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11 Dublin Christmas Must-Dos

By Visit Dublin

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… in Dublin! Get into the spirit of Christmas with an action-packed visit to Dublin. The city has everything to offer – so join in the festive buzz. Tick off your Santa list and hunt for that special gift, soak up some culture, and kick back at night with traditional Christmas cheer in buzzing restaurants, bars and night clubs. Christmas starts here!

11 Dublin Christmas Must-Dos

1. Light up your nights!

Dubs are very proud of their Christmas lighting and rightly so – the super sparkly chandelier style display along Grafton Street were made by the same designers that created the lights on the Eiffel Tower in Paris!

Watch the video to see the magic of Christmas in Dublin:

2. St. Stephen's Green Christmas Market

13 Nov – 23 Dec
St. Stephen’s Green, Daily 12pm – 8pm

Dublin city centre’s first ever traditional Christmas Market will be held in St. Stephen’s Green. There will be more than 60 stalls located in traditional wooden chalets stretching from Stephen's Green to Merrion Row. Expect a unique selection of quality Irish made handcrafted gift items, accessories, woodcrafts, jams and preserves and prints as well as seasonal food and drinks including Glühwein to warm you up! Enjoy the eats and treats at the gourmet stalls. Choirs and carollers will add to the festive atmosphere.

3. Warm up in a pub!

Lining Dublin’s cobbled streets is a variety of pubs to wine and dine in. From quaint hideaways to buzzing hotspots, Dublin has every type of pub you can imagine. Whether it’s to get away from the throngs of Christmas shoppers and enjoy a mulled wine, hot toddy or Irish whiskey by a cosy fireside, catch up with old friends or simply to soak up the atmosphere of the city, a visit to Dublin’s pubs should be atop your Christmas to-do list. For a traditional Christmas treat, a nuked wine and mince pie in the Central Hotel's Library Bar will have you feeling more Christmassy than Santa's elves on Christmas Eve!

11 Dublin Christmas Must-Dos
11 Dublin Christmas Must-Dos

4. Christmas Cracker Market

12 – 14 December
Smithfield Block B. Smithfield Market, Dublin 7


Over the last number of years, the Dublin Flea Market has become a fixture of Dublin, with its monthly instalments offering customers treasure troves of goodies to rummage through. Running from December 12th – 14th December , the Christmas Cracker Flea Market returns. With over 120 stalls, the market will be a mish-mash of everything from arts & crafts to furniture to vintage clothes.

5. Get your shopping sorted!

Christmas gift buying is a national sport and no better place than Dublin to indulge! For big brand purchases hit the main shopping spots of Grafton Street and Henry Street. For something different be inspired in the backstreets. Explore the Creative Quarter, from South William Street to Georges Street, for cutting edge design. Browse the antique quarter around Francis Street and don’t miss the indie boutiques of Temple Bar, or the charm and opulence of The Powerscourt Townhouse where independent boutiques, jewellers and antique shops are all housed in the elegant Georgian townhouse.

If the shopping gets a little too hectic, why not relax in the Wesbury Hotel on Grafton Street with an Irish coffee. Or pop into Brooks Hotel where their ‘drop and shop’ service takes all the stress out of Christmas shopping.

6. Make a show of yourself! 

Take in a show on a pre-Christmas break in Dublin. There is no shortage to choose from! Experience the unforgettable, and hilarious tale of Buddy in Elf the Musical (16 Dec – 10 Jan). Or have a laugh out loud time at a pantomime… they are not just for children you know! Peter Pan at The Gaiety gives this timeless tale its familiar lavish and fun-loving touch (1 Dec – 11 Jan), Cinderella at the Tivoli (10 Dec – 11 Jan), and Red Riding Hood’s Dangerous Christmas Adventure at The Mill (8 Dec – 31 Dec). Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is running at The Gate (18 Nov – 10 Jan).

7. Hark! Hear Handel's Messiah!

Christ Church Cathedral

Dublin has a very proud link with composer George Frideric Handel. His magnificent Messiah was first performed on Fishamble Street, in the oldest part of the city, in 1742 and going to hear it at Christmas time has been a Dublin tradition ever since.

This year Handel's Messiah at Christ Church Cathedral is performed by the Irish Baroque Orchestra and renowned conductor and baritone Eamonn Dougan, this is an unrivalled chance to hear Handel's masterpiece brought to life mere metres from the very first place it was ever heard. A stunning setting for a powerful and stirring piece of music, hear Handel’s extraordinary work on 5th December.

Carols By Candlelight (10 – 11 Dec) also takes place in Christ Church Cathedral with a variety of classic carols and modern favourites, the renowned choir will inspire and entertain, whilst the rousing audience carols will really get you into the Christmas spirit.

11 Dublin Christmas Must-Dos
11 Dublin Christmas Must-Dos

8. The People's Procession of Light

The city will twinkle and sparkle as hundreds of participants and performers illuminate the streets with dazzling light displays, music and dance. The marvellous and magical People’s Procession of Light (31 Dec) will return to the streets of Dublin as part of the New Year Festival Dublin. A spectacle not to be missed as the procession weaves it's way to St. Stephen's Green.

9. NYF Countdown Concert

NYF Dublin boasts an exhilarating four-day schedule kicking off on the 30th December, running right through to January 1st. The Countdown Concert on College Green on the 31st will bring the curtain down at this year’s festivities. Headlined by Kodaline, the Countdown Concert will also see James Vincent McMorrow, Walking on Cars and The Whereabouts take to the stage to pump up the crowd. Ring in the New Year in style!

10. Christmas Day Swim, Forty Foot

The Forty Foot, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin

This annual event sees hundreds of courageous souls brave the elements and dive into the Irish Sea at The Forty Foot. Located just outside Sandycove, The Forty Foot is a popular swimming haven and this unconventional tradition is a favourite among Dublin’s denizens. Good luck folks, bbbbrrrrrrrrr!!

11. Dún Laoghaire Christmas Festival

26 Nov – 23 Dec

Browse, shop, relax and soak up the festive spirit of magical seaside town of Dún Laoghaire. Featuring an open-air Christmas Market, old-world children’s amusements, fireworks displays, free treasure hunts, an enchanting Lantern procession, Santa’s Grotto, traditional crib, and carol singing…

11 Dublin Christmas Must-Dos