Christmas In The City – What To Do In Dublin Over The Festive Season?

Christmas Lights Grafton Street

Christmas in Dublin is magical, if you haven’t already experienced it before, you really don’t know what you’re missing! The run-up to Christmas in the city of Dublin is full of surprises, yes the decor is truly remarkable, but it’s not the only thing that will light up your life, the history, the warmth, and the humour plus the plentiful array of festive events mark for a pleasantly enjoyable and unforgettable experience in this landmark city. So, if you are looking for somewhere to book up over this festive season, Dublin is a desirable top choice for many and here’s why,

Christmas in Dublin and Hotspots to look out for!

With so much going on in Dublin this festive season, we couldn’t possibly list them all here so in amongst the array of festive concerts, choir services, Pantomimes, film fests, markets and ice skating rinks we’ve decided to list some of the hotspots, ones not to be missed!

Light up your life…

Dublin has always been a bright and cheery place, but during the festive period, when it’s lit up to the brim, we’re talking at a whole new level! What makes Dublin sparkle so magically is the historic influence behind the decor. First of all, the cobbled streets are enchanting when the lights are beaming down; it’s a sparkly winter wonderland that has to be seen in real life to really appreciate it in all its full glory. Snowflakes and the city Council Christmas lights adorn the streets, particular areas to look out for include Grafton Street, O’Connell Street, and Henry Street, grab and brew, take and stroll and follow the light trail. On your journey, you are sure to notice lit Candles sitting in the windows of homes are shops, this a Gaelic tradition followed by many. Its historical meaning is to welcome Mary and Joseph, and generally, what happens is that the youngest member of the family is supposed to light the candle, and then it will be blown out afterwards by a girl with the name Mary.

A Party and a Pint…

All year round, Dublin’s pubs are full of warmth, not to mention the belly full of laughs, but during Christmas were talking a whole new level! This festive season will see Pubs hosting Christmas parties galore, and the amount of cheery folks downing some of the finest Beers and Ales (whilst in high spirits) will be heard from corner to corner, trust us you’ll find it hard to walk by and not pop in for a pint! Dubliners are known for their kindness and warmth, and you can pop into any pub (in and around the city) and be sure to feel welcomed by the locals.

Christmas Markets…

You cannot visit Dublin during the festive season and not visit one of our markets! The market stalls sell all sorts of festive fun things from novelties and goodies to mulled wine and hotdogs. It’s a place to take the family for those last-minute Christmas buys, or for a romantic stroll with a loved one on a date night, it’s full of warmth and Christmas spirit and really gets you in the mood, ready for Christmas.

Here are the top 3 Markets to visit…

  • Dun Laoghaire- Dates 30th Nov-23rd Dec. This Christmas market is sensational for its array of collective hand-made gifts, forget mass commercial products as here you’ll find only those truly unique items here, those one of a kind items, made with love. You’ll notice an assortment of hand-made items such as jewellery, limited edition prints, watches, clocks, greetings cards, hemp products, knits, and socks all quality made and ideal for those last-minute gifts. And when you’re done with shopping, why not grab a delicious Gourmet sausage, Hungarian Langos, Fresh Falafel, or Gingerbread and wash it down with lovely Hot chocolate.
  • Swords Christmas Market- Dates 29th Nov- 1st Dec. Situated within the grounds of Swords Castle, this Christmas market and landmark setting make the visit even more pleasurable. The stalls are full of local produce, collectors, and Artists, and don’t forget to take the kids since Santa will be waiting along with Christmas cartoons in the cinema club as well as activities, magic, and music.
  • Dublin Castle Christmas Market- Dates 12th Dec-22nd Dec. This is a new edition to the markets in Dublin, on the grounds of Dublin Castle, it’s worth a visit because it’s going all out for its Debut! Expect to see live music, plenty of festive grub, a Neapolitan Crib, and even a Victorian Crib. There will be plenty of shopping opportunities amongst its 30 traditional Alpine stalls, ideal for any of those last-minute buys.


Retro Drive-in Leopardstown

This yearly event features a giant outdoor cinema, Retro style! Drive the car in a catch a Christmas finest classic on the big screen; showings usually include Elf, Santa Clause, Love Actually, and Home Alone. The kids will love it, and what’s good is that if the weather is particularly cold or damp, you can still enjoy the experience from the comfort of your own car, so get the popcorn ready you’re in for a real treat with this one!

Its Panto time… Oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is!

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a good Pantomime, and this year in Dublin we bring you some classics featuring,

  • Cinderellaat the Olympia Theatre in Temple Bar from 20th Dec to 4th Jan.
  • Aladdinat the Gaiety from 24th Nov to 19th Jan.
  • The Three Musketeers at the Helix from 22nd Nov to 19th Jan.


Fancy a Dab of Ice-Skating?

Many people like the outdoors Ice-Skating experience over the festive period, outdoor Ice Rinks are available at a few different places from around Mid-November until late January, if you fancy taking the family along for some daring fun check out these venues,

  • South Dublin on Ice-at Tallaght Stadium,
  • Dundrum on Ice- at Pembroke Square,
  • Swords on Ice- next to the Pavilions Town Centre,
  • Blanchard Ice Skating- in Millennium Park.


Shop till you Drop in Dublin!

Shopping in Dublin over Christmas is lots of fun; there is an array of shops, boutiques, and Shopping malls to keep you occupied, and many stores stay open much later than they would typically do. Some are open until 10 pm, plus many open on Sundays for shoppers up until 6 pm. There are bargains galore at this time of year with many shops already offering Sales as we speak. A good Market to bag a bargain is situated at Blackrock plus check out Moore Street, Grafton Street, and Dublin’s Central Boulevard.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year, to you all.

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