Things To Do In Dublin At Christmas Time (2022)
Oh, Christmas. Without being cliche, it’s the most wonderful time of the year in Dublin, literally. Children are excited, adults are rushing around the city centre getting the last lot of presents, and the pubs are jam-packed.
It doesn’t take much for the Dubs to get into the Christmas spirit. We’re suckers for magical things, I suppose. That explains why there are tonnes of fun things to do in Dublin at Christmas time. From pop-up Christmas markets to ice skating rinks, you’re in for a fun-filled time if you visit during this period, that’s for sure.
So, without further ado, here are the best activities to do if you’re spending Christmas in Dublin.
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Hunt Out Every Christmas Market In Dublin
Right, let’s get one thing straight. Dublin’s Christmas markets may not be on the scale of others in Europe, but there are a few that are definitely worth a look at when you visit Dublin.
You can grab some great Christmas gifts at the fairs around Dublin Castle, Dun Laoghaire, the Guinness Storehouse and much more. There are some crafty bits up for grabs; candy canes, mini Christmas trees, you name it, they’re there.
Take A Crack At The 12 Pubs Of Christmas
All over Dublin’s city centre at Christmas, there are groups of people having a bash at each of the 12 pubs. For those of you who don’t know about the phenomenon, it’s where a group makes it their mission to visit 12 individual pubs and have 1 drink at each one. Sounds intense, right? It’s supposed to be inspired by the 12 days of Christmas.
Some others like to take it a step further and add some rules to each pub. For example, you might find somebody introducing a rule of not being allowed to speak for the whole bar, and if somebody breaks it, they have to order a round of shots. A messy Christmas in Dublin altogether.
A popular 12 pubs of Christmas route is where the group starts at O’Connell Street and slowly makes their way up to Harcourt Street.
Wild Lights At Dublin Zoo
One of the best things to do at Christmas in Dublin is the Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo. It’s a phenomenal display of Xmas lights and lanterns throughout the grounds of Dublin Zoo. What was originally planned to interest the kidos of Ireland has become a hit with people of all ages.
The Wild Lights event runs during the nighttime from October all the way through to the beginning of January, displaying stories such as the Jungle Book in amazingly sized lanterns and colours.
Go Christmas Shopping At Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre In Dublin City Centre
Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre is arguably one of the most popular places to do your Christmas shopping, not to mention it’s situated on the top shopping street in Dublin that’s worth a visit. Whether you’re looking for your father’s yearly cardigan in Best Menswear or your nanny’s Dunnes Stores voucher, who knows, you may even pick yourself up an advent calendar and a set of crackers, you won’t be stuck for options.
Besides the shopping, you can admire the Christmas decorations and the festive lights all over the building or take a look at the children singing Christmas carols on a daily basis leading up to the 25th.
Bring The Kids To See Santa Claus
One Christmas experience in every family that is never forgotten is a visit to Santa Claus. The magic of Christmas is seeing the smile on every kid’s face when they get the chance to meet the big old man in the red suit. Remember, he’s making a list and he’s checking it twice.
The best place to see Santa in Dublin is in the various shopping centres around the county. Once it hits winter time in Dublin, you’ll see his grottos popping up in every corner, so be on your best behaviour.
Go To A Christmas Concert
Live Christmas events in Dublin have become increasingly popular in recent years. Christmas music is what gets people into the mood for the festive period. Once December hits, almost every day there’s a concert in one venue in the capital.
EventBrite is the perfect place to find out where there’s a concert during December. You can go see the likes of the June Rodgers Christmas Show, the Viennese Christmas Orchestra, or a lovely little carol service. There’s no better way to get in the mood.
Check Out The Turning On Of The Winter Lights In Dublin City
A massive part of Christmas in Dublin is heading into the city streets to see the turning on of the winter lights. People from all over Ireland come to Dublin for this very event.
In the lead-up to December, the City Council announces the date for when the magical Christmas lights will be switched on. It usually happens around the end of November just before the winter, so plan your trip around this time if it’s something you’d like to see. Let me tell you, it’s a spectacle, and one of the great things to do. You can barely move as the streets are jam-packed with people. Plus, everybody’s in the Christmas mood. What more could you want?
Head To The Cinema To Watch A Christmas Movie
One of those Christmas things that you should do when you’re in Dublin is head to the cinema and watch a festive movie.
