Top Things to Do in Dublin This WinterDecember 8, 2016 10:00 am
From Christmas lights to bustling markets and more, the range of things to do in Dublin this Winter will have you spoilt for choice!
It might not be the warmest place at this time of year, but there are still plenty of things to do in Dublin this winter. Here’s a selection of highlights, that’ll have you entertained and full of festive cheer!
A magical city at any time, Dublin really knows how to embrace the festive spirit. The lights were switched on at the end of November and that’s just the start of the fun to be had. A variety of craft and food markets offer unusual gifts and tasty treats for the shopper looking for something different. So get yourself a hot chocolate or mulled wine and take a stroll around to see what you can find. Here are just a few of the markets that will be popping up across the city: the Christmas Makers Market (Chocolate Factory, 7th December), the Christmas Bazaar Market (Smithfield, 9th-11th December) and the Alternative Christmas Market (Arran Quay, 11th December).
When it’s time for a break from the bustling bazaars, head out of the city centre to the magnificent 12th century Malahide Castle and enjoy their Enchanted Christmas experience. Running from 2nd to 23rd December, it includes a tour of the castle plus a meeting with Santa and Mrs Claus for the children, and mulled wine and mince pies for the adults. Keep a look out for Jack Frost, Tinkerbell and the Snow Queen too! The castle is also hosting a Carols by Candlelight event on Monday 12th December, with tickets available from the Visitor’s Centre on the night.
A time for reflection
If you’re after a more traditional, spiritual experience and are lucky enough to be in Dublin on Christmas Eve, join the crowds for the vigil at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. The superb Palestrina Choir will raise their voices to the heavens at 9.30pm, followed by Mass at 10pm. There is also a midnight Eucharist at the beautiful and atmospheric Christ Church Cathedral, the oldest building in Dublin.
Image sourced via NYF Dublin facebook
New Year cultural feast
Had enough of turkey and tinsel, but not ready to stop the festivities just yet? NYF Dublin is a three-day arts and music festival running from 30th December to 1st January, with concerts, walking tours, workshops, poetry slams, treasure hunts and lots, lots more. Some events will be ticketed, but there are plenty with free admission too.
But this season isn’t just about Christmas. There are so many things to do in Dublin in winter, and lots of great attractions come rain or shine. Use a hop-on hop-off bus ticket and you can travel in comfort between them, too!
Even if you know nothing else about Dublin, you’re sure to know the name “Guinness”. So why not take a tour at the Guinness Storehouse to discover the history of this most iconic of drinks and learn how it is brewed. Finish your tour with a pint of the black stuff overlooking the city from the comfort of the Gravity Bar.
If that whets your appetite for something stronger, the Teelings Whiskey Distillery is the place to go. A guided tour around the only operational distillery in the city will immerse you in the whiskey production process: the sounds, the smells and, finally, the taste. A wonderfully warming experience to counter the cold outside. Both the Guinness Storehouse and the Teeling Distillery are open all winter, apart from 24th, 25th and 26th December.
Museums for all
For the more sober-minded tourist, Dublin offers a wealth of museums and family-friendly attractions to entertain and inform. The Dublinia heritage centre takes the visitor right back to the Viking and medieval periods of the city’s past. With clothes to try on, streets to walk down and houses to enter, you get a real experience of the sights, sounds and smells of history.
Showcasing more modern history, the Little Museum offers fascinating insights into the lives of the rich, famous and plain ordinary people of Dublin. Their latest exhibition, Brand New Retro, celebrates pop culture in Ireland from the 1950s to 80s and runs until 8th January 2017.
These are just some of the things to do in Dublin in winter. There’s a whole city to explore, and this is a great time of year to do it, so get out there!