As the holiday season approaches, Ireland comes alive with the festive spirit, and nothing encapsulates the magic of Christmas quite like the country’s Christmas markets. From Galway to Wicklow, these markets offer a delightful array of festive treats, crafts, and activities for all to enjoy.
1. Galway Christmas Markets: Nov 10th – Dec 22nd
Now in its 13th year, the Galway Christmas Markets are renowned as one of Ireland’s best. This year, the market will be located in Eyre Square, featuring stalls, beer tents, a massive ferris wheel, and more. Running from November 10th to December 22nd, it promises a magical start to the holiday season.
2. Belfast Christmas Markets: Nov 18th – Dec 22nd
Belfast’s City Hall transforms into a traditional German-style Christmas market with 90 wooden chalets offering a variety of goods. With a food court representing 32+ nationalities, family activities, the Santa Train, and lively beer tents, the Belfast Christmas Markets, running from November 18th to December 22nd, promise a festive experience like no other.
3. Waterford Winterval: Nov 17th – Dec 23rd
Celebrating its 11th year, Waterford Winterval is a standout Christmas market, featuring traditional markets, an ice skating rink, the iconic 32-meter high Waterford Eye, and more. Running from November 17th to December 23rd, it’s a perfect opportunity to explore the Waterford Greenway and bask in the holiday spirit.
4. Cork Christmas Markets: Nov 24th – Jan 7th
Cork City comes alive during the festive season, and the Christmas Markets, previously called ‘Glow,’ add to the city’s vibrant atmosphere. Cork promises a unique and bustling Christmas market from November 24th to January 7th.
5. Christmas Markets in Dublin: Dec 8th – Dec 21st
While Dublin’s Christmas markets have been hit and miss in recent years, the Dublin Castle Christmas market has remained a consistent delight. Expected to run from December 8th to December 21st, it’s a chance to experience the festive charm within the historic surroundings of Dublin Castle.
6. Kilkenny Christmas Markets: Starts Nov 25th
Overlooked but not to be underestimated, the Kilkenny Christmas Market is a hidden gem. Running every weekend from November 25th, it features festive stalls, local vendors, open-air movie nights, live music, DJ sets, and more.
7. Wicklow Christmas Market: Nov 18th – Dec 17th
One of Ireland’s newer Christmas markets, the Wicklow Christmas Market in the Abbey Grounds promises a unique experience. From a Santa Express to an alpaca experience, craft stalls, food, fire shows, and more, it’s a festive celebration on November 18th-19th, 24th-26th, and December 1st-3rd, 8th-10th, and 15th-17th.