Why to visit Christkindel Markt in Leeds

Every year, Millennium Square in Leeds is transformed into a beautiful winter wonderland, bringing traditional German Christmas markets to the heart of the city. 

German markets have been a European winter staple since the 1300s, and the city’s very own winter wonderland has been open since 2002. Free to enter, Leeds’ Christkindelmarkt (German for ‘Christ Child Market’ or ‘spirit of Christmas market’) is perfect for students – and with over 40 traditionally decorated wooden huts, there’s plenty going on that means you have to visit. 


The perfect way to feel the European festive spirit – each day boasts a programme of light entertainment – including live music (expect Christmas carols aplenty!) – in the open air market square, with something for everyone to enjoy. 

Photo Credit: Welcome to the German Christmas Market’ by Tim Green on Flickr (view licence)

Ski Hutte Bar

Hang out in this traditional alpine chalet after a long day of studying, shopping or working, with your friends. Enjoy the best winter drinks Leeds has to offer as Christmas melodies play on the bar’s unique Glockenspiel instrument. 

Kuh Stall

On a cold day, head to the Kuh Stall, where you can relax with your friends in front of the real log fire in this beautiful indoor retreat. Come here for traditional German sausages from the grill and hot drinks to warm you up – you can’t miss hot chocolates and mulled wines at Christmas time!

Photo Credit: German Sausages’ by Beeiien on Flickr (view licence)

Alp Chalet

Modelled after wooden huts in the Alps, this Chalet is the centrepiece of the Christkindelmarkt. Eat traditional Bavarian (German) food alongside stellar evening entertainment – but you might want to book in advance! 

The Alp Chalet is very popular so if you want to make sure you and your friends get a chance to experience this German treat, make a reservation in person at the venue. 

Photo Credit: ‘DSCN7184’ by John Seb Barber on Flickr (view licence)

Christmas Shopping

In the 40+ stalls, you can expect to find European sweets (don’t miss the gingerbread!) and little gifts, like traditional wooden toys, to bring back home. If you’re looking for food on the go, you’ll have plenty of chances to pick up some Frankfurter sausages, German pretzels, and gorgeous crepes (sweet pancakes, often drenched in chocolate) to warm you up. 

Photo Credit: Holzspielzeug Soldaten, Christkindlmarkt, Leeds, Großbritannien by CBeas on Flickr (view licence

Christmas Carousel

Carousels are traditional European amusement rides with their origins in the Middle Ages. Don’t be fooled by the cute horses and upbeat music – Leeds’ Christmas Carousel isn’t just for kids, but the perfect place for adults to rediscover their inner child. 

Photo Credit: ‘Carousel’ by The Integer Club on Flickr (view licence

This post has been written by Matteo Everett

Leave a Comment