Christmas Spirit: Festive markets around Ireland

By Aimée Moriarty 19-12-2016

Get into the Christmas spirit, this December with our roundup of fun, festive markets to visit in Ireland - they're sure to put a smile on any Grinch's face!

christmas spirit

Galway Christmas Market

When? 18th of November to the 22nd of December. (Mon-Wed 12pm-8pm and Thurs-Sun 10am-10pm)

Where? Spanning from Eyre Square to Spanish Arch

The ever popular Galway Christmas markets have been on the go for over six years - nothing shows Christmas spirit more than strolling around Christmas markets while sipping on some mulled wine. The markets span across Galway city from Eyre Square to Spanish Arch, boasting over an impressive 50 stalls buckling under a fine selection of food and drink.

A must do is to visit the German beer tent in Eyre Square for some delicious Bavarian brews, salty pretzels, sauerkraut and of course, craic in abundance. When the tents close, fear not, there are tonnes of great pubs in Galway to ramble into.

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christmas spirit

Belfast Christmas Markets

When? 19th of November to 23rd of December

Where? Belfast City Hall

For over eleven years, Belfast’s City Hall has been transformed into a traditional German-style Christmas market, packed to the brim with around 90 hand-crafted wooden chalets, offering an abundance of delish food, drinks, crafts and gifts. This year's market will see even more variety for all you festive market goers, it's set to be the best yet.

Kicking off on Saturday 19th November and running up until Thursday 23rd December 2016, Belfast’s Christmas markets play host to traders from Germany, Spain, France, Italy and, of course, right here in Ireland. You can find an exciting selection of hand-painted pottery, continental food, decorations, and a wide range of festive arts and crafts from across Europe and beyond - perfect for those last-minute Christmas gifts.

There are 20 additional stalls located just at the front of Belfast City Hall, outside the main entrance gates, and they will feature numerous local food and craft producers to celebrate Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016.

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When? 25th of November to the 23rd of December

Where? The Quay, Waterford city

Winterval is entering its fifth year and continues to grow from strength to strength. With over 30 events every weekend, many of which are free, Winterval Christmas festival is a must-see for all the family. As 2016 is a very important year for Ireland, the festival hopes to highlight one of Ireland's oldest monuments: Reginald's Tower.

Explore the finest range of unique gift ideas that are handmade by local craftspeople, at the Waterford Homecrafts Annual Christmas Craft Fair - located in the Garter Lane Arts Centre with over 40 craftspeople showcasing some of the finest quality products currently available anywhere in Ireland.

Not enough Christmas spirit for you? Why not catch a movie at The Reg? They'll be showing Jim Carrey's The Grinch for a selected few more dates including 15th - 23rd of December at 2pm and 4pm.

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Dún Laoghaire Christmas Festival

Where? The Metals, Dún Laoghaire adjacent to the Lexicon Library

When? November 25th to January 8th, 2017 from 10 am

There will be 20 seasonal wooden chalets, hosting a wonderful range of artisan food and craft offerings. The festival market returns to The Metals and will operate in the Pavilion quarter as well as in the newly expanded area adjacent to the LexIcon. It will have a carefully chosen selection of seasonal craft and food vendors. The festival market packed full of Christmas spirit, will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 7pm and every day during the week leading up to December 23rd.

They have an exciting new addition for 2016 - the spectacular Ice Rink at DLR Lexicon will be the centrepiece of the festival this year and is sure to attract thousands of skaters young and old to the town.Outdoor children’s amusements will be in full swing throughout the Festival at the Harbour Plaza in addition to a wonderful programme of seasonal events happening in the Lexicon Library & Pavilion Theatre.

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