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There are quite a few markets in Ireland that pre-date plenty of countries (including, as it happens, Ireland itself, at least in its modern-day incarnation). Long a home to farmers selling their wares and city-slickers looking to hustle an extra few quid, but expanding today into more elaborate and developed products, the following city and village hot spots are a lovely taste of local culture.
Whether you’re here for the buzz, looking to pick up some gorgeous local art and craft offerings, or just want some carrots and potatoes to tuck into for dinner, here’s where to head to in arguably Ireland’s most traditional corner, County Galway. Shop away.
You’ll need to be around at the right time of year, of course (typically late November up until Christmas Eve), but Galway’s reputation for a local twist on German-style Christmas markets is one that’s increasingly drawing crowds from around the country. Much of what’s on sale is very much German or Scandinavian, but the music is distinctly Irish, as is the atmosphere and some of the more imaginative craft stalls. It’s definitely worth a detour if you’re over for the season: it could hardly be more festive.
Ok, admittedly, this technically isn’t a market, but it has that rustic and beautifully, homemade one-of-a-kind feel that any good market offers, and for that alone, Culture Trip highly recommends a visit. The Spiddal Craft Village is a rural business spot for a host of arty producers, people who blow glass, paint Galway’s sublimely rugged landscapes, weave baskets, cook in beautiful bakeries and a serve up an awarding-winning stop-off at the restaurant and coffee shop. In other words, it’s a very worthwhile aside.