The Manchester Christmas Markets are an institution, and the countdown is well and truly on.
This year’s markets will mark the 20th anniversary of the festive event, and they’ll be on from Friday November 8th until Saturday December 21st - although traders operating in Albert Square will be open until 4pm on Sunday December 22nd - and stalls will be open seven days a week.
And in some even better news, the markets have now been named as one of the best in Europe for 2019.
Travel website Big 7 has put together a list of ‘The 20 Best Christmas Markets To Visit In Europe’ for this year, and Manchester comfortably broke into the top three.
They began the ranking, which was published two days ago, by saying: “Nothing is more likely to get you in the mood for the festive season than European Christmas markets. With exactly 100 days left until Christmas, we wanted to round up the very best of the best.”
Manchester came in at a respectable third place, with Zagreb Advent, based in Zagreb, Croatia taking the top spot, and Christmas Village Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria coming second.
Aachener Weihnachtsmarkt, based in Aachen, Germany came fourth, and Edinburgh’s Christmas, unsurprisingly located in Edinburgh, Scotland, took the last spot in the top five.
Big 7 had this to say about our market:
This lively market is an annual institution in the city at this stage and very much part of the social scene from November onwards. The markets are as much about eating and drinking as they are about buying gifts, with people spilling into local restaurants and bars and making a night out of their visit. There’s nearly 350 beautiful stalls and chalets in 10 distinctive market sites across the city centre.
The top ten in full:
1) Zagreb Advent, Croatia
2) Christmas Village Belvedere Palace, Vienna, Austria
3) Manchester Christmas Markets, England
4) Aachener Weihnachtsmarkt, Aachen, Germany
5) Edinburgh’s Christmas, Scotland
6) Winter Wonders, Brussels, Belgium
7) Strasbourg Christmas Market, France
8) Krakow Christmas Market, Poland
9) Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin, Germany
10) Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market, Copenhagen, Denmark
You can check out the original list here for the rest of the top twenty.