Every year for six weeks, the Belfast Christmas Market fills the square in front of Belfast City Hall at the heart of the city center. At any given time of the year, the square is full of shops and stores on Donegall Place in addition to cool cafes, cozy pubs and tasty restaurants. During the Christmas season, however, the square is filled with retail tents, food stands and hundreds of thousands of visitors (during these six weeks, Belfast sees over 1 million visitors!). During our 2019 annual retreat in Northern Ireland, the Tenon Tours team spent one of our nights in Belfast visiting the Belfast Christmas Market trying new foods, buying Christmas gifts for our loved ones back home and mingling with the Irish locals.
With over 30 international traders present at the Belfast Christmas Market, there’s no shortage of good food. Every inch of the market has something special to uncover and enjoy from mulled wine and French crepes to kangaroo burgers and paella tents. In addition to the abundant food and sweets, handmade hats, scarves, jewelry, paintings, pottery and more line the streets. There’s even a ride, the Helter Skelter, that adds another type of excitement to the already-buzzing Christmas atmosphere. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it at the Belfast Christmas Market.
What is one of the most interesting aspects of the Belfast Christmas Market? They want everyone to enjoy it! Our team learned that in an effort to assist those with autism, there is a “calm room” where autistic or disabled visitors can go to enjoy the market without the crowds, lights and excess noise — truly creating a magical experience for everyone!
If you plan to visit Ireland around the holidays, visiting the Belfast Christmas Market is an experience you won’t want to miss. Take it from the Tenon team – it’s a real treat!