Tourism Culture

Belfast Christmas Market 2024: Dates, Opening Hours & Key Attractions

Hrishikesh Pardeshi

Hrishikesh Pardeshi

· 5 min read

The Belfast Christmas Market is a beloved holiday tradition that brings festive cheer to the heart of Northern Ireland's capital. Running from November 16th to December 22nd, 2024, the market will be open daily, offering visitors a delightful array of food, crafts, and entertainment. 

Opening hours are from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM on weekdays and 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM on weekends. Key attractions include a stunning array of international food stalls, unique handcrafted gifts, and a festive atmosphere with live music and entertainment for all ages. Whether you're looking to shop for unique holiday gifts or simply soak in the festive spirit, the Belfast Christmas Market is a must-visit destination this holiday season.

Having visited this enchanting market myself, I can share that the atmosphere is truly magical. The twinkling lights and the scent of mulled wine create a perfect holiday backdrop. It's a wonderful place to gather with friends, enjoy unique treats, and find special handmade gifts. I always look forward to this festive celebration and experiencing the joy and community spirit it brings each year.

Where is the Belfast Christmas Market Held?


The Belfast Christmas Market, also known as the Belfast Continental Christmas Market, is held at City Hall Gardens. This iconic location in Belfast City Centre transforms into a festive wonderland each year, offering a delightful experience for visitors. In 2024, the market will open from November 16th to December 22nd. Daily operating hours are from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, providing ample time for everyone to explore the myriad of stalls and attractions. The setting in front of City Hall, adorned with spectacular Christmas lights and festive decorations, creates a perfect backdrop for this cherished seasonal event, immersing visitors in the Christmas spirit.

Date Opening Hours Key Attractions
November 16th, 2024 - December 22nd, 2024 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM (Weekdays)
10:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Weekends)
  • International food stalls
  • Unique handcrafted gifts
  • Live music and entertainment

What Are the Main Attractions at the Belfast Christmas Market?What-Are-the-Main-Attractions-at-the-Belfast-Christmas-Market

The main attractions at the Belfast Christmas Market include the Giant Ferris Wheel, the Alpine Bar, and Santa's Grotto. This festive highlight transforms the City Hall Gardens into a bustling hub of seasonal holiday cheer and cultural richness. The market caters to all ages, making it perfect for family outings, romantic evenings, or festive gatherings with friends. The Giant Ferris Wheel offers stunning views of the city, the Alpine Bar provides a cozy spot for enjoying mulled wine and festive treats, and Santa's Grotto delights children with magical holiday experiences.

Giant Ferris Wheel


The Giant Ferris Wheel stands as a beacon of the festive season, offering panoramic views of Belfast City Centre decked in holiday lights. Riding this wheel, especially at night, provides a breathtaking perspective of the city's sparkling decorations. It's a must-do for me every year to see the city from above, glittering like a Christmas canvas.

Alpine Bar

The Alpine Bar is a cozy retreat where visitors can enjoy seasonal drinks and live music. Styled like a traditional Alpine lodge, it offers a warm, inviting atmosphere with roaring fires and rustic decor. I particularly enjoy sipping a hot toddy here, soaking in the festive ambiance and the lively chatter around me.

Santa's Grotto

For families, Santa's Grotto is a festive fun magical highlight where children can meet Santa and share their Christmas wishes. The grotto is beautifully decorated to resemble a winter wonderland, complete with twinkling lights and festive elves. The joy and excitement on the kids' faces here truly embody the spirit of Christmas.

For additional information about this event or other Christmas markets in the area, such as the Hillsborough Christmas Market, please visit the Belfast City Council website. These specific attractions at the Belfast Christmas Market enhance the whole holiday shopping experience, making it a cherished annual tradition for locals and visitors alike. Each element of the festive event, from the thrilling heights of the Ferris Wheel to the warm, joyful atmosphere of the Alpine Bar, contributes to the market's reputation as a premier holiday destination.

What Food and Drink Options Are Available at the Belfast Christmas Market?


Visitors can enjoy a rich selection of international cuisines continental drinks and local specialties in Belfast. Stalls offer everything from Belgian chocolates and German sausages to Irish stews and artisan cheeses. The market is also famous for its mulled wine and hot chocolate, perfect for warming up on a chilly day.

I remember savoring a deliciously spiced mulled wine last year, which perfectly complemented the food court the festive atmosphere. Another personal favorite is the freshly baked mince pies, a must-try for anyone visiting the market. These treats truly embody the spirit of the Belfast Christmas Market, making it a culinary highlight of the holiday season.

