Insider Tips

A Perfect Day Out at Christmas

By Visit Dublin

17th December 2011

While Christmas may be very different this year thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, Dublin is still getting into the spirit of the season. Of course, maintaining appropriate distances, following all COVID-19 guidelines and directives, and wearing masks are a must — but with our guide to a festive day out in Dublin, it is possible to have fun and a happy holiday full of cheer.

 

Taking a leap at The Forty Foot

Dive into the day

Get your blood flowing and wake up all your senses for the day ahead by jumping into the freezing cold Irish Sea at the famous Forty Foot in Sandycove. This popular sea swimming spot provides a great start to the day if you are brave enough! 
 
Once you have warmed up a little, head into town and get some food into you. When you have a busy schedule planned, it is vital that you begin with a full belly. Step into Herbstreet in Grand Canal Dock for a weekday full Irish ‘Breakfast of Champions’ — or have a lazy weekend brunch. Satisfy your sweet tooth as you munch through a tall stack of pancakes smothered in blueberries and orange honey butter — or if you like it savoury and spicy, try the ‘Eggos Mexicalos’!
 
Alternatively, find any little side street café serving a delicious range of grab-and-go breakfast foods, fresh pastries and hot coffee to set you up for the day ahead.

Deer in the Phoenix Park

It's a wonderful park life

From Herbstreet, hit the streets and enjoy a relaxing 20-minute stroll through the city, taking in the Georgian architecture and spotting Christmas trees and decorations on your way to St Stephen's Green. An early morning ramble around the Green provides a lovely diversion from the cityscape and a way of walking off your big breakfast.
 
Or head for the Phoenix Park to see if any of the deer have been called up for Christmas duties. You can grab a city bike and cycle to the Park in about 25 minutes or cross the Liffey and walk to Abbey Street to jump on the Luas, hopping off by the National Museum at Collins Barracks and walking into the park. 
 
There are numerous parks dotted around the city, and any one of them is perfect for filling your lungs with crisp winter air and giving your legs a stretch. 

Capture the spirit of Christmas

Visit the Moving Crib at Saint Martin Apostolate on Parnell Square West for a unique experience. This nativity scene has been part of Christmas for Dubliners for 64 years now and is still fascinating young and old alike. As restrictions are in place this year, you need to book an appointment, wear a mask and follow all directions from the staff. 

Biking in the Dublin Mountains

Get out of town

If you really want to avoid the hubbub of the city, head for the hills (or the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains to be more precise). Take your own two wheels, or hire a bike and hit one of the many cycling trails on offer. Or go in the opposite direction on the DART and walk the Howth Tramline Loop. Starting at the station, the route follows the harbour before climbing around the Nose of Howth and onto the cliffs where you'll find stunning views of Lambay Island.
 
If you fancy staying a little closer to the city centre, but still want to feel like you are in nature, take a walk out to Bull Island, a low-lying sand spit in Dublin Bay off the coast of the city's north side. Take time to appreciate the birds and wildlife that call this little island home. 

 Winter Lights at the Custom House

After a day full of activity, you should be hungry for a nice meal. Dublin is a veritable smorgasbord of fine dining and casual diners, offering every type of food imaginable. Opt for traditional Irish pub grub at Darkey Kelly's in Temple Bar such as their Beef and Guinness Stew or their creamy Seafood Chowder — both will warm you from the inside out. Or pander to your more exotic side with some tasty Asian street food at Eatokyo just off O'Connell Street. 
 
With a full tummy again, take an evening walk around the city’s many dazzling Winter Lights festival locations to finish off a perfect Christmas season day in Dublin. Though it feels a bit different, the sparkle is still there — and by following the guidelines, we’ll all have a safe and merry holiday.

Please note that cafes and restaurants may be subject to closure due to public health guidelines and restrictions.

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