Manchester Christmas Markets have been listed in the top three most picturesque Christmas markets in the whole of Europe, a new study has revealed.
Out of over 600 markets that take place across the UK and mainland Europe, Manchester came in at number three, with 48,252 posts on Instagram using the market’s hashtag, #manchesterchristmasmarkets.
The research, which was carried out by PaulCamper, found that Zagreb’s Advent in Zagreb is the most photographed Christmas market, followed by London’s Christmas at Kew in second and Manchester Christmas Market in third.
The rest of the top 10 in Europe includes Edinburgh Christmas Market, Bath Christmas Market, Tuomaan Markets in Helsinki (Finland), Wrocław Christmas Market (Poland), Strasbourg: Capitale de Noël (France), Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London and Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market.
To compile the data, PaulCamper gathered a list of every Christmas market in Europe (over 600) and analysed the number of hashtags each had on the social media platform Instagram, deleting those that had less than 100.
Starting in 1999, the first Christmas market in the country has grown, with Manchester’s markets now now attracting more than nine million visitors each year – although the markets were mostly cancelled for the first time in their 22-year history in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, Manchester is showcasing a new family-friendly Winter Gardens attraction in the heart of the city as Piccadilly Gardens is transformed with yuletide bars offering locally brewed ales, food stalls, craft sellers and – for the first time – a stage with live music and DJs throughout the festive season.
The Winter Gardens sees some foodie favourites from previous years pop-up in the new festive hub; Dutch Frites, and Greek Gyros will make the Gardens a must for hungry visitors.
Manchester’s famous Christmas Markets have also returned across another six city centre squares, offering the festive delights that the city is known for.
These markets will trade through until just before the big day – Wednesday 22nd December.
Bound to attract some more Christmas hashtags, over in St Ann’s Square, Birdie the campervan has returned for your free selfie prints in the campervan.
And Cathedral Gardens once again returns as the family friendly area with the return of Skate Manchester’s ice rink and a range of food and drinks stalls to help skaters recover from their time on the ice.
“It’s wonderful to welcome back our world-famous Christmas Markets and the addition of the Winter Gardens for the very first time,” said Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson.
“Manchester has been the capital of Christmas for 22 years since the very first Christmas Market arrived in the UK in 1999 and we know it was a huge disappointment that we had to scale back our celebrations last year.
“We’re making up for lost time this year and are transforming the city centre into the festive wonderland we know and love.”