The Best Christmas Markets In The UK You Need To Visit

Sleigh it ain’t so! It’s almost the festive season and we don’t know about you, but we can barely contain our excitement.

It’s a time for getting cosy, sipping on some mulled wine and hot chocolate, eating some Bratwürst, taking in the holiday spirits, browsing cute shopping stalls, and maybe even partaking in some ice skating or enjoying some live entertainment!

If you’re searching for the best Christmas markets in the UK, then look no further for your holiday inspo than this guide, we’ve picked the 8 most magical cities to visit for 2022.

You won’t want to miss them this winter, and the best part is we’re only a few weeks away from the beginning of these traditional Christmas markets popping up.

best christmas markets uk

1. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Everyone needs to experience the festive season in The Capital at least once, the vibes are just immaculate with so much to do and see around every corner throughout the holidays!

It’s no surprise that the UK’s largest city has an abundance of festive markets to explore, but the largest and the most famous is The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

Taking place from 18th November until 2nd January, this ultimate Christmas destination has a range of attractions, activities, entertainment, food and drinks for you to discover.

There’s always so much happening at Winter Wonderland in the run up to Christmas besides the markets, but this year the event celebrates its 15th anniversary, so it’s set to be bigger and better than ever.

You can mooch around the 100 traditional wooden chalets packed with tons of gifts, ideal for grabbing a gift for family or friends, or even a treat for yourself.

When you’re done shopping, brave the heights (and the cold weather) on the Giant Wheel, skate around the UK’s largest outdoor ice-skating rink or step into the Magical Ice Kingdom with 500 tonnes of sculptured and crafted ice and snow.

Unlike other Christmas Markets, you do have to book Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park in advance.

To book tickets or find out more about what’s on, head to the official website.


2. Manchester Christmas Markets

Manchester’s Christmas Markets are one of the most famous not only in the UK, but also globally.

Having started out in 1999, the markets are a staple of the Christmas season in the Northwest City, and this year the annual event is set to return on the 10th of November, running all the way up until 22nd December, with some attractions staying open until January.

So, you’ll have plenty of time to experience the festive cheer for yourself!

What can you expect from the markets? Well, there’s over 220 wooden chalets spread across 9 different locations within the city centre.

Experience the festive lights, food, drink and fun activities taking place across the various locations, including the main event taking place at Piccadilly Gardens.

Whether you want to get some gift shopping sorted, you fancy a few Christmas tipples or a bite to eat from the tasty street food huts, or even just a sit down taking in the atmosphere in the marquee-covered seating, there’s something for everyone to love.

There’s even a live music stage where DJs and artists will be hosting regular performances – who doesn’t love a good Xmas sing along?

Although there’s a multitude of buzzing activities taking place in the city, the Winter Gardens is the place to be.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to book in advance for this one, just show up and bring the good vibes, and remember to wrap up warm.


3. Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market

When it comes to the best Christmas Markets in the UK, Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market must be featured within our guide.

It’s the largest authentic German Christmas Market outside of Germany and is a firm favourite for locals and visitors from around the UK and beyond.

This year, the annual event is taking place from Thursday 3rd November to Friday 23rd December, so you’ll have six weeks to take a visit to this massive event.

Located at Victoria Square and New Street, you can explore the different stalls offering everything from handcrafted gifts for family or friends to wooden decorations to yummy foods and drinks.

It wouldn’t be a Christmas Market outing without trying some delicious German food now, would it? Our favourite is a bratwurst with a warm hot choccy to accompany!

Although, there’s an abundance of things to try with your pals, or even just take a stroll around and take in the picturesque festive surroundings in Brum for yourself.

Whilst you don’t need to book in advance for the markets, if you want to ride the big wheel or the ice rink, it’s suggested that you book tickets to avoid disappointment.


4. Edinburgh’s Christmas Market

Each year the Scottish Capital blows it out of the park when it comes to a magical experience in the run up to Christmas, and this year is no exception with the Edinburgh Christmas Markets.

Don’t worry, although there were some worries about whether the festive extravaganza in Edinburgh would take place for 2022, it’s well and truly sorted out with the dates set to kick off from 19th November all the way up until 3rd January.

If you’re wondering about what to expect at one of the UK’s best Christmas Markets, that’s where we’ll fill you in.

Located at East Princess Street Gardens, there’s set to be over 70 different stalls offering a mix of unique gifts ideal for sorting out your all-important Christmas shopping as well as a variety of food and drink to enjoy.

We’re talking Bailey’s hot choccy, mince pies and pigs in blankets – mmm!

