Looking for the best Christmas markets in Ireland to visit this year?
Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year, and there’s no better way to get into the festive spirit than by visiting a Christmas market.
In Ireland, there are plenty of markets to choose from, each with its own unique charm and character.
From traditional markets selling handmade crafts and gifts to foodie havens offering delicious treats and drinks, there’s something for everyone.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the 13 best Christmas markets in Ireland for 2023, so you can start planning your festive itinerary and get ready to indulge in all the holiday cheer.
- 13 Best Christmas Markets in Ireland 2023
- 1. Dublin Flea Christmas Market, Dublin
- 2. Glow, Cork
- 3. Cork Christmas Market on Grand Parade, Cork
- 4. Galway Christmas Market, Galway
- 5. Mill Street Christmas Market, Cork
- 6. Belfast Christmas Market, Belfast
- 7. Derry Christmas Market, Derry
- 8. Dublin Castle Christmas Market, Dubin – One of the best Christmas markets in Ireland for a magical experience
- 9. Waterford Winterval, Waterford
- 10. Yulefest, Kilkenny
- 11. Enchanted Winter Garden, Antrim
- 12. Milk Market, Limerick
- 13. Wicklow Christmas Market
- Best Christmas Markets in Ireland: FAQs
- When does Galway Christmas Market start in 2023?
- What are the top Christmas markets in Dublin?
- Are there any Christmas markets accessible from Cork Airport?
- What’s the schedule for Belfast Christmas Market 2023?
- Which one is a must-visit: Belfast or Galway Christmas Market?
- What are the highlights of Dublin Castle Christmas market?
- Best Christmas Markets in Ireland: Conclusion
13 Best Christmas Markets in Ireland 2023
1. Dublin Flea Christmas Market, Dublin
If you’re looking for a festive shopping experience, The Dublin Flea Christmas Market is the perfect place for you!
Set in the heart of the city, this bustling market offers a unique mix of over 140 artisan vendors and local designers.
As you stroll through the market, you’ll discover a plethora of items, such as handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, and vintage pieces.
Of course, no Christmas market would be complete without delicious food and drink!
You’ll find a mouthwatering array of food stalls serving tasty treats that cater to all dietary preferences.
Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa or mulled wine, and don’t forget to treat yourself to some traditional Irish mince pies.
In addition to all the shopping and food, the Dublin Flea Christmas Market also offers a fun program of workshops and entertainment.
You can get involved in hands-on craft activities or be mesmerized by live music performances.
2. Glow, Cork
Glow is definitely one of the best Christmas markets in Ireland.
At the heart of Glow, you’ll find a festive array of food and drink stalls. Treat yourself to some delicious mulled wine, warming hot chocolate, or indulge in a tasty mince pie.
The diverse food options cater to both sweet and savory cravings, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Shop your heart out in the artisan market, with vendors selling unique, locally-made gifts perfect for the holiday season.
From handmade jewelry to one-of-a-kind crafts, you’re sure to find something special for your loved ones.
It’s an excellent opportunity to support local businesses and discover some amazing, hidden gems.
Don’t forget to take a spin on the incredible Ferris wheel, offering breathtaking views of the city beautifully illuminated in its Christmas finery.
It’s an experience you won’t want to miss, especially as the sun sets and Cork lights up before your eyes.
3. Cork Christmas Market on Grand Parade, Cork
Cork Christmas Market on Grand Parade is a bustling market set in the heart of Cork City that typically runs from late November through December.
You’ll find a variety of handcrafted gifts and charming trinkets from local artisans, perfect for ticking off your Christmas shopping list.
Plus, with a selection of stalls offering mouth-watering international cuisine, you can enjoy an array of delicious flavors in between browsing.
Moreover, this is one of the best Christmas markets in Ireland to taste some traditional festive treats like mince pies, gingerbread, and mulled wine, which will warm your senses on those chilly winter afternoons.
4. Galway Christmas Market, Galway
Galway Christmas Market is the perfect destination to get you in the holiday spirit and definitely one of the best Christmas markets in Ireland.
Held annually in Eyre Square, this vibrant market offers a unique and memorable experience for visitors of all ages.
As you wander through the charming wooden chalets, you’ll discover a wide array of handcrafted gifts, artwork, and decorations.
Be sure to pick up something special for your loved ones, or even treat yourself to a unique Christmas keepsake.
The aroma of freshly baked goods fills the air, tempting you to indulge in some delicious seasonal treats.
At the heart of the market is the Bavarian-style beer tent where you can unwind with a warming mulled wine or sample the local craft beers.
The entertainment doesn’t stop there – you’ll find numerous performing artists, musicians, and street performers throughout the market, ensuring there’s never a dull moment.
