It might still be mid-November, but surely that cannot stop us from planning on bopping down to the pretty Christmas markets around the country?
Ireland is no stranger to colourful and vibrant Christmas markets, and here’s a rundown on some of the most exciting Christmas markets you should visit. Most of these markets open their doors in mid-November and run till the weekend right before Christmas.
1. Dublin Christmas Markets
There are various Christmas markets that pop up along the city close to the holiday season. My personal favourite is the Dublin Flea Christmas Market, because of the beautiful handicrafts sold by local artists and businesses, but unfortunately, they won’t be having it this year! Fret not, Dun Laoghaire has its very own Christmas market, and the Ha’penny Christmas Market is on at the Grand Social. Christmas is saved.
2. Galway Christmas Market
Galway’s expansive Christmas market is also one of Ireland’s most popular. Around Christmas time every year, Galway becomes a tinsel town, lit up by stalls that stretch all the way from Eyre Square till the Spanish Arch. Whether it is delicious snacks or cute gifts you’re scouring for, this is the place to go. Judging by their promotional videos, the 3-hour bus ride from Dublin to Galway just might be worth it.
3. Belfast Christmas Market
Taking a train ride up north doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all, considering Belfast’s Christmas Market brings in over 30 international vendors who will be selling lip-smacking goodness that will make any foodie weak in the knees. Held at Belfast City Hall, it could not get more Christmas-sy.
4. Glow Cork (Cork Christmas Market)
Cork has its own resplendent Christmas market that has drawn rave reviews. Held at Cork City’s Grand Parade and Bishop Lucey Park, Glow Cork will be packed with a variety of food and drink stalls, vintage carousel rides as well as Ferris Wheels that will invoke the child in anyone. They even have an ice tunnel at the entrance of the market in Bishop Lucey Park.
Now, you know where to go if you want to grab a last-minute Christmas gift for someone, or simply take a well-deserved treat from the hectic exams! We’ve covered Christmas markets in the north, south, east and west of Ireland – so what’s your excuse?
Mallika Venkatramani – Arts & Lifestyle Editor