Christmas Markets 2024

17 April 2024

Christmas Markets 2024

It’s Christmas in Norwich! At this time of year Europe and North America are teaming with Christmas Markets – places to meet up with friends, soak up the festive atmosphere, admire the twinkling lights, and indulge in tastes of winter food – steaming hot chocolate with marshmallows, mulled wine and of course, partake in lots of shopping! Obviously.

Unlike many cities, Norwich prefers to offer a host of smaller more intimate artisan Christmas Markets (many with a slant on a theme) across the city centre rather than one big market. They take place over pretty much every weekend (and some weekdays) from mid-November until the big day itself.

There is method in this madness in that visiting just one market is certainly not enough! Many are themed, and the variety of venues is a good reason to visit several – mixed with the opportunity of maybe booking a nice lunch out or a great breakfast – to build up strength – ahead of ‘the shop’.

Visits to Christmas Markets are an experience to be had during the festive season as popular as Christmas jumpers and singing along to ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’.

Here is our list of the best of the best. Where you will not only have a very enjoyable experience, but will also find gifts for even the most difficult of friends and family to buy for.

Want to make a weekend of it? Check out city centre rooms at The Assembly House, The Maids Head Hotel and 82 The Unthank.

1. Festive Fair at The Forum
Thursday, 28th November to Sunday, 1st December 2024, free entry

This isn’t one of Norwich’s busiest and most popular Christmas Markets for nothing. Hosted at The Forum, Norwich’s spectacular Millennium building, you will find stalls indoors and out offering delicious local food and drink, quality locally made products from across East Anglia, live entertainment including a jovial brass band and possibly a guest appearance from some very cute mini-donks!

Whilst you’re here: Put your feet up and end the day over a glass of wine and a sharing plate in the Deli & Bar at Jarrolds independent department store.

2. Fierce Babe Christmas Market
Usually the last Sunday of November at The Assembly House, free entry

This market’s venue is the city centre historic Grade-I listed Assembly House. And the market’s USP is its 25+ indie makers and creators who identify as women, trans, or part of the LGBTQ+ community. This is the place to find something special in a welcoming and inclusive space.

Whilst you’re here: Make sure to book ahead and settle in for one of The Assembly House’s legendry Festive Afternoon Teas – it’s probably one of the best places in Norwich.

3. Global Village Christmas Market
The Forum, free entry

This is an amazing international Christmas Market for gifts, with groups of traders, illustrators, and makers selling from around the world with a focus on fairly-traded and eco-conscious products.

Whilst you’re here: Pop across the road to Country & Eastern on Bethel Street selling amazing objet d’art, ceramics, bed linen, textiles, rugs, lamps, jewellery, art and so much more from South East Asia. Oh, and the building is a vast Victorian skating rink – it’s quite an experience!

4. Clutter City Winter Market
Norwich Arts Centre, free entry, usually on a Saturday early-mid December

This is such a great market from Norwich Arts Centre where the focus is firmly on incredibly talented creatives from across Norwich and Norfolk, with over 25 carefully selected stalls featuring local makers, artists, illustrators, and designers!

Not to be missed – their festive treats with a range of locally sourced hot and cold drinks, mulled wine, cakes, and pastries from the Norwich Arts Centre bar.

Whilst you’re here: Grab the opportunity to spend some time on Norwich’s unofficial ‘restaurant street’. Eek out the day by staying for drinks at Makers House followed by a beautiful fine dining tasting menu experience at Benedicts.

5. Unik Design
The Forum, free entry, selected dates usually in November and December

This is a Christmas Market in Norwich for a great selection of local and hand-made crafts straight from the designers.

Whilst you’re here: Take the short walk over to Upper St Giles in the Norwich Lanes for a Christmas cocktail, smoked salmon bagel or large slice of cake, in what has to be the cosiest, Christmassy eatery in Norwich – St Giles Pantry.

6. Norwich Vegans Christmas Market
The Forum, free entry, usually on a Sunday mid-November

Come along and shop whilst supporting local businesses, animals, people and the planet at a Christmas Market with a cause. Enjoy tasty food, and some fantastic shopping from clothes to candles.

Whilst you’re here: Book an activity at Castle Quarter and enjoy indoor golf or an escape room challenge or bowling and more.

7. Jabbawocky
The Forum, free entry usually selected weekend dates in December

At this mini-market browse exquisite handmade jewellery, beautiful photographic prints, calendars and lots of other products.

Whilst you’re here: Why not book a matinee performance of Aladdin at Norwich Theatre Royal? It’s only a hop, skip, and a jump from The Forum.

8. Modern Country Crafts
The Forum, free entry, usually Friday – Sunday selected dates November and December

This market gathers a wonderful and exciting selection of local craft traders and artists under one roof showcasing the very best of East Anglia’s thriving independent craft markets.

Whilst you’re here:  Been to Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery? The Castle Keep will be open for the first time this Christmas after years of renovation taking it back to its medieval status. A visit to Norwich wouldn’t be complete without taking in this incredible building in all its full glory. Head up to the battlements from dusk to take in the fantastic view.

9. Local Makers Market
The Forum, free entry, usually a Saturday in November

At this special – for one day only – Christmas market find the perfect handmade gift from ceramics, prints and jewellery, to homewares and textiles all produced by talented artisans.

Whilst you’re here:  Explore the narrow lanes and alleys of the Norwich Lanes taking you from Upper St Giles to the tip of London Street. On these historic streets discover a plethora of independent stores, venues, city pubs and eateries to while away the hours very enjoyably.

10. Norwich Market
Gentleman’s Walk, all year round, Monday to Saturday

Not strictly a Christmas Market rather a market at Christmas! Norwich’s permanent 6-day-a-week undercover market is the largest in the UK and not only a place to shop, eat and drink it’s also a tourist attraction in its own right. Buy lots of fabulous locally made food and drink which make thoughtful gifts but also stay long enough for delicious homemade artisan food from around the world. From Bao Buns to authentic Chilean empanadas to steaming Indian curries, Asian noodles and just-around-the-corner, blow-your-socks-off Walsingham Farm Shops (pies) which you can sit down and eat off a ceramic plate accompanied by mash and gravy!

Whilst you’re here:  Finish your exploration of the market at Norwich’s smallest bar – Sir Toby’s Beers. This is a great place to people watch and sip an aromatic authentic Glühwein with or without an extra slug of brandy or rum! Follow this with a walk down to Tombland to visit Norwich Cathedral which has a large Christmas programme of activity, services and performance.