What Can You Buy at the Belfast Christmas Market?

At markets such the Belfast Christmas Market, you can buy a variety of festive items. The market features traditional handcrafted goods such as woolen sweaters and handmade jewelry, ideal for unique gifts. Local traders and artisans offer everything from bespoke ceramics to decorative glassware.

Food is a major highlight, with stalls selling an array of local and international delicacies. You can enjoy Irish cheeses, German sausages, and sweet treats like Belgian chocolates. I always make sure to pick up some homemade fudge—it’s a family favorite at Christmas.

Strolling through the market, the vibrant atmosphere and the rich aromas of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts create a truly festive experience. Each visit brings new discoveries, from the crafts on display to the exotic selection of seasonal goodies. It’s the perfect place to find special gifts while enjoying the holiday spirit of Belfast.

What Entertainment Options Are Available In Belfast Christmas Market?

The  Belfast Christmas Market features a variety of live music performances, with local bands and carolers adding to the festive atmosphere. Traditional Irish dance shows captivate audiences, showcasing vibrant costumes and energetic routines.

Children delight in puppet shows and storytelling sessions, which take place throughout the day. A vintage carousel and a towering Ferris wheel offer family fun and thrilling rides with stunning views of the market and city lights.

Last year, I enjoyed a memorable evening listening to a jazz trio under the twinkling market lights. The laughter and melodies made it a truly enchanting visit, reminding me why the Belfast Christmas Market is a must-see during the holiday season.

Tips for Visiting Belfast Christmas Market

Visiting the Belfast Christmas Market is a delightful experience that captures the essence of the festive season in the heart of the city. Set against the iconic backdrop of City Hall, this market is a hub of activity where visitors can enjoy a variety of traditional crafts, delicious foods, and live entertainment. From my personal experience, the vibrant atmosphere and unique gifts make it a must-visit destination during the holiday season. I particularly enjoyed the hot chocolate and the array of handcrafted ornaments that are the perfect gift for holiday gifts.

Here are some tips for visiting the Belfast Christmas Market: 

  • Arrive Early: The market can get crowded, especially on weekends. Arriving early will help you avoid the largest crowds.

  • Wear Comfortable Shoes: You'll be on your feet a lot, exploring stalls and standing at food counters.

  • Plan Your Meals: Try the local delicacies like Irish stew or festive treats like mulled wine. Planning helps you avoid peak mealtime crowds.

  • Check Weather Forecasts: Belfast weather can be unpredictable. Dress warmly and bring an umbrella, just in case.

  • Use Public Transport: Parking near the market is limited. Public transport is convenient and reduces the hassle of finding a parking spot.

What Other Attractions Are Close to the Belfast Christmas Market?

The other attractions close to the Belfast Christmas Market include the Ulster Museum, Titanic Belfast, and St. George's Market. When I visited the Belfast Christmas Market last year, I was delighted to find several nearby attractions that made my trip even more enjoyable. The market, located at City Hall, is surrounded by some of Belfast's top sights, easily accessible and perfect for any itinerary. These attractions not only complement the festive market experience but also showcase the city's rich culture and history. Here are some must-see spots:

  • Ulster Museum: Explore fascinating exhibits on history, art, and natural sciences.

  • Titanic Belfast: Discover the story of the famous ship through interactive displays and artifacts.

  • St. George's Market: Enjoy local produce, crafts, and live music in one of Belfast's oldest attractions.

Each of these attractions adds to the charm and excitement of a winter visit to Belfast, making every moment memorable.

FAQs On Belfast Christmas Market

1. When does the Belfast Christmas Market open in 2024?

The Belfast Christmas Market opens on November 19, 2024.

2. What are the opening hours for the Belfast Christmas Market?

The market is open from 10 AM to 10 PM daily.

3. What are the key attractions at the Belfast Christmas Market?

Visitors can enjoy a variety of attractions including artisan crafts, international food stalls, and a more festive village at Santa’s grotto.

4. Where is the Belfast Christmas Market located?

The market is located at Belfast City Hall, in the heart of the city center.

5. Is there an entry fee for the Belfast Christmas Market?

Entry to the Belfast Christmas Market is free for all visitors.

Hrishikesh Pardeshi

Hrishikesh Pardeshi

A digital nomad who runs multiple online businesses. My work lets me live anywhere—coffee shops, beaches, or bustling cities. Sharing my experiences is my passion. Through photos, stories, and tips, I wish to help other discover the world too.