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Winterval Waterford 2023: A Guide To The Waterford Christmas Markets

Winterval Waterford 2023: A Guide To The Waterford Christmas Markets

Winterval Waterford 2023 returned on November 17th and the reviews after the first week have been very positive.

Winterval is one of a handful of Christmas markets in Ireland that has become a favourite of locals and tourists alike in recent years.

This year, things kicked-off with a Christmas Parade on November 17th and there’s a jam-packed event schedule from then until December 23rd!

Below, you’ll find info on everything from the Waterford Winterval 2023 dates to what to expect and more.

Some quick need-to-knows about Winterval Waterford 2023

Winterval Waterford 2023

Photos courtesy Patrick Browne Photography via Fáilte Ireland

Now, although a visit to the Waterford Christmas Market is pretty straightforward, it’s worth taking 10 seconds to read the points below, first:

1. Location

Winterval takes place in Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. The main market (called the ‘Glenveagh Christmas Market at Winterval’) takes place in the Waterford Cultural Quarter and will be spread throughout Georges Street, Gladstone Street and O’Connell Street. There’s also events taking place in other locations (see below).

2. Dates and opening hours

The dates for Winterval Waterford 2023 have been confirmed. The market Waterford Christmas market will start on Friday, November 17th will run from 11am to 8pm on following dates:

  • November: 17th, 18th, 19th, 24th, 25th + 26th
  • December: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th, 16th + 17th
  • Christmas week: 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd + 23rd

3. Plenty to see and do

The 2023 Waterford Christmas Market will see live performances, Santa, the Waterford Eye, Winterval Illuminates, Glow and plenty more (see below for full event list).

4. Make a weekend out of it

If you’re visiting from afar, make a weekend of your trip. There’s heaps of things to do in Waterford to keep you busy (like the Waterford Greenway) and there’s some great hotels in Waterford City to use as a base for a night or two.

About the Waterford Christmas Market

waterford christmas market

Photos via Winterval on FB

The Waterford Christmas Market is arguably one of the more popular Irish Christmas markets, alongside the likes of the Galway Christmas Market and the various Christmas markets in Dublin.

Now entering its 11th year in operation, Winterval 2023 returned on November 17th with a bang.

Winterval Waterford 2023 is bringing a host of live events and attractions along with the popular traditional market taking place in the Cultural Quarter.

What to expect from Waterford Winterval 2023

Waterford Christmas Market

Photos courtesy of 256 via Fáilte Ireland

Now the Waterford Christmas Market dates and the line-up have been announced, we can go into more detail.

Here’s a sense of what to expect from Winterval 2023, from the launch night to the different events running.

1. The Christmas Parade kicks things off

The Waterford Christmas Market kicks off with the big Christmas Parade on November 17th at 17:00.

The parade will roll through the city, following a 1km route from the Quayside to the top of John Robert’s Square.

2. The arrival of Santa and the Christmas light switch-on

The arrival of Santa to Waterford will take place at the opening of the Waterford Christmas Market.

Thousands of people tend to line the streets as Santa switches on up to 100,000 Christmas lights.

3. The Christmas Market

Called the ‘Glenveagh Christmas Market at Winterval’, the traditional market will take place throughout Georges Street, Gladstone Street and O’Connell Street.

It’ll run from 11am to 8pm only on the dates listed above and visitors can expect:

  • Craft and food stalls
  • The Winterval Mini-Express Train
  • The Bricks 4 Kidz Land of Lego
  • Santa’s VR Sleigh Ride
  • The Snow Globe
  • The Garter Lane Indoor Craft Market
  • The Polish Christmas Village
  • The Model Circus & Farground Exhibition

4. Waterford On Ice

Waterford On Ice returns on November 17th to the City’s quayside. It caters to all levels of skaters and includes penguin skating aids for kids.

You can pre-book tickets for ice skating at Winterval, if you like, here.

5. Santa’s Gingerbread House

Santa returns to Waterford Winterval and tickets are already available to book at a fairly hefty cost of €25 Per Child.

Tickets are (thankfully!) free for adults and those who visit each receive a present and printed family photo.

6. Winterval Illuminates

Taking place outside City Square Shopping Centre, Waterford Winterval Illuminates is a festive light show that boasts music, magic and fun.

The 9m-high tower brings light, sound and special effects to the city along with a projection show.

7. The Waterford Eye

If you fancy grabbing an eagle-eye view of the Winterval Waterford, you can fork out a few quid and see them from the top of a Ferris wheel.

Prices last year were around €5 for adults and €4 for kids under 12.

8. Live entertainment

The Waterford Christmas Markets always have a solid line-up of musical events and this year is no different. Here are some of the main events:

9. The Winterval Fairground

You’ll find the fairground at Winterval dotted through the city. 2023 sees the return of the Helter Skelter, the Vintage Carousel, the Vintage Ferris Wheel and The Golden Gallopers.

More festive markets like Winterval

Christmas markets in Ireland

There’s plenty of festive fun scattered across Ireland this year.

Here are some of the most notable markets taking place:

FAQs about the Christmas market in Waterford

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘When does Winterval Waterford 2023 kick-off?’ to ‘Is it worth going to?’.

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 Winterval Waterford 2023?

The dates for Winterval Waterford 2023 have been confirmed. The market Waterford Christmas market will start on Friday, November 17th and it will run until Saturday, December 23rd 2023.

Is the Waterford Christmas Market worth visiting?

Like most Irish Christmas markets, we’d say yes and no. Yes if you live a reasonable distance away. No if you live a good distance away and are visiting and expecting something like the German Christmas markets.

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