IRELAND, December 7, 2019 — For anyone traveling to the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland for the holidays, the “Emerald Island” has spruced up and added millions of lights along with plenty of red to complement the traditional Irish green. Sparkling with twinkling lights, replete with delicious food and drink and brimming with great gift ideas, Christmas Markets are the perfect places to discover a little festive magic, and the two biggest cities on the island of Ireland, Dublin and Belfast, have more than a few seasonal venues that are just bursting with Yuletide cheer.
Visit Dublin Castle December 12th – 22nd
For starters, a new Christmas market brings all things festive to Dublin Castle this year where the grounds will be transformed into a “magical new experience” from December 12th until December 22nd.
Over 30 traditional alpine stalls from artisan producers will be present at the event held in the courtyard of the impressive castle.
Dubbed “Christmas At The Castle,” local crafts-people will be selling unique decorative gifts and food throughout the day, while evening activities include carol singing and horse-drawn carriage rides around the castle grounds.
Adding to the ancient atmosphere, visitors are also invited to explore the castle’s stunning interiors. There is complimentary access to the State Apartments from 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm.
At St Stephen’s Green in the heart of Dublin another winter wonderland called the Christmas Market on the Green will open each Sunday until December 22nd to sell everything from vintage and sustainable clothing to vinyl, art, and jewelry.
A Very Gothic Christmas
Travelers looking for something less traditional with a unique twist may find the perfect quirky gift for the person who has everything at the Alternative Christmas Market on December 15th at the Grand Social on Liffey Street Lower. Here you’ll find all things weird and wonderful from medieval crafts to gothic clothes.
Goth fashion is a clothing style marked by conspicuously dark, mysterious, antiquated and homogeneous features. It is worn by members of the Goth subculture. A dark, sometimes ghastly fashion and style of dress, typical gothic fashion includes dyed black hair, dark lipstick, and dark clothing.
Both male and female goths can wear dark eyeliner and dark nail polish – most often black. In other words, it’s the “Morticia look” for contemporary fashion.
The harbor town of Dún Laoghaire
Still searching? Why not take a trip to the harbor town of Dún Laoghaire just 30 minutes from Dublin to enjoy the Dún Laoghaire Christmas Festival on weekends until December 23rd?
This year’s theme celebrates all things retro. Alongside the Christmas market replete with handmade gifts and mouth-watering treats. There is also be a 50s-style Ferris Wheel from the movie “Grease.”
Vintage chair-o-planes are from the TV series “Into the Badlands.” There are colorful hobby horses and an old-wooden rollercoaster.
In recent years, Northern Ireland has grown into a trendy destination. However, Belfast will not be outdone. The Christmas Market on the grounds of the spectacularly lit City Hall is the focal point of the city’s Yuletide celebrations. The yuletide party lasting right up until the 22nd of December.
With an eclectic array of international traders in beautiful wooden chalets offering incredible food and delightful gift ideas, this is the perfect spot for immersing yourself in Belfast’s buzzing Christmas spirit.
Food favorites include French crêpes, Belgian chocolates, and Dutch pancakes. There are also kangaroo burgers and hog roasts, specialty cheeses and hot glühwein. All the delicious foods are available alongside quality produce from local artisan food and craft producers.
Looking for an unusual Christmas gift? You might find it here among the handcrafted selection of leather goods, jewelry, and crafts.
St. George’s Market
Elsewhere in Belfast, the famous St. George’s Market joyously filled with twinkling lights, festive food and drink and an abundance of locally crafted and made Christmas gifts for all the family.
Scattered throughout the rustic market stalls is a dazzling line-up of local musicians. These including school and community choirs that add an extra touch of magic on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in December.
These are but a few of the holiday treasures taking place during the Yuletide season in Ireland. However, while this story has only a brief shelf-life and appeals largely to those who are already planning to visit Ireland between now and Christmas, the Magellan Travel Club is offering a tour of both countries from July 13th to July 25th, 2020 (including air). A ground-only package is also available.
Ireland is a year-round destination that lives up to its reputation for legendary friendliness and hospitality. Yes, the home of the River Dance truly is a “land for all seasons.”
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor is an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.
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