Manchester's German themed Christmas Market is always something I look forward to during the festive season.
After an hour exploring the market, it is little wonder why Manchester is hailed as the 'Christmas Capital' of the North. Stalls range from children's toys and decorations, to creperies, German beer-huts and jewellery. You'll need cash in hand for most purchases, although some stalls now take most major credit cards.
Food-wise, I highly recommend the Hog Roast. The stand in Albert Square offers a roll for £4.50 (though more pricey than some shop sandwiches, the taste and quality of the meat is definitely worth the extra cost). For gifts, there is always something a little out of the ordinary to buy, or why not create a festive food hamper out of the goods you can find at the cheese, honey, sausage and alcohol stands?
The market stretches across the city centre, not just confined to a single square, as I have encountered in other cities' Christmas markets. Its immense size allows it to be packed full of intriguing and diverse stalls.
You'll also be very glad of the exercise after all the Gluwein, almond brittle and chocolate fondue you'll be consuming!