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6 magical Christmas markets to visit around Ireland - with Ferris wheels, carol singers and more

From Cork to Belfast, here’s our pick of the best markets and carnivals.

Hot chocolate on sale at the Belfast Christmas Market.
Hot chocolate on sale at the Belfast Christmas Market.
Image: Facebook/LoveBelfast Christmas

CHRISTMAS MARKETS HAVE been in full operation around the country from as early as November, but most are coming to an end in the immediate days before Christmas.

With stalls selling hot chocolate (for the kids), mulled wine (for the adults) and even the chance to visit Santa, making a trip to a Christmas market is something the whole family will enjoy. 

As December 25 approaches, we’ve rounded up six of the best family-friendly Christmas markets around the island of Ireland…

BELFAST

Belfast Christmas Market: With Belfast City Hall as its background, this magical Christmas market has plenty to offer. From taking a ride on the vintage carousel to indulging in Belgian chocolates, you’ll wish the market ran all year long.

Suits: all ages: When: until December 22. Where: Belfast City Hall. Costs: free. Find out more information here.

DUBLIN

Dun Laoghaire Christmas Festival: Finish your Christmas shopping at the Dun Laoghaire Christmas market, with hand-crafted decorations, jewellery and home-made treats available. For the brave-hearted, hop on a 55ft Ferris wheel to experience breathtaking views of the town and beyond.

Suits: all ages. When: until December 23. Where: The Metals, Dun Laoghaire. Costs: free entry to the market. Find out more information here.

WATERFORD

Winterval: Take a stroll around Winterval Christmas market while enjoying the festival’s magical light show or listening to entertainment on the Igloo Stage.

Suits: all ages. When: until December 23. Where: Cathedral Square, Waterford City. Costs: free. Find out more information and event times here.

CORK

Glow – A Cork Christmas Celebration: With a Ferris wheel, food market, carousel and carol singers among the things Glow has to offer, hours will pass by in the blink of an eye.

Suits: all ages. When: until December 22. Where: Grand Parade, Cork City. Costs: free. Find out more information here.

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WICKLOW

Wicklow Christmas Market: Visit Santa before his big arrival, participate in a gingerbread decorating workshop and do some last-minute shopping at the craft market in the magical Abbey Grounds.

Suits: all ages. When: on December 22. Where: Abbey Grounds, Wicklow Town. Costs: free. Find out more information here.

GALWAY

Galway Continental Christmas Market: Located in Eyre Square, the Galway Continental Christmas Market would rival those held across Europe. Foodies can enjoy bratwurst, pastries and waffles, while the 32 metre high Ferris wheel, puppet shows and storytelling events are sure to keep the little ones entertained. 

Suits: all ages. When: until December 22. Where: Eyre Square, Galway City. Costs: free. Find out more information here.

Want to win a hamper packed with deliciously indulgent Lindt chocolate? Enter here – and don’t forget to subscribe to our Family Newsletter below!

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