Pic Mark Waugh

Manchester is one of the twenty best Christmas markets in Europe according to voters at European Best Destinations, a Brussels-based organisation that promotes tourism in Europe.

More than one hundred and eighty thousand people voted on the website for their favourite Christmas markets in Europe, and Manchester came in at number 20 – the only UK Christmas market on the list.

It’s hardly surprising. The Manchester Christmas Markets just get bigger and better every year, turning the city centre into a festive wonderland.

This year they were open longer than ever before, lasting no fewer than 41 days (42 in Albert Square), with nearly 350 stalls offering a massive array of produce.

Launched in 1999, the Manchester Christmas Markets were the first in the UK, growing from a single site in St Ann’s Square in 1999 to become one of the biggest in Europe.

Manchester Christmas Markets voted amongst the biggest and best in Europe as they close for 2016 I Love Manchester
Pic Mark Waugh

Regularly named one of Europe’s best festive attractions, nine million people visited last year – two million visiting the Albert Square site alone – generating millions of pounds for the local economy.

The figures for this year haven’t been published yet, but judging by the huge crowds – especially at weekends – we’re expecting it to be a record-breaking year.

The last few days of the Christmas Markets have been overshadowed by the terrible events in Berlin but we are already looking forward to welcoming them back next year.

So auf wiedersehen bratwurst, gluhwein, Bavarian strudels and stollen. Goodbye Dutch waffles, Buddha candle and incense holders, handmade soy candles, alpaca accessories and liquorice. Farewell African hand crafted garden pots, reindeer skins and clothes, hot water bottle covers, Nepalese woollen jumpers, chocolate-dipped fruit kebabs and those big chocolates that look like marshmallows but aren’t.

Thanks for a wonderful 41 days (42 in Albert Square). Manchester in the run-up to Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without you.

Here’s that list of the Top 20 Christmas Markets in Europe in full.

  1. Zagreb
  2. Strasbourg
  3. Colmar
  4. Aachen
  5. Vienna
  6. Dresden
  7. Tallinn
  8. Prague
  9. Budapest
  10. Brussels
  11. Graz
  12. Cologne
  13. Metz
  14. Madeira
  15. Leipzig
  16. Nuremberg
  17. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
  18. Lille
  19. Helsinki
  20. Manchester


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