Christmas markets, what’s there not to love? Cosy up in your winter warmers, breathe in the background smells of warm pretzels and sizzling German sausages, hum along to the yuletide tunes and pretend that you’re going to purchase the free cheese that you keep “sampling”. Warm your cockles with currywurst, wash it down with mulled cider and pick up handmade festive gifts for yourself or your fussy family members.
This year, Christmas markets are returning to Newcastle, Glasgow and Liverpool and whichever city you visit this winter, you’ll be in for a large dose of Christmas cheer.
Set in the perfectly picturesque St George’s Plateau, Liverpool’s Christmas Market will provide all the festive faves from excessively big hot dogs to boozy hot chocolate. 5 minutes away, Liverpool ONE’s famous 30-metre Christmas tree is an Instagram-must, while karaoke in the surrounding Christmas cabins is a maybe depending on the amount of mulled wine or gin hot toddies consumed. Nearby, you’ll be able to catch the famous Coca Cola truck for even more festive photo opportunities.
Less than a mile from Euro Hostel Liverpool, Pier Head Village transforms into a Christmas Ice Festival during the winter months. From a covered outdoor ice rink to the UK’s longest real ice slide, the UK’s only ice jet ride, ice blast booster, ski jump and an Après Lodge to recover from all the excitement, you’ll be in festive paradise. Who needs Lapland when you’ve got Liverpool?!
Warm up with German sausage cooked over hot coals, roast pork rolls oozing with gravy and Christmassy crepes smothered in hot chocolate at the pop-up food court. FYI, there’s a selfie portrait gallery, which we’d suggest visiting before getting stuck into the pulled pork.
The stunning Sefton Park Palm House will host festive film nights throughout the Christmas period. Some of the movies you can experience under the magical dome include Elf, Die Hard, Muppet Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life and a guilty-pleasure sing-along version of The Greatest Showman. Take your place under the palms with a blanket and some hot chocolate and enjoy the show!
The 2nd December will also welcome the Liverpool Show Choir to the Palm House, who will perform a selection of music theatre, Beatles hits and pop classics.
Liverpool’s first street-food market, Baltic Market will do Christmas justice this season with an array of eclectic events yet to be announced. Expect everything from gift markets to dog festivals, film nights and – obviously – all the festive food your tummy can handle. Bring your baggiest pair of jeans!
From 8th December to 12th January, the Playhouse Liverpool will bring the classic Christmas Carol to life with an unconventional, comedic adaptation. Expect laugh-out-loud moments and a healthy portion of festive fun.
George Square in Glasgow will be full to the brim with festive gifts, street-food, fairground rides and family-friendly street performers from 25th November to 31st December this year. While St Enoch Square will serve up its own traditional offering to get you in the Yuletide spirit.
© Christopher Heaney Photography
If you're looking for something a little quirkier, there’s plenty of independent markets taking place throughout the city. Nestled just off Buchanan Street, Sloans Market will become a magical place over the festive period. From piano playing elves, Christmas Ceilidhs, Christmas movie nights, discos, lunches, dinners and quizzes in their Grade A listed building to bevvies in their fairy-lit beer garden, Sloans has everything you need for a festive gathering. Every weekend, their cobbled, festoon-lit courtyard is filled with Scotland’s best independent crafters, making it a hidden gem for your holiday shopping.
Less than a mile from Euro Hostel Glasgow, you can stroll through the Merchant Square Weekend Craft & Design Fair, where stalls of cupcakes, candles, handcrafted goodies and photography are lined up under the covered courtyard’s twinkly lights.
If that wasn’t enough, SuperMarket at Argyle Street Arches is a 5-minute walk from Euro Hostel and will be putting on 7 days of the finest, festive independent shopping. Starting with Saturday 25th November, there’ll be a calendar of activities for adults, kids and pets alike! You can expect vintage fashion, beauty products, plants, vinyl, homeware, prints, art and loads more. Enjoy Christmas entertainment for the whole family while foraging for those perfect, unique gifts and treating yourself to some of Scotland’s best street-food.
The Country Living Christmas Fair is visiting only 3 lucky locations this year, which includes the SEC Centre in Glasgow. Discover unique gifts that you won’t find on the high street, hand-crafted decorations for the tree, or a selection of artisan snacks for the Christmas table. Stock your festive fridge with food and drink from farmers and artisan producers, get in the mood for Christmas with live music, or chill in the Drunken Duck Champagne Bar with a glass of bubbly. Talks, demos and hands-on workshops will be on offer to flex your creativity, or cook up a festive frenzy in the Country Living Kitchen. The event will be running from Thursday 15th til Sunday 18th November.
