10 top-rated Christmas markets

By: Christina Smith

The Christmas celebrations have begun and there’s no better way to fully immerse yourself in the festive spirit than by visiting a wonderland of stalls, rides, and delicious mulled wine.
Whether you’re Christmas obsessed, or in need of holiday activities to keep the kids occupied, we’ve got you covered with our guide to 10 top-rated Christmas markets for all the family to enjoy (in no particular order!)


1) Winchester
Open from 18th November - 22nd December 2022

The medieval city of Winchester is a popular choice to get yourself in the Christmas spirit. Described as ‘one of the best in Europe’, Winchester’s Christmas market is annually held at the city’s Cathedral and attracts visitors from all around the world.

Taking inspiration from traditional German Christmas markets, it is host to high quality, handpicked exhibitors at 112 chalets, gifts, treats and even the Ice Rink – perfect for all ages.


2) Edinburgh
Open from 25th November and 3rd January
Fancy some mulled Irn Bru? Bringing the festive spirit to Scotland, Edinburgh’s Christmas market is open for the entire month of December and offers a range of activities to keep you and the family entertained!
Enjoy hot food and drink at the city’s Santa Land, including rides for the thrill seekers, an ice rink and a Christmas Tree Maze.
You can even take a trip to Santa’s Grotto (if you’re on the nice list!).


3) Manchester
Open from 10th November – 22nd December

The biggest in the UK, Manchester’s Christmas market is guaranteed to keep you occupied. Offering around 300 stalls and chalets to explore and a variety of international food and drinks to try, Manchester’s festivities start as early as the second week of November.

If chalets aren’t your thing, Manchester will also open it’s family site this year, including rides and entertainment from LED light performers, magicians and street theatre – perfect to keep you occupied.


4) London
If you fancy some variety, London offers multiple Christmas markets for you to visit. For the thrill seekers, take a trip to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland - fun-packed with rides, fairground games, an Observatory Wheel and ice rink. There’s even an ice bar for visitors over 18!                              
Or if you’re after a more traditional Christmassy feel, head over to Southbank’s winter festival. Offering a range of pop-up markets, art, exhibitions, and live carol performances, South Bank’s Christmas celebrations are 8 weeks long, and open until 8th January 2023. You can also visit showings of fan favourite films, such as Love Actually, Elf and The Night Before Christmas.


5) Bath
Open from 24th November – 18th December
Explore the Bridgerton scenery this year at Bath’s Christmas market. With 130 stalls to discover, including gifts, mulled wine and a LOT of food and treats, Bath Christmas market is sure to keep you entertained. Not forgetting the performances from brass bands and church choirs.
Plus, the West Country’s Christmas markets don’t just stop there…you can also check out what Bristol has to offer this festive season by visiting their Christmas market in Broadmead.


6) Birmingham
Open from 3rd November to Friday 23rd December 2022.

If you’re looking for authenticity, take a trip to the midlands for the largest authentic German market in Europe (outside of Germany and Austria). Explore Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market, consisting of stalls for all kinds of visitors, including gifts, decorations, food, and beer. While the Craft Market offers handmade crafts by local artisans and unique gifts from all around the world!

The fun doesn’t just stop there, amuse yourself at the ice-skating rink and bask in the city’s festive landscape on the Big Wheel.


7) York
Opens 17th November – 23rd December 2022
One of the most festive cities in the UK, York’s Christmas festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Discover the winter wonderland of St Nicholas Fair, which showcases local Yorkshire produce at the Made In Yorkshire Yuletide Village.
Plus, enjoy a ‘Swiss with a Twist’ dining experience from Michelin star chef Andrew Pern at York’s brand-new Winter Hutte. Complete your visit at the pop-up bar (don’t forget your ID!).


And if you're keen to travel further afield for your celebrations...


8) Amsterdam
Opens 12th November
Described as one of the “most festive cities in Europe”, Amsterdam’s Ice Village is perfect for those who enjoy tradition. Including chalets, an outdoor ice skating rink, and lots of fairy lights, Ice Amsterdam is located in near the Rijsmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.
There is lots of food, drinks and mulled wine for offer!
Also, check out Amsterdam’s take on Winter Wonderland – ‘Winter Paradise’, opening on the 15th December.


9) Brussels
Open from 25 November 2022 to 1 January 2023

Christmas market experts, Belgium knows how to celebrate the festive season.
Brussels Winter Wonders (Plaisirs d’Hiver) is spread across the city and is host to hundreds of stalls for all visitors, including handmade gifts, drinks and lots of food (and of course, chocolate!)

Check out the illuminated displays at the popular Grand Palace light show, as well as the “Grand Roue”, giant Ferris wheel.


10) Berlin
With around 80 stalls, Berlin is perfect for those looking for a modernised market. There’s even a stall specifically for dogs!
And if stalls aren’t your thing, head over to Potsdamer Platz for Germany’s Winter World, complete with winter sports such as tobogganing, curling and an ice-skating rink (including free lessons for kids).


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