Christmas Markets 2019

Christmas markets are opening all over the UK!

It’s icy outside, Christmas lights and decorations are cropping up across the country and the annual daunting task of Christmas shopping looms. It’s well and truly time to start getting in the festive spirit.

No matter where you are in the UK this festive period, there will be a Christmas market for you.



Edinburgh’s Christmas opens today, 16 November, and runs until 4 January. The renowned Christmas markets include Forth1’s Big Wheel, Santa’s Grotto, a cosy Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar,  stalls selling handmade gifts and a wide selection of food including The Caravan of Couragewill’s vegan Christmas menu. Admission to Edinburgh’s Christmas is free and the markets are open daily between 10am – 10pm.


Glasgow boasts two Christmas markets, one in George Square and one at St.Enoch’s shopping centre. While St.Enoch’s Christmas market is known for its selection of foods from near and far, George Square’s market also features a festive pop up bar, selling mulled wine and cider and all other things Christmas. Both feature a selection of rides and amusements.

The St.Enoch’s market opened on 9 November and will be open 9am – 10pm daily until 22 December. George Square’s market will be open from 24 November until 29 December 10am – 10pm daily.


Another notable Christmas carnival in Scotland is Perth’s Winter Festival. Kicking off on 14 November with the Christmas Lights Switch On and running until 2 February with Perth’s celebration of Chinese New Year, this consists of a variety of free events. These events include artisan Christmas markets, live music, a Santa Run and more. For more information about times and locations of these events, click here.


Aberdeen Christmas village will be opening on 21 November, spreading festive cheer until 31 December. Featuring an open air ice-rink, various fairground rides, a selection of food and drink, Christmas crazy golf and even a silent disco. Times and prices for events vary. More information can be found here.



Rated one of the best Christmas markets in the UK, Hyde Park’s annual Winter Wonderland in London opens on 21 November. Running until 5 January, this famous Christmas event includes the world’s tallest transportable observation wheel, a Cedar & Spruce Bar & Kitchen, Zippo’s Christmas Circus, Paddington on Ice and much more. Winter Wonderland is open every day from 10am to 10pm. Some events are ticketed, tickets can be bought here.


Birmingham Christmas Market boasts its status as the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. Open from 7 November, this market can be visited between 10am and 9pm daily until 23 December. Both the Frankfurt Christmas Market and its neighbouring Christmas Craft Market welcome visitors every year from the UK and beyond. With over 80 stalls between these two markets, this is not to be missed. The German Christmas Market has authentic pretzels, schnitzels, bratwurst, gluhwein, weissbeer and lots more.


This year, Newcastle Christmas Market is being extended and is bigger than ever before. Starting today, 16 November, the shopping stalls and attractions will run until 24 December, while the food and drink stalls run until 31 December. This market has lots to offer, with stalls selling artisan cheese, homemade chutney, jewellery, fashion, eco art, Dutch waffles, Spanish paella and French crepes. Other attractions include a toboggan slide, a Helter Skelter Bar and a ski lodge themed bar. The markets are free to enter and open 10am – 9pm Monday through Saturday and 11am – 9pm on Sundays.


Located across Manchester city centre, this award-winning Christmas market will spoil you rotten. With over 300 stalls and chalets across the city centre selling gifts, crafts, jewellery and toys from both European and local producers, this is the perfect place to pick up your Christmas gifts. While you’re shopping don’t forget to pick up a snack, with Hungarian goulash and hog roast on offer. With events running from 8 November until 5 January, you will struggle to fit it all in! Click here for a market map and more information.



Cardiff has both a Winter Wonderland and a Christmas market annually. Taking place on the City Hall Lawn, Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland features an ice rink, a funfair, a small selection of food stalls and an alpine bar. The festivities at Winter Wonderland run from 8 November until 5 January, 12pm – 10pm midweek and 10am – 10pm at weekends.

The Christmas markets in Cardiff are spread across St John Street, Working Street, Hills Street, Trinity Street and the Hayes. The stalls vary from artisan food and drinks stalls to Welsh art and crafts stalls. You can visit these from 14 November – 23 December, 10am – 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10am – 5pm on Sundays.


From a Christmas parade to Christmas markets to a Waterfront Winterland, Christmas in Swansea has a lot to offer this year. The Christmas markets have a selection of gifts, tempting snacks and fabulous decorations from 15 November – 22 December on Oxford Street. Visit from 9.30am –  5.30pm Monday to Saturday or 10am – 5pm on Sundays.

The Christmas parade featuring marching bands, floats, Christmas inflatables and Santa in his sleigh takes place on 17 November this year, kicking off at 5pm on Wind Street.

Swansea’s Waterfront Winterland, featuring an ice rink, an alpine bar and an observation wheel can be enjoyed between 15 November – 5 January at Museum Park. Opening times vary, click here for more information.



There is no shortage of festivities in Dublin this Christmas, with events spread across the city. On 17 November Santa is switching on the Christmas lights at Stephen’s Green shopping centre at 3pm, with his grotto opening on 23 November.

The House of Light festival will take place at Powerscourt Centre between 5 December – 7 Decemeber, featuring a variety of light shows.

On 9 December, there will be a chorale Christmas concert at St.Anne’s church of Ireland on Dawson Street. The Royal Irish Academy of Music will get you in the Christmas spirit!

For more events click here.


This year’s Christmas market in Belfast will feature a range of exotic foods from over 30 international traders, local artisan crafts and a Christmas themed bar. Starting today, 16 November, with the Christmas light switch on, the market will be open until 22 December at Donegall Square. Open from 10am – 10pm Monday – Saturday and 1pm – 6pm on Sundays, head down for your Christmas fix.

Check out what festivities are taking place right now at “The People’s Friend”.



Mairi Hughes