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Belfast Christmas Markets 2021 Have Been Confirmed (What We Know So Far)

Belfast Christmas Markets 2021 Have Been Confirmed (What We Know So Far)

It has been confirmed – the Belfast Christmas Markets are back in 2021!

The markets were forced to take a break last year, for the first time in 15 years, so this years’ markets already have a buzz about them.

The confirmation was made by the organisers of the markets, announcing that they’ll return on November 20th, 2021.

A visit to the markets is up there with the best things to do in Belfast in winter. Scroll down to find everything you need to know.

Some quick need-to-knows about the Belfast Christmas Market 2021

Christmas markets belfast 2021

Photo by Aleksandar Antich (Shutterstock)

Although there hasn’t been much info released as of yet other than the dates, there’s a few need-to-knows from previous years.

1. Dates

It’s official – the Belfast Christmas Market 2021 will return on November 20th and it’ll run until December 23rd. This was announced on their official Facebook page.

2. Location

The grounds of Belfast City Hall will come alive again during the last 6 weeks of 2021 thanks to the arrival of the Belfast Christmas markets. The opening hours are usually confirmed closer to their launch.

3. What to expect

As Belfast is part of the UK, the vast majority of restrictions around large group events have been removed, so we can be reasonably confident that this years Christmas Market in Belfast will run the way it did a few years back (info on this below).

The announcement confirming the Christmas Markets in Belfast are back

belfast Christmas market 2021

Photos by stenic56 (Shutterstock)

It was on the official Belfast Christmas Market 2021 Facebook page that the organisers confirmed the markets would return in 2021:

“We are delighted to announce that we will be back from 20th November – 23rd December for Belfast Christmas Market 2021. We cannot wait to see you all again!

They are the first of the many Christmas markets in Ireland to come out and confirm that this years’ festive markets are going ahead.

What to expect from this years’ Belfast Christmas Market

belfast city hall

Photo by stenic56/

Now, although the format of the the Belfast Christmas Market 2021 has yet to be confirmed, we can be fairly certain that it’ll follow the format is used to…

… In ‘normal times’. The grounds of Belfast City Hall come alive during the last 6 weeks of the year thanks to the arrival of the Belfast Christmas markets.

For the food lovers

If you’re fond of a festive bite, point your nose in the direction of the outdoor food court. Here you’ll find a clatter of options to sink your teeth into.

The food court is home to cuisines from over 32 nationalities from across the world. Expect everything from crepes and pancakes to ostrich, wild boar, and crocodile burgers. 

If you fancy a fine feed where you can plonk yourself down for a bit, nip into our guide to the best restaurants in Belfast or our guide to the best spots for afternoon tea in Belfast.

For those visiting with kids

There’s a heap of things on during the Belfast Christmas Markets to keep the kids amused. Here’s a little of what you can expect:

  • A vintage helter-skelter
  • An observation wheel (at Cathedral Gardens)
  • A Santa train
  • A busy-bee carousel
  • A large snow-slide
  • An Olaf ride 
  • Loads more

For those fond of a pint

I tend to visit Christmas markets in Ireland for 3 reasons: To soak up a bit of a festive buzz, to eat my body weight in those churro yokes and to drink creamy pints in cosy pubs

If you fancy a festive pint in a traditional pub, hop into our guide to the best pubs in Belfast – it’s packed with historical pubs you’ll (hopefully!) love.

Other Christmas markets in Belfast

belfast Christmas market 2020

Photos by stenic56 (Shutterstock)

Yep, there’s more than one Christmas market that takes place in Belfast. Another solid option is the Hillsborough Christmas Market (still TBC)

This takes place in the Dark Walk at Hillsborough Fort and usually kicks off on December 13th (date may change).

Another good option is the St George’s Market Christmas Craft Fair that takes place, normally, from December 20th to 24th.

The final alternative market to the one at City Hall is the Christmas Cracker at Rowallane Garden, that usually runs from the 7th to the 24th of December.

The Belfast Christmas Markets: Are they actually worth visiting?

What's on at the markets

Photo by Mcimage (Shutterstock)

One of the joys of this website being independently owned is that I’m not pressured into giving attractions, events, or places positive reviews.

If something is crap, I’ll tell you it’s crap. If it’s good, I’ll tell you it’s good. If it’s… you get the picture.

Mixed reviews

So, I’ve never been to the Christmas markets in Belfast personally, but I know a lot of people that have. And the reviews have been mixed.

Very mixed. The ones that visited the markets and that loved them are friends that visit Germany for markets every December.

They love the festive buzz and they thought that the Belfast Christmas markets were great. Others have said that they were grand, but that they saw everything there was to see within 45 minutes.

My two cents

Personally, I don’t think that you should ever visit a place just to visit a Christmas market. I think you should combine it with other touristy stuff.

I love the Galway Christmas markets, and I visit them each year, but if we didn’t spend a good chunk of time in pubs, out walking around the city, or spinning about Connemara, we’d be bored after a few hours.

Final verdict

If you’re visiting the Belfast Christmas markets, pair your visit with a tour of the city. Or even better, pair a visit with a mini road trip along the Causeway Coast.

That way you’re dipping into the market, soaking up the buzz, seeing all you want to see, and then you still have other things to look forward to.

If you’re planning on visiting and you fancy kicking back somewhere different, hop into our guide to the best hotels in Belfast.

FAQs about the Belfast Christmas Markets

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What are the Belfast Christmas Market opening hours?’ to what are the dates.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

Is the Belfast Christmas Market 2021 going ahead?

Yes! It has been confirmed that the Christmas Markets in Belfast will be running in 2021 after a hiatus last year.

What are Belfast Christmas Market 2021 dates?

The Belfast Christmas Market 2021 will return on November 20th and it’ll run until December 23rd. This was announced on their official Facebook page.

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barbara quigley

Tuesday 30th of November 2021

Hi We are coming to the Market this weekend from Glasgow. Do we need covid passports as my parents are elderly and don't have these although they have been double vaccinated and had their booster jags? any advise would be greatly appreciated thanks

Mary Taylor

Monday 20th of September 2021

Hi all. I am a trader on the Christmas Markets and can confirm that, as it stands, it will be open every day. Normal hours are 9.00 am to 8 pm Monday to Wednesdays with 10 pm closing on Thursday to Saturday. Sunday’s are usually 12 noon to 8 pm.

Katya Ivanova

Friday 6th of December 2019

I am going over tomorrow, think for like 3rd or 4th year in a row =) Also going ice skating in Dundonald

I love the market in Belfast!


Tuesday 3rd of December 2019

Do u have to have sterling instead of euros

Mary Taylor

Monday 20th of September 2021

Hi Laura, it depends on what each individual trader will accept. Many are happy to accept euros


Friday 22nd of November 2019

Would the belfast christmas market be pet friendly?


Saturday 23rd of November 2019

Hi Danilo,

If it was me, I wouldn't bring my dog, as the big crowds would scare him. You'll have a lot of people milling about the place, so it mightn't be the best place to have them walking alongside you.

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