Nothing beats the atmosphere of a good Christmas Market with tempting aromas in the air, Christmas music, cute gifts to browse and nice food to nibble on as you walk around. Here are some of the Best Christmas Markets in Ireland this year:
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Wicklow Christmas Market
Wicklow Christmas Market is set in the magical and historical Abbey grounds in Wicklow Town, taking place from 12 – 6 pm on the weekends of 8th 9th, 15th 16th, and 22nd of December. This is where Christmas begins with a selection of local artisan foods, decorations, gifts, workshops and visiting Santa himself at Santa’s Grotto, there will be an abundance of fun and sparkly activities to get you and your family in the Christmas mood. Highlights include:
- Free street music and entertainment
- Family funfair
- Family Alpaca experience
- Santa’s Sleigh experience
- Santa’s Grotto
The Christmas Market in Wicklow is fully accessible and only a 5 minute stroll from Wicklow Town Train Station or you can hop aboard Bus Eireann’s 133 service and be dropped outside the grounds of the historical Abbey.
Let Christmas begin!
Castletown Christmas Village
The Castletown Christmas Village takes place at Castletown, Celbridge, Kildare from Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th December 2018. Activities at the Castletown Christmas Market include Santa Grotto, Cinema, Puppet theatre, Christmas Story time, Christmas Fun Photo Booth, Carousel, Big Wheel, craft village and more!
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Galway Continental Christmas Market
The Galway Continental Christmas Market transforms Eyre Square in the heart of Galway City into a magical winter wonderland from 16th November to 22nd December2018. The 32m observation wheel will also make a welcome return.
The atmospheric market features traditional Bavarian and Irish Stalls, with food, beverages and goods from all over Europe, and a Santa’s Grotto.
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Santa’s Magical Winter Wonderland, Buncrana
Santa’s Magical Winter Wonderland takes place Friday 23rd November – Sunday 21st December 2018 in Ardaravan Square, Buncrana, Donegal.
The fun kicks off with the 4th Annual Buncrana Christmas Parade, with Santa Claus himself switching on the Christmas Lights across the town at 6pm. As well as Santa’s Grotto, there will be a Christmas Carousel, live crib with donkeys and other animals, including Santa’s own reindeer, especially flown in from the North Pole! Enjoy Christmas Karaoke, Santa’s Christmas Letterbox, arts and crafts workshops, storytelling with Mrs Claus and her elves, and live music too.
Glow, a Cork Christmas Celebration
For festive fun in the run up to Christmas, head to Cork City for Glow, a Cork Christmas Celebration, which includes a fantastic Christmas Market and runs during weekends from 1st to 22nd December 2018. The festival has something for everyone, with a free festive installation in Bishop Lucey Park, giant ferris wheel, food markets and entertainment
Belfast Christmas Market
The ever popular Belfast Christmas Market is back offering a range of unique gifts, gourmet food and drink and don’t forget to pay Santa’s post-box a visit and send off your Christmas wish lists to the North Pole, as each child who posts their letter will receive an individual response from the ‘big man’ himself. Runs from 17th November to 22nd December 2018 at the Belfast City Hall grounds.
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Dublin Flea Christmas Market
Dublin Flea Christmas Market takes place December 6th to 9th and 13th to 16th 2018 at The Point Square, Dublin 1. Enjoy stalls with a wide selection of Irish designers, art, books, clothes, jewellery, handmade gifts, as well as music and food.
Après VILLAGE Dublin
This year’s Après VILLAGE at CHQ, Dublin has plenty of family fun, with free admission and plenty of festive activities including Festive family fun every day from 12pm – 7pm, food and market stalls, Santa’s Grotto, carousel and big wheel, VR Ski experience, inflatable snow globe and more.
Winterval in Waterford
Winterval is back, for festive fun for all the family head to Waterford for the annual festival which includes a Christmas Market to stroll around, Waterford Illuminates, a 3D illuminating light show taking place each evening. There’s also an ice rink, over 45 events (mostly free) and the Winterval Express Train to enjoy. It takes place on all weekends and other select dates from November 17th to December 23rd 2018.
Christmas Market at Milk Market, Limerick
The Christmas Market at the Milk Market takes place weekly from the 3rd Dec with a full week of markets 16th to 24th. Featuring up to 60 stalls & shops with artisan food, craft & gifts, quality festive & speciality foods, collectables, bric-a-brac, toys, books, fashions, seasonal decorations & more!
Strandhill People’s Market
Enjoy the annual Christmas celebrations at Strandhill People’s Market in the unique venue of Hangar 1 at Sligo Airport from December 1st – 22nd with artisan food and craft producers, the market runs every Sunday 11-4pm, and night markets are open every Friday in December from 5pm-9pm. The man in the big red suit will also be visiting every Friday and Sunday throughout December, all funds raised from the Santa’s grotto will go towards an all inclusive centre for children and young adults with special needs through local charity ‘Our Voice their future Northwest’.
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The Carlow Christmas Market
The Carlow Christmas Market opens on Friday, December 14th from 1pm to 7pm and runs from 12pm to 7pm on Saturday, December 15th and Sunday, December 16th. It will be family focused with an illumination show running every half hour from 5pm daily, 2 free movies running each evening, 50+ quality food and craft stalls. Santa & Mrs Claus will arrive at 2pm on Friday until 7pm and will be open for visitors on from 12pm to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. There is a charge to visit Santa and to ride the fairground attractions but entry to the market, films and light show are all free.
Dundalk Christmas Market
As part of the Frostival Festival which will see Dundalk lit up on November 23rd with the Carnival of Light parade, the Dundalk Christmas Market runs on 4 dates from November 23rd to December 15th 2018.
Mullingar Christmas Market
In a bid to combat the growing trend in online shopping, Mullingar Winterfest is a six week festival which runs from November 23rd to January 6th to encourage visitors and locals alike to support local businesses this festive season. Along with an ice-rink and other initiatives, the annual Mullingar Christmas Market will run from December 6th to 9th in Mullingar Town Park.
Yulefest Kilkenny Christmas Markets
Yulefest Kilkenny is back from December. As part of Yuelfest there will be a number of Christmas Markets taking place including
- Graiguenamanagh Christmas Market takes place at Graiguenamanagh Abbey Hall on Saturdays November 17th & 24th and December 1st & 8th. Entry is free.
- School of Food Christmas Market Thomastown takes place in the ground of School of Food on November 25th from 12pm to 4pm. Entry is free and there will be a varied selection of food & drink items for sale and to ry on the day!
- A free Community Christmas Fair in Clomantagh Castle on Saturday & Sunday December 8th & 9th from 11am to 6pm.
The Christmas Markets offer the perfect opportunity to purchase local, handmade Christmas gifts for all the family.
Over to you now. Have we missed any fabulous Christmas Markets in Ireland? Tell us in the comments below.