It’s never too early to be thinking about Christmas! People in the past would travel to gorgeous Christmas markets in Prague, Edinburgh, etc. but you’re missing what’s on your doorstep! There are so many different Christmas markets in Ireland and each one of them brings something different! Here’s a list of the best Christmas markets that you need to go to this year:
GLOW – A Cork Christmas Celebration
GLOW is set to run each weekend (Fri-Sun) from Nov 30 – Dec 22. This place is magical at Christmas time and located right in the heart of Cork City! Admission is free and the light displays are great, even kids will love a look around! There’s a display in Bishop Lucey Park (which is right on Grand Parade in Cork) which is Santa’s Cork Workshop for the whole of December! The Ferris wheel is open daily, not only at the weekends but if you want the full experience for food markets and the atmosphere, I recommend coming at the weekend.
Waterford city is one of the magical places to be this winter! You can take horse-drawn sleigh rides, go on the Ferris wheel or carousel, go ice-skating, drop off your letters in the Giant Postbox for Santa or even take the Winterval Express Train which will bring you around all the attractions in the city! Great for children but also they have amazing food stalls from around the world for you to try and the atmosphere is something you can’t experience in many places! Some of the activities can be done daily but the festival will take place from Nov 17 – Dec 19 (Fri-Sun) and also Dec 19-23.
Dublin Flea Christmas Market
This unique market takes place over the course of two weekends with a different selection of stalls each weekend. Located in the Docklands, this indoor market will be open from Dec 6 – Dec 9 (Thurs to Sun) and Dec 13 – Dec 16 (Thurs to Sun). There is no admission cost and you can find stalls showcasing some vintage and rare collectibles as well as some cool handmade crafts! In 2017, this Christmas Market had over 35,000 visitors in 4 days!
The Belfast Christmas Market
This one is definitely one of the prettiest Christmas Markets in the country, located at Belfast City Hall. There are a wide range of stalls and even food from around the world including France, Germany, and Spain! The Market is open every day of December, finishing on Dec 23rd, Mon-Wed (10am-6pm), Thurs-Sat (10am-10pm) and Sun (12pm-6pm). Definitely a market you’ll get amazing photos at!
Après Dublin at CHQ
Unlike the others, this one family fun packed in the day, and strictly over 21’s in the evenings. Located in George’s Dock and designed like a ski lodge, there’s so much to do with activities including Santa’s Grotto and food options. In the evenings there’s even a snow machine and a DJ! Last year, the actors from Cool Runnings made an appearance here so you never know who you’ll run into here! You can book tickets on their website for €15 per person.
The Galway Continental Christmas Market
Known for being one of the oldest Christmas markets in Ireland, it’s no wonder why everyone loves this one! The market is spread right across the city and has so many activities including a Ferris wheel, live performances, Santa’s Grotto, etc. as well as enjoy traditional Christmas food from around the globe! This year the market will be open from Nov 16 (Friday) at 10am until Dec 22 (Friday) at 10pm.
In Phoenix Park, there will be so much for everyone in the family to do here! It’s open all December so make sure you plan a day to come here! There will be a wide range of food markets and other fun Christmas activities.
Slane Distillery Christmas Market
On the grounds of Slane Castle, recently there was a whiskey distillery opened and this year, it will be transformed into a Christmas village. This one I’m excited to check out this year. There will be a wide range of food and drinks including a Slane Irish Whiskey Cocktail. What’s special about this market, there will be live music here every Friday and Saturday evening from new Irish artists and musicians. With such a beautiful location, it’s no doubt this will be successful! It will run each weekend from Nov 30 – Dec 23 and is free to enter.