"From 17 November, Manchester's Christmas Markets take over eight picturesque locations throughout the city centre."

The season kicks off on 10 November with the Christmas lights switch-on featuring Nicola Roberts and Tinchy Stryder....you might need a few days to enjoy everything the city has to offer.

Plus we have a weekend break in Manchester up for grabs! Click here to enter.

Non-stop shopping

Manchester is a shopper's dream packed with gift ideas for every taste and budget. Shop for designer gifts on King Street, New Cathedral Street, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges or head to The Arndale for top brands including a flagship Topshop, the world's biggest Next and a super slick Apple Store.

For unique vintage finds head to Manchester's creative, urban heart, the Northern Quarter. Home to countless independent fashion stores, record shops, cafés, bars and restaurants and the world famous Affleck's, packed with independent designers and traders.

A short bus ride from the city centre, The Trafford Centre and adjacent Trafford Quays Leisure Village make the ideal destination for a Christmas shopping break. From early December, stores are open until 11pm weekdays meaning extra shopping time, more fun and festivities all round.

World famous festive markets

From 17 November, Manchester's Christmas Markets take over eight picturesque locations throughout the city centre. A firm favourite with locals and visitors, they are considered amongst the best in Europe and draw an international crowd. The twinkling wooden chalets selling handmade gifts and continental produce bring a festive buzz to the city and are a great place to stop by with friends. Indulge in a delicious hog roast with crackling or warm up with a hot Glüwein or Bavarian beer before heading for a night out in the city.

Exciting events

Manchester never fails to host a calendar of exciting festive treats. The star-studded Christmas lights switch-on marks the beginning of the season on 10 November with live performances from very special headline acts Nicola Roberts and Tinchy Stryder and a huge fireworks display.

In Cathedral Gardens from 3 November, The North Pole pop-up bar brings hot cocktails and winter style to a temporary tepee. Unique to Manchester, the bar hosts the odd DJ performance and club night and serves delicious hot cocktails.

Also returning for Manchester's festive season is Spinningfields Ice Rink, opening 18 November, where you can skate amongst sparkling Christmas trees before warming up with a drink at rink side bar - The Moose Bar. And from December Piccadilly Garden's Family Fair is a magical world of Christmas curiosities, with vintage fairground rides, chalet-style stalls and a Big Top Bar.

Further information about the festive events can be found in  'out and about'  in Manchester.  

Seasonal shows

If you're fan of theatre, there is a packed programme of festive family favourites this year including Scrooge, Dirty Dancing, Dreamboats and Petticoats and for younger audiences there's old favourites The Snowman, Aladdin and Red Riding Hood.

Fans of classical music will enjoy The Northern Ballet's production of The Nutcracker at Manchester Opera House, Bridgewater Hall's Carols by Candlelight and a series of Christmas concerts at Manchester Cathedral and the Royal Northern College of Music.

Find out more at visitmanchester.com

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