8 Irish Christmas markets and festivals you need to visit this winter 1 year ago

8 Irish Christmas markets and festivals you need to visit this winter

Brought to you by DiscoverIreland

It's almost that time of year...


It's the most wonderful time of the year. So, why not immerse yourself in the festive spirit of things?

Thankfully, you won't have to travel far to celebrate to visit a winter wonderland, as we have loads of cracking Christmas markets and experiences right here in Ireland.

Christmas markets along the Wild Atlantic Way

Galway City Christmas Market, 11 November - 22 December


The Galway Christmas Market is Ireland's largest and longest-running festive market. This year, the hub of market activity will be at Eyre Square, where you can stroll around traditional wooden huts with loads of gift ideas. Food lovers are in for a treat as you can chow down on German bratwurst and pretzels (smear them in mustard) washed down with a stein of beer, luscious hot chocolate, mulled wine or all three.

Of course, there is also live entertainment, fun vintage carousels, and amusements. You can even ride the Santa Express train to explore the city. All aboard!

Limerick Christmas Markets, 27 November, 11 December and 17 December


This festive season, Limerick will be host to a number of Christmas markets around the city and county, selling handmade crafts and offering live entertainment to get you in the festive spirit.

On 27 November, Granagh Christmas Markets is the perfect one-stop-shop for all your gifting essentials, offering handmade jewellery, candles, melts, crochet, Christmas decorations and more festive crafts. On 11 December, stop by Ballyneety Christmas Market for a similar selection of crafts along with food trucks, local choir performances and a chance to get a snap with Santa. Finally, on 17 December, get into the festive spirit by strolling around Knockainey Market, partaking in some last-minute shopping while you soak in some festive musical performances.

Christmas markets in Irelands Ancient East


YuleFest Kilkenny, 25 November - 24 December

During YuleFest, Kilkenny transforms into a winter wonderland with activities for all the family. The festival starts with the always-fun Santa City Cycle and the switching on of the Christmas lights. Festival favourites include the Medieval Mile Run, Yulefest Movie Night, the Elf Village, and the Yulefest Bandstand. One of the food highlights is the Christmas Market brimming with stalls selling tempting treats from local food and beverage producers. Bring your appetite!

Glow a Christmas Celebration, Cork City, 25 November - 08 January


Bishop Lucey Park is where the glorious Glow celebrations occur in the heart of Cork City. With performance artists and musicians entertaining the crowds, these festivities have a real family-friendly community feel and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. If you are bringing the kids along, they can visit the elves who are busy working in Santa's pop-up workshop.

With live entertainment, amusements, and a Ferris wheel, this market sleighs when it comes to festive fun for the whole family.

Christmas markets in Ireland's Hidden Heartlands

Athlone Christmas Market

The Athlone Christmas Market in Count John McCormack Square has a fabulous festive feel thanks to the huge Christmas tree that dazzles with lights. Adorning the square are cute wooden cabins stocked with an enticing array of food and drink and crafts and gifts from producers from across Athlone and its hinterland. Make sure you come hungry as you can feast on festive favourites like hot chocolate, mulled cider and mince pies. There may even be chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

King House Christmas Craft Fair, 25 & 26 November

A visit to the King House Christmas Craft Fair takes the stress out of Christmas shopping. Combining a beautiful location with a wide variety of Irish crafts and designs, you will surely find a thoughtful gift for everyone on your list whilst enjoying all the charm of the season. There's plenty to do when not shopping, including activities, workshops and live music to keep everyone entertained, and lots of festive food and drink to keep everyone well-fed and watered.

Roscommon Christmas Festival, 10 & 11 December

The beautifully renovated Roscommon Town Square turns fabulously festive for the annual Christmas extravaganza. At the boutique Christmas market, adorned with delightful decorations and twinkling lights, you can browse over 20 market stalls with craft vendors selling gorgeous gifts. When you've worked up an appetite, fill up on tasty festive fayre by some of the region’s best food and drink producers, whilst enjoying live entertainment from musicians and street performances. This charming and cheery festival will warm the cockles of your heart this winter.

Christmas markets in Dublin

Christmas Market at Stillgarden Distillery, December 10th & 11th

At this Christmas market in the Stillgarden Village, you'll have a cool yule experience with charity fashion shows and raffles, as well as a festive weekend of live music, seasonal drinks, and an abundance of local retailers, artists and food and drink vendors. So, whether you are looking for some unique Christmas gifts, want to soak up the charming Christmas atmosphere, or want to have some great food and drinks, grab your mates and make a date to jingle all the way to this delightful distillery.

Winter in Dublin, 01 November - 31 January

Prepare yourself for a merry Winter in Dublin as the city's streets and venues come alive alive-o with a phenomenal programme of events during November, December and January.

Share magical moments with friends and family as you stroll around Christmas markets, winter wonderlands and shimmering streets resplendent with incredible illuminations. Dance like nobody is watching at a gig, revel in the joyous panto tradition of screaming, "he's behind you!" and enjoy afternoon tea on a vintage bus with Santa and his elves.

There's just so much going on in the capital during The Festive Season, from amazing animations and decorations to engaging exhibitions and enchanting entertainment.

Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. So, this winter, get into full festive mode by enjoying the cracking Christmas celebrations across Ireland.


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Winterval, Co. Waterford

Winterval transforms Ireland's oldest city into Ireland's Christmas capital as the city's streets come alive with seasonal surprises and festive fun. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Ireland's largest Christmas festival, and the programme - the biggest yet - is jam-packed with free and ticketed entertainment events.

Family-friendly attractions include Winterval on Ice, the carousel, the circus, magic shows, and the Winterval Illuminates light show. At the Continental Christmas Market Quarter, stalls serve warming foods and drinks and an array of handcrafted items from local craft designers. Kids can also post their letters to Santa in Winterval's Giant Post Box.

The Leave No Trace principles help us make as little an impact as possible on the incredible Irish landscape as we explore the outdoors this winter and beyond. Keep outdoor areas safe, clean and free from waste/hazards, and help protect the natural environment. Love this place; leave no trace.

Brought to you by DiscoverIreland