A street view of Temple Bar at night lit up with Christmas decorations

Latest Dublin Christmas Market Info [2023]

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If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Dublin in December, then you’re likely to be wondering about the best Dublin Christmas market. And as well you should because Christmastime in Dublin is so beautiful and the atmosphere is super festive.

I feel like if you’re already heading to Ireland in December(or maybe you’re already there and looking for things to do in Dublin), I don’t need to sell you too much on how great Dublin at Christmastime is. But know that your thinking is correct here; this is a good time to visit Dublin.

Just walking around the city and seeing all the lights and Christmas trees throughout is special enough (I’ll touch more on that later). But you should definitely take the time to visit a Christmas market.

Dublin Castle Christmas Market

Elevated view of the Christmas Market in Dublin Castle, showing the outside courtyard and merry-go-round.
Courtesy Dublin Castle

The Christmas at the Castle is the one you’ll want to make sure you visit when in town. This one is the only traditional Christmas market (like what we see in many cities throughout the US – in the style of German Christmas markets).

It’s set against the backdrop of the historic Dublin Castle (located in its courtyard) and offers an array of various stalls. You’ll find unique crafts, local delicacies (as well as current popular foods like burgers and tacos), and seasonal treats. There’s also a carousel for the kiddos and a stage for performances.

Aside from food and entertainment offerings, the decorations are as festive as you can get. Trees and twinkling lights everywhere!

What to expect:

  • Market stalls
  • Food & drink
  • Live music
  • Visits to the staterooms
  • Nativity scene

It’s currently running now until December 19th, and is open from 12pm to 9pm daily.

Check out Dublin Castle’s site for the latest updates. It’s always free. Last year they required tickets so that the market was not a total madhouse with crowds, but there were a lot of complaints and confusion. So now you can just walk on in.

It’s been the go-to for locals and visitors alike for the last couple of years. And the event is great for everyone: families with little ones, multi-generational groups, couples, friends groups, you name it.

Other Christmas Festivities in Dublin

If you’ve already visited the Dublin Castle market and looking to experience more, there are PLENTY of other festivities to enjoy in Dublin.

Here are a few suggestions for a variety of interests:

Christmas on Moore Street

Colorful stalls line the street selling food and mulled wine, decorations, and hand-crafted gifts. It’s a perfect stop as you are touring the city. You’ll be immersed in Irish Christmas culture and will love being able to mix among the locals.

Take your time to wander along the stalls, drink some hot chocolate or mulled wine, and check out the live music.

This runs until December 23rd and is open from 11am to 5pm.

Guinness Storehouse Winter Village

The Guinness Storehouse is a great visit anytime of the year to be fair. But you’ll love visiting during the Christmas season as it gets a super cute festive upgrade.

Last year the Winter Village was comprised of mini stalls set up in the gift shop area. The entire building was decked out in holiday decorations.

This year they’re featuring a state of the art cinematic experience as well as live entertainment and festive fare throughout all 7 floors.

Dublin Zoo Wild Lights

Illuminated entrance to the Wild Lights Dublin Zoo Christmas event.
Courtesy Fionn Davenport

Every Christmas season the Dublin Zoo puts on a Wild Lights event throughout December.

This is obviously something for the whole family and multi-generational groups. But don’t discount it if you’re traveling with your partner. It’s a nice leisurely stroll, and a great thing to do when the sun goes down (which happens pretty early in December).

What to expect: Once the sun sets (in December, just after 4pm) the zoo transforms into a winter wonderland illuminated by thousands of lights and artistic light installations.

Every year has a different theme. Some past years have been “The Magic of Life”, “Around the World”, and “Stories, Myths, and Legends”, and “Ocean of Life”.

This year’s theme is “Enchanted Zoo” with a wizard, mythical creatures and fairies, and a candyland scene.

The artistic installations will have you winding throughout the zoo with their carefully curated displays. It’s so cute, and so well put together. Not to be missed!

Festive Pubs at Christmas

A street view of Temple Bar all lit up for Christmas in Dublin.
A pint of Guinness on a table in front of Christmas decorations in a Dublin pub.
Christmas tree decorated in The Church bar in Dublin.

Most if not all pubs are decorated for Christmas, but there are a few that really go all out:

Temple Bar: one of the most well-known tourist bars in the heart of Dublin. It’s definitely a tourist trap, but fun all the same.

Stags Head Pub: This is a gorgeous multi-leveled Victorian pub with a lot of great history (and a lot of fun!) They decorate so beautifully for Christmas, it’s worth a visit even if you don’t drink.

Hole in the Wall Pub: This a local favorite that takes its Christmas decorating very seriously! The decorations get put up in late October and don’t come down til January. A festive treat for all who visit and they keep the spirit alive during those dark winter months (what we all need!)

Christmas Bus Tours

Beautiful night time view of the Vintage Tea Tour bus in front of a Dublin building, both illuminated with a Christmas light projection.
Vintage Tea Tours Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

There are two different bus tours you can take here.

The first is the Vintage Tea bus tour. This one runs year round, but for Christmas they completely transform the bus and it’s completely decked out w/ festive decor. You’ll be treated to a Christmas decorations tour throughout Dublin as you nosh on minced pies and tea.

The second bus tour is the DoDublin hop-on hop-off bus tour. This is a 90 minute tour showing you the best of the Christmas lights throughout the city. There will be music and plenty of silly laughs and stories.