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Best Christmas Markets in Ireland You Must Visit

by Thomas Lyons
christmas markets ireland

Ireland has been a favourite destination for travellers from around the world. In addition to its natural beauty, it boasts of some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. 

The Irish Christmas markets are the perfect way to get into that Christmas mood and prepare you for your holiday season. This inspiring country is home to the most romantic Christmas markets you can imagine, offering the perfect opportunity to create unforgettable memories with your friends and loved ones.

All in all, Christmas markets in Ireland are the perfect blend of Christmas, fun, and relaxation. As Christmas shopping gets underway, we have compiled a list of some of the top Christmas markets in Ireland you must visit to indulge yourself in some festive cheer.

List of Top Christmas Markets in Ireland:

Visitors flock to Ireland every year to experience its stunning scenery and rich culture. And nothing captures this spirit more than the Christmas markets, which pop up all over the country during the festive season. 

From Belfast Christmas markets to Galway Christmas markets, Kilkenny Christmas, Cork Christmas markets to Wicklow Christmas markets, there’s a wide range of markets you can choose from – each with its distinct personality and charm. We can assure you that you will find all you need for Christmas shopping in Ireland Christmas markets.  

Below, we have curated a list of some of the best Christmas markets you can visit this holiday season in Ireland!

1. The Belfast Christmas Markets:

The Belfast Christmas Markets are among the top and best in Ireland. This market has been operational for more than a decade (11 years, to be precise). Every year, the main hall of Belfast is converted into a super Christmas market.

The style of the market is inspired by German tradition. Each year, around 90 wooden handmade cabins are installed in the hall with all the necessities of Christmas like Christmas trees, gifts, and many other things.

For the first time, sadly, in more than 10 years that these markets will not be gleaming the country’s capital city. It is no surprise that Belfast Christmas markets are some of the most awaited markets in the entire country.

These markets in Belfast are expected to be back from 20th November to 23rd December in 2021. In the Belfast markets, you can find all kinds of Europe’s traditions, from French to German, from Italian to Belgian. So, if you live in Belfast and you are not going to these markets, you are missing a lot of Christmas fun.

2. Glow Cork:

The Cork Christmas Markets lighten up the moods of the visitors with their awesome handmade wooden cabins and a wide variety of Christmas necessities to choose from. Unfortunately, these great markets are often ignored by the majority of people or visitors who come to enjoy Christmas in Ireland.

That is such an irony for Cork’s markets, as they do their best to make the Irish people’s Christmas better than all others in Europe or in the world. You can visit places in these markets like Santa Claus’ lands, amusement machines like merry-go-rounds, and other things.

The food, the sweets, the wide variety of different dishes make the Cork’s market special, most importantly in Bishop Lucey Park. It has been estimated that Glow Cork markets will be operational from 26th November to 9th January, in 2021-22. The tourists coming to the festival will get to experience all of the activities mentioned above and many more.

3. The Kilkenny Christmas Markets:

The Kilkenny Christmas Markets are the well-deserving markets in Ireland. Unfortunately,  these great Christmas markets are yet to get their well-deserved recognition. You should definitely visit these markets, if you happen to be in Kilkenny, must visit these markets.

Unlike many markets, the Kilkenny markets mainly operate every weekend, from morning to evening. You can find all sorts of Christmas things from food to gifts and many other things. Mostly, there are ordinary residents selling on their beautiful small stands.

Many other special events take place at these markets, like music concerts, movies, and many more. As you can see, the Kilkenny Christmas markets offer the quality that most other markets do not. Still, they don’t get enough recognition and are often ignored by the masses.

So, if you plan on visiting Christmas markets, do take some time to take a look at Kilkenny’s markets. It will be worth your time, that is for sure. The Kilkenny Christmas markets are operational from 27th November to 19th December in 2021.

4. Dublin Christmas Markets:

The markets of the capital of Ireland, the Dublin Christmas Markets, have such a different and extraordinary view. Taking place in the heart of the country, you can imagine how great these markets can be. It has been announced that these markets will be operating from 8th December to 21st December in 2021. 

However, the Mistletown markets were called off because of being inside the walls, and now the Dublin Christmas markets are set to operate in the open air, and therefore, their operation dates have been announced. The pandemic has really taken a heavy toll on the Christmas fun.

The Christmas markets in Dublin used to be full of traditional and foreign food stands, playing areas for kids, and bars as well before the pandemic. And now, after two long years of annoying lockdowns and precautions, these markets are coming back with full force.

5. Waterford Winterval Markets:

The Waterford Winterval Christmas Markets are also among Ireland’s best and widely known Christmas markets. People coming to Waterford will come across some of the best festivals that Ireland has to offer. However, no dates have yet been announced regarding the opening of these markets.

It is believed that these markets will be operating from 27th November to 23rd December in 2021. Be prepared to spend your Christmas in the best way possible by going to Waterford Christmas markets. You will find many playing areas for children, small to large stands of different varieties of food and gifts.

The city also promises a memorable time due to the ice skating. You can also find these skating ventures in these markets. Moreover, the Winterval train is also a unique tourist attraction at the festival. You can still expect many things in the markets, but you would have to go there yourself, and we won’t spoil your fun.

6. The Galway Christmas Markets:

The beautiful city of Galway has the perfect spot for its tourists, its markets. The Galway Christmas Markets are majorly considered as the top Christmas markets in all of Ireland. The Galway markets also have a record of being the oldest Christmas markets of the new times in Ireland.

These markets have been operating for over a decade (more than 12 years, to be precise). This time period may look a lot to some of you but wait till you hear about the German markets, which have been operational since the 18th century (more than 200 years).

The official announcement regarding the festival dates is yet to come out, but the estimation is that these markets will operate from 12th November to 20th December in 2021. The pandemic has changed the way of celebrations all around the world. Let’s get back to our typical celebrations in the Galway Christmas markets.

7. Wicklow Christmas Markets:

The youngest of all the markets are the Wicklow Christmas Markets. These markets operate in the Abbey Grounds in Wicklow. The dates haven’t yet been confirmed, but it is believed that these markets will operate from 4th December till 23rd December, in 2021. 

Like many famous festivals, the Wicklow Christmas markets offer a wide variety of activities in the festival, from trains to playgrounds, from traditional foods to foreign beers and champagnes, and many more things. Nonetheless, these markets are relatively newer, so it is possible that you don’t see something in here that you wish you could see, just because you have seen them in markets like the Galway markets or the Waterford Winterval markets.

Take some time off your tense lives and must go to any of these markets in your cities or nearby cities, according to your preference. Because living in lockdowns will definitely have taught you the value of socializing. So, do enjoy before any new variant comes knocking on our doors.

Conclusion:

The Christmas markets are very effective in multiplying the fun of Christmas. As it is the holiday season, taking yourself or your family to one of these festivals is one of the best ways to do Christmas shopping and get amused. Don’t just sit there on your couch and spend the festival. Go out and have fun.

Here we have listed some of the well-known Christmas festivals in some of the major cities in Ireland. These are not just it; there are others as well. Certainly not as popular as these ones, but yes. So, choose what you want and spend some quality time there. Thank you.

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