Christmas Markets You Need To Try

Christmas markets are extremely popular. And for good reason: they’re street markets, packed with festive food, drink and present ideas for everyone. Below, we explore the best places to visit and how to make the most of your experience.


Manchester started one of the first UK Christmas markets back in 1999. Starting with just 15 stalls, they’re now up to over 300. The sprawling market is now spread across 10 different sites and offers the usual food and drink, alongside other entertainment. This year, the market is set to host LED light shows, magicians and street theatre. 


Birmingham is host to the largest Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria. Having welcomed 5.5million visitors in 2019, it’s an incredibly popular venue. Featuring the Frankfurt market and a craft market, there’s plenty of variety too. Alongside the traditional stalls, there’s also an ice rink plus a big wheel to get a wonderful view of the festivities. 


If you’re looking for a stunning city during your trip to a Christmas market, York could be for you. Brimming with gothic buildings down narrow, winding streets, York carries a unique atmosphere. St Nicholas’ Fair has a particularly festive mood, while Parliament Street is home to the usual stalls selling gifts. 


Glasgow has a particularly jubilant and lively atmosphere with famous Christmas lights. And its market offers intriguing local cuisine, and special gifts for everyone. 


Situated on picturesque Broad Street, Oxford offers a smaller, more intimate market. With striking University buildings dominating the skyline and a variety of homely pubs or restaurants to settle into, Oxford can offer a different experience.

How to best experience a Christmas market

Sometimes, visitors complain that markets are overcrowded and overpriced – but there are ways to get around these concerns. For a start you can visit midweek. Markets are usually busiest at weekends and if you can get there on a midweek afternoon, you’ll enjoy a more relaxed experience. Driving into a city-centre can also be stressful. By searching popular train routes, you can find an easier way to visit a popular UK city.

Christmas markets can get you in the holiday spirit. Just ensure that you pick an exciting venue and visit at an off-peak time, and you should be able to enjoy a cheerful, festive day out.