Since moving to Galway as a bright eyed nineteen-year old 2018 one fact has always remained true, Galway is at its brightest and most magical during the Christmas season. The hustle and bustle of people darting between shops searching for that perfect Christmas gift, the bright lights and decorations adorned on every shop face and pub in the city, the smells of Chimney Cakes, Burgers and mulled wine being served in the Christmas markets, it all brings a warm fuzzy feeling to the soul. Now in my fifth year as a resident of Galway city I feel I’ve come to realise just how much I treasure this time of year in the city. Yeah, the drive to wade through huge crowds to get some fudge, ride a Ferris wheel and the sight of 30 Christmas jumper adorning students lining up for hours for a pint in the beer tent may seem a tad ridiculous to some, but as a student who saw these Christmas traditions disappear during the pandemic, to see them all back to their full glory is heart-warming to say the very least. The city is alive again and I for one could not be more thrilled.
Having had a mind-numbing four weeks in the library scrambling to finish assignments, last week I sought out refuge from my stress in the oasis of the Christmas markets. Armed with my camera and Christmas jumper, I was determined to peruse like I never had before and snack myself into a sugar coma to reward for this semester’s hard work thus far. One may call it a procrastination trip, I call it a work opportunity!
On my way to the Christmas markets, I had a wander through the city itching to get some shots of Galway’s famous Christmas lights. As usual the shops and pubs of the city really pulled it out of the bag this year with my two personal favourites ‘The King’s Head’ and the ‘treasure Chest’ taking top prize for their displays.
Once I reached the markets, my first stop, as always, was the Man of Aran Fudge to get my annual supply of Malteser fudge. This man has been a staple of the markets for years and is an absolute gent. As the name suggests, he’s a man from the Aran Islands who makes an incredible spread of mouth melting fudge. Definitely worth the stop for a great chat and some sugary goodness if you’re at the markets.
Next, I stopped by my favourite goodies stand ‘Chimney Cakes’ to get, as you probably have guessed, a chimney cake, topped with chocolate. Absolutely delicious and worth the annual pilgrimage in the wintery Galway weather to try one of their many Chimney cake creations – the Apple one is incredible too!
One fan favourite of the Christmas markets is the Mini Doughnuts stand which is definitely worth a visit if you’re passing. At this stage, I was hitting my sugar coma phase so I handed off the taste-testing responsibility to one of my friends who had joined me on my, ‘cough’, work trip!
Have gorphed down a hot chocolate from Café Nero, I spotted some members of the Irish dancing, Tik Tok phenomenon ‘A Cairde’ filming a TikTok in none other than the Galway Christmas markets so of course I had to say hi and the lads were that sound they even got in a photo for me.
With my sugar cravings satisfied for this trip, I ended my trip to the Christmas markets how it should always be done, on a trip on The View Ferris Wheel. For a fee of €6, you get incredible views of the city and a bird eye view of Galway looking its best – in lights!
Make sure to check out the Galway Christmas markets which run in Eyre Square until the 22nd of December and check opening hours can differ during the week. Thanks for joining me on my Christmas tour of Galway – Happy Christmas and roll on 2023!