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Manchester Christmas Markets Stand Exchange Square

Everything you need to know about the Manchester Christmas Markets 2021


The Manchester Christmas Markets are back this year, bringing festive fun to the city from Friday 12th November to Wednesday 22nd December 2021.

Confirming the news back in September, councillor Pat Karney, Manchester’s official Christmas spokesperson, said that although “Christmas is not cancelled” this year, measures for crowd control and social distancing will be in place to ensure the Manchester Christmas Market can be enjoyed safely.

“We had to put them through every Public Health test and that's the whole approach to Christmas this year, making it safe for traders and the public,” he said. “We're delighted we can go ahead with this. Tens of thousands of jobs for people depend on Christmas trade.”

When and where will the Manchester Christmas Markets 2021 be?

Clusters of Christmas market stalls will be set up in several locations around Manchester:

  • Market Street
  • Exchange Square
  • Cathedral Gardens
  • New Cathedral Street
  • St Ann's Square
  • King Street

The main festive hub will be at Piccadilly Gardens. The area will be transformed into the 'Winter Gardens', with plenty of market stalls, bars, and food stalls. The Winter Gardens will be open later than the rest of the Manchester Christmas Markets, until 3rd January 2022. 

The infamous giant inflatable Father Christmas will also make his comeback to St Peter’s Square, and there will be a Christmas light trail, but details for this are yet to be announced. 

The ice rink has also returned to Cathedral Gardens – just a 5-minute walk from CitySuites and CitySuites II – and is double its normal size. The festive ice rink will be open from 1st November 2021 until 3rd January 2022.

If you need to warm up from the cold, stop by Embankment Kitchen (a 5 minute walk from Cathedral Gardens and Exchange Square) and fill up with our delicious three-course Festive Menu and special yuletide toddies! 

Top View Roast Turkey Christmas Dinner Served At Embankment Kitchen Manchester

How Covid-secure will the Manchester Christmas Markets 2021 be?

“I'm really really excited,” councillor Karney told Hits Radio Manchester in September. “People will just want to get together in a safe way. We'll make sure that it's safe - and just enjoy being human again and enjoying Christmas.

“We've all been in lockdown mode for so long and we all ache to get together with friends and family so we're doing everything possible to keep people safe and we're keeping it under review.

“The pictures that we've had of Albert Square over the years where people have been standing on top of each other – that's a million miles from what we'll be doing this year.

“Each site will have very very clear entry and exit arrangements so that we don't take any public health issues with crowds.”

As for the official Christmas light switch-on in Manchester and any plans for New Year's Eve celebrations, the council is still reviewing government advice on crowd numbers and Covid passes. Details for this will be announced in due course.

Where to stay in Manchester for the Christmas Markets 2021?

If you would like to visit Manchester while the Christmas Markets are on in 2021, CitySuites provides the perfect home away from home in the heart of the city. Just 5 minutes from Cathedral Gardens and the Manchester Arndale shopping centre, your stay at CitySuites will include an apartment with a fully fitted kitchen and Sky Premium TV, and access to our luxury pool and hot tub. Booking early can save you up to 30% off – find your dates here.

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