Belfast’s Continental Market has finished third in a list of the UK’s favourite Christmas markets.
Winchester Market took the top spot with Cardiff in second place in a survey of market visitors by ticketing platform Eventbrite.
While finishing third overall, Belfast took the crown of being the most aesthetically pleasing market for its stalls and decorations, as well as having the best mulled wine and gingerbread.
Belfast was rated as having the second best setting in the UK, beating Bath, Edinburgh and York.
The survey found a third of Christmas market goers visit two to three times a year, while four out of five visitors would travel up to 50 miles for the experience.
The three top reasons for going to a Christmas market are to get into the festive mood, to eat and drink, and to buy presents.
While eating and drinking are the second most popular reason to attend, one of the hallmark features of a Christmas market, mulled wine, is surprisingly unpopular – almost half of all market-goers claimed to not even drink a cup of the festive tipple when they visit.
However a visit to a Christmas market proved to be an expensive outing with one in 12 market goers saying they spent over £100. A third of parents who bring their kids said they would fork out between £51 and £300 per visit.
In terms of dislikes, 50% of visitors condemned Christmas markets for being too crowded, 32% thought that there weren’t enough toilets and a quarter felt that they were too commercial.
Marino Fresch, Marketing Director at Eventbrite, said “Our research demonstrates Christmas markets’ ongoing popularity, with traditional continental and Victorian styles pipping newer variants to the post.”