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Christmas Markets In Ireland 2021: 6 Worth Checking Out

Christmas Markets In Ireland 2021: 6 Worth Checking Out

Several of the best Christmas markets in Ireland have confirmed that they’ll be back in 2021.

Last year, some markets, like the Galway Christmas Markets, went ahead at a limited capacity while others, like the Dublin Castle Christmas Market, cancelled altogether.

This year, however, there are a handful of Christmas markets in Ireland taking place, and some have just been announced!

In the guide below, you’ll find info on everything from when each of the markets kicks-off to which ones we’re still waiting for info on.

Christmas Markets in Ireland 2021

christmas markets 2021 ireland

Photos via Shutterstock

Visiting a Christmas market in Ireland has become a popular Irish Christmas tradition over the last 7 years or so.

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!

Just keep in mind that some of the dates below are speculative, so don’t go booking hotels until the dates have been 100% confirmed.

1. The Galway Christmas Markets: Nov 12th to Dec 20th

galway Christmas markets 2020

Photo left: Rihardzz. Right: mark_gusev (Shutterstock)

The Galway Christmas Markets are widely regarded as the best Christmas markets in Ireland. And, now entering their 12th year, they’re officially the longest-running!

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.

Although the dates are TBC, it’s looking like the 2021 Galway Christmas Markets will take place from Friday, November 12th, 2021 and run until Monday, December 20th, 2021.

However, Galway is lit up nice and bright, as always, this year which means that it’s still a Christmassy spot for a wander after the sun has dropped.

2. The Belfast Christmas Markets: Nov 20th to Dec 23rd

Christmas market belfast 2021

One of our favourite Christmas markets in Ireland: Photo by stenic56/

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.

For the first time in 15 years, the Belfast Christmas markets won’t be lighting up Northern Ireland’s capital. The Belfast Christmas Market 2021 will return on November 20th and it’ll run until December 23rd.

If you’re living in Belfast and you’re in search of some festive things to do, your best bet is to head to Hillsborough Castle and Gardens (reopening December 3rd). There’s a Christmas garden trail for kids.

3. Waterford Winterval: Nov 27th to Dec 23rd

winterval waterford 2021

Photo by Madrugada Verde (Shutterstock)

Waterford Winterval is another of the more popular Christmas markets in Ireland, and it’s a great one to team up with a spin along the Waterford Greenway.

Although no dates have been confirmed, if the Waterford Christmas Market 2021 dates follow the format from two years ago (the last time things were ‘normal’), they’ll start around Saturday, November 27th and run until Tuesday, December 23rd.

Visitors here can expect everything from the big market, the ice skating rink and the Illuminates feature along with the Winterval Train, the now-iconic 32 metre high Waterford Eye and more.

4. Glow Cork: Nov 26th to Jan 9th

Cork Christmas Market 2021

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.

It has been confirmed that Glow Cork will run from Friday, November 26th to Thursday, January 9th, 2022.

Visitors here can expect everything from the now-iconic Ferris wheel and the usual market stalls to some finely decked out streets.

5. Christmas Markets in Dublin: Dec 8th to Dec 21st

dublin Christmas market 2021

Photo by The Irish Road Trip

It has been confirmed that the 2021 Dublin Castle Christmas market will take place from Wednesday, December 8th until Tuesday, December 21st.

Which, in a way, is a surprise, as the Mistletown Market was just cancelled. However, the big difference is the Christmas market in Dublin Castle is outdoor, while the Mistletown Market was due to be indoor.

If you visited the Dublin Castle Christmas market back in 2019, you’ll remember that the entrance was lined with hundreds of Christmas trees.

When you made your way past them you found yourself in a big courtyard, packed with stalls, amusement rides, an open-air bar and more.

This years markets look to be going in a similar direction. Here’s an overview of the different food, entertainment and stalls you can expect.

6. The Kilkenny Christmas markets: Nov 27th to Dec 19th

Kilkenny Christmas market

Photos via Yulefest Kilkenny

The Kilkenny Christmas market is one of the more overlooked Christmas markets in Ireland, and it’s well worth checking out.

The markets take place every weekend, starting at 10am and running until 6pm. These are your usual festive stall markets, with local vendors selling everything from food to tasty bits and bobs.

There’s also numerous events taking place around the markets, like open air movie nights, live music, DJ sets and more.

7. The Wicklow Christmas Market: December 4th – 22nd

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.

The Wicklow Christmas Markets tend to take place across several different dates. At a guess, I’d say they’ll take place around December 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st and December 22nd. We’ll update this when the dates are confirmed.

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

FAQs about Christmas Markets Ireland 2021

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 2021.

Here’s a few of the most FAQs. We’ll update this guide over the coming months as more dates are confirmed.

What are the best Christmas markets in Ireland?

I’d argue that the best Christmas markets in Ireland are the ones in Galway, Waterford and Cork.

Are there Christmas Markets in Ireland in 2021?

So, the ones in Galway and Belfast are the only ones to have confirmed so far, but we can be reasonably confident that others will follow suit soon.

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Friday 29th of October 2021

Thank you so much for your recomendations! I'm visiting Dublin this December and cannot wait to visit these markets!!

Robert Smith

Tuesday 26th of October 2021

Hi, We are coming over to Ireland December 8th and going back to England on the 14th. We are there to go to two Dea Matrona gigs on the 10th in Derry and 12th in Dundalk. This will give us some time to visit attractions and do Christmas shopping. Whats the updated information on Christmas Markets and any other events Please.

Siobhan Stack

Wednesday 11th of December 2019

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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