The Manchester Christmas Markets is an annual ritual for most northerners. It has to be the most perfect place, to get festive, eat way too much Christmassy food & drink lots of mulled cider. However, over the past few years, most Mancunians have started to, well, hate them. Even people like me, who love everything about the holiday season, can struggle to enjoy them.
They have become busier & busier each year, which has made it almost impossible to enjoy. However, there are things you can do, to make sure you can enjoy the markets & not feel like your trapped in a herd of cattle! Here are my fool-proof tips to survive the Christmas Markets.
Don’t follow the crowds.
Most people who are visiting the markets, are the type of people who only come into the city a few times a year & stay in the main squares. (Albert & St Anne’s)
Make the most of this stupidity and see the rest of the markets! There are plenty of stalls on King Street, Brazennose Street & in Spinningfields. These areas are usually quieter, they also have some of the best foods & independent stall holders that the market has!
Book the day off
One of the best things to do, is avoid the weekends. Every year my boyfriend and I, book a day off work & go on a weekday. It’s a lot quieter & you can actually enjoy all of the stalls this way.
Share your food
There are tonnes of places to eat at the markets and it’s impossible to try everything (although I have tried many times). My tactic is to share everything you eat with the people you go with. This way, you can try loads of different things, without feeling too guilty!
Don’t be a mug!
If you have any of the hot chocolate or mulled wine, don’t leave your mug behind! Most people don’t understand that all drinks served in the Manchester Markets mug have a £2 or £2.50 rental cost added onto them. If you take your mug back to stalls when you’re finished, you will get your £2.50 back. Or, if you want to keep your mug, you can pop it in your bag once you’re finished as you’ve already paid for it!
Leave before 5
If you are going to the markets with the intent on eating lots of food, buying some Christmassy themed decorations or even picking up a few presents then head to the markets early. Once the offices empty at 5pm, the markets will become more of a place to drink beer and mulled wine with friends, than a place which is welcoming to kids, prams or the older generation.
Of course, if your plan is to drink lots of mulled wine, then any time after 5pm is perfect!
Dress up warm & enjoy the cold. There are lots of different places around the markets which offer warms drinks, blankets, a place to sit & get cosy. It will give you a break from the crowds, let you warm up & enjoy the markets without feeling like your toes are going to fall off!
The most important thing to do, is be happy, festive, kind and enjoy yourself! x