It’s that time of year again when the city puts on its party hat, decorates the streets with twinkling lights, and gets ready to throw a magical Christmas party. Dublin is transformed into a winter wonderland complete with ice skating rinks, markets full of sassy Santas, cozy cafes serving mulled wine, and even a magical gingerbread house!
With so much going on around town during the festive season, it can be hard to know where to begin. So we’ve put together this guide to the top 25 magical things to do in Dublin at Christmas. From incredible concerts to magical markets and everything in between, here are some of our favorite ways to get in the festive spirit this December.
1. Dublin Christmas Concert
A Magic Christmas with over 150 performers on-stage.
MCD proudly presents the spectacular Vladimir’s Viennese Christmas live at 3Arena, Dublin on 18 December 2022 for a special matinee performance.
But also an excellent way to kick off your Christmas celebrations is with a concert. You can choose from a variety of performances at the famous Dublin 2, the Pantages Theatre, the Gaiety Theatre, The National Concert Hall, or the iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral. During December, the cathedral hosts a classical Christmas concert featuring a 40-person choir and a full orchestra, as well as an organ and bell ringing. Some of the other great Christmas concerts include the Dublin Gospel Choir and a Nutcracker performance at the Gaiety Theatre, The Dublin Philharmonic playing Christmas music at the National Concert Hall, and the Dublin Symphony Orchestra playing at the beautiful St. Patrick’s Cathedral. If you’re looking for something a little more contemporary, the Dublin Gospel Choir and the Celtic Woman are two other great acts to check out during December.
2. Grafton street’s Christmas decorations
Grafton Street is one of Dublin’s most famous streets, and every year they put on one of the best Christmas decorations around. Every building on the street has a Christmas theme, and they even have a Christmas tree made out of books! The whole street is festooned in Christmas lights and decorations, making it truly magical. You can walk down the street and be transported to a winter wonderland in the middle of the city. You can also visit the Christmas market on Grafton Street, which has been a tradition since 2004. There are over 70 stalls selling a variety of products. You can find handmade gifts, food, decorations, and more. There’s also a Christmas tree made of books so that you can take home a little piece of Grafton Street with you.
3. Dublin Castle choir and private Castle tour with Christmas trees and treats – Updated 2023
If you want to treat yourself this Christmas, then you should book a private tour of Dublin Castle. This will give you a wonderful insight into some of the city’s most historic buildings. You’ll also get to enjoy some delicious Christmas treats and listen to the Dublin Castle Choir. The choir performs various types of music, but they have a special Christmas repertoire that they perform in December. The tour lasts around 2 hours, and you’ll get to see the famous landmarks on the tour, such as the Chester Beatty Library, the Medieval Undercroft, the State Apartments, and the Privy Gardens. The tour also includes a visit to the Chapel Royal, where you’ll see ancient tombs and some of the most important artifacts in Irish history. You’ll also get to sample delicious Christmas treats, such as mince pies and Christmas cake, as well, as listen to a special Christmas performance by the Dublin Castle Choir.
4. Get a hot chocolate at Butlers Chocolate Café
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without delicious hot chocolate, so why not visit one of Dublin’s most famous chocolate cafes? Butlers Chocolate Café is located at 51 Grafton Street, and it’s perfect for a rainy day activity. You can try out some of the most delicious hot chocolate flavors in the city, as well as a selection of cookies and other treats. You can also purchase some of the more unusual flavors, such as the toasted marshmallow or the salted caramel. The cafe also sells gift boxes, as well as chocolate bars, so you can take a bit of Dublin with you wherever you go.
5. Temple Bar decorations
If you’re looking for a more traditional Christmas, then you need to visit Temple Bar. The area is full of Christmas lights and decorations, and you can even go on a Christmas walk with a sassy Santa. The site is also home to the Christmas market, where you can find handmade crafts, gifts, and plenty of food. You can also visit Dublin’s famous Central Library and see it decked out for the season. The library is open to the public from 10 am to 6 pm, so you can enjoy the decorations any day of the week.
6. Christmas markets at Dublin Docklands
Dublin Docklands is home to several Christmas markets, and they are some of the best in the city. You can visit the Christmas market at the Convention Centre Dublin, the Christmas market at The Meeting Place, or the Christmas market at the Irish Architecture Museum. The Christmas market at the Convention Centre features a wide variety of gifts, decorations, food, and even children’s toys. You can also enjoy a festive concert at the Convention Centre every day during December. The Christmas market at The Meeting Place is more of a family-friendly event, and it has a wide variety of food, such as mulled wine, bratwurst, and desserts. The Christmas market at the Irish Architecture Museum is known for its handmade gifts, decorations, and crafts, as well as its wide selection of children’s play areas.
7. Christmas markets at Phoenix Park
If you’re looking for something a little different this Christmas, then you should head over to Phoenix Park. The park is home to the Christmas markets of Dublin, and they are unlike anything you’ll find outside of the city. You can visit the Christmas market, the Victorian Christmas fair, or the Medieval Christmas fair. The Christmas market at Phoenix Park has over 130 stalls, and it’s the largest Christmas market in Ireland. You can also explore the various exhibitions in the gardens and nature trails of Phoenix Park.
8. Christmas lights on the Custom House
The Customs House is a beautiful building that overlooks the River Liffey. It is the perfect place to admire the twinkling lights of the city, as well as the Christmas lights that decorate the building every year. The Custom House is the perfect place to pop out to if you want a quick glimpse of the city’s Christmas lights but don’t have much time. The building is open every day, so you can pop in any time you want to check out the Christmas lights. The Custom House is one of the most magical places in Dublin at Christmas.
