‘Tis the season! Nothing quite says Christmas in Northern Ireland like the opening of the Belfast Christmas Market at City Hall.
This year, the Belfast Christmas Market will open its doors at Belfast City Hall on Saturday 16 November 2019 and will run until Sunday 22 December 2019. This gives you more than a full month to stuff your faces with kangaroo burgers, festive pastries, tasty sweets, and more!
And with two enormous beer tents offering up mulled wines, flavoured beer, and other delicious alcohols, we can hardly wait for the craic that’s going to be had this year.
Here are the main things you need to know about this year’s Christmas market in Belfast.
There are over 30 international traders – offering an amazing range of cultural treats.
Over 30 traders from all over the world will be offering up incredible, varied cuisines across the grounds of Belfast City Hall. Expect all of your usual favourites to be returning, such as French crepes, churros, exotic burgers, the German Schwenkegrill, and much, much more.
Beer, wine, and spirits come in all kinds of hot and cold varieties, and beer tents serve alcohol until late. Be sure to grab a table early as the tents get busy very quickly.
The late opening hours are fantastic – come after work or early in the morning.
From Monday to Wednesday, the Belfast Christmas Market stays open from 10am to 8pm, giving you enough time to head down for some mouth-watering treats and drinks to warm your bellies after work.
Thursday, Friday ,and Saturday see even later opening hours from 10am to 10pm – making it perfect for drinking into the late hours of the night before you head into Belfast city centre and hit the bars. On Sundays, the markets stay open from 12pm to 6pm.
The area is beautifully decorated – you won’t know where to look.
Enjoy a ride on the mini Helter Skelter that lights up in festive spirit at night. You can also have a go on the customary merry-go-round or get your pictures taken in a giant snow globe.
Even if these rides aren’t your thing, you can still marvel at the gorgeous fairy lights, the enormous Christmas tree that steeples over the Christmas market, and the multi-coloured spotlights that turn Belfast City Hall into a spectacle for all.
This year, the market hosts new initiatives to benefit those with sensory and accessibility challenges.
One of the chalets at the City Hall Christmas market offers LOAF catering, a social enterprise bakery set up to assist people with learning difficulties and autism to get back into employment.
The market also sees a quiet room installed on the Donegall Square East side of the market, which offers a calm space for when the busy life market becomes a bit too much. People can equip themselves with a JAM (Just A Minute) card, which can be picked up in the quiet room and lets other market-goers and traders know that owners need just a little bit of extra time and space.
Whether you’re visiting the Belfast Christmas Market with family, friends, or your partner, there is something for everyone here that will make your Christmas 2019 truly magical.