We’re still drooling over the endless mugs of German mulled wine we managed to drink our way through last year but as December draws closer and the tinsel starts to appear in shop windows, it seems it’s time to start getting excited for the next round– and this year there’s extra cause to the festivities as the Christmas Markets celebrate 15 years of their annual winter residency. With the addition of a special collectible Christmas Market Shilling and over 300 stalls bringing yuletide joy to nine locations, here are three of the best to get you in the festive spirit.

Albert Square European Christmas Market (pictured)
Star of the show, Albert Square reclaims its reputation as the go-to place for all things festive as the famous market returns complete with its annual oversized Santa and singing moose. Bursting with beer halls, Gluhwein houses, food stalls, Christmas trees, gifts and more, there’s little you won’t find at Manchester’s biggest market. Stalls to look out for include annual staples Bavarian Swing Grill and The Pancake House as well as several stops for Gluhwein. We recommend making at least a couple of trips to take it all in.
Fri 15 Nov – Sun 22 Dec, Albert Square, M2 5RT, 10am – 9pm, FREE, www.manchester.gov.uk

Castlefield Victorian Christmas Market
Away from the hustle and bustle of the main locations, Castlefield plays host to the city’s first Victorian Christmas Market this year. Running alongside the other Christmas markets, the Victorian extravaganza will include some of the best local businesses in the region, selling fine produce, street food, craft and vintage and more, all arranged within elegant artisanal marquees. And to kick it all off, Friday 15 November will see the grand unveiling of the market, featuring music, cocktails, magicians and a traditional Victorian funfair.
Fri 15 Nov – Sun 22 Dec, Upper Campfield Market (on the corner of Liverpool Road & Deansgate), 10am – 8pm, FREE, www.castlefieldmarket.org.uk

Corporation Street Christmas Market
New and exclusive to 2013, the festive fun extends to Corporation Street for a one-off market. As well as clothing and arts, crafts and gifts stalls, there will also be a range of fresh produce including cheese, pasta, sauces, Italian wine, cookies and roasted nuts. For tasty street food, The Lakeland Picnic Company will be at hand with homemade beef burgers, sausages and regional chutney, Turks Charcoal Pit will be serving grilled chicken served in naan bread and Halloumi cheese salad, while the market will also host a cosy coffee house with a range of coffee and hot chocolate to warm you up.
Fri 15 Nov – Sat 21 Dec, Corporation Street, Nov: 10am – 7.30pm, Dec: 10am – 8pm, FREE, www.manchester.gov.uk

Fri 15 Nov - Sun 22 Dec
Hannah Phillips
Published on:
Sun 10 Nov 2013