If you fancy doing your bit for charity and burning a few calories in anticipation of the festive season’s over-indulgence, Glasgow’s annual Santa Dash sets off from George Square on 9th December at 9:30am. Join thousands of Santa lookalikes on the 5k course that transforms the city-centre into a red sea of festivity. Adults, children and even dogs are welcome. Last year saw 7,500 Santa’s take part. With such a mammoth amount of food-filled festive events taking place over the winter months, we think a dash is the least we should be doing! Although, watching from the side-lines with a mulled cider does sound slightly more appealing.
Newcastle’s Christmas Market and International Christmas Market will combine forces this year to dish up one giant dollop of festive cheer. Based in the city-centre, a wide variety of stalls will surround Grey’s Monument. Expect all the usual tasty suspects: currywurst from Germany, crepes from France, paella from Spain and waffles from Holland.
Alongside the International gastronomical goodies will be craft ales and beers from local microbreweries, homemade condiments, handmade choccies and regional cheeses.
On the nearby Northumberland Street, Fenwick will have its highly-anticipated Christmas window on display, as well as a fully-stocked decadent Christmas Hall. This year, a ‘Santa on the Rooftop’ adventure will pop-up on the store’s top floor which will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Enter Santa’s workshop through a secret door and help the elves make snow, decorate cookies and paint toys.
For some grown-up festivities, Miracle on Grey Street is coming to the Toon in the former home of The Living Room at 12 Grey Street from 15th November. The pop-up bar promises mulled wine as well as an array of naughty and nice cocktails guaranteed to get you merry.
Brand new shipping container village STACK Newcastle will be the home of the returning pop-up retreat Hadrian’s Tipi from October this year. Cosy up around one of the Tipi’s fire pits or in the Winter Beer Garden surrounded by fairy-lights, Christmas trees and over 40 containers including independent retailers and eateries. We’d suggest saving a space for the now famous Yorkshire Pudding Wraps on offer – fillings like turkey and stuffing are piled into giant Yorkshires, folded, flattened and dished up with hot gravy!
Everyone’s welcome from groups to families and their furry friends (their dogs, as well as their bearded pals). Local North East breweries and suppliers are on tap, as well the obligatory festive fizz and mulled beverages. Local acts and DJ sets will entertain you as you mooch around the stalls and feast on bratwurst flown over from Bavaria and served from a charcoal-fired, swing grill hut. You and your festive friends can capture the occasion inside the Tipi’s snow globe and photo booths. It’s Instagram heaven!
This December will also see the return of Grainger Market’s Christmas Night Market. Local bands and musicians will entertain market wanderers with all the favourite Christmas tunes, while a Yuletide bar will serve festive drinks. The array of illuminated street-food stalls will plate up everything from giant pizza slices to Chinese dumplings.
While over in Times Square, Newcastle’s first Christmas Village will open on Friday 9th November and run until January 5th. This festival village will feature a huge Bavarian beer hall (with live “oompah” bands), a German food village (obvs), Erdinger Christmas log cabin, outdoor ice rink, carousel, festive craft market, Santa’s grotto, fire pits and the compulsory mulled wine and cider container.
Guests can reserve a seat or beer tent table in advance, which comes complete with a 2pint Stein and a German sausage. And if the thought of a free sausage doesn’t entice you, a winter crafts fair festive forest will be erected every weekend, with small indie traders showcasing their seasonal gifts.
The delightful Tyneside Cinema invites you to watch all your Christmas classics on their sofas this year, with a glass of wine or local craft ale alongside your popcorn – or before or after a sumptuous festive afternoon tea served up in the cinema’s coffee rooms. There’s a selection of showings available including festive sing-alongs and jazz music after parties. To guarantee you leave in the festive spirit, get booked in for the four-hour festive extravaganza of Home Alone and Home Alone 2.
From 1st-4th November, Living North’s annual Christmas Fair will take place in Kingston Park within the largest marquee of its kind in the North. 250 of the region’s best designers, makers and retailers will showcase their handmade gifts and you can experience chef demos from home-grown foodies and renowned restaurateurs.
Staying with Euro Hostel this Christmas
Whichever city you visit this Christmas period, stay at our city-centre Euro Hostels for choice and comfort at amazingly affordable prices.
Our accommodation in Newcastle, Glasgow and Liverpool offers a range of clean and modern private rooms for friends, families or solo-travellers, VIP suites for groups and dorm rooms for the ultimate cost-friendly option. Book today and save your budget for bratwursts, bubbly and beautiful, unique Christmas gifts.