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Galway Christmas Market 2023: Dates + What To Expect

Galway Christmas Market 2023: Dates + What To Expect

The Galway Christmas Market 2023 started on November 10th!

Arguably one of the most popular Christmas markets in Ireland, the Christmas markets in Galway are now entering their 13th year!

Taking place in Eyre Square and boasting 50+ wooden stalls, the markets give the already buzzy city of tribes an added layer of atmosphere. 

Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Galway Christmas Markets 2023, from the dates and what’s on to where to stay and more.

Some quick need-to-knows about the Galway Christmas Market 2023

Galway Christmas Market 2023

Photos via Shutterstock

Although a visit to the Christmas markets in Galway in 2023 will be fairly straightforward, take 20 seconds to read the below points:

1. Location

In recent years, the market has been scattered across Galway City. However, it has been confirmed that the 2023 event will be contained to Eyre Square (here on maps).

2. Latest dates

The Galway Christmas Markets 2023 will run from 18:00 on Friday November 10th to December 22nd. For the first time ever, some of the market (the View Wheel, the Carousel, the Galway Beer Tent and some traders) will reopen on December 26th.

3. Opening hours

The markets are open for a good chunk of the day. Here’s the most up-to-date opening times:

  • Monday to Wednesday: 12 midday – 8pm (beer tent until 10pm)
  • Thursday to Saturday: 10am – 10pm
  • Sunday: 10am – 8pm

4. Make a weekend of it

Personally, I wouldn’t visit Galway just for the markets, as you get through them in under an hour. However, there’s plenty of things to do in Galway that make it a great spot for a festive weekend away. See our Galway hotels and our Galway bed and breakfast guides for places to stay close by.

About the Galway Christmas Markets

Christmas in galway

Photos with thanks to Chaosheng Zhang

The Galway Christmas Markets are now in their 13th year and they attract visitors from far and wide.

If you’ve visited in previous years you’ll know that there’s the usual mix of festive stalls along with live entertainment, a 32m ferris wheel, the Galway beer tent and more.

Last year, a whopping 450,000 visited some spend some time in Galway at Christmas – expect similar figures for this year!

What’s on at the Galway Christmas Markets in 2023

If you fancy visiting Galway at Christmas in 2023, here’s a bit of what you can expect, aside from the many great pubs in Galway and the endless number of great restaurants in Galway, that is!

1. Over 50 chalets

Galway at Christmas time

Photos courtesy Milestones Inventive

Visitors to this years markets can expect to find over 50 wooden chalets dotted around Eyre Square.

You can expect all of the usual festive bits and bobs here, from arts and crafts to hand-made gifts, food and plenty more.

2. Activities for families

Galway at Christmas for families

© Milestones Inventive via Failte Ireland

Families visiting the Christmas markets in Galway in 2023 have plenty to look forward to. Here’s a taste of what awaits:

  • Santa’s Express Train
  • The traditional Carousel
  • A 32m ferris wheel
  • Santa’s postbox

3. The beer tent (and cosy alternatives)

Galway Pubs

Photos courtesy Failte Ireland

One of the more popular features of the Christmas markets in Galway is the Eyre Square beer tent.

The Galway beer tent is back again in 2023 and it’s open from 17:00 – 22:00, Monday to Sunday.

Note – in recent years (basing this on experience) this has gone to the dogs and is more like a kids disco (there’s plenty of great pubs in Galway that have a festive buzz to them!).

4. The lights

Christmas in galway

Photos with thanks to Chaosheng Zhang

One of the highlights of Christmas in Galway is the way the city gets illuminated from late November.

A blanket of fairy lights sweep above Quay Street and onto the Latin Quarter, and the city is a joy to saunter around once darkness falls.

Start off at Shop Street and follow the red and white baubles until you see the Claddagh Jewellers and then hang a left and you’ll be absorbed by the festive buzz.

5. Santa

Santas Cabin is returning to the Galway Christmas Market and you’ll find it in Market Square in Eyre Square.

Tickets, which have booked in advanceto be , cost €20 per Child and include an age appropriate gift. The opening hours are:

  • Friday: 4pm to 8pm
  • Saturday: 12 midday to 7pm
  • Sunday: 12 midday to 7:30pm

Are the Galway Christmas Markets worth visiting?

Christmas markets in Ireland

So, if you live in/near Galway then yes, absolutely. Personally, I head to them from Dublin most years.

Now, if you’re visiting from abroad, note that the Christmas markets in Galway won’t match up to the likes of the German markets – you’ll get around them in an hour.

However, if you pair a visit to the markets with some of Galway’s other attractions, e.g. Connemara, then they are well worth a visit!

FAQs about the Christmas markets in Galway

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from the dates of the Galway Christmas Markets 2023 to where to stay.

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 are the dates for the Galway Christmas Market 2023?

The Galway Christmas Markets will run from 18:00 on Friday, November 10th and will run until Friday, December 22nd 2023.

Are the Christmas markets in Galway worth visiting?

Yes. They area. However, it’s worth planning in some other activities for your visit, as you’ll walk around the markets in under 30 minutes.

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Chalk and Cheese Travels

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

We love the Galway markets always been are favourite and we will be heading there next week weather pending thanks for the great review

Friday 22nd of October 2021

Hi, just wondering are the Christmas markets on everyday from November 12 or are they just on at the weekends? I would love to visit on Thursday 25th November 2021.

Regards, Teresa Farrell-Duffy


Saturday 21st of December 2019

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.


Saturday 5th of September 2020

Do you have to buy tickets in advance for Galway Christmas market

Irene Martin

Wednesday 20th of November 2019

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.

Mary Stuart

Sunday 22nd of September 2019

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.

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