A Stroll Through Dublin’s Saturday Markets
One of my favourite things to do in Dublin on a Saturday is to explore its many markets that pop up in public spaces on the weekend. This trip, my Airbnb host thoughtfully left me information about Temple Bar Food Market, which led to further discoveries.
Temple Bar Food Market
As the name implies, the Saturday market in Temple Bar’s Meeting House Square is all about food. Over twenty stalls sell staples like eggs, apples and carrots, as well as baked goods, artisanal cheeses and other edibles. Some stalls cook hot food to order, such as tantalizing breakfast sandwiches and crepes.
A conversation with a bloke selling bacon jam tipped me off to my next stop.
Cow’s Lane Designer Mart
A few streets away, an appealing narrow cobblestone lane is made all the more alluring on Saturdays when craftspeople sell their creative wares at the Cow’s Lane Designer Mart. The market requires that the maker of the goods displayed be present in the stall, so you can ask any questions you like and get authoritative answers.
Handmade jewelry is one of my favourite kinds of souvenirs, and this market is an excellent place to find it aplenty, as well as textiles, toys, ceramics, fine art, and much more.
It’s always a good idea to engage with someone when you photograph them, but I make a particular point of asking permission before photographing an artist’s work out of respect for their creativity and intellectual property.
Christ Church Cathedral Lunchtime Market
I thought I was done browsing markets for the day when I happened upon this wee market at Christ Church Cathedral while wandering over to the Natural History Museum. Only open during lunchtimes on Thursdays and Saturdays, stalls primarily sell takeaway food such as burritos, burgers, kebabs and other quick bites.
Although I think it’s probably safe to presume that they didn’t have burritos in Dublin back then, this market continues the medieval tradition of having local merchants sell their wares on cathedral grounds.
What grabbed my attention as I passed was a stall with an enormous table full of candy. So maybe it’s not handcrafted, artisanal quality produce, but that much candy in one place is like the mothership calling me home and I had to investigate. Sure enough, they had marshmallows as long as my arm, and gummies of every conceivable description, as well as nuts and a smaller selection of handmade sweets like baklava.
As a solo traveler I’ve found that markets are a great place to meet local people and get great tips on what’s happening that you might not find elsewhere. So don’t be shy. Talk to someone. You never know what discoveries it might lead to.
Steph Spencer is a freelance travel writer from Canada held captive by the travel industry for over 13 years. An incurable smart aleck, notorious purple fanatic, hat person, and ukulele player of questionable abilities, Steph explores the geeky side of travel on her blog A Nerd At Large, and dispenses random quirkiness on Google+ and as @ANerdAtLarge on Twitter. She truly believes that anything is possible with enough determination and copious amounts of chocolate.