December is right around the corner and we’re well and truly prepped for the festive season and what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than with a visit to Belfast’s Christmas markets.
Named the number one region in the world to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet, Belfast is the crown jewel of Northern Ireland and a place you can visit over and over again without getting bored.
The popular 14th Belfast Christmas Market has returned to the City Hall until the 22nd December 2018. This year, there will be 10 alpine chalets along the outside perimeter of the City Hall grounds, in addition to over 90 traders selling delicious food, jewellery, clothing and crafts.
For the food lovers among you, the most exciting part of the market may in fact be the outdoor food court. As well as even more local flavour, the Market still offers something a little bit different with 32 nationalities from all over the world bringing all sorts of unusual foods and gift ideas: crepes from France, Dutch pancakes, Belgian chocolates, an exotic selection of ostrich, wild boar and crocodile burgers, giant bratwurst from the iconic Schwenkegrill, Spanish paella and sweets from Italy.
A vintage helter skelter offering stunning views right across the market while an observation wheel that will be in place at Cathedral Gardens alongside a Santa train, a children’s busy-bee carousel and a firm family favourite, the Shipswing will all add to the experience.
As part of the #YourBelfast campaign to help support Belfast’s recovery following the fire at Bank Buildings in August, additional attractions will take place throughout the city centre such as additional chalets, a large snow slide, an Olaf ride and a programme of music and entertainment with a dedicated performance area outside Castle Court on Royal Avenue.
Looking for some culture during your visit to Belfast? National Museums NI is celebrating a truly traditional Christmas at their popular series of events, which will be packed with fun for the whole family.
You can also join internationally acclaimed actor Ian McElhinney at Hillsborough Castle in Co. Down on 28th December for an atmospheric, candle-lit experience of the Castle with a special reading of ghost stories in the Throne Room.
Over 1 million visitors are expected to visit Belfast and the Christmas markets over December. Will you be one? For more information and to plan your visit, check out discovernorthernireland.com.