The Glasgow Christmas market is almost always overlooked for their friendly neighbours on the east coast – Edinburgh. With not only one market but two, Glasgow has a lot to offer for locals and visitors. The two markets are located in St Enoch Square and George Square, and offer an array of European hot foods, sweets, handmade trinkets and alcohol (think hot ciders and mulled wine!).
The Glasgow Christmas Market
November and December are always bustling in Glasgow. It’s a shoppers heaven and hundreds of tourists come from all over the world to do their Christmas shopping in the city centre; I don’t blame them either, Glasgow has everything from budget high street stores such as Primark and H&M to luxury designers like Rolex and Gucci.
So it’s no surprise that everyone makes a stop off at the Christmas Markets to grab some German sausages, hot chocolate or nutella-smothered churros during their shopping break.
It’s difficult to visit the city centre without finding yourself wandering towards the buzz and lights of the markets. The smells of the sizzling meats or spiced mulled wines is enough to get your Christmas spirits up. If the world food doesn’t do it for you, then you can nab a friend or family member a hand-made gift from the numerous independent sellers trading from the wooden stalls.
Both markets are very similar in terms of what food, drinks and gifts they offer, but I would say George Square is a little more extravagant. It has the famous lights that are very hard to miss, and plenty of theme park rides for the kids (and a few for adults, too). Extravagant isn’t always best though, both can get very busy so prepare for crowds and possibly queuing.
George Square Market offers a lot more variety in terms of food and drink, I think I spotted three different bar areas?! I did also notice non-alcoholic mulled wine at both markets which I thought was pretty good.
Opening dates and times are subject to change each year, so check the official websites for the correct information. Generally St Enoch market opens early November and George Square market opens later in November – usually the same day of the big christmas light switch on. Please note that some years, the St Enoch Christmas market has been moved to Argyle Street (2 minute walk away), because of construction works.
Something Unique to Try: Buckfast Mulled Wine
I visit the Glasgow Christmas Market every year, whether it be with friends, family or for an after work drink (gosh I love the festive period!). Last year, in 2018, I found a new stall that was selling a very unique take on the classic mulled wine: Mulled Buckfast.
If you don’t know what Buckfast is, it’s a tonic wine notorious with local Glaswegians, particularly young adults. I personally don’t drink it but I must admit, it was delicious warm! I’m sure the Glasgow Christmas Market has a lot of the same items as other European Christmas Markets, but I’m sure Buckfast is quite unique to Glasgow. Will you try it?
Where is St Enoch Square?
Nearest Train Station: Glasgow Central or Argyle Street (Low Level)
Nearest Subway Station: St Enoch
Where is George Square?
The embedded Google Map below pin points exactly where George Square is. When it is full with stalls and crowds, it might be difficult to notice that it is in fact a square. But it will be certainly hard to miss.
Nearest Train Station: Glasgow Queen Street
Nearest Subway Station: Buchanan Street
Where can I stay if I’m visiting the Glasgow Christmas Market?
The two Christmas markets are very accessible by foot. So if you choose a hotel in the heart of the city centre, you will be able to visit both no problem without public transport.
Glasgow offer a variety of budget chain hotels which seem popular with those looking to visit on a short weekend break. Popular chains include Premier Inn, Travelodge, EasyHotel and Hotel Ibis.
If you’re looking for somewhere right in the heart of the action and can afford to spend a little more, try out the Millenium Hotel which looks right on to George Square. You can’t get any closer than that!
Or alternatively find the latest deals on lots of city centre hotels here:
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