While exploring, don’t forget to hop on the iconic Galway Eye. This large Ferris wheel offers a bird’s eye view of the city, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty of the surrounding area.
For those with little ones, a visit to Santa’s Grotto is a must. Children will love meeting Santa and his elves, adding that extra touch of magic to their Christmas Market experience.
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5. Mill Street Christmas Market, Cork
This charming event offers a range of artisan crafts, local food and drink, and family-friendly festivities that’ll spark your holiday cheer.
Start your day by exploring the market stalls. You’ll discover bespoke crafts, handmade jewelry, and unique Christmas ornaments.
When your shopping bags start to fill up, you can satisfy your appetite with delicious food options cinnamon churros, mince pies, and hot chestnuts.
6. Belfast Christmas Market, Belfast
Belfast Christmas Market is a must-visit event during the festive season. Even though it’s not in Ireland, it’s easy to reach it.
Held up on the grounds of Belfast City Hall, you can immerse yourself in a magical atmosphere while browsing more than 100 stalls filled with local and international flavors.
As you wander through the market, you’ll find a delightful variety of festive treats and goodies.
From Belgian chocolates, Dutch pancakes, to French tarts, your taste buds will definitely thank you.
Besides satisfying your food cravings, the market offers a great opportunity to find unique gifts for your loved ones.
You’ll discover plenty of handmade crafts, festive decorations, and even one-of-a-kind pieces of art to take home.
Younger visitors, fear not! Belfast Christmas Market has you covered with a vintage carousel, a Santa’s Grotto, and other exciting activities to make your visit unforgettable.
Remember, the market usually runs from mid-November to late December, so plan your visit accordingly.
7. Derry Christmas Market, Derry
Derry Christmas Market is a must-visit during the holiday season thanks to the twinkling lights and festive decorations that create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
At the market, you’ll find numerous stalls showcasing a variety of handcrafted gifts, perfect for friends and family.
Moreover, your taste buds will thank you as you sample delectable offerings from local vendors. Indulge in sweet treats like mince pies, or savor the flavors of savory dishes like hearty stew or flavorful sausages.
There’s also live music and performances throughout the market. You might even catch a glimpse of carolers filling the air with festive songs or see children happily taking part in various activities.
8. Dublin Castle Christmas Market, Dubin – One of the best Christmas markets in Ireland for a magical experience
The Dublin Castle Christmas Market is a magical experience right in the heart of the city.
The historic castle grounds transform into a winter wonderland filled with twinkling lights and decorated stalls.
You’ll find vendors offering a wide array of unique gifts, perfect for your Christmas shopping.
Stock up on handmade candles, artisanal chocolates, and bespoke clothing. Don’t forget to indulge yourself in the mouthwatering food stalls, where delicious aromas of mulled wine and freshly baked pastries linger in the air.
Amid the cheer, you can enjoy live performances by talented musicians and entertainers, adding a lively atmosphere to your market exploration.
Don’t worry if you’re bringing the whole family, as there are plenty of attractions for the younger ones as well.
The kids will thrill at the sight of Santa’s Grotto where they can meet the jolly old man himself and share their wish lists.
With its stunning location and captivating charm, the Dublin Castle Christmas Market is definitely one of the best Christmas markets in Ireland.
9. Waterford Winterval, Waterford
This charming Christmas market, held annually in the heart of Waterford city, brings the holiday spirit to life.
With a wide variety of stalls offering food, drink, and unique gifts, Waterford Winterval promises a delightful experience for visitors of all ages.
At the market, you’ll encounter local artisans and vendors showcasing their finest yuletide wares.
Take your pick from handmade jewelry, candles, and crafts – perfect for those one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts.
Another aspect you’ll love about Waterford Winterval is the abundance of festive entertainment.
There’s always something happening amid the twinkling lights – whether it’s live music, street performers, or carolers singing the season’s classics.
Don’t forget to bring the little ones along, as they’ll be thrilled by the enchanting Santa’s Grotto, where they can meet the big man himself and whisper their holiday wishes.
No visit to Waterford Winterval would be complete without a trip to the Ice Rink, which provides endless fun for both beginners and seasoned skaters alike.
As you glide gracefully (or not so gracefully) across the ice, you’ll be swept up in the festive atmosphere and leave with unforgettable memories of your time at one of the best Christmas markets in Ireland.
10. Yulefest, Kilkenny
This enchanting winter festival brings the best of Irish Christmas traditions and adds a sprinkle of intangible magic to Kilkenny city.
As you arrive in the heart of Kilkenny, you’ll be greeted by twinkling lights, traditional Christmas decorations, and a warm, festive atmosphere.
Wander through the charming streets and explore the artisan market stalls – a fantastic place to find unique gifts and sample some delicious festive treats.
Don’t miss the opportunity to attend various events held in Kilkenny during Yulefest, ranging from choral performances to light shows.
