Cork Christmas Market 2020 (Glow Cork): When The Markets Start, What’s On & More

When they start and what to expect

Cork Christmas Market 2019
Photo via Glow Cork on FB

I heard a lot of good things from people that visited the Cork Christmas Market (aka Glow Cork) last year.

And I, like many, had grand plans to carve out a weekend in December to visit, but, well, you know the story with 2020…

Now, although GLOW Cork will be very different this year, there are still plenty of reasons to visit the city in December for a nosey around.

Cork Christmas Market 2020 (Update)

So, this year GLOW is being ‘Re-Imagined’, like many of the other Christmas markets Ireland has to offer.

Although many of the features from previous years won’t be present, the now-iconic Ferris wheel will be rocking away.

As will the incredible lights that can be found right the way across the city, adding a fine festive buzz to the place.

There’s also a Windows Trail where several windows across the city have been decked out to show various panto shows.

What to expect from Glow Cork 2021

Hopefully, all going to plan, the Cork Christmas markets will be back to normal in 2021. Below, you’ll find out what Cork is usually like at Christmas.

From markets on the Grand Parade to events, shows and more, there’s usually a little bit of something to tickle every fancy.

Markets on the Grand Parade

Ferris wheel grand parade
Photo via Glow Cork on FB

Cork’s Grand Parade (one of the city’s main streets) is where the main market stalls are based.

The friend that I mentioned earlier who visited the markets here last year raved about the food that he picked up at the stalls (he’d eat anything, though, in all fairness).

Apparently, there’s also some seating in front of the stalls where you can much away and watch the world go by.

Other things to do here:

– Take a spin on the big Ferris Wheel
– Take the kids on the mini Ferris Wheel
– Pick up some hand-made decorations or gifts

Bishop Lucey Park

Glow Bishop Lucey Park
Photo via Glow Cork on FB

Cork’s Bishop Lucey Park gets transformed into a Christmas wonderland when the Cork Christmas Market arrives.

Last year, the park was decorated around the theme of ‘The Night Before Christmas in Old Cork’.

Visitors to Glow in Bishop Lucey Park will enter via an ice tunnel, before strolling through streets resembling a Medieval village.

Visitors to the park can:

  • Take a peek through the windows of Santa’s house
  • Visit the Old Post Office (Padaí the Postman greets and shows kids where to post their letters to Santa)
Related Read: Check out our guide to the best Christmas Markets in Ireland in 2019 (that are worth visiting).

Other things on at the Cork Christmas Market

Christmas markets in cork
Photo via

I’ll update this guide closer to the launch of the Cork Christmas Markets, as it’s highly likely that more events and attractions will be announced.

Here are a handful of other things to see (note: these were present at last year’s market):

  • Local choirs, groups, and bands banging out Christmas favourites
  • Santa’s workshop
  • The North Pole express toy train
  • A merry-go-round

Where to stay if you’re visiting Cork at Christmas

the exterior of Cork City Gaol
Photo by Brian Morrison

Planning on staying in the city for a couple of nights while you visit the Cork Christmas Markets?

Below, we’ll give you an insight into some places to stay in Cork across several different pricing tiers:

  • Looking to spend as little as possible
  • Happy to spend a few quid, but nothing mental
  • Happy to splash the cash
Note: the prices quoted below are based on the first Friday in December. They’re also affiliate links – you won’t pay extra, but I’ll make a tiny commission if you book through one of the links below.

For those on a budget (€47 to €84)

OK, this section contains hostels, guesthouses, and B&Bs that’ll tickle the fancy of those of you visiting Glow Cork and looking to do it on a budget:


Guesthouses / Apartments

The inbetweeners

These hotels fall in the middle of our recommended budget-friendly and, potentially, no so budget-friendly rentals:

For those not on a budget

If you’re happy to splash the cash for something a little bit swanky, then these next hotels in Cork should be right up your street:

Have you visited the Cork Christmas markets in the past? What did you think? Let me know in the comments section below!

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!


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