November is here and we’re about to drop the C bomb… YES Christmas, we’re only 4 days away from the return of the infamous magical Manchester markets. EEEK!

If you’re a major scrooge who thinks Christmas shouldn’t get a mention until December then LEAVE THIS ARTICLE. We cannot allow that negativity dampening our festive cheer. The lights have been switched on and our famous zippy Santa has taken pride of place in Albert Square! No Mancunian winter is complete without wandering around the hundreds of stalls with a mug of mulled wine.  Now I’m a major Christmas fanatic (I might as well be known as Mrs Clause) however there are some tips you should 110% follow when you’re planning to visit.

Firstly, never visit Albert square on a weekend. You might be wondering why… Well unless you like feeling like you’re a tinned sardine it’s the worst possible time to go. It’s  guaranteed you will be up close and personal with strangers, you’ll be smiling through pain of trying to slide your way to the bar for overpriced beer, beads of sweat will be dripping off your head all whilst wondering why on earth you decided it would be a good idea to wear so many woolly layers.  

The best time to visit is during the day in the week. You’ll actually be able to soak up the festive atmosphere and wander around the array of wonderful stalls, from handmade soaps, artisan alcohols, quirky jewellery to Christmas trees there’s a stall for pretty much everything.

I’m not going to lie the markets aren’t cheap to eat and drink it, so you want to make sure you enjoy the experience. Whether you fancy a traditional Bratwurst, hog roast or even some Spanish paella you’ll find it all at the markets. There’s something about sitting over a hot mulled wine listening to Christmas music, watching the world go by that we all seem to love. You can find a full list of stall holders here.

Lastly don't forget the Christmas mug deposit, when you order a drink from any of the bars in the Christmas markets they charge you a refundable £2.50. Once you've finished your drink take your mug or glass back to any bar and get your £2.50 back! Or if you're fancy a little memento you can keep it and take it home,

The markets start on the 4th November until the 20th December so dust off your Christmas jumpers. The main markets in Albert square are open from 10am-9pm daily. You can find a full list of individual times here.