Discover Belfast’s St. George’s Market, County Antrim

Updated On: November 07, 2023


St. George’s Market is one of Belfast’s top attractions. At St George’s you can find many stalls ranging from food, crafts and antiques. The food served is sourced from all over Ireland and the world.

Once an open market with likely a slaughterhouse and a meat market, St. George’s Market was built over three stages between 1890 and 1896. The chosen location for the market is what’s today known as May Street. The last Victorian covered market in Belfast encloses over 300 stalls.

The first market was much smaller than the present day one, which was built by city surveyor JC Bretland. The redbrick building had inscriptions in Latin and Irish, these being the city’s Latin motto “Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus” which means “What shall we give in return for so much?” The Irish phrase inscribed read “Lámh Dearg na hÉireann” which meant “Red Hand of Ireland”.

During the Second World War, Belfast suffered from German bombings and the market temporarily served as a mortuary. The bodies of those unidentified were brought into the market and a public funeral was held for them in 1941.

A major renovation process took place in the 1980s, with an upgrade to hygiene regulations in the market, some old walls and bricks were restored while some were replaced with special ones made in England to match the unusual size of those of the market. The new market opened its doors to the public in 1999.

While mainly a market, the building is also home to other events such as food festivals, exhibitions, charities and live music shows. Of the performers who had shows there are Duffy, Deep Purple and Newton Faulkner.

What are the St. George’s Market Opening Times?

The market itself is only open three days of the week. From Friday to Sunday. Each day offers something new, with different stalls available. See the opening times below:

  • Friday: the Variety Market is open from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Saturday: the City Food and Craft Market is open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Sunday: the Sunday Market is open from  9:00 am to 3:00 pm

A very interesting feature held in the market is what’s called “Quiet Hour”. The hour is held twice, on Friday from 9:00 to 10:00 am and on Sunday from 10:00 am to 11:00. A true example of quietness, you will see how the market transforms to a fertile environment for creativity to grow.

During these hours, all the music is turned down in the market and everyone tries to be as calm as possible to help create the quiet atmosphere desired for a long and leisurely shopping experience in the market!

Facilities Available at St. George’s Market

There are a number of facilities available at St. Georges Market. 

  • Toilets available including Disabled
  • Parking nearby – Multi-stories and pay-and-display spaces.
  • Free WiFi – Belfast WiFi Available
  • Wheelchair Friendly
  • Shuttle Bus

Events at St. George’s Market

Throughout the year there are many events that take place within the market area. Many take place throughout the summer months and include a lot of music events. 

Most Friday, Saturday and Sundays there is live music in the market. June is a month that the calendar is fully booked with live music. Enjoy the music with some of the local trader’s food.

To find out more about St. George’s Market, visit the Belfast City Council website. The website has information about events at the market, the local traders, news and more. You can also become a trader at the market via the Council website.

Have you ever visited the wonderful St. George’s Market? Comment below your experience and if you got any tasty treats.

Other great blogs to check out include: Belfast Spring Market | Belfast Christmas Market | Camden Town Market, London | Balmoral Show, Northern Ireland

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