A Guide to York Christmas Markets 2023 - Beautiful Escapes
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A Guide to York Christmas Markets 2023

14th November 2023

The picture-postcard lanes and centuries-old architecture of Yorkshire’s foremost city lend themselves beautifully to the Yuletide season. As winter sets in, the festive spirit spreads, with 160,000 twinkling lights, laden trees, illuminated landmarks and an array of stalls offering unique decorations, artisanal gifts and the enticing aromas of delicious treats. Soak up some of this magical atmosphere for yourself with a visit to York’s Christmas markets in 2023. 

The York Christmas Market 

When: Thursday 16th November to Friday 22nd December

Where: Parliament Street, St Sampson’s Square, Coppergate and Lendal

Trademark alpine chalets line the streets close to the famed Shambles and Visitor Centre, at York Christmas Market. Last year the event — also known as St Nicholas’ Fair — celebrated three decades of operation and 2023 is better than ever. 

Talented buskers, brass bands and carol singers are on hand to entertain. German and Scandi-style stalls sell a range of international items, as well as locally produced wine and gin, woollen garments, handcrafted glass and wooden ornaments, artwork and sustainable kids’ toys (a tin steamboat is a longstanding favourite among shoppers). Traditional fairground rides delight the young and young at heart. And the market provides a romantic backdrop for couples to stroll hand-in-hand later into the evening.

Museum Gardens is home to Thor’s; a drinking and dining pop-up integrated into the market, open from noon until 9 pm Monday to Wednesday, 10.30 pm Thursday to Saturday and 8 pm on Sundays. Here you can shelter from the elements beside a roaring log fire in a giant tipi, as you listen to a programme of live music, tuck into street food and sip on hot mulled wine. The Tree House, Winter Hutte and Apres Ski Bar are some of the market’s other pop-ups serving themed beverages and snacks. 

The York Christmas Market is the heart of the city’s festivities. It’s a large and lively event with plenty to enthral those of all ages, along with inspiring photo opportunities. However, the organisers understand that the noise and bustle of the extremely popular fair can be overwhelming for some, so have created a designated quieter period from 10 am to noon daily, when music will be kept to a minimum. Stalls at the event are open from around 10 am till 7 pm.


Yorkshire Yuletide Village

When: Thursday 16th November to Friday 22nd December 

Where: The Guildhall, St Martins Courtyard

Presented by Made in Yorkshire, this Yuletide Village specialises in design-led gifts by local makers. It’s housed in the newly restored Guildhall, to the rear of the Mansion House in St Helen’s Square. The historic venue serves as an impressive backdrop, providing alternative and unique shopping options for the discerning consumer. In addition to the pretty displays, visitors can discover items from the region’s most talented artists. 

The Guildhall Cafe will be open with a selection of festive food and drink, to keep you fuelled and hydrated as you explore. Yorkshire Yuletide Village is open from 10 am to 4.30 pm throughout the festive period. And it’s undercover, so if there are some winter showers, you’ll stay dry and toasty. 


Christmas in York

There are lots of events happening throughout the city during December and November, including seasonal ghost tours, recitals in the Minster, wreath and chocolate-making workshops and appearances from Santa. Those visiting during other times of the year can still get a taste of York’s Yuletide atmosphere by popping into The Nutcracker Christmas Shop in the Shambles (where you’ll meet the resident elves and find timeless festive decorations sourced from around the globe), or Käthe Wohlfahrt in the Tudor-style Mulberry Hall on Stonegate.


Each of the markets is committed to sustainability and making events accessible to all. The sites operate a zero single-use plastic policy, employ energy-saving electrical technology and have access requirements in place to support those with additional needs. If you plan on travelling a distance, it’s wise to keep an eye on traffic and public transport updates at peak times.


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