The Best Christmas Markets in Ireland this Year
The scent of cinnamon, mulled wine, hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts and artisan food; tiny wooden huts with hundreds of knick-knacks stacked to the roof and woolen-covered servers smiling out at you. And lights; rows and rows of Christmas lights hanging from every conceivable object. This is the Christmas market. And there is undoubtedly one opening near you this winter. So if you want to buy some Christmas gifts, threat yourself to the best possible comfort food you can imagine, or just soak in some atmosphere, then there is no better way to spend a couple of hours than at one of Ireland’s Christmas markets. Here are the best of you will find across the country.
The Galway Continental Christmas market is one of the most picturesque in Ireland. Occupying the entirety of Eyre Square in the centre of the city, there are over seventy wooden huts filled with food, drinks and goods provided by traders from all over Ireland and from around the world. This year, the market also expands beyond the single location to other parts of the city. You can expect to see produce from Russian, Peru, USA and China, as well and local and European offers. The market runs until December 22.
This year Dublin is hosting I BELIEVE, a new winter village based at the Custom House Quarter. At its heart will be a gigantic 50 foot Christmas tree inspired by the famous Rockefeller tree in New York. Organisers are are planning on growing the initiative into one of the most iconic and successful Christmas markets in Europe over the next number of years. Any kids will have the chance to meet Santa and his elves in a unique experience that includes traditional Christmas storytelling and singing. The market opened on the 26 November and will run up until the 23 December.
Limerick’s milk market will play host to up to 60 Christmas stalls and shops this year. There will be a wide range of artisan food, crafts, gifts, festive treats, bric-a-brac, toys, books, fashion and much more. And also the chance for kids to meet the man himself, of course. The Christmas market will begin on 4 December and run on selected dates, with a full week from 17th-24th.
Cork’s ‘Glow’ Village, located on Grand Parade, promises to be a festival of lights. There will be crafts, food and drink stalls as well as the famous big wheel that has done the rounds in previous years, giving Corkonians a wonderful view of the city. The market will run from November 27 to December 20.
In Tralee from the 10th to 12th of December will be the German Christmas Market, featuring a wide selection of goods and crafts with a German twist. Irish produce will be also be making an appearance, along will Christmas classics such as mulled wine and hot chocolate. Crafts will include unique handmade good such as pottery, textiles, knitwear and woodwork.
This year, Doonbeg will continue its tradition of transforming the courtyard of The Lodge into a Christmas wonderland. Dozens of craft stalls will be illuminated by streams of lights and decorations in what promises to be an atmospheric display to remember. It will run from December 11 to 12, and will open in fine style with a fireworks display in the Friday night.
If you’re anywhere near Carlingford this season be sure to check out their Christmas fair which runs from December 4 to 6. Stalls will be offering the best of local handcrafted gifts and home-cooked goodies; everything from cakes and chutneys to cards and knitwear will be on offer. It will kick off at 11am each day St Michael’s Hall and finsish at 6pm.
Carlow will also be getting in on the act this year. Delta Sensory Garden will host a Christmas fair that offers craft and food stalls of all kinds, as well as a Santa’s Grotto for the kids to visit. There will also be Elf workshops and festive face painting.