For everybody out there who, like us, is tentatively waiting for an appropriate time to start celebrating the festive season, it’s officially here. Why? Because Manchester’s legendary Christmas markets have started pouring the mulled wine.
Regularly listed among Europe’s best Christmas market choices, Manchester’s 2018 offering will encapsulate the year’s most-embraced trends, including authentic market food, gin cocktails and retro photo booths. It’s also your last chance to experience the markets in their original form, before a four-year renovation project on the Albert Square location begins in 2019, forcing the main Christmas markets to move to an as yet unconfirmed new site.
With more than 300 stalls, extravagant ice sculptures and the world-famous town hall Santa, Zippy, making an appearance, it’s the perfect way to get into the festive spirit this year.
For the first time, Cathedral Gardens, less than a five minute walk away from CitySuites, will play host to an ice village this winter. Telling the story of Manchester’s illustrious history through a series of ice sculptures, the village captures all that is great about the city – expect to navigate through Suffragettes, sports and the famous Manchester bees.
Alongside this, a new ski lodge bar, serving espresso martinis and honey-cream infused gin cocktails, will transport you to the idyllic Swedish Alps. There’s also an ice bar, a frozen toy factory and Santa’s grotto, making it an ideal choice for the whole family.
If you’re looking to up your social media game this Christmas, a trip to Manchester is a must.
St Ann’s Square will be home to a VW campervan, which has been converted into a stylish photo booth. Stocked with fancy dress costumes and a variety of props, it’s the ideal setting for that #FridayFeeling Instagram story. You’ll also get a free print copy of photos, and they’ll be shared automatically using #MCRChristmas on Twitter.
Make your followers jealous by posting about the incredible food on offer. From German bratwursts to Hungarian goulash and Yorkshire pudding wraps, you’ll certainly set #instafood alight this Christmas. What’s more, the design for this year’s mug is a reindeer that lines up with the drinker’s face, making that Irish coffee yet another photo opportunity.
And don’t forget that all important snap of Zippy, the famous Santa that sits on the roof of Manchester Town Hall. Because if you haven’t posted a photo of him online, have you even been to Manchester’s Christmas markets?
Make a weekend of it
2018 will see the reappearance of the ‘carol-oke’ huts. Situated in Spinningfields Square, just down the road from CitySuites, you can sing your favourite festive tunes while sipping on alpine-themed cocktails or classic Italian bombardinos.
With firm favourites Bar Hutte and Windmill also returning, live entertainment offerings and the undeniable pull of surrounding bars, you’ll certainly be tempted to make a night - or weekend - of it in Manchester.
For those hoping to take refuge from the busy crowds, there’s plenty of hidden gems also embracing the festive season. Go back to the prohibition era with a gin and sin party courtesy of the Cosy Club, just three minutes from CitySuites. Independent food and drink hub Hatch is also a must-visit. The hidden haven is expanding its outside space to deliver an ‘Urban Narnia’, complete with Christmas trees, fairy lights and heaters to keep punters warm during a busy programme of entertainment.
To help you make the most of a jam-packed trip to Manchester’s Christmas Markets, we have a special two day Christmas Markets Festive Package on offer, saving you over £180. This includes a premium suite, hot breakfast for two, late check out, Christmas truffles and prosecco on arrival.
Manchester’s Christmas markets will run from Friday 9th November to Saturday 22nd December across nine locations, including Exchange Square and the Corn Exchange – just moments away from CitySuites.