Prague, Vienna, Berlin, what do they all have in common? Besides being on any self-respecting traveller’s interrailing list, these three cities are amongst heaps in Europe that are well known for their extravagant Christmas markets.
We love anything Christmassy here at F&W and we've noticed that there are Christmas markets popping up in every corner of Ireland lately, so we decided to take a closer look at the ones we think you should visit.
Slane Distillery Christmas Market
The recently opened Slane Distillery in the Boyne Valley is hosting its first ever Christmas market this year. Located on the grounds of the iconic Slane Castle, Slane Distillery Christmas Market will take place in the courtyard at the centre of the former Georgian stables.
As Slane village is a prominent member of the Boyne Valley Food Trail, you can expect quality local produce and gifts to be on sale at this market, plus a range of Slane Distillery products. As well as that, there will be food trucks, a bar serving Slane Winter Spiced Apple Punch and live entertainment at the market.
Click here for more information.
Tonight is our official Tree Lighting Ceremony and the opening of our Christmas Market.
Join us over the next four weekends for live music, hot whiskey drinks, food and last-minute Christmas shopping.https://t.co/861WAc1KXH pic.twitter.com/S20HFWZP1k— Slane Whiskey (@slanewhiskey) November 30, 2018
Read more: Festive Afternoon Tea Round Up
Belfast Christmas Market
The Belfast Christmas Market is back in action again this year, promising a bigger and better experience than ever before. Taking place at Belfast City Hall, this market has it all: food, drinks, carnival rides (look out for the helter skelter!) and Santa’s Grotto.
Make sure you arrive with an empty stomach as more than 30 nationalities will be represented at this year’s food offerings, making it the perfect way for you to eat your way around the world this Christmas. There will also be heaps of unique gifts on sale, so you can get your last minute shopping done while you’re there!
For more info, click here.
Well that's Belfast Christmas Market open for 2018 🙌🏻 #belfastchristmas pic.twitter.com/FgboeFrbcZ— Belfast Xmas Market (@BelfastXmasMark) November 17, 2018
GLOW – A Cork Christmas Celebration
GLOW, Cork’s popular Christmas festival, kicked off last week. Attended by over 160,000 people last year, this is definitely a popular festive spot so make sure you get down early!
As well as musical offerings from carolers, a medieval ‘Night Before Christmas’ installation and a 30 metre Ferris wheel, GLOW plays host to a massive Christmas market. Taking place at Grand Parade, you’ll be spoiled for choice at this Christmas market, as there will be artisanal produce, confectionary and more available, as well as Rebel County favourites like spiced beef.
To read more, click here.
Who’s coming to GLOW this evening? Ride a 30m Ferris Wheel, sample delicious food at the Christmas Market and listen to beautiful musical performances! What’s not to love? #letitglow @corkcitycouncil @CorkEveningEcho @Corks96FM @C103Cork pic.twitter.com/r2zp5vywq6— Glow Cork (@GlowCork) December 2, 2018
Read more: Yulefest Kilkenny Officially Launches
Winterval, Waterford’s Christmas festival, is taking place until December 23rd this year. With free and ticketed events taking place throughout the festival, there is definitely something to suit everyone.
If you’re looking to try some new food this Christmas, Winterval has got you covered: The Apple Market will be transformed into a winter village hosting cafés, restaurants and entertainment every weekend, while you can find seasonal food and drink stalls at the festival market at Cathedral Square, Arundel Square and Constitution Square from Thursday until Saturday each week.
Click here for more information.
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The Festival Market is the perfect place to browse during #Winterval. Pick up a yummy treat as you stroll around the stalls, searching for that perfect Christmas present. Grab a bite and a beverage while you watch Winterval Illuminates or listen to the entertainment on the Winterval Igloo Stage. #festivalsireland #christmas #winterval2018 #winterval18 #christmasmarkets #christmasmarketsireland #irishmarkets
Galway Christmas Market
Now in its ninth year, Galway Christmas Market proudly holds the title of Ireland’s longest running Christmas market and with over 350,000 visitors last year, it just might be the country’s most popular as well!
The market spans from Eyre Square to the Spanish Arch this year and will play host to over 50 stalls selling artisan food, drinks and gifts. There will be a few beer tents in the market for you to pop into and rest your weary feet after a couple of hours shopping and eating, plus there will be a Ferris wheel, helter skelter and games to keep the little ones occupied.
Click here to read more.
Read more: Dublin Flea Christmas Market Starts Next Weekend
What Christmas markets will you be attending this year? Let us know in the comments below.