6 Of The Best Christmas Markets In Ireland In 2020 (That Are Worth Visiting)

A festive guide

Christmas markets in Ireland 2020
Left photo by Rihardzz. Right by Paddy Finn (shutterstock.com)

YES! There will be Christmas markets in Ireland in 2020 if all goes to plan!

Although 2020 has been the weirdest year that many of us have ever experienced, there are a number of Christmas markets still taking place. Once things don’t deteriorate further over the coming months, that is…

A number of markets, like the Galway Christmas Markets, have confirmed that they’ll be going ahead in 2020, while others, like the Dublin Castle Christmas Market, are still TBC.

6 of the best Christmas Markets in Ireland in 2020

Visiting a Christmas market in Ireland has become a popular Irish Christmas tradition over the last 7 years or so. There’s a buzz around festival markets that’s hard to bate, to be fair! 

In the guide below, you’ll discover the best Christmas markets Ireland has to offer, from big set-ups, like the one in Galway, to smaller markets, like the one in Wicklow! Dive on in!

1. The Galway Christmas Markets (November 13 – December 20th, 2020)

galway Christmas markets 2020
Photo left: Rihardzz. Right: mark_gusev (Shutterstock)

The Galway Christmas Markets are arguably the most popular Christmas markets in Ireland. They’re officially the longest-running, anyway!

The Galway Christmas markets have been on the go for over seven years which, considering the Munich markets are running for over 200 years, really isn’t that long.

If all goes to plan, the markets will kick off at 18:00 on Friday, November 13th and will run until Sunday, December 20th 2020.

The markets usually span across Galway City from Eyre Square to Spanish Arch, boasting 50+ stalls buckling under a fine selection of food and drink.

There’s also amusements to keep the kids happy and a beer tent where you can rest your feet for a few hours and nurse a stein or three. Read more about them here.

2. The Belfast Christmas Markets (November 16th – December 22nd, 2020)

Christmas market belfast 2020
One of our favourite Christmas markets in Ireland: Photo by stenic56/shutterstock.com

The Belfast Christmas Markets is another of the more popular Christmas market Ireland has to offer, and it’s been on the go for over 11 years now!

Each year, Belfast’s City Hall is transformed into a traditional German-style Christmas market, packed to the brim with 90 masterfully handcrafted wooden chalets.

Visitors to the markets can gorge on Crepes from France, devour decadent Belgian chocolates, and munch down on giant German bratwurst.

Although the 2020 dates for this Christmas market in Ireland are still TBC, if all goes to plan they should take place from around November 16th to December 22nd (basing this on previous years).

3. Glow Cork (November 29th – December 22nd, 2020)

Cork Christmas Market 2019
Photo via Glow Cork on FB

The Cork Christmas Markets (Glow Cork) are one of several Christmas markets in Ireland that tend to get overlooked by many looking to visit a festive event in Ireland.

Which is a shame, as Glow Cork packs a fine punch! Every year, Cork City’s Grand Parade and Bishop Lucey Park house the Cork Christmas market. 

If you’re planning a visit, expect delicious artisan food, vintage carousel rides, choral performances, mulled wine and entertainment galore. There’s also a 30 meter Ferris Wheel which offers outstanding views of the city.

Now, while it’s been confirmed that the Glow Christmas celebration is going ahead, Cork City council are yet to announce the official dates (they’ve just said that the markets will be ‘reimagined’).

However, if we work off previous dates, we can make a guess that this Irish Christmas market will kick off on November 29th and will run until December 22nd.

4. Waterford Winterval (November 23rd – December 23rd, 2020)

waterford Christmas market
Photos via Shutterstock and Ireland’s Content Pool

The folks running Waterford Winterval have confirmed that the markets in Waterford City will return on November 13th and will run up until December 23rd, 2020.

Happy days! Now, unsurprisingly enough, the Waterford Christmas markets have had to switch things up for 2020, with a number of changes announced.

Some of the features that you’ll remember from previous years, such as the big market, the ice skating rink and the Illuminates feature will be taking a break in 2020.

However, many other festive favourites, like the Winterval Train, the now-iconic 32 metre high Waterford Eye and more will be going strong in 2020. Read more here.

5. The Wicklow Christmas Market (November 23rd – December 15th)

the wicklow Christmas market
Photo via the Wicklow Christmas Market

Our next Irish Christmas market is one of the newer Christmas markets Ireland has to offer. The Wicklow Christmas market takes place in the Abbey Grounds in Wicklow town.

Like Waterford Winterval, these markets are being reimagined for 2020 and the people running the event are redesigning the entire experience in light of the current situation.

The Wicklow Christmas Markets will take place on November 21st, 22nd, 28th and 29th and on December 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th.

Those that visit can expect a Santa Express experience, an ALPACA experience, a magical funfair, craft stalls, food, fire shows and much more.

6. Christmas Markets in Dublin (November 15th – December 23rd, 2020)

dublin castle Christmas market
Photo by The Irish Road Trip

If you’ve had a flick through our Dublin Christmas Market guide, you’ll know that there are several different markets that take place each year (plus several newcomers!).

Some, like the Dun Laoghaire Christmas Market, has been on the go a long time while others, like the Dublin Castle Christmas market, are more recent additions.

At the time of typing, there’s only one confirmed Christmas market in Dublin and that’s the brand new Mistletown market that’s taking place in the iconic City Fruit & Veg Market near Capel Street.

There were also a number of small Christmas markets in Dublin last year, like the one on/near St. Stephen’s Green, the Swords Castle Christmas market and another, as far as I can remember, in Howth. Whether these will go ahead in 2020 is still unknown.

FAQs about markets, light switch-ons and Christmas in Ireland 2020

Christmas in killarney
Photo by Brian Morrison

So, we’ve had a lot of emails over the last couple of weeks about the various different Christmas markets Ireland has to offer and what the craic is in 2020.

The honest answer to the majority of the questions is ‘Who Knows?!’. Things could change over the next week and we could end up having no markets at all.

Or everything could be grand (hopefully…) and Christmas in Ireland in 2020 will be like any other year. Here’s some of the most FAQs we’ve received.

What Irish Christmas markets have been confirmed for 2020?

So far, the only Irish Christmas markets that have confirmed that they are going ahead are Waterford Winterval, Mistletown Dublin (the newest Christmas market in Ireland), Glow Cork and the Wicklow markets (dates above).

What are the best Christmas markets in Ireland in 2020?

  1. The Galway Continental Christmas market
  2. The Belfast Christmas markets
  3. Waterford Winterval
  4. Glow Cork
  5. The Dublin Castle Christmas market
  6. The Wicklow Christmas market

If you could only pick one, which market would you visit?

If it was me, I’d visit the Galway Continental Christmas market. You can easily spend your first day spinning around the market, eating in the city’s restaurants and sipping away in the many cosy pubs Galway has to offer.

You can spend your second day off exploring Connemara, hiking on Diamond Hill, spinning along the Sky Road in Clifden or rambling around Kylemore Abbey.

Is the Dublin Flea market not going ahead?

Unfortunately, the organisers of the Dublin Flea Christmas market announced last year that they were no longer able to go ahead due to a lack of venue. Hopefully, this’ll come back at some point.

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

1 COMMENT

  1. Awww you didn’t mention The Boatyard Market in Greystones @boatyardmarket on facebook. Fab little fundraiser for Greystones Tidy Towns and St Vincent de Paul. Over 35 traders every Saturday and Sunday in December. Santa on a Sunday!

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