Europe seems to get all the fame for its glistening Christmas markets, but did you know that one of the most magical Christmas markets is just a short train ride from Dublin?
The Belfast Christmas Market is now in its 13th year, and has grown into a beloved focus point of the city each year (over 1.3 million people visited last year!)
Cheery alpine chalets, adorned with festive garlands bring a traditional vibe to the market, while twinkling lights and the smells of festive foods cooking will have you drooling as soon as you enter.
The Market fun starts outside the gates of City Hall, on Donegall Square North, with 20 traders from all across Europe offering a range of high quality goods from their hand-crafted chalets.
The backdrop of Belfast's City Hall makes for a showstopping market...
You could easily spend an entire afternoon browsing around here.
There's a Dutch flower market inside the Christmas square filled with cute gift ideas
Fresh flowers, handmade wreaths, wooden Christmas decorations and creative bird feeders make this stall a whirl of colour.
There's tasty treats from over 32 different nationalities
As well as local grub, there's 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.
You can also treat yourself to the well known Hug in a Mug of Gluhwein and end the day in one of the bars in the market...
You can even toast S'mores over an open fire...
A place to chill out - and get excited
There's a rustic food court with bench style seating where visitors can take a break from the busy walkways as they eat their purchases.
Daredevils are also looked after with the vintage helter skelter that offers stunning views right across the market and of course a wonderful whizzing experience for the kids.
Unique crafts and gifts made by local and international sellers will surely tempt you
From wooden Russian Dolls crafted by nuns across the continent to organic skincare and lavender soaps, there's gifts here that everyone will love.
This year too, the Children’s Cancer Unit at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children will operate Santa’s Grotto and receive all profits, a very worthwhile cause bringing great comfort to children with cancer.
Belfast Christmas Market will be at the City Hall until 6pm on Saturday 23 December.
Opening hours are Monday – Wednesday 10am – 8pm; Thursday – Saturday 10am – 10pm and Sunday 12noon – 6pm.