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Christmas In Dublin, What To See And Where To Go

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DCU chapter.

Tell me it’s not too early to mention the C word? Okay, I’m going to talk about it anyway. I don’t know about the rest of you but I am firmly a Christmas girlie. I would honestly skip Halloween and jump straight to Christmas, but the wait is kinda cool. As well as that, I am in my student in the big city era, studying and living in Dublin. So combine those two things together and you have a lot of fun to be had. Only, it takes a lot of time and effort to painstakingly search through all those TripAdvisor pages of “15 Best things to do in Dublin at Christmas,” so I’m going to trawl through them for you. Only, this guide will not include things like “Go to the Molly Malone Statue,” cause we’re better than that. 

Places to go

Dublin Zoo Wild Lights

Is it even a Dublin guide without mentioning this place? Everyone knows what it entails, but if you need a refresher, you head off to the zoo and go on a trip around the grounds, taking in the stunning lamps which depict a story as you travel along. This years theme is “The Magic of Life,” which is focusing on biodiversity in our world. As a bonus, it’s a perfect date night place ;) 

Malahide Castle lights

Another version of Wild Lights, Malahide Castle’s Wonder Lights are back for another year. While Wild Lights keep to a theme, Wonder Lights focuses more on light displays, with displays of a moon and earth and bridges lit up with a million twinkly little lights. 

City wander

If you’re in town doing some shopping or whatever and have time, I’d highly suggest having a wander around town, particularly in the evening. If you focus on areas like Grafton Street/College Green/Henry Street area you’ll find a new set of Christmas lights on every street. 

Botanic Gardens

Located in Glasnevin and just a short hop, skip and jump from town, the National Botanic Gardens are free to enter, but you can spend so long wandering around them. Pop down the road to McMahons or even the Bernard Shaw after for a coffee (or a cheeky glass of something) to warm yourself up after. 

Charlestown Funfair

This is one I’m really excited for. We’re all big kids at heart, so hearing about the funfair that comes to Charlestown annually was music to my ears. Think a Ferris wheel, bumper cars and dizzying rides that’ll leave your hair windswept and your heart happy. 

Cinema (Stella/Lighthouse)

I know we all know the cinema is a lovely option any time of the year, but have you been to the Stella cinemas or the Lighthouse yet? Both are above average cinemas. The Lighthouse shows more indie, alternative shows, where the Stella focuses on classic and new releases. The perfect cozy date night activity. 

Christmas markets 

We’ve gone mad for a good Christmas market in recent years haven’t we? I’m not about to complain anyway. I love nothing more than mooching around loads of tiny stalls full of snacks and trinkets I don’t need. If you feel the same, there are weekly markets in The Well (Stephens Green), monthly markets in Dublin 8 from @WeLoveMarkets and of course, the viral Dublin Castle markets. 

Places to eat

Captain Americas

If you’re in need of good, hearty food at decent prices, look no further. As well as an extensive menu, amazing cocktails and a fabulous atmosphere, Captain Americas do a mean student menu. 


A cult favourite for a reason. Their entire menu fits on a business card but is one of my favourites. If you don’t like burgers you might want to avoid though. 


Another classic Dublin location. Coming into winter a hot chocolate from Butlers will be the nicest treat ever. Plus, you get to pick out a chocolate when you get a drink. 


If you know your stuff, you know Murphys is an ice cream shop. However, I find no excuse in the cold weather to stop eating ice cream. Plus, their new range of hot chocolate will warm you right up. 


Located in Smithfield, this indie pub is the perfect place to pop into for a drink and slice of pizza. 


Doyles is a Dublin classic. Right on the corner of College Street, there’s no better place to spend an afternoon catching up with friends or people watching. I always liken it to Hogwarts on account of how small it is! 

Movies to watch 

Everyone knows the movies are the best part about Christmas, so here’s a few of my faves and one or two new ones coming out in time for the holidays! 

  • Disenchanted (Nov 18th, Disney+)
  • Home Alone (Disney+)
  • Christmas with the Kranks (Prime Video)
  • Love Actually (Netflix)
  • The Holiday (Netflix)

And there you have it! Whether you want an activity, a restaurant rec or even a few ideas for movie nights in, I’ve got you sorted with options. Happy Holidays! 

Irish, Journalism & Digital Media student. Slow fashion advocate. Lover of knitting, cats and Taylor Swift <3