The Best Christmas Markets In Ireland

The Best Christmas Markets In Ireland
Sharron Lynskey
Sharron Lynskey

14 Nov 2017

'Tis the season.

The novelty jumpers are resurfacing, mulled wine is fast becoming a part of our staple diet and it won't be long before our timelines are populated with images of Christmas markets.

We can't all afford to jet off to the likes of Prague, Berlin or Vienna this festive season. However, there's plenty of markets popping up across the country that are just as magical - and at a fraction of the cost. 



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Now in it's eighth year, the Galway Christmas market is set in the heart of the city and sees more than 50 wooden chalets take over Eyre Square. Call in to Santa's Grotto and the traditional Carousel during the day and make your way to the massive German beer tent as night falls.

This year's market promises an array of continental treats including bratwurst, French pastries, pretzels, crêpes and traditional warm apple cider and mulled wine.

It runs from 6pm on Friday 17th November right up until Friday 22nd December. Opening hours are from midday to 8pm Monday to Wednesday and from 10am to 10pm Thursday through Sunday.



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The Belfast markets return for its thirteenth year this Yuletide. This market is one of the prettiest you'll see in Ireland and gives the likes of Prague and Budapest a run for their money. 

Set against the backdrop of Belfast City Hall, they open up to the public from midday on Saturday 18th November and run right up until 6pm on Saturday 23rd December. In Belfast, you can sample all sorts including Italian nougat, Belgian chocolates, French tarts and Spanish paella. The markets open from 10am to 8pm Monday to Wednesday, from 10am to 10pm Thursay through Saturday and from midday to 6pm on Sundays.



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Second only to the lights on Grafton Street, the Dublin Flea Christmas Market is the most magical part of Dublin at Christmas. Based near The Point, it hosts over 135 stalls bustling with Irish contemporary designers, hand-made craftmanship, art, books, antiques, collectibles,furniture, clothes, jewellery, cosmetics, music and food. What more could you want?

It takes place for three days this December from Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th. Some of this year's stalls include Dublin honey, local bakeries, pies, wooden toys and handmade soaps. 

If that's not enough this Christmas, CHQ in George's Dock will also be transformed into a ski village this Christmas. Read more on that here.



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Waterford's modern 'Winterval' festival is nothing short of spectacular as Ireland's oldest city transforms into a winter wonderland. Santa's Kingdom, an illuminating light show and an enormous ice rink are just a taste of what you'll find in the south-east. 

Enjoy an enchanting horse-drawn sleigh ride through the city, take a picture inside the real-life snow globe or become an elf for the day. Winterval runs in the city from November 17th to December 23rd and times vary by day.


Limerick's Milk Market is a must-see on a normal day but the area really comes into it's own at Christmas. Expect themed stalls, festive carols, mouth-watering food and much more. Even better, this market is nestled under an all-weather canopy so you won't need to worry about the typical Irish weather ruining the fun!



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Cork's GLOW festival starts a little later than the rest on December 1st but that doesn't mean it isn't equally as spectacular. The festive Ferris wheel is the most obvious addition to the city’s skyline but Cork also provides a wealth of entertainment for those looking for their yearly dose of all things Christmassy.

Bishop Lucey Park will be the home of Santa's workshop with the Dowtcha Puppets providing entertainment for all ages while a festive food and craft market will also take up residence on Grand Parade through December. Glow takes place every weekend in December and has an extended run from Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd December.