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Belfast Christmas Market 2024: Dates, What’s On + Parking

Belfast Christmas Market 2024: Dates, What’s On + Parking

The Belfast Christmas Market 2024 edition is fast approaching and the dates have been officially confirmed.

One of the longest running Christmas markets in Ireland, they’ve been attracting locals and tourists alike for 19 years!

The Christmas markets in Belfast bring a festive buzz to the city with plenty to see and do during the 4.5 weeks that they run for.

Below, you’ll discover everything you need to know about this year’s markets – dive on in!

Some quick need-to-knows about the Belfast Christmas Market 2024

Christmas market in belfast

Photos via Shutterstock

Although a visit to the Christmas markets in Belfast is reasonably straightforward, it’s worth taking 20 seconds to read the below points:

1. Location

The Belfast Christmas markets 2024 will take place within the grounds of Belfast City Hall at Donegall Square in the heart of the city.

2. Belfast Christmas Market dates

It has been confirmed that the Belfast Christmas Markets will run in the grounds of the City Hall from 12 noon on November 16th until December 22nd 2024.

3. Opening times

The Belfast Christmas Market opening times are now confirmed:

  • Monday to Wednesday: 10am – 8pm (bars until 9pm)
  • Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 10am – 10pm (bars until 11pm)
  • Sunday: 12 – 6pm
  • Market closes: at 6pm on 22 December

4. Parking

There is no dedicated parking for the Belfast Continental Market. The closest car parks are the Montgomery Street Car Park (3-minute walk) and Q-Park Victoria Square (5-minute walk).

5. Make a weekend of it

There’s some great hotels in Belfast City Centre if you fancy staying nearby. Personally, I wouldn’t visit the city just to see the markets. Luckily, there’s heaps of other things to do in Belfast while you’re there.

About the Christmas market in Belfast

Belfast Christmas market 2023 dates

Photos by Brian Morrison via Tourism Ireland

Now entering its 18th year, the Belfast Christmas Market first arrived into the city back in 2004 and it has gone from strength-to-strength since.

Over 1,000,000 people were expected to have attended last year’s event, with over 40,000 visitors alone passing through the stalls on the opening weekend.

Visitors to the market can expect over 100 exhibitors from 28 counties, beer tents and all of the usual festive bits and bobs, like crafts and sweet treats.

What to expect from the 2024 Belfast Christmas Markets

what's on at the Belfast Christmas Markets

Photos via Shutterstock

The format of the the Belfast Christmas Market 2024 tends to follow the exact same format each year

In a nutshell, you can expect stalls selling festive gifts and crafts, plenty of sweet and savoury foods and a beer tent.

1. Food, glorious food

If you’re fond of a festive bite, point your nose in the direction of the outdoor food court at the Belfast Christmas Markets. 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.

2. Family activities

There’ll be heaps of things on during the Belfast Christmas Markets 2024 to keep the kids amused.

Here’s a little of what will likely be at this years event, based on previous years:

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

3. Santa

I’ve found it near impossible to find information on Santa at the Belfast Christmas Market, aside from the fact that you can visit him ‘in his grotto’.

From what I can tell, this is in the grounds of City Hall. Some other Santa experiences in Belfast include this one at W5 and this one at Titanic Belfast.

4. Glühwein

It isn’t a Christmas without some Glühwein! Visitors can grab a ‘Hug in a mug’  from Germany’s award winning Kochem vineyard.

There’s usually an alcohol-free mulled wine option, too.

5. The Beer tent

Lavery’s had a beer tent at the market last year which proved to be popular. However, it can get busy. So, if you fancy a pint in a less crowded spot, here are some of the best pubs in Belfast along with how far of a walk they are from the markets:

  • Whites Tavern (9-minute walk)
  • Kelly’s Cellars (10-minute walk)
  • Bittles Bar (12-minute walk)
  • Maddens (10-minute walk)

Other Christmas markets in Belfast

belfast castle

Photos via Shutterstock

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

This takes place in the Dark Walk at Hillsborough Fort. 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 9th to 10th of December.

Are the Belfast Christmas Markets actually worth visiting?

Christmas markets in Ireland

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.

My 2 cents

I’ve been to the Christmas markets in Belfast 2 times now, and I know a lot of people that have visited 5+ times. 

I’m a fan of festive markets in general and, as I’ve been to plenty, tend to visit with fairly clear expectations.

Personally, I enjoyed the Belfast Christmas Market when I visited, but I saw all there was to see in a couple of hours.

In my opinion, and I’ve said this about the Galway Christmas markets too, if you’re visiting them from afar, you need plan in other activities.

There’s plenty to see in Belfast City that you can combine with a visit to the markets and that’ll ensure you enjoy your visit to Northern Ireland’s capital.

FAQs about the Belfast Christmas Market 2024

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

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.

What dates are the Belfast Christmas markets 2024?

It has been confirmed that the Belfast Christmas Markets will run in the grounds of the City Hall from 12 noon on November 16th until December 22nd 2024.

Are the Belfast Christmas Markets any good?

Although they’ve been ranked by The Times as one of the ‘Best Christmas Markets in the UK’ for 2024, we have heard mixed reviews from people that have visited in recent years.

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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


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.

Rachel Rutter

Sunday 17th of November 2019

Are the markets on every night or just weekends


Saturday 16th of November 2019

What's the admission price? :)


Sunday 17th of November 2019

Hey - it's free!

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