As always, the iconic Ferris wheel and ice-skating rink will be making a return for this year along with much more exciting entertainment and live performances expected.

In 2021, Edinburgh was dubbed the second most Instagrammable Christmas Market in the UK so you’re certain to get some amazing pics.

If you’re not already studying in the city and you needed a sign to book a trip to Edinburgh for the Christmas Markets, then here it is!



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5. Nottingham Winter Wonderland

Nottingham is the ultimate place for a festive outing with your friends, with the amazing Winter Wonderland returning for yet again another Christmas.

In the heart of the city centre in Old Market Square, you’ll find a traditional German-style market packed with 60 shopping huts selling homemade items and décor for you to purchase those all important gifts.

There’s also an observation wheel offering amazing views, a huge 400 metre ice rink for showing off your skills as well as an alpine ice bar ideal for having a few Christmas cocktails with your friends – it’s minus ten degree’s though so make sure to get snug!

That’s not all either, there’s plenty of great food to try and live entertainment to get you in the Christmas spirit with the dates of the seasonal event taking place from the 15th of November until the 31st of December so, you have until New Year’s Eve to take a visit.

The best part is Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland is free entry, although some of the attractions and tables are best booking in advance to ensure you’re guaranteed a sleigh of a time!


6. Belfast Christmas Market

Christmas returns to Belfast this year, with the markets opening from November 19th and running up until December 22nd.

Wrap up in your favourite coat, hat and gloves and enjoy an evening with your nearest and dearest at Northern Ireland’s largest festive market, Belfast Christmas Market.

You’re truly in for a magical experience at this award-winning market, which takes will be yet again taking place at the grounds of Belfast City Hall at Donegall Sqaure.

Whilst the full details of the programme of events for this year are yet to be announced, we’re certain this year will have tons of Christmassy fun for you to get involved with.

Including traditional market stalls offering loads of handcrafted goods, delicious food and drinks to try like hog roasts, baklava and crêpes as well as a bustling atmosphere to enjoy.

Keep your eyes peeled to see what you can expect for 2022, or just show up and get excited for the holiday season!


7. Newcastle Christmas Markets

Newcastle is the perfect place to experience the festivities with your friends.

Despite running for a shorter period to most Christmas Markets in the UK, with this year’s dates being the 1st December until Christmas Eve, there’s still good times promised to get you buzzing for the holidays in the North-east city.

The much-loved Christmas Markets situated in the city centre are expanding for 2022 with the usual locations, Grey’s Monument and Grainger Street, now being joined by festive events at Blackett Street and Northumberland Street.

You can walk around the 30 beautiful wooden cabins set up around Grey’s Monument exploring the mixture of gifts on offer from pottery to jewellery to beauty products to homemade foods to get the perfect presents.

Or, if you’d rather scran some tempting treats (who doesn’t) there’s sizzling bratwurst, churros, mulled wine and sweet desserts to try along with lots more.

If you don’t want to spend too much of your student loan in the run up to Christmas, why not enjoy the twinkling lights and vibrant décor whilst listening to the live entertainment?

Trust us, there will be so much to immerse yourself in and its free entry to the markets!


8. Cardiff Christmas Markets

The Welsh Capital sure knows how to create a buzzing Christmas atmosphere, with the Cardiff Christmas Market occurring from the 10th of November until Friday 23rd December.

Kick off the holidays at the mixture of traditional stalls located in St John Street, Working Street, Trinity Street and the Haye with tons of shopping opportunities to get some Welsh produce from over 200 independent traders.

Once you’ve got some shopping done, head to Cardiff’s Christmas Winter Wonderland at City Hall Lawns to be entertained with a huge range of activities from the ice rink, funfair, ice bar, as well as the Big Wheel where you can take in the stunning views of the city centre.

You’ll also have the chance to try the yummy seasonal foods and drinks on offer like Yorkshire pudding wraps and toasted marshmallows – we need some of that.

It’s set to be a very merry Christmas in Cardiff this year, go and experience it for yourself!


That’s it from us for now, before we implode with excitement!

Which Christmas Market in the UK will you be visiting first?

There’s so many more amazing markets not featured within our list, but regardless of where you’re going, you’ll certainly be walking in a winter wonderland in a few weeks’ time!

We wish you all the festive joy for the holiday season, and don’t forget to celebrate in your student accommodation. There’s bound to be many exciting festive activities taking place right at home too.

Are you thinking about who to live with for next year of uni? Take a read of our blog on Tips And Tricks When Choosing Flatmates For Second Year.

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