Dublin, Ireland is merely magical in the wintertime. The great Irish cheer is even more welcoming and warm at this time of year, and with all the festive decorations and twinkling lights across the city, a trip to Dublin around Christmas cannot help but get you in the festive spirit.
The streets filled with merry locals and tourists – I found it was nicely busy with a buzz in the air.
Dublin is also great for shopping, which means you can get all your Christmas shopping done and have a nice break as well.
I do find that spending Christmas in another city can be an extraordinary experience – it’s nice to change up your traditions sometimes and experience the holidays somewhere new.
If that’s on your list this year, then I would recommend a wintertime trip to Dublin – the charm and cheer of this beautiful city are sure to put you in a festive mood.
How to get to Dublin, Ireland from London, UK
My best advice for reaching Dublin, Ireland from London, UK would be to get a special discounted ticket called a Sail and Rail ticket.
You can book directly with Irish Ferries, and the lowest price I’ve seen for this one-way ticket was £34/€43. Best rates are when you book direct and in advance.
How do Sail and Rail or Rail and Sail work?
It’s rather simple, you pay one price, and your ticket includes your rail ticket with Avanti West Coast (Formerly Virgin Rail) from London Euston to Holyhead then a sailing ticket with Irish Ferries from Holyhead to Dublin Port.
Holyhead train terminal and Holyhead ferry port are within walking distance from each other and is a swift transfer.
Once you’ve arrived in Dublin Port, you can take a local bus to the center of Dublin. Be sure to have some spare change for the bus.
You can book one way then fly back, or you can book a return ticket if you wish, the option is yours.
This way you can take your time from the comfort of your seat and enjoy the scenic journey on the train and ferry as you reach Ireland. It’s a fun experience an affordable way to travel too.
Here are some of my favorite things to experiences you can treat yourself to in Dublin on your trip.
Visit the iconic Guinness Store House
The Guinness Store House is an absolute must-do when you’re in Dublin at any time of year – this is the home of Guinness after all, and the Store House makes for an exciting and enjoyable tour experience.
Here you can learn about the production of Guinness and the global popularity of this classic Irish stout around the world. There’s also plenty of excellent restaurants for a meal – with a perfectly poured Guinness of course. They say Guinness tastes better in Ireland, and you’ll be able to judge that for yourself here.
The Guinness Store House also makes a great tour experience around Christmas time, as Ireland’s equivalent to the Christmas Coca-Cola advert is the Guinness ad featuring the Store House gates.
It’s an excellent spot for a Christmassy picture – maybe you could put it on your cards next year.
The best entrance ticket price I found was purchasing an advanced E-ticket from the Guinness Store House website.
Christmas at the Dublin Castle
The Dublin Castle was once the seat of government in Ireland, with most of the construction dating from the 18th Century. It’s a beautiful tourist destination, and in the festive months, there’s a unique Christmas festival inside the castle walls.
The atmosphere here is so warm and fun – there are stalls selling arts and crafts, food, boutique gifts and festive treats. It’s nice to take a wander and check out what the vendors have the offer. There’s Christmas trees and decorations everywhere you look within the castle walls – a lovely way to spend a day.
Enjoy the festive vibes of Temple Bar
Temple Bar is known as Dublin’s ‘cultural quarter’ – take a stumble around here for a great selection of bars, street musicians and small gift shops. This area is where you want to head for your evening entertainment and night-time revelry.
Grafton Street arcade for a spot of shopping
Get yourself to Grafton Street for some shop-till-you-drop last-minute gift shopping. Your family and friends will be presently surprised by the Irish twist to your presents – doing your Christmas shopping in another city do make it more interesting.
There’s beautiful Christmas displays and incredible lighting all along Grafton Street; this is the place for shopping in Dublin.
Enjoy a winter stroll around Iveagh Park
Iveagh Park is a stunning place for a unique winter walk. The gardens are beautifully designed, with exceptional landscaping features. There’s plenty to see here even in the winter months – wrap up warm and take a stroll through these magnificent gardens.
Get into the festive spirit with a cocktail at the Iveagh Gardens Hotel
After your fresh air walk through the Iveagh Gardens, my top tip is to head straight to the Iveagh Gardens Hotel to warm yourselves by their fireplaces and sip on some delicious cocktails.
The décor of this hotel is magical – and at Christmas, it’s uniquely whimsical with trees and decorations everywhere you look.
There are several boutique rooms with comfy places to sit and roaring fires – make sure you take a good look through their extensive cocktail menu to try something unusual.
And if you’re looking for a place to stay whilst in Dublin, this can be just the spot.
Visit the library at Trinity College
To add a touch more culture to your visit, head to Trinity College to take a look around the architecture and heritage here. The oldest part of the library was constructed from 1712, and there’s plenty of Irish history stored here in this famous copyright library.
Tuck into an Irish Stew at the Stag’s Head
The Stag’s Head is a cosy little spot featuring a classically Irish atmosphere and loads of hidden rooms. Find yourself a secluded place to get warm and cheery, and tuck into a traditional Irish stew. It’s a delicious dish, and something I would recommend trying.
End your day at the Jameson’s distillery
Finally, Jameson’s distillery offers a fascinating tour, where you can learn about the production of this famous Irish whiskey.
There’s also a cocktail bar – the perfect spot to end your day with a unique Irish whiskey cocktail made by their knowledgeable staff.
Thank you for reading my Christmas guide to visiting Dublin, Ireland
Thank you for coming along to my blog post and reading my article about visiting Dublin, Ireland at Christmas.
I hope you’ve found loads of useful information and looking forward to visiting Dublin.
If you have any questions about your trip, feel free to send me an email, I’d be more than happy to help, have an amazing trip.