It’s almost that time again. The time to wrap up warm, grab a gloved-handful of coins and your closest friend, and pay a seasonal visit to Ireland’s sensational Christmas Markets. By Caitlyn Johnson.
Let us set the scene: cinnamon-scented streets, rows of can’t-go-home-without-it stocking fillers, live festive music wafting along with the smells of mulled wine and all manner of toasted food. Take your pick from this chocolate box of seasonal markets and events that Ireland has in store.
Oh, and prepare yourself for lots of Christmas-based puns. We mean lots!
Dublin Docklands Delights
We’ll go out on a limb and claim Dublin has Ireland’s only floating market, with the Docklands 12 days of Christmas festival moored over George’s Dock. The gifts are charming; from craft jewellery to stained glass, wooden toys to leather ware, to the microwaveable slippers I bought my Nana last year. It’s the atmosphere that’ll keep you here though, loitering around the mulled wine and hot chocolate stands and swaying to the live bands and twinkling lights. The capital never looked prettier.
Belfast Continental Christmas Market
Belfast’s City Hall is a stunner at the best of times, and it’s grounds make for perfect city lounging. So plonking the annual Christmas Market there will probably mean we won’t have reason to leave ‘til January. Oh, and make sure to have a light brekkie, almost 90 traders from around the world will be rocking some exotic eats like Ostrich and Kangaroo Burgers, Bavarian Dumplings, Bratwurst Sausage, French Crepes, Spit roast Hog, and wines/ciders. ‘Munch they told him, Bah-rum-bum-bum-bum…’.
Going Continental in Galway
Eyre Square turns winter wonderland for the second Galway Continental Christmas Market. Bring comfy shoes (for the dancing) find a designated driver (lovely mulled wine) and invite a serious appetite (no less than 70 wooden chalets will be filled with food, drinks and goods from all over the world). Trust us, you’ll need them all. AND don’t forget your letter to for the man himself – you can post it at ‘Santa’s Grotto’.
We Wish You a Kerry Christmas
If you’ve already been lucky enough to go to Kerry for December, Killarney is the place to show your gratitude to whoever brought you! Meander to the Open Air Christmas Market and browse the handmade crafts and toys, artisan foods, and other gifts for your companion. Then take them on a Killarney Jaunting Sleigh Rides – up, up and a-sleigh!
Limerick sounds good
Walking in Waterford’s Winter Wonderland
A ‘winter wonderland’ awaits you in Waterford’s Broad Street and John Roberts Square. Waterford’s Christmas Market ticks every seasonal box; twinkling lights, old-school carousels with wooden horses, Santa’s Grotto and choirs singing carols. As well as the Christmas market in the city, visit the Christmas Craft Fair in Garter Lane. C’mon, sing it with me ‘Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but Waterford’s soooo delightful…’
Santa’s Cottage in the Mourne Mountains
The Mourne Mountains are the big man’s official residence in Ireland. His crib here is a secluded Irish cottage dating back to the 19th Century and it wont be hard to spot his home-from-home with all the twinkling Christmas lights. Inside it’s cozy central – think thick blankets, crackly Christmas tunes on an old wireless radio and spinning, shining decorations. The man in red will rap with the kids about their Christmas wishes and don’t forget to pop into the elves workshop where the magic happens. Ho-ho-hopefully there might be a dusting of snow to make the spot a full-on Winter Wonderland.