Belfast Flea at The Sunflower | Courtesy of Belfast Flea
Over 75% of the Northern Irish countryside is used for some form of agriculture, so it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of great local markets to attend. It’s not all about produce, though, as there are plenty of antiques and crafts on offer too. Here’s our pick of the best markets in Northern Ireland, where you’re sure to find whatever it is you want.
Belfast’s historic St George’s Market is probably the city’s most popular indoor market. As a Victorian covered venue, it has been housing vendors and customers since 1890. Nowadays, the market is open three days a week, with different stalls filling the space on different days. It hosts the Variety Market on Fridays, which focuses on crafts, and a Food and Craft Market on Saturdays. Sundays see the aptly named Sunday Market, made up of a mixture of the other days’ stalls. Drop in for food, drink and, occasionally, live music.
A much newer market than St George’s, The DOCK Market opened its doors in 2014. Operated by The DOCK Café, it’s another Belfast-based indoor market focusing on crafts and artisanal products. The café runs on a pay-what-you-want honesty policy, and this opportunity extends to the market as well, with traders paying what they can afford in exchange for a place to set their stalls. The fact that it’s attached to the café (and the comfy sofas) make The DOCK Market a perfect way to spend a lazy day.
The Causeway Speciality Market in Coleraine is Northern Ireland’s largest regular outdoor market, and there’s a good reason why it draws such a large crowd – the produce. Located around Coleraine’s Town Hall, it takes place on the second Saturday of every month, rain or shine. The market prides itself on the fact that everything sold there must be either an organic or speciality product. As such, every stallholder has had a major hand in the creation of their produce, so you can be fairly assured of the care that went into your purchase.
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Situated in Newcastle, Mourne Market focuses on showcasing the work of local creative types. Artists, designers, and crafters of all sorts settle in beside booksellers and vintage clothing stalls. Like any good market, though, food and drink are also on offer. The entrance to the market is hidden partway down an alleyway, giving this one a cosy, homely feel.
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The last market on this list is also probably the smallest one, but it’s actually two markets! During the summer, the Belfast Flea sits in the courtyard of the Sunflower, one of Belfast’s best bars. For the winter, it moves to The Black Box, one of Belfast’s coolest music venues. Whether it’s indoors in The Black Box’s seating area or outdoors under the sun, it’s always on the first day of the month, and always full of records, art, bric-a-brac, food, and drink.