Get the most out of Manchester Christmas Markets - however you travel

Manchester’s famous Christmas Markets are back -  with a host of festive treats available for everyone -  here’s everything you need to know about travel to make the most of your trip. 

After being cancelled last year due to coronavirus restrictions, the annual festive markets have now made their long-awaited return and will be running from today (Friday 12 November) through to Wednesday 22 December.

The markets feature a host of new attractions and are now spread out across seven locations in Manchester city centre – with a main hub in Piccadilly Gardens featuring a new family-friendly Winter Gardens attraction. Other locations packed with wooden huts and food and drink stalls include St Ann’s Square, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, King Street, Market Street and Cathedral Gardens.

And the Christmas spirit  will continue through Christmas with both the Winter Gardens and Cathedral Gardens sites remaining open until 2 January.

So if you're heading to the markets to enjoy a day or night out with friends or family, make the most of your trip and plan your travel ahead of time. Metrolink services and city centre stops (including Piccadilly Gardens, Market Street and St Peter's Square) may be busy, but will provide the best option to get you to and from the markets to avoid the Christmas traffic. Just remember to allow a little extra time for your journey.

If you are thinking about driving remember that roads around the city centre will be busier than normal - particularly in the evenings from 5pm onwards - in the run up to Christmas, so please consider leaving the car at home and taking the tram, bus or train for quicker journeys into the city.

Or consider using the car for a part of your journey and then switching to public transport at one of TfGM’s Park and Ride sites - where you can park for free and complete your journey on the tram into the city centre.

TfGM’s Head of Customer Experience, Sean Dyball, said: “With the return of the Christmas markets and events such as Lightopia, we would encourage people to always check before making a journey.

“We are constantly updating the customer information available on our website and across our social media channels to help people make informed journey choices; to save them time and avoid disruption to their journey.

“It’s also important that we continue to look after each other, particularly vulnerable passengers, so if you’re using public transport, please remember to use a face covering, clean your hands and keep the windows open while you are travelling.”

If you're travelling by tram, please use contactless payments for a fast and efficient way to pay. Just remember to touch-in and touch-out on the smart readers at the start and end of each journey, and Metrolink will work out the best fare for you.

People are also reminded they must continue to wear face covering on trams and in bus stations and interchanges - and are expected to wear them on trains and buses to help keep each other safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

Ahead of the season where more people traditionally succumb to cold and flu viruses, passengers can also help by keeping windows open on board services to maintain ventilation, using hand gels and sanitisers to keep hands clean and avoiding travelling when unwell.

For live travel updates please follow @OfficialTfGM or visit

Contact Information

Transport for Greater Manchester Press Office

0161 244 1055