Galway Christmas Markets 2020: Yep, They’re Back (Everything We Know So Far)

Everything you need to know about the 2020 markets

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

It’s been confirmed – the Galway Christmas markets are going ahead in 2020.

Arguably one of the most popular Christmas markets in Ireland, the Christmas markets in Galway give the already buzzy city of tribes an extra layer of deadliness. 

If you’ve decided that 2020 is the year that you’re going give in to the wanderlust pangs and actually visit the markets for yourself, here’s all the info you need!

The Galway Christmas Markets 2020 are going ahead


According to Galway’s official tourism website, the Galway Continental Christmas Markets are expected to make their return in 2020.

It’s hoped that the markets will kick off at 18:00 on Friday 13th November and will run until Sunday 20th December 2020.

There’ll be some new measures in place

Christmas markets in Galway 2020
Photo by Paddy Finn/

According to Maria Moynihan Lee, the woman behind the Galway Christmas markets, a number of new measures will be put in place to ensure that things run smoothly.

Speaking to the Connacht Tribune, she said, ‘What we’re doing is very detailed planning and working with the Council on making the market happen. It will be the same market in the way people know it to be and it will meet all expectations, but there will be a huge level of control.’

What to expect if you plan on visiting the Galway Christmas Markets 

The Galway Christmas markets will be different in 2020, as is to be expected, given the level of mayhem we’ve experienced over the last six months.

There’ll be new ‘controls’ in place that’ll alter how you’d usually access the markets. There hasn’t been much info given on this, but it’s probably safe to assume that there’ll be some form of one-way system in place.

Whether there’ll be constraints on the number of people allowed into the Galway Christmas Markets is anyone’s guess at the minute.

Related reads: Everything you need to know about the Belfast Christmas markets 2020 and the Dublin Christmas market (info still TBC).

Stands, stalls, food and German beer

Galway Christmas market 2020
Photo by Rihardzz/

All going to plan, the 2020 Galway Christmas Markets will feature many of the stalls and feature that were present during the previous years.

According to the Galway tourism website, visitors to the 2020 markets will enjoy a ‘wide variety of entertainment and stalls located in Eyre Square’. There’ll be:

  • The 32 metre Big Wheel
  • A traditional Carousel
  • An Après Ski Bar
  • Santa’s Express Train
  • Live performances
  • Carol singing 
  • A German Bierkeller (there’ll be a range of traditional German beers on offer here)

Galway Christmas Markets: Are they worth visiting?

Christmas in Galway
Photo by the Irish Road Trip

I’ve been visiting Galway at Christmas every year for the past 5 or 6 years at this stage. If I’m being completely honest, they have, in my opinion, deteriorated a bit over the past two years.

Now, before you jump down my throat, hear me out. When I visit a Christmas market in Ireland or abroad, I like to ramble around for a while, soak up the atmosphere, grab some food from the stalls and then head for a few pints.

While the city is still incredible to ramble around at Christmas and the food options are as good as ever, the spots to drink have gone downhill big time.

Back 3 or 4 years ago, there were two great spots to grab a pint:

  1. The beer tent on Eyre Square
  2. The little chalet thing down near Spanish Arch

The beer tent 

This has gone to the dogs over the last couple of years; The queues are insane, you can’t get in unless you arrive insanely early, and it’s full of kids.

The Chalet near Spanish Arch

This was a ridiculously Christmassy chalet-style building near Spanish Arch that was a lot calmer than the Galway beer tent.

You could chill, grab a beer and it was a bit like something you’d see in Switzerland or Germany.

I’ve been hoping that this would make another appearance for the past 2 years, but I’m not holding my breath. If you’re not fussed about having a drink, then you should still enjoy it! 

FAQs about the Christmas markets in Galway over the years?

We’ve received a fairly mental number of emails asking about the 2020 markets. Here’s everything we know so far:

Are the markets coming back in 2020?

Yep, it’s been confirmed that the markets are expected to return, all going to plan, to Galway this year.

What are the dates for the markets in 2020?

It’s hoped that the markets will kick off at 18:00 on Friday 13th November and will run until Sunday 20th December 2020.

What will there be at the markets?

There’ll be everything from the usual food and drink stalls to live performances, amusements and plenty more.

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  1. I love Christmas Markets, be they home or abroad. My first Christmas Market abroad was Prague. Beautiful beyond words. Second Christmas Market was Austria and third was Berlin! Each of these markets were unique, but very enjoyable. They weren’t all about food, there were plenty of stalls and unique seating (wooden barrels made into seating) and best of all, Mugs of mulled wine, with the name of the City as a keep sake, obviously to be bought, but worth it. I collected mugs from Prague and Austria and beautiful glasses from Berlin. Nice to look at these and remember how enjoyable the markets abroad are. In Galway, you get either a plastic cup with your mulled wine, or an ordinary glass, nothing to remember I’m afraid.

  2. Mary – agree on all points. I’ve been to Berlin, Cologne and Basel, all different but brilliant. The deposit on the mugs there is only €2, great as a keepsake. The markets here, when they’re established, should do similar. Also better for the environment. You’ve put an idea in my head and this year, I’ll bring my reusable mug to Galway with me and hopefully there won’t be an issue.

  3. Having come to Galway this year specifcally to go to the marlet, my family and I were bitterly dissappointed. There appeared to be fewer stalls than previous years, food items were overpriced and when I got a mulled wine it appeaered to be just warm wine with no hint of spices or sweetness. A lot of the vendors appeared to be disinterested and were either talking among themselves or had their heads buried in their phones. I am afraid this will be my last visit to the Galway Christmas market.


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