Come December, a lot of cinemas will include a classic Christmas movie in their daily listings for people to go and see. Sometimes they might even sell the tickets for a discount price since it’s easier for people to watch it at home in bed.
Nurse A Festive Pint In One Of Dublin’s Great Bars On Christmas Eve
Grab your Christmas jumper and get yourself down to the local pub ASAP on Christmas Eve.
Every Irish person knows that Christmas Eve is a massive night out. It’s a must-do. Although the pubs don’t stay open too late, everybody goes out extra early to make up for the lost time. The atmosphere is incredible and something you should experience. Hearing Fairytale of New York blaring at last orders is a moment that I’m grateful to have experienced for many years.
Walk To See The Temple Bar
The Temple Bar is known for its enchanting display of Christmas lights that they go above and beyond to show off every year. From the huge tree that hangs high above the front door to the white, crisp lights that spread all across the premises’ facade, whoever they get in to do this decorating does an outstanding job on it. If there is one attraction that you visit this Christmas, make sure it’s Temple Bar.
Go Out And Get Yourself A Christmas Jumper
Did you really celebrate the holidays if you didn’t wear a Christmas jumper? Wearing a festive sweater is a tradition that’s well and truly alive in many homes across Dublin. Getting your hands on one of these bad boys isn’t difficult. Most retail shops sell them in the lead-up to the 25th. To get your hands on a cheap one, head over to Penney’s.
Learn How To Make A Christmas Wreath
Does that door of yours need a bit of perking up? Well, you can learn how to make your very own Christmas wreaths in the heart of Dublin. Appassionata offers classes in their studio to teach you how to create and design a garland to hang on your door. If you take a liking to it and are half decent, you might even be able to set up a little side business going. For more information regarding the classes, see here.
Take On The Christmas Bus Experience
A fun activity you can do in December in Dublin is take the Santa storytelling bus adventure through the city centre and try to convince the elves that you’ve been good this year and deserve a present. Santa isn’t well and needs your help. Join the elves on the bus and take on the challenge of saving Christmas with them before time runs out.
Take The Kids To See A Christmas Pantomime At The Gaiety Theatre
Every year, there’s a Christmas pantomime that’s held in the Gaiety Theatre, and this year, it’s the Jungle Book. Kids go absolutely crazy for this event, so if you have a little one, they’re in for a treat. Anybody from Dublin will remember being taken to see the panto for your yearly school trip. It’s a big thing across the country. Also, there are a couple of shows, so getting a ticket isn’t really a problem. Book them in advance through Ticketmaster.
FAQ About Christmas In Dublin
Does It Snow In Dublin?
Believe it or not, sometimes Dublin does receive snow at Christmas time. Over the years, there have even been times when it has snowed on Christmas Day and you’d have people out on the white streets making a snowman or a snow angel, but it doesn’t happen often. Trying to guess if we’ll get snowfall is near impossible since, in general, Ireland’s weather as a country is quite unpredictable. For more information about snow in Dublin, see here.
Where Are The Best Outdoor Areas Where You Can Find Christmas Lights In Dublin?
Some of the most notable areas to find the festive lights in Dublin include:
- Henry Street
- O’Connell Street
- Grafton Street
- Hugh Lane Gallery (one of Dublin’s best free museums)
- Trinity College
Is There A Christmas Shop In Dublin?
Christmas stores pop up in many pockets in Dublin during the holidays, but one that’s definitely worth a look at is the m50 Christmas shop. It’s absolutely massive and sells all sorts of Christmas ornaments for your home.
Are Hotels Open In Dublin For Christmas?
Many hotels are open in Dublin over the festive period; some are just open for Christmas dinner, while others let you stay on the 24th and the 25th. To find out which ones are open, stick the dates into Booking.com and there you can find your options.
Is Dublin A Good Place To Go At Christmas?
Without a doubt, Dublin is a special place at Christmas time. Since Ireland is still a majority Catholic country, the celebration is huge every year. From the numerous events that take place in the run-up to the big day, to the decorations and lighting that people spend hours putting up around their homes, there is no better place to be in December than Dublin.
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Written By Adam
Where In Dublin is owned, controlled and run by Adam Ryan. He’s a one-man army who knows Dublin like the back of his hand and strives to help anybody planning on visiting Dublin enjoy themselves.