Most of these events are free, making it the perfect destination for anyone looking to experience an Irish Christmas on a budget.
Finally, make sure to visit the historic Kilkenny Castle, which hosts seasonal concerts and family-friendly entertainment.
11. Enchanted Winter Garden, Antrim
The Enchanted Winter Garden in Antrim is another of the best Christmas markets in Ireland.
As you arrive, the twinkle of thousands of lights welcomes you to a wonderland that will leave you and your loved ones feeling the holiday spirit.
Utterly charmed, you make your way towards the Giant Light Tunnel, illuminating a path for you to follow deeper into the Enchanted Winter Garden.
The sweet scent of seasonal treats fills the air, drawing you towards the various food stalls.
Indulge in a steaming mug of mulled wine, and savor the flavors of roasted chestnuts, gingerbread cookies, and other festive treats.
Be sure to also visit the artisan market, where you can find a diverse range of unique, handcrafted gifts for your loved ones.
Street performers, choirs, and musicians scattered throughout the market add to the festive atmosphere, mesmerizing you with their talents and adding cheer to the ambiance.
12. Milk Market, Limerick
If you find yourself in Ireland during Christmas season, a must-visit destination is Limerick’s Milk Market.
Dating back to 1852, this historical market transforms into a magical wonderland during Christmas, offering an array of festive delights.
Treat yourself to mouth-watering delights like smoked salmon, juicy roast meats, and freshly-baked pastries.
Don’t forget to sample the hot mulled wine, a Christmas market staple that’ll warm you up as you meander the bustling walkways!
Beyond delicious treats, Limerick’s Milk Market is also a treasure trove for unique gifts.
Handcrafted jewelry, locally-made pottery, and artisanal candles are just some of the items you can find to tick off your Christmas shopping list.
Keep an eye out for the traditional Irish crafts, like woven blankets and handmade soaps, which make for perfect presents to take back home.
Part of the charm of the market is the lively atmosphere, with street performers and live music throughout.
You can often catch local musicians playing festive tunes that’ll have you humming along, creating a cheerful backdrop to your holiday shopping experience.
13. Wicklow Christmas Market
Set in the beautiful Abbey Grounds, the Wicklow Christmas market is one of the best Christmas markets in Ireland if what you’re after is a winter wonderland filled with festive delights.
Walk through the charming stalls, where local artisans showcase their unique gifts and crafts.
Moreover, you’ll also find a wide variety of scrumptious food to enjoy, from traditional mince pies and mulled wine to mouth-watering Irish cuisine.
The Wicklow market also offers fantastic entertainment options for both kids and adults.
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Best Christmas Markets in Ireland: FAQs
When does Galway Christmas Market start in 2023?
In 2023, Galway Christmas Market is expected to begin in mid to late November.
The exact dates might change, so keep an eye on their official website or social media channels for updates.
What are the top Christmas markets in Dublin?
Dublin offers a variety of wonderful Christmas markets.
Some of the most popular ones include the Dublin Castle Christmas market, the Dublin Flea Market’s Christmas Cracker, the Gifted Craft and Design Fair at the RDS, and the Christmas market at the Bernard Shaw.
Are there any Christmas markets accessible from Cork Airport?
Yes, there are Christmas markets nearby Cork Airport.
Once you land, you can easily visit markets such as Glow, A Cork Christmas Celebration, or Blarney Castle’s Christmas market. Check their websites for dates and additional information.
What’s the schedule for Belfast Christmas Market 2023?
Belfast Christmas Market usually opens in mid-November and runs until late December.
Keep in mind that these dates may vary, so it’s wise to check their official website or social media platforms for the exact schedule.
Which one is a must-visit: Belfast or Galway Christmas Market?
Both Belfast and Galway Christmas markets offer unique experiences.
Belfast has a fantastic selection of international food and crafts, while Galway offers an authentic Irish atmosphere.
It depends on your preferences – why not try to visit both if you have the time?
What are the highlights of Dublin Castle Christmas market?
The Dublin Castle Christmas market stands out with its magical setting and stunning festive decorations.
Visitors can enjoy artisan food, unique crafts, music, and entertainment. Plus, the historic Dublin Castle itself adds a special touch to the overall atmosphere.
Best Christmas Markets in Ireland: Conclusion
Ireland is home to some of the best Christmas markets in the world, offering a wonderful opportunity to soak up the festive atmosphere and indulge in some holiday shopping and treats.
Whether you’re looking for traditional handmade crafts, delicious food and drinks or simply a magical experience, there’s a Christmas market in Ireland that’s perfect for you.
We hope this list of the best Christmas markets in Ireland helped you plot the perfect festive itinerary. Whichever one you end up visiting, you definitely won’t be disappointed!