There are few cities in the world that rival Dublin's friendly warmth when Christmastime comes around. Dublin has now become a popular travel destination for individuals interested in having a decidedly Irish Christmas. After shopping through all of Dublin's intimate Christmastime markets, enjoying the traditional Irish nightlife and relaxing during St. Stephen's Day, you'll likely be set on planning another Dublin Christmastime visit for next winter.
Every year, Dublin hosts the 12 Days of Christmas Market from December 10th to the 23rd along George's Dock and in the International Financial Services Center. This celebration features over 60 market stalls, 20 of which are dedicated to snacks and foods. The market features a variety of gifts and products available to purchase including hand-shaped jewelry, Christmastime stocking fillers, vintage items, local crafts and home accessories. It's the ideal place to find gifts for yourself or your loved ones.
Of course, the Dublin Christmastime shopping goes well beyond the 12 Days of Christmas Market. Unofficial traditional markets happen on a daily basis in Dublin in areas such as Grafton Street, the Fairtrade Christmas Market in Temple Bar and the Smithfield market in Liffey. These are ideal places to peruse the local vendors and bazaars for Christmastime deals or highly unique gifts in all shapes and sizes.
Visiting Dublin at Christmastime is largely about experiencing the friendly festivities in the form of pub nightlife. The majority of the action is concentrated in the famous Temple Bar district located in the center of Dublin. Here you'll find more than 24 bars and 73 eateries that collaborate to create a fantastic atmosphere. The social nightlife during Christmastime is generally focused on meeting up with friends and family for a drink as well as enjoying the pub food while listening in on the modern or traditional Irish live entertainment.
Dublin's National Concert Hall and The Grand Canal Theatre are extremely busy during Christmastime hosting performances from professional choir groups, orchestras and plays. There is usually a Christmas themed play or carol being performed every other night during mid-December in Dublin. This provides an excellent child friendly alternative and a good option for quieter nights out.
St. Stephen's Day
St. Stephen's day is a Christian saint's day on the 26th of December and coincides with Boxing Day, a banking and public holiday. This day is dedicated to relaxation, as practically every business keeps their doors shut to observe the holiday. However, it's still important to individuals who visit Dublin in Christmastime because of the traditional Leopardstown Christmas Festival.
Visiting travelers and local Dubliners all make their way to the first day of the greyhound and horseracing festival at Leopardstown to socialize and watch a few races. Even people unaccustomed to racing visit Leopardstown to place a small bet or two on a few races, while experienced bettors stick around until the 29th of December to enjoy all 4 days of racing.
You should round out your Dublin at Christmas time trip with a visit to the National Museum of Ireland. The museum is divided up into archaeology, decorative history, country life and natural history locations. Please check the museum website for opening times.
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