Christmas in Dublin is an exciting time. These are the Christmas events for 2019 and best things to do for locals and visitors during the holiday season.
Dublin is great at celebrating Christmas.
Despite the cold and the high chance of rain, there is plenty to do for adults and kids: Dublin’s most famous sites will keep adults well entertained, there is plenty to do for kids and concerts, mulled wine and an abundance of lights banish the darkest of nights!
If you happen to be in this part of the world, this is what’s on in Dublin for Christmas 2019
Top things to do at Christmas in Dublin
Check out the Christmas lights
Christmas lights and decorations make their appearance in Dublin in early November.
In 2019, they will be fully up from Sunday, November 17th
Lovely streets to see the light in all their splendour are Grafton Street, Henry Street, South William Street, Capel Street.
Grafton is draped by lights wishing you Nollaig Shona (this is how you say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Irish) and in the smaller alleys, such as Johnson’s court, the lights fill the sky like little sparkly stars!
Go for a Christmas afternoon tea at the Merrion hotel
The fabulous Merrion Hotel in Dublin goes all out over Christmas with stunning decorations, a beautiful tree and special Christmas offerings for guests and visitors.
If budget allows, you can treat yourself to a night here or you can just soak up the atmosphere participating in their dreamy Christmas themes afternoon tea.
- Address: Merrions Square. Dublin 2
- Official website: https://www.merrionhotel.com/xmas_at_merrion.php
Explore Dublin museums
Dublin city centre is home to many museums and cold winter days are the perfect time to indulge indoors a little longer.
Some have lovely Christmas activities aimed at kids, making the visit fun and family-friendly.
In 2019, the National Print Museums has a Card making workshops for kids that is free.
Take a hot chocolate break
While you explore Dublin city centre, make sure you take the time to stop in at least some of its gorgeous cafes.
In the last few years, Dublin has truly reinvented itself as a gourmet lovers city and the cafe culture is blossoming.
If you like chocolate, you should try the Irish famous handmade chocolate at Butlers on Wicklow street, but more delicious addresses should be added to your chocolate hungry list:
Great addresses for a chocolate fix in Dublin are:
- Il Fornaio, Dame St and Dawson St, Dublin 2
- Accents Lounge, St Stephen’s Green Lower, Dublin 2
- La Duree, 1-3 South Willian Street, Dublin 2
Go ice skating
During the winter, Dublin had a few ice skating rinks popping up in town: Dundrum on Ice is probably the easiest to reach by public transport also for visitors and Blanchardstown also has a rink open until mid-January
Did you know that Santa loves Dublin?
He sure does and it’s not difficult to meet him in the fair city.
You are spoilt for choice for a good Santa experience: here are some of the addresses where you can find him.
- Airfield Farm Santa Experience: Overend Way, Dundrum Dublin
- Santa Experience at Croke Park: Croke Park, St Joseph’s Ave, Dublin
- Santa’s Grotto at Epic Ireland: The Chq Building, Custom House Quay, North Dock, Dublin 1, D01 T6K4
- Santa at Leisurplex (several locations): Stillorgan, Tallaght, Blanchardstown, Coolock & Cork Dublin
See the moving crib
The MOving Crib is probably one of the most traditional Christmas events in Dublin and in 2019 you can find it in Parnell Square.
The event is free is magical! Here you enter a world of historical stories, you can enter fun competitions, and marvel at an illusion wall for a truly magical family Christmas afternoon!
Address: 42 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1, D01 P5R7
Listen to the Christmas carols
Dublin is a very musical city and, at Christmas, you have carol singers everywhere.
You can enjoy their singing on the streets (Marrion square usually has a wonderful night of ‘carols by candlelight’ scheduled) but you can enjoy even better performances in church, as part of services or a concert.
Go to the Panto
The Panto is another Christmas tradition.
This year, The Gaiety Theater has a performance of Aladdin.
Address: South King Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
Dublin has some wonderful shopping opportunities.
The best shopping in Dublin is in the Grafton Street Area (South of the river), Henry Street (north of the river) and Dundrum shopping center (South city).
Temple Bar also has some nice vintage shops with peculiar finds.
Go to one of many Dublin’s Christmas markets
Dublin hasn’t got a tradition of Christmas markets but several small and fun ones do happen in the city and they can be fun to add to your afternoon.
Some to seek out are:
- Ha’Penny Flea market Christmas edition, Grand Social, 35 Liffey Street Lower, Dublin 2
- Dun Laoghaire Christmas market: The Metals, Dun Laoghaire
- Christmas at Smithfield: Smithfield Square
- MART market: Mart Market Ragmines Dublin 6
- Dundrum Christmas Market: Dundrum Shopping center
Get a thrilling ride at Winter Funderland at the RDS
If you or your kids love theme park rides (and don’t mind the crowds), the RDS hosts again Winter Funderland, defined by its creators ‘ possibly the largest travelling Amusement Park event in Europe’.
Address: RDS, Simmons Court, Dublin 4
Dublin at Christmas need to know
If you are a visitor coming to Dublin over Christmas, a few additional pieces of info will come in handy.
Christmas is a big family celebration in Dublin and this affects opening hours of shops, public transport and services.
Do book Christmas eve dinner and Christmas day lunch in advance (or buy your grocery early) not to go hungry!
Christmas is high season in Dublin and advance booking of accommodation and attractions is recommended.
I trust booking.com for accommodation booking: if you are coming with family, you can find a selection of my favorite family-friendly hotels in Dublin here.
I hope you will consider spending Christmas in Dublin. Happy holidays!
Please note: this post has now been fully updated with 2019/2010 events. I have no connections with businesses and events mentioned: this list is for information purposes only.