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Explore Central Manchester in the Winter When You Stay in a Serviced Apartment

Winter Wonderland, seasonal ice rinks, and the Christmas lights switch-on are all Christmas festivities that have become familiar to many of us over the years. Christmas markets in the area begin to announce their schedules as soon as Halloween is over, and locals and visitors alike hope to discover unusual and, often, last-minute Christmas gifts from these frequently eccentric stalls.

Manchester has something for everyone, so you can celebrate the holidays in your own unique way. With multiple events taking place throughout the city, whether it’s a Christmas event or simply another way to take in the sights in the winter, you’re sure to find something to enjoy when you stay in a serviced apartment in central Manchester.

To help you make the most of your visit to Manchester in the winter, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions for things to do in the area. Because Hilltop’s serviced apartments are in the city centre and designed for short and long-term stays, this guide covers activities happening in the city, regardless of whether you’re staying for a weekend or a month!


Manchester’s diverse and vibrant population make the city an ideal location for large celebrations. Christmas markets are one of the best examples of this, with vendors from all over the world displaying their wares to visitors while also providing an insight into different cultures.

A short 5-minute walk from our Picadilly serviced apartments, the Winter Gardens serves as the focal point for the city’s Christmas markets, running until the 22nd of December. Walk a mile through the magic of the Dunham Massey Christmas lights, which are on display until the 2nd of January, 2023, or take part in the Exchange Square gastronomic events. However you want to spend the Christmas season, visiting the Christmas markets throughout the winter is a wonderful way to discover the city.


Get your rolls on at the Skate Manchester Ice Rink in the heart of Manchester until January 2nd!

Whether it’s your first time skating or you fancy trying out for the upcoming season of Dancing on Ice, you can have a terrific time for £14.50 per person and spend up to 45 minutes skating around the outdoor rink. The Rink offers private hire for special events as well, so if you’re looking for a place to spend your birthday or organise your Christmas office party, contact the Rink to check availability in time for Christmas.

Visit Manchester Ice Rink at Depot Mayfield, close to Backyard Cinema, to make this an even more memorable experience. This outdoor skating rink is located on a roof, so you can take your skating skills to new heights! Aside from a fantastic ice-skating platform, the location also has a variety of dining and drinking options in case you’re feeling peckish after a great skating session.

After that, visit Backyard Cinema to be immersed in some of the best films ever made. You may treat yourself or your loved ones to a wonderful movie night by watching Christmas classics like Elf and Love Actually, which are showing every day of the week until the 30th of December. There’s no better way to enjoy Manchester in the winter!


Check out the GRUB Winter Beer Festival, which begins on the 20th of January 2023, if you’ve had your fill of the holiday joy and are looking for something different. In the centre of Manchester, GRUB is a well-known beer garden that now hosts the Grub Food Fair, a line-up of various street food vendors that rotates every week.

Disco Bingo, bottomless breakfast, dog-friendly movie screenings, and the annual Winter Beer Festival are just a few of the special events that GRUB offers. Breweries from across Manchester will travel to the beer festival, which will take place from January 20th to the 22nd, to offer some of their best brews to beer enthusiasts.. You can access a broad selection of beers, a food market with foods from all over, and even a branded glass to take home for just £5 per person!

If you can’t wait that long to organise your Manchester beer experience, you can also book a beer tasting tour with Craft Beer Tour Manchester, which is offered every Friday and Saturday. During this 3.5-hour event, a guide will show you around some of the breweries and beer establishments popular with both locals and tourists in the area so you can experience the city in all its splendour. Each location’s tour guides and vendors give an unique introduction to their tap rooms, where you can find out more about each amazing beverage.


If you’re visiting Manchester for the first time in the winter, Mackie Mayor may be the best place to sample some Mancunian specialties at any time of day. This well-known food hall in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is renowned for its daily freshly prepared dishes from both local and international vendors.

Stop by on a chilly day for a warm broth or to share a pizza with co-workers after work. With 9 independent kitchens and a convenient app that allows you to order food and have it delivered right to your table, Mackie Mayor is a great place to spend an afternoon visiting Manchester. Although it may be cold outside, you can still enjoy some delicious food and a fun atmosphere thanks to the glass roof, which shields you from snow and rain. Some establishments also offer vegan and vegetarian options.


“Roll like a pro, sushi schools are back!”

That is the slogan for the best sushi-making workshop, right in the heart of Manchester. At their Manchester Arndale location, the well-known YO! Sushi restaurants offer a private sushi-making class every Wednesday where you can learn from a Yo! Sushi School Ambassador how to make the ideal sushi roll. In addition to being able to demonstrate your talents to the other students during the group class, the varied tasty menu will have you prepared to impress friends and family at your upcoming gathering!

Inari Nigiri and Kyoto Garden rolls are among the options on the current menu, but it may change based on the day’s special menus and dietary restrictions. Your ticket also includes a drink, edamame and gyozas to share, a sushi history class, and instructions on how to cut fish, making it the perfect present for yourself or a loved one.


You’re sure to find something to enjoy as you explore this vibrant city with all the events happening around Manchester city centre over the next few weeks!

Most events take place within minutes from at least one of our apartments, so you don’t have to worry about making long trips to have a great time. With the weather getting colder and the likelihood of a white Christmas rising, staying in a Hilltop serviced apartment puts you always in the centre of the action. Contact the Hilltop team to learn more about booking one of our serviced apartments in central Manchester. We would be happy to discuss the best accommodation for your needs.