Six Christmas Markets you Have to Visit
18 Nov 2019
Main image courtesy of the Winterval Festival
What better way to kick off this festive season than a visit to some of Ireland’s Christmas Markets? Christmas Markets and Ireland are not generally two words you hear in the same sentence. However, you might be surprised with the choice on offer for you and the family.
So, we uncovered six of the most magical Christmas markets in Ireland especially for you.
Galway Christmas Market
The Galway Christmas market returned to Eyre Square in November. 2019 marks the tenth year of this beautiful market lighting up the centre of the city. There are a huge range of festive activities to entertain the whole family. There are amusements, including a 32 metre Ferris Wheel, and a traditional carousel. You can sample all the fun of a ski resort in the west of Ireland with the ‘aprés ski bar.’ And there’s even a Santa’s Express train that will take you through the city centre.
Market-goers can enjoy a wide range of delicious delicacies from around the world, including, bratwurst, French pastries, pretzels, crêpes and waffles. Or, if you want to warm up with a little tipple, you can sample a stein at the German Bierkeller. There are also artisan food products, as well as Christmas gift ideas from both local and European traders
To top it all off, the Christmas market is surrounded by light gardens which provide the perfect backdrop for a festive photo.
The Galway Christmas market runs until 22nd December. Opening hours are 12pm – 8pm Monday to Wednesday and 10am - 10pm Thursday to Sunday.
For more information check out Galway Christmas Market on Facebook
(Image above courtesy of Concordia)
Waterford Christmas Market
Waterford’s Winterval is described as Ireland’s Christmas Capital. There is a wide range of activities in this winter, village with the Christmas market just a small element of the magical extravaganza.
Of course no Christmas market would be complete without the main man. He’ll be at Santa’s Grotto in the heart of Waterford’s Viking Triangle. Another lovely element of Winterval is the Autism Friendly & Sensory Evening taking place on Thursday 12th of December. This ensures everyone can have a memorable experience visiting Santa and his elves before the big day.
There’s also a 660 square metre ice rink located at Bolton Street Carpark. And of course the iconic Waterford’s Eye at Merchants Quay.
And finally, the bit we are most interested in, the Christmas Markets! Winterval Christmas Markets and pop-up shops are located at Arundel & Cathedral Square. There is also the Christmas Craft Fair at the Garter Lane Arts Centre. And if that wasn’t enough, there is a 3D music and light show illuminating the winter skies.
Waterford Winterval kicks off on 23rd of November and runs until the 23rd of December. For more information, check out winterval.ie
(Image above courtesy of the Winterval Festival)
Dublin Christmas Markets
There may not be one main Christmas Market in Dublin, but there are a number of smaller markets that you won’t want to miss out on!
The MART Market: This is the seventh year of the market, which takes place in the Old Fire Station on Rathmines Road Lower. This year’s market will run from Wednesday to Sunday, over three weeks from 12-7pm each day, beginning on December 4th. This market will have the finest food, art, design, craft, fashion and jewellery Rathmines has to offer.
Swords Castle, Christmas Market: Taking place on the grounds of Swords Castle, this market will take place across three day. Opening hours vary; beginning on Friday 29th of November and running until on Sunday 1st of December.
Inreda Christmas Fair: Although not a Christmas market, the Inreda Fair in Clontarf Castle Hotel is a magical experience. Running over two Sundays, 24th of November and the 15th of December in the Great Hall in Clontarf Castle, this fair seems to have it all. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
Christmas at the Botanic Gardens: There are a number of events at the Botanic Gardens where you can get your festive fix! From an Eco Craft Market to Celebrating a Sustainable Christmas at Glasnevin and visits from the big man himself, Christmas at the Bots looks like the place to be this Christmas. To find out more and book a place on these workshops visit their website botanicgardens.ie
Cork Christmas Market
Glow returns to the People’s Republic this Christmas with fun for all the family. The Christmas festival runs over the four weekends in the lead up to Christmas. The market is home to a huge range of food stalls, craft and gift vendors.
This year, Bishop Lucey Park has been transformed into the National Elf Test (NET) Centre. You and your little ones can meet Santa’s elves, who have been put through their paces in a Christmas cookie bake off, Christmas tree decorating and of course their ability to tell naughty from nice! Also there to entertain will be the Elf Puppet Choir. This Elf Test will be sure to entertain all in attendance.
For more information, visit corkchristmascelebration.ie
(Image above courtesy of Glow Festival)
Belfast Christmas Market
Described as the ‘award-winning taste of Christmas’, Belfast Christmas Market is a must visit this winter. Located on the grounds of City Hall, the Belfast Christmas Markets kicks off on the 16th of November. With over 30 traders on site offering delightful food and gift ideas for all ages, it is certainly worth a visit.
And of course, a visit to any market isn’t complete without a trip to Santa. When visiting Santa’s grotto, you will also get the opportunity to take a ride on the vintage carousel or take a slide down the Helter Skelter. Belfast Christmas market is recognised worldwide for the wide range of craft and gifts on offer. It’s your go-to for a break from the shops.
Belfast Christmas Markets runs until 22 December 2019 and you’ll find opening hours at visitbelfast.com
(Image above courtesy of visitbelfast.com)
Wicklow Christmas Market
Set within the magical Abbey Grounds in Wicklow Town, the Wicklow Christmas Markets are a treat for the entire family. Unique aspects of this market are the gingerbread workshop, while fire shows, funfairs, puppet shows and of course the alpaca experience will have you feeling the festive love. Wicklow has all you’d expect from a Christmas Market and more! Beginning on November 23rd and running on selected dates from 12pm to 6pm until December 15th. For more information visit: wicklowchristmasmarket.com
*All dates and times relate to November and December 2019