Christmas markets have only started to appear in Ireland in the 21st century. But this recent tradition is getting increasingly popular, attracting locals and visitors with live entertainment, festive treats, and gift shopping.
Dublin Newmarket flea market holds a Christmas Market edition in December. The market features not just antiques and collectables, but also contemporary Irish design, handmade crafts, art, books, furniture, and jewellery. Custom House Quay, in "Dublin's at George’s Dock" features a Christmas village called Après Dublin featuring a huge ski lodge, with special food, DJs and live music for fun nights out. During the day, the village offers Santa’s Grotto and carousel rides.
The Galway Continental Christmas Market on Eyre Square is the oldest and the most picturesque holiday fair in Ireland. Over 50 small wooden chalets are nicely decorated and smell of pine and spices. A huge Christmas tree and stage for carollers complete the picture. The Galway Christmas Market holds workshops for kids and Santa Claus visits. German sausages, pretzels, and waffles are offered as snacks.
Belfast in Northern Ireland, hosts Continental Christmas Market, transforming its City Hall grounds into a European village. Food choices include French tarts, Italian nougat, and Belgian chocolate.
A Cork Christmas Celebration in Bishop Lucey Park includes a fantastic light installation and a giant Ferris wheel. The festive market offers a wide variety of crafts and entertainment.
Ireland's biggest Christmas festival Winterval takes place in Waterford. The city dubbed Ireland’s Christmas Capital due to its attraction called The Enchanted Christmas held in the old post office at Custom House Quay. There is also an ice rink, Winterval Express Train and a horse-drawn sleigh.