Best of the Christmas Markets in Greater Manchester

Manchester is known to come alive at Christmas. It’s that time of year when you’re constantly stocking up on Quality Street, crossing your fingers for snow and buying 50 new Christmas baubles - as if you need any more.

Feeling festive is easy in Manchester. Whether your family tradition is putting oranges in everyone’s stocking or decorating cookies on Christmas Eve, a mooch around the Christmas Markets in Manchester come November and the beginning of December is sure to become an annual occurrence.

But if you’ve not got your Christmas Markets visit planned yet, we’re here to help. Get to know all the best Christmas Markets across Greater Manchester so that you’re guaranteed to have a jolly good time! Ho-Ho-Ho!

So grab your System One Travelcard and a mug of hot chocolate and get ready to feel Christmassy.  

Manchester Christmas Markets - Albert Square

It would be rude not to kick off our list with the classic festive event that is the Manchester Christmas Markets. The main hub is based in Albert Square in front of the Town Hall, and will run from 10th November to December 20th. It’s everyone’s favourite Christmas destination for good reason…

Grab a cup of mulled wine and stroll through the impressive variety of international market stalls. Something is sure to take your fancy; with everything from unique jewellery to knick-knacks on offer. Everyone on your ‘good’ list will get a great gift this year!

Savour a taste of Europe with a range of food stalls selling everything from the classic hog roast to German Bratwurst and Hungarian goulash.

The markets are open from 10am to 9pm daily so you can decide whether you fancy a daytime or an evening affair. Take along a few mates and it’s sure to become a new annual tradition.

Lowry Magical Makers Market - Salford Quays

Get in the festive spirit while supporting local businesses at the Lowry’s Magical Makers Market. Over three days from December 16th to 18th, the event has something the whole family will love.

Mums and dads can enjoy the finest seasonal produce from all around the country and nab a few unique stocking fillers that you wouldn’t find on the highstreet. If the stalls weren’t enough to put you in the festive mood, there’s also great entertainment across the weekend.

The kids will have a magical time with appearances from Christmas characters and even a Winter Snowglobe performer. They’ll get an experience they’ll always remember when they see the beautiful Snow Queen, encased in her snow blizzard with accompanying festive music. Or if your little ones prefer something a little more hands on, they can make Christmas trees or stars and get their face painted!


Winter Wonderland - Trafford Park

Christmas is a time for bonding with the family, so head down to Winter Wonderland next to the Trafford Centre for a festive day out to remember. With a range of shows, a circus and over 50 rides and attractions, you’re guaranteed to leave in the Christmas spirit.

It promises to be ‘bigger and better’ this year, with legendary children’s TV shows Rainbow and Pip Ahoy! both making appearances.

In case we don’t get a white Christmas this year, the kids will be enchanted by the magical fake snow at Winter Wonderland. Then, the whole family can pay a visit to Santa’s house with fairies and elves to meet, along with real reindeer!

There’s never a dull moment at Winter Wonderland: the Christmas circus puts on daily performances and the kids will even have the chance to try out their own circus skills with a range of workshops.

Sessions last four hours, and you can choose from an afternoon or evening slot. Tickets cost from £20.50 each or £70 for a family which includes use of all rides. Under threes go free.

Ramsbottom Christmas Markets - Ramsbottom

Have a very merry Christmas at the outdoor Ramsbottom Christmas Markets this year. They’re back for the 16th and 17th of December, with a spectacular range of festive entertainment on offer.

You can wander through the fantastic stalls at the Ramsbottom Christmas Markets that sell everything from hot street food to last minute gifts. There’s also mulled wine, cocktails and a beer tent for the grown ups. ‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry, after all!

Snap a family picture with the magical snow globe or make use of the nativity photo booth, and this year’s Christmas card will be sorted. You can even wave to Santa Claus himself as he will be making his way around town - with his sleigh in tow of course!

Enjoy the sound of Christmas at Ramsbottom with carol singing at the Theatre Royal and a brass band performing on the 16th December.


Tameside Christmas Market - Ashton-under-Lyne

Prepare to get your Christmas on at the Tameside Christmas Markets, which will take place in the Market Street area, Ashton-under-Lyne from Friday to Sunday, the 24th to 26th November, 1st to 3rd December and 8th to 10th December.

Feast your eyes on over 20 traditional cabin stalls, offering handmade crafts along with delicious festive treats.

You and the family will have a Christmas ball in Santa’s grotto and have chance to enjoy a ferris wheel, carousel and donkey rides! You’re in for a Christmas day out you won’t forget.

The little ones can even enjoy breakfast and storytime with Father Christmas himself which is guaranteed to keep the festive magic alive. Breakfast costs £5 (with a free gift included!) and storytime is free.

And there you have it: your guide to making your Christmas even more memorable this year. So dust off your Santa hat, finish your Christmas shopping and enjoy all the festive treats you could ever want in Greater Manchester.

We want to give you some festive treats so we have some Greggs Gift Vouchers to give away until the 10th of December. Fancy a chance to win? Then all you have to do is send us your Christmas Market selfies. Just post them on Facebook or tweet them to @Systemonetravel using the hashtag #S1ChristmasMarkets to be in with a chance of being one of our 3 winners.


Remember to grab a 1 day AnyBus Group travelcard from System One Travel and the whole family can enjoy a day out at the Christmas markets, fuss-free while you get into the spirit with a cup of mulled wine!

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