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The Galway Christmas Markets 2018: What to See And Where To Grab A Festive Pint

galway Christmas market 2018
Photo via GalwayTourism.ie

Galway City is a cracking spot regardless of what time of the year it is.

The city’s forever abuzz with a relentless giddy atmosphere that tends to infect the soul and leaving you constantly craving more.

The Galway Christmas markets just add another layer of brilliance to the city.

If you’ve decided that 2018 is the year that you’re going give into the wanderlust pangs and actually visit the markets yourself, here’s all the info you need!

What you'll get from reading this guide
  • A guide on the best things to do at Galway’s Christmas markets
  • A guide on the best places to grab a pint while you’re in the city

Here, I can’t be arsed reading – convince me with a video! 😉

Kick-back and hit play below!

OK, OK, OK – I’m sold! when do the 2018 Galway Christmas Markets start?

After being visited by over 350,000 people in 2017, the 2018 markets are set to kick-off on Friday, November 16th and will run until Saturday, December 22nd.

The city’s festive markets are a fantastic excuse to spend a couple of days rambling around one of the friendliest cities in the world, while soaking up the sights, smells, and craic that accompany a Yuletide market.

Galway Christmas markets 2018
Photo by Gareth McCormack

Debating visiting a Christmas market in Ireland in 2018, but not sure which one? Have a gander at our guide to Ireland’s best markets here.

What festive goodness can be expected?

Ireland’s longest running Christmas market spans across Galway City from Eyre Square to Spanish Arch, boasting 50+ stalls buckling under a fine selection of food and drink.

For those in search of a Bavarian brew or two, you’ll find a beer tent pitched in the middle of the markets in Eyre Square.

Christmas market in galway
Photo by Gareth McCormack

Some of the other features the markets boast are

  • Amusement rides including a Big Wheel, Helter Skelter and traditional Carousel along
  • Live music performers, puppet shows, storytelling, school choirs, and carol singing
  • Santa’s Grotto

Pubs in Galway to sink a pint and rest your weary feet

Here’s 5 pubs in the city that I think (based on the many, many, many… many times that I’ve visited and drank in Galway) you’ll enjoy spending a few hours in.

Pop a comment in the comments section if you have recommendations on other great pubs to nip into!

1 – Tigh Neachtain, 17 Cross Street, Galway

You’ll find the insanely Instagrammable Tigh Neachtain on the corner of Cross Street and Quay Street in the heart of Galway City.

Whether you’re after a seat by a fire on a chilly winter’s evening or in search of a great pub to soak up some of the city’s atmosphere, Tigh Neachtain’s should be on your to-nurse-a-pint-in list.

Tigh Neachtain pub galway
Photo via Tigh Neachtain on Facebook

In my opinion, this is the best pub in Galway City.

There’s nothing like kicking back in one of the seats outside on a sunny day and watching the colourful array of tourists and locals swarm through the Latin Quarter.

2 – O’Connell’s Bar, 8 Eyre Square, Galway

I visited this place for the first time a couple of months back.

The rain was hammering down and we were sat outside in the enormous beer garden (the seating area was covered, thankfully) out the back.

A lovely pub for a pint with friends… even if it is pissing down.

3 – Crane Bar, 2 Sea Rd, Galway, Co. Galway

The Crane Bar is arguably on of Galway’s best known traditional music pubs.

If you’ve a hankering for a pint (the Guinness is delicious in this place) while soaking up some live music, the Crane Bar is the place to be.

Upstairs in this pub has seen many a lively session – get there early as seating and standing space is limited.

the crane bar galway
The Crane bar: Source

4 – The Quays, Quay Street, Galway

You’ll find the Quays located smack-bang in the middle of Galway’s Latin Quarter.

This place holds a tonne of nostalgia for me.

I remember well the very first trip to Galway I ever went on with friends. We spent the evening drinking in a pub on Eyre Square before having the craic until the early hours in the Quays.

the quays bar galway
The Quays: Source

5 – The DĂĄil Bar, 42 Middle St, Galway

I’ve always found the Dail Bar to be a handy spot for getting a seat if you arrive pre 21:00.

The second floor is a lovely base for an evening of drinking and chatting with friends.

best bar in galway city
The Dail Bar: Source

Get the festive spirit flowing

Still on the fence about whether or not to visit?

Here’s another video of the markets from a couple of years back to get you buzzing.

And that's a wrap!
Are you planning on visiting the Galway Christmas markets this year? Or have you visited them before? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!