Many countries and cities have their version of a Holiday Market. While the countries’ population may vary greatly in religious custom, many cultures have a special Market in the winter, weather permitting. It’s a great way to take the holiday, whatever it is, and make it about people gathering for food and drink. So even if you are not one who celebrates the Christian Holy Days, you will find a Holiday Market chocked full of food, grog of some sort, and entertainment. Hopefully bands will play in halls nearby if not in the streets, and there will be entertainment for all. So grab a hot toddy or chocolate, make sure you wrap up, have a pal on your arm, and swing around the market.
Dublin Town has several Pantos already lined up, head to the Grafton Centre, a large trendy shopping area in Dublin. The performances of The Snow Queen will be on, and at the Olympia, Polly and the Magic Lamp will be on. Great fun for families. But what of the REAL Dublin markets. Each quarter will have it’s on festive wear and food will be everywhere. Head for the George’s Street Arcade, one of the oldest shopping areas in Dublin. The stalls harken back to days of old, and you will be fit to burst by the time you get through a bit of it, with food and fun for all ages.
London, UK. Of course when we think of the Holidays, we tend to get Dickensian about it. Of course that means Scrooge and Holiday Trees and that feeling of olde time London. There may be that bit of festive feeling about, but London being the massive eclectic hub that it is, and people from all around the world making it up, you can find a festive holiday mood in many areas. There are several small areas with a local feel for markets, many pop-ups with food and wares that can fit any holiday, however many of them pop up seasonally for Spring/Summer and traditional Nov-December runs. Here are a few areas to check out. Remember, pop-ups are usually local people, not chain store, restaurants and that’s what is so great. Variety and helping out the real people of London is the thing.
Southbank Wintertime Market, gifts and food stalls.Continue walking the Thames and progress on to other shopping areas.
Christmas in Leicester Square, near Covent Garden, has a great many theatrical venues. While you may find a Panto advertised, it will be far from traditional. Heavy entertainment area and plenty of food and gift stalls.
Scotland can boast the classic Holiday markets and the Hogmanay celebrations as well. Hogmanay runs the week after Christmas, so if you are lucky to make it through the 25th and stay on, there is a lot doing in the run up to the new year.
Don’t miss the markets all over Edinburgh. If you are lucky enough to make it there for Holiday and Hogmanay stay, you’ll be stuffed to the gills. Stay from the scales! Markets to try out:
Christmas Market at the East End of Princes Street. There has been a bit of controversy over this area, as recently many trees were cut down for the market. So chose if you wish to support that decision by the city to take the trees away. Markets are open from 10am – 10pm. Markets open at 1pm on 17 November, close at 8pm on 24 December, are closed 25 December, open 12pm 26 December and 1 January.
Pop Up Seasonals will be at Multrees Walk in the fashionable side. Head to the downtown area centre for more magical treats.
Head to George square for outdoor Holiday Markets, foodie festival fun at pop ups and gift stalls.
St Enoch Square Christmas Market
Fri 9 Nov – Sun 23 Dec
Mon – Wed, 10am – 9pm
Thu – Sun, 10am – 10pm (finish at 6pm on Sun 23 Dec) Christmas Village, German Bars
George Square Christmas Market
Sun 25 Nov – Mon 31 Dec (closed Christmas Day)
Mon – Wed, 10am – 9pm (finish at 6pm on Mon 24 Dec)
Thu – Sun, 10am – 10pm (finish at 6pm on Sun 31 Dec)