Belfast Christmas Market
The best on the island
Hands down, the best Christmas market on the island is in Belfast. There's not a massive amount of competition - with Dublin barely even trying - but Belfast even gives the much longer established Europeans a run for their money.
The location of a Christmas market sets it out from the rest. You can have the best stalls in the world but if they're in a convention centre or a parking lot then there's no atmosphere. Across Europe they light up historic squares and buildings and Belfast is no different. Almost hugging the walls of the impressive city centre dominating City Hall the Belfast Christmas markets have an enviable location.
More of a continental market than a carbon copy of a German Christmas market, Belfast offers a really good range of gifts and tasty treats from throughout Europe. There's also the obligatory beer halls to get out of the cold and plenty of bratwursts and gluhwein to fall victim to.
With many of Belfast's other attractions - Titanic Belfast, Crumlin Road Gaol, the Black Taxi tours - being all year around, all weather visits, the addition of the markets during the winter months actually makes it the best time of the year to visit the city. They also run tours of the City Hall during the market season so this cultural element can be added to the the stuffing of faces and blowing of paychecks.
In 2018, the Christmas Markets open every day from 17th November until 22nd December.