These Christmas markets in Ireland are not to be missed

Christmas is well and truly here, and what better way to get into that jolly Christmas spirit than visiting some traditional Christmas markets.

Full of mulled wine, mince pies and Christmas music it's like walking into your own real-life version of Miracle on 34th Street. They are the Christmas dream, which is why so many Irish festive aficionadi's travel to far-flung places year on year.

But we often seem to forget the market gems on our doorstep. Across the country, there are Christmas markets which bring joy, good food and the elusive Christmas buzz.

So whether you are bringing the kids, the wife, the husband, the friends or just yourself, these Irish Christmas markets have it all.

Galway

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In its ninth year, the Galway Continental Christmas Market takes place until the December 22. Visitors to the market in Eyre Square can expect a wide variety of entertainment and a myriad of stalls showcasing some of the best artisan food and crafts in the country. A Santa's Grotto, a 32-metre high Big Wheel, Helter Skelter and traditional carousel will take their rightful place in the market; along with live music, puppet shows, storytelling, school choirs, and carol singing – together with charity and community events. Speaking from personal experience, the German Bier Keller is one of the best excursions at the market. Good music, good beer and most of all, good fun.

Find out more here.

Limerick

Oh, Limerick, you're a lady. And your Christmas market isn't bad either. Christmas at the Milk Market takes place over two weekends; December 14 - 16, and December 22 - 24. There is a wide range of market stalls, crafts, gifts, food and fashion.

Find out more at www.milkmarketlimerick.ie

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Waterford

The oldest city in Ireland provides a generous Christmas spectacle called Winterval, which runs until December 23. There is a mix of free and ticketed events that are made for all ages; including the Winterval Express Train, the horse-drawn sleigh, Winterval on ice, storytelling, and most importantly, the Christmas market. Not only this, if you are a little late in sending your Santa letter to the North Pole, don't forget to make a visit to Santa's giant post box.

Find out more here.

Cork

 

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Glow promises to be a pure Cork Christmas celebration. The rebel county is promising a Christmas extravaganza every weekend from the end of November to December 22. Stalls of hot chocolate, delicious food and sweets will line the main street at the base of a merry go round and Ferris wheel. In Bishop Lucey Park, you can visit Santa's Wonderland and take a walk to the famous English Market to sample some famous Cork delicacies.

Find out more at www.corkchristmascelebration.ie

Belfast

The ever-popular Belfast Christmas market runs until December 22 and is not one to miss. There is a beautifully eclectic mix of authentic international cuisine, handcrafted gifts and artisan products. Santa is on hand in his grotto to make all Christmas dreams come true for the kids, and the Continental Bar and Lavery's traditional Irish Bar are a gift for the adults to take the edge off and enjoy some live music. The market is a real-life sparkling trinket and will give you the urge to sing bad cover versions of some Christmas classics.

Find out more here.

Mullingar

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Mullingar becomes a winter wonderland with their annual Winterfest taking place until January 6. A 600-square-metre ice rink takes pride of place for the entire festival, while the Christmas market is the 'must attend' event, taking place from December 6-9.

Find out more at www.winterfestmullingar.ie

Carlow

Carlow's Culinary Christmas which runs from the December 6-9 is a festival for the foodies. Rachel Allen and Martin Shanahan are on hand to provide their expert knowledge that will fulfil all of your festive food needs. Tickets are €19.50.

Find out more at here.

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Sligo

The Strandhill People's Market takes place every Sunday in the unique venue of Hangar 1 at Sligo Airport in Strandhill, and for the month of December, it takes on a Christmas twist. It's full of local crafts, treats and art alongside all of the usual stalls which make this market so popular. The Christmas Market runs on December 9, 14-16 and 21-23.

Find out more at www.strandhillpeoplesmarket.ie

Dublin

The popular Dublin Flea Market returns for a special Christmas edition at The Point. It will take place over two weekends; December 6-9 and 13-16. Each weekend 140 stalls will showcase the very best of vintage clothes, furniture and jewellery.

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Find out more here.

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