9. Christmas trees at the EPIC Museum
If you’re looking for a more family-friendly option when it comes to Christmas trees, then the EPIC museum in Dublin might be just the thing. The museum hosts an artificial Christmas tree that’s full of lights and decorations. There are also other Christmas trees dotted around the building, as well as a Christmas grotto. The museum also hosts a series of Christmas activities and events, including a Christmas puppet show, family activities, and kids’ workshops.
10. Christmas lights on Trinity College
If you want to enjoy a beautiful view of the city, then you should visit Trinity College at Christmas. The college has some of the most beautiful Christmas lights in the city, and even the trees around the campus are decorated. There are two viewing areas at Trinity that you can visit to see the lights. The Front Gate is the most popular viewing area, and it’s open from 5 pm to 9 pm throughout December. The Chapel Yard is a quieter viewing spot, and it’s open from 11 am to 7 pm during the same period. You can also visit the Christmas Market in the Front Gate from 12 pm to 6 pm on weekends and 4 pm to 8 pm on weekdays during December.
11. Wear an ugly Christmas jumper
Christmas jumpers can be funny. So the tradition in Dublin is to wear an ugly Christmas sweater. There’s no doubt that wearing a festive sweater is one of the best ways to embrace the Christmas spirit, but finding the right one can be tricky.
Whether it’s meeting friends or visiting the city, you should wear an ugly Christmas sweater at least once!
Don’t miss: 25 Top Attractions in Dublin + 5 Hidden Gems
12. Listen to Christmas songs by buskers on Grafton street
Christmas is all about the music, so it’s only fitting that we kick off our list with Grafton Street. This busy thoroughfare is a festive hub of activity, and there’s no better place to get in the Christmas spirit than at one of Dublin’s world-famous busking concerts. There are several concerts to choose from, but the Christmas ones are the ones to catch. From the first weekend in December to the end of the month, the festive tunes begin. The best spot is outside Trinity College, where you can enjoy the show while sipping on a festive beverage.
13. Visit the Guinness Storehouse Winter Village
The Guinness Storehouse is one of Dublin’s most popular attractions, but during the winter season, it transforms into a Winter Village, complete with Christmas trees, festive markets, carol singing, and even an indoor snow globe! It’s the perfect place to escape the winter chill, and enjoy some of the best festive fun Dublin has to offer, with tons to see and do for all the family. From the roaring fire to the magical snow globe, there’s something for everyone at the Guinness Storehouse Winter Village.
14. Christmas Dublin Food Market at the Royal Dublin Society
If you love the taste of Christmas, then you need to head to the Christmas Dublin Food Market. It’s Ireland’s only indoor food market and is home to some of the tastiest treats you can find this side of the festive season. There are over 40 different stalls, so there’s no shortage of delicious goodies to sample. From festive menus to baked goods, cocktails, and savory snacks, there’s a little something for everyone. So, whether you’re planning a Christmas party, or just looking to warm up those winter evenings, make sure to head to the Christmas Dublin Food Market.
15. Christmas tree at the Spire
If you’re looking for a selfie to remember, then there’s no better place to go than the Christmas tree at the Spire. The tree is installed on O’Connell Street each year, and it’s one of the most magical places in the city. While there are plenty of other things to do on Dublin’s main street, there’s nothing quite like climbing the Christmas tree at the Spire. You can even take your selfie to the next level and climb inside the tree itself. It’s a truly unique experience and one that you won’t forget any time soon!
16. Swords Christmas Market
The annual Swords Christmas Market is one of the most magical events in Dublin. This festive festival takes place over two weekends in December, and it’s worth the trip to North Dublin any time of year. There are plenty of outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy, as well as some incredible live music, delicious food and drink, and festive shopping. Enjoy the festive atmosphere with a hot beverage in hand, or take part in some winter sports. It’s the ideal place to spend a weekend enjoying winter and celebrating Christmas.
If you’re looking for a Christmas experience like no other, head to Dublin’s very own Christmas village. There’s something magical about this miniature version of the city, and it’s a must-visit this Christmas season. Enjoy a festive cocktail in one of the many bars, or take in a live show.
Mistletown dates: 3rd to 23rd December 2022 (to be confirmed). Opening times: 10 am to 10 pm on the weekends, open at noon during the week. Closes at 6 pm on the 23rd of December. Location: St Michan’s Street, Dublin City – located at the site of the indoor fruit and veg market.
There are also tons of festive activities to enjoy with the whole family. There’s something for everyone at Mistletown.
18. The Christmas Experience At Airfield Estate
This is a new experience taking place in Dublin city center. It’s the Christmas experience you’ve been dreaming of all year, bringing you a multisensory Christmas journey! There are many activities planned over the 10 days, from delivering presents by hot air balloon to an interactive photo experience, as well as food and drink experiences, you’ll want to come back again and again.
19. Dublin lights at the Samuel Beckett Bridge
Samuel Beckett Bridge is one of the most iconic sights in Dublin, and it transforms into a stunning Christmas bridge this time of year. The bridge is lit up in festive colors, and it’s the ideal place to take an evening walk and enjoy the gorgeous views of the city. It’s the perfect Christmas activity for couples, friends, or families.
20. Enjoy A Candlelight Christmas Concert (things to do in Dublin)
It’s a pretty unique experience – you’re in an indoor space, but with all the lighting dimmed to the point that you can only see what’s lit by candles. It’s great if you love a more intimate experience of any event. The event organizers say that it brings you “stunning performances and an enchanting atmosphere”.
Two venues arrange this experience in Dublin at Christmas every year: Christ Church Cathedral and National Concert Hall. Keep an eye on their December schedule for dates, ticket prices, and more information. They seem to sell out early each year so book quickly when they’re available.
Find the magic of holidays in locations around the World with Framey App!
Download Framey (available on Google Play and Apple Store), and let’s explore the whole world!