Belfast’s Continental Christmas Market: The older brother of Dublin’s first Christmas village

Marian Nadler

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Belfast Continental Christmas Market- Photo Credit- Marian Nadler
Belfast Continental Christmas Market- Photo Credit- Marian Nadler

In Germany Christmas markets belong to the Christmas time like the Christmas tree or Wham‘s song Last Christmas. It is the place where you spend time wandering from one market stall to another with your friends, while drinking mulled wine or snacking on some Christmas candy. A Christmas market should give you this special warm Christmas feeling, even when it’s -5 degrees.

Two weeks ago The Circular author Marco Reinke reported on Dublin’s first Christmas village at Dublin’s Custom House Quay.

His conclusion on Dublin’s Christmas market was:

“Real Christmas feeling does not come up. The reason could be that it there is no snow and the temperature is still over 10 degrees. Dublin’s first Christmas village is a good start to attune the Dubliners to the pre-christmas time. But to get the level of the German paragon the smell needs to come up.”

 

When it comes to myself, being German as well, I could find myself agreeing with Marco’s conclusion, when I visited Dublin’s Christmas village. For the first Christmas market of all times in Dublin, it is not a bad Christmas market, but for a German Christmas market veteran, the market appears trying, but not 100 percent convincing.

When I visited Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, last weekend, I found myself wandering through Belfast’s Continental Christmas Market.

The Belfast Continental Christmas Market is directly in front of the famous Belfast City Hall , right in the heart of city centre and runs since 11 years. It started in November and is present until the 20th of December each year. It attracts around one million visitors during the time period.

Read more about it here or on the social media channels of the market: Twitter and Facebook.

Belfast Christmas Market near City Hall - Photo Credit Marian Nadler

Belfast Christmas Market near City Hall – Photo Credit Marian Nadler

And suddenly, this warm Christmas feeling was there. Dozens of people walked on the small lanes between the various market stalls. Some people standing in front of the stalls, nipping on their hot beverages.  The smell of mulled wine, roasted almonds and hearty meat flowed through the air. It was wonderful. The fast-moving world slowed down a bit. The Belfast Continental Christmas Market turned out to be the older brother of Dublin’s Christmas village (even when it has no 50 feet high Christmas tree).

The Opening Hours of Belfast Continental Christmas Market:

Monday – Wednesday: 10am – 8pm

Thursday – Saturday: 10am – 10pm

Sunday: 1pm – 6pm

 

Santas in Belfast - Photo Credit Marian Nadler
Santas in Belfast – Photo Credit Marian Nadler

 

https://twitter.com/BelfastXmasMark/status/674316735638544384

A customer review on christmasmarkets.com:

The stall holders are extremely friendly and the quality of products and gifts for sale were perfect! Well done for such fantastic organisation and such a great day! Thank you!

 

The Belfast Continental Christmas Market is the right Christmas market to warm yourself up for the upcoming Christmas days. But enough words, try it out yourself!

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Marian Nadler