There is about four weeks to go until the big day and the run up to Christmas is definitely the best time of the year. Streets markets any time of the year can offer unique and creative products but street markets at Christmas have that added ingredient of magic. If you have never been to a market Christmas time is definitely a great way to start. Christmas lights adorn picturesque wooden huts, with Christmas performances and beautiful Christmas music filling the sky. The lights, the music and the sheer general ‘Christmassy’ creates a feeling of such extreme excitement for the countdown to Christmas.
Stroll up and down the stalls, mulled wine in one hand to keep the chill at bay and have a gander at all the incredible products on sale. Christmas markets are held all over the world from November to December and each offer a unique experience that only that city can offer.
I have compiled a list of Christmas markets that will take you all over the world from Galway to Prague to Dubai each offering an incredible and unforgettable experience.
Galway Continental Christmas Market in Eyre Square is open from Friday 23rd November to Saturday 22nd December. Santa’s Grotto will be there along with lantern making and a Christmas Youth Pageant to name a few of the activities that Galway offer.
Christmas Markets at the Milk Market Limerick in Cornmarket Row runs from the 30th November to 24th December (Friday to Sunday until 13th December and then every day from 13th December) will contain Christmas choirs, food and craft stalls.
Kilkenny Christmas Market along the Parade Kilkenny runs on certain days from 1st December to the 23rd December 10am – 6pm. There will be carol singers, wooden log cabins, daily kid’s storytelling, and traders selling fantastic Christmas gifts.
Ballina Christmas Market in Mayo runs during the weekend of the 8th and 9th December and 15th and 16th December. Two weekends of Christmas festivities, including the arrival of Santa, craft and food stalls and a Christmas carol services.
Gorey Christmas Market, Wexford will be held on the 4th December on the Main Street with craft and food stalls a carol service, mulled wine and of course Santa!
Waterford Winterval Christmas Market on George’s Street will be starting 30th November and running each weekend until 23rd December with traditional Christmas food and craft stalls.
Docklands Christmas Market Dublin will be held from the 7th December until 23rd December and showcases the magic of Christmas through the Victorian fairground rides, gourmet food stalls and arts and craft stalls. Santa will be turning on the lights on the 7th December
Cologne Christmas Market, Germany, is set on the backdrop of the Cologne Cathedral and will make for a picturesque weekend trip. Cologne has six markets all eluding a different sense of Christmas, from the 26th November until the 23rd December. All six markets have their own unique spirit of Christmas from the Christmas Market at Cologne Cathedral, “Home of the gnomes” Christmas Market, and the Fairytale Christmas market, the Christmas market at Stadtgarten, the new maritime Christmas Market and the Angels Market. Each Market holds Christmas performances and offers you traditional arts and craft, and delicious food and drink stalls. Lufthansa fly to Cologne (Friday to Sunday) from €205.02
Krakow Christmas Market, Poland runs for a much longer period than the Irish Christmas markets from the 24th November to 6th January. The Krakow Christmas market will celebrate the Christmas spirit with beautiful wooden stalls selling crafts and jewellery. Nothing could be more beautiful than picking up a traditional Polish craft as you walk through white winter snow winding your way past lit up wooden stalls. Ryanair fly to Krakow Friday to Sunday from €92.00 (approximately), Aer Lingus fly to Krakow from €462.00 (approx. Friday to Sunday flight)
If walking knee deep in snow doesn’t appeal to you why not skip the snow and try a Christmas Market in style. Dubai doesn’t do things by half measures and the Dubai Christmas Festival certainly showcases this. Running for three days 6th, 7th and 8th December the Dubai Christmas Festival is the ultimate Christmas festival and includes celebrity chefs, a music stage, Winter Wonderland which has bouncy castles and Christmas arts and crafts, Christmas Market and of course the man himself Santa. Etihad fly to Dubai from approx. €560.00 (flying out on a Wednesday and returning on a Monday)