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The Grafton Street Christmas Lights. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

Visiting Dublin for the Holidays

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If Ireland is on your list of places to see, consider visiting its capital Dublin for the holidays.

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Wicklow Street at Christmas. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

Around Christmas time, Ireland’s capital is awash in twinkling Christmas lights coupled with live performances, markets, and a festive shopping atmosphere that can’t be matched any other time of year.

Every evening, from Dec. 1 through to January, the city is transformed with an array of eco-friendly custom projections and lighting displays.

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Last year, the “Dublin Winter Lights 2021” initiative was projected onto walls at Barnardo Square on Dame Street and on City Hall, to name a few of the locations that were lit up.

The Grafton Street Christmas Lights. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

Grafton Street alone was shining brightly thanks to the power of 300,000 bulbs.

The Samuel Beckett Bridge on the Docklands in Dublin at Christmas. Photo: Ruth Medjber for Failte Ireland.

Eye-catching animations on the city’s Samuel Beckett Bridge and the beautifully lit Trinity College added a much-needed lift to Dublin during the darkest season of the year.

Other must-see holiday attractions included the Wonderlights at Malahide Castle and Gardens, one of several seaside towns easily accessible on the Luas train from Dublin City Center.

The “Castle of Light” event each year aims to bring the stunning grounds alive with a mix of lighting displays and immersive projections.

The Wonderlights display at Malahide Castle & Gardens outside Dublin. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

Be sure to wrap up warmly while enjoying an enchanting night walk on the grounds looking at the illuminated shapes of animals located throughout the property.

Visitors are usually admitted every 15 minutes between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Tickets are €19.50 for adults and €16.50 for children, students, and seniors. Children under 2 are free.

Read More: Affordable Hotels & Guesthouses in Dublin: 8 You Should Know About

Other Entertainment in Dublin

Dublin is famous for its Christmas pantos (pantomimes), a beloved tradition for many Dubliners.

During the Christmas holiday, visitors can choose from theatre, comedy, and an array of music shows at various venues throughout the city.

a man cooking on the grill visiting Dublin for the holidays
There's plenty of food at the Christmas Market at Dublin Castle. Photo:

If you’re visiting the city in the week leading up to Christmas, you’ll find a variety of Christmas markets in the city center area.

Don’t forget to take the opportunity to gaze at the elaborate window displays in many of Dublin’s bigger stores.

If your vacation brings you right up to the New Year and beyond, you’ll be able to welcome the city's annual New Year's Festival Dublin.

people around a large clock face visiting Dublin for the holidays
Costumed performers officially launch Dublin's New Year's Eve Festival, a popular event that you can enjoy if you're visiting Dublin for the holidays. Photo courtesy Failte Ireland.

The show includes six events that take place over two days in the heart of the city, beginning on Dec. 31 and ending on Jan. 1st.

One of the highlights of the New Year’s celebration this year is the Countdown Concert at Dublin Castle each year.

musicians performing visiting Dublin for the holidays
The Hothouse Flowers. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

Visitors to Dublin in late January can enjoy the popular Irish trad and folk festival known as Tradfest Temple Bar, which will take place between Jan. 25th and 29th, 2023.

Read More: Discover Other Festivals Around Ireland in 2022

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