Unique Christmas markets in Dublin and Belfast
by Shrutee K/DNS
This festive season in Belfast and Dublin will be buzzing with cracking Christmas markets and entertainment. Sparkling with fairy lights, replete with delicious food and drink and brimming with great gift ideas, Christmas markets are the perfect places to find a little festive magic, and the two biggest cities on the island of Ireland have more than a few that are bursting with seasonal cheer.
Retro Christmas Festival : Take a trip to the harbour town of Dún Laoghaire just 30 minutes from Dublin to enjoy the Dún Laoghaire Christmas Festival (every weekend to 23 December), which this year celebrates all things retro. Alongside the Christmas market filled with handmade gifts and mouth-watering treats there will be a 50s Ferris wheel, said to have featured in the movie Grease, vintage chair-o-planes used in the TV series Into the Badlands, colourful hobby horses and an old-fashioned rollercoaster.
Alternative Christmas Market: If you’re looking for a quirky Christmas present, then head to the Alternative Christmas Market (15 December) at the Grand Social on Liffey Street Lower. Here you’ll find the weird and wonderful from medieval crafts to goth clothes.
Christmas at the Castle: The courtyard of this impressive castle is the location for Christmas at the Castle (12 – 22 December) that boasts over 30 traditional alpine market stalls filled with decorative crafts and festive treats. Evening carol singing and horse-drawn carriage rides around the castle grounds add to the charm and you also have the chance to explore the castle’s stunning interiors with complimentary access to the State Apartments from 6.00pm to 8.00pm.
Belfast Christmas market: In Belfast, the Christmas Market on the grounds of the spectacularly lit City Hall, will be the centrepiece of the city’s Yuletide celebrations right up until 22 December. With an array of international traders in beautiful wooden chalets offering incredible foods and delightful gift choices, this is the perfect spot for immersing yourself in Belfast’s buzzing Christmas spirit.
Food favourites on offer will include French crêpes, Belgian chocolates, Dutch pancakes, and everything from kangaroo burgers and hog roast to speciality cheeses and hot glühwein. All the delicious foods are served alongside fantastic quality produce from local artisan food and craft producers.
St George’s Market : Elsewhere in the city, the famous St George’s Market will be all twinkling lights, delicious festive food and drink, as well as handmade Christmas gifts for all the family. A dazzling line-up of amazing local musicians, including school and community choirs, will add an extra touch of magic on the Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in December.