristmasmarket #food #foodie #mcr #foryou #fyp #pigsinblankets

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“First of all, whose daft idea was it to have the market scattered across nine different locations? People who aren’t familiar with Manchester won’t know where all these locations are!

“The first part of the market I came across was a collection of food stalls, the bulk of them not displaying prices – is that legal? – and the entire set-up looked like a building site. No festive atmosphere at all, and sadly this continued the further I walked.

“Gone was the wonderful variety of Christmas ornaments and gifts, replaced by food and drink stalls and, strangely, a stall selling wooden garden furniture. There is nothing remotely Christmassy about an overpriced Kingdom of Sweets stall, and when I came across a second one several minutes later I gave up and killed time in a Wetherspoons until my coach left to take everyone home.

Credit: Manchester Christmas Markets ( via Twitter )

“I wasn’t the only person let down by the experience, either; when an elderly lady boarded the coach on its way home, she was heard to mutter, “Well, I’d have been ready to go home three hours ago.” I’m writing this trip off as a learning experience – and what I learned is that I won’t be going to this market again next year.”


A parent who visited said: “Where to start. This was my families first and last visit to Manchester, The Christmas Market felt very poorly planned with stalls not in one area. People kept knocking into my children manners seem to be missing in Manchester as a whole.”

Someone else wrote in a one-star review: “Ridiculous prices, paid £6 for a hot dog for my son & was then charges £1 extra for tomato sauce, sorry but that is taking the mick.. usual stores have gone and replaced with food, drink or overpriced large goods. The Christmas feeling just wasn’t there this year :(.”

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Another person said: “I visited the Christmas Market at the weekend with a friend and it felt more like a food festival than a Market. No price lists displayed. Utter waste of time. Cheaper to go the ones abroad.”

One reviewer said: “Nothing at all Christmassy, pre-covid they was lovely stalls seeming Christmas ornaments ets, now it’s all good and drink mostly £15 for 2 mugs of hot chocolate, cocktails £9 for a snowball just pure greed, very disappointed, definitely won’t be back this year or in near future.”

Someone else wrote: “All about overpriced food and repetitive stalls. Nothing European about it and not what it once was. £10 for a sausage save your money and try a market in actual Europe.”

Featured image: The Manc Group