This article is part of a series which researches the top cities for Christmas Markets in Europe. In this series, Dublin was recognised as the 48th most coveted Christmas Market from a list of over 500 European cities.
About Dublin Christmas Markets
Christmas in Dublin is the most magical time of year. From the moment the Christmas lights are switched on Grafton Street in mid-November to the live busking by some of Ireland’s best musicians on Christmas Eve, Dublin turns into a bustling, atmospheric city full of colour, laughter, and sing-songs. One of the best ways to get into the festive spirit is to check out the best Christmas markets in Dublin, of which the best ones are listed below.
Whether you’re in Dublin for a day or a week this festive season, be sure to put some time aside to visit some of these wonderful Christmas markets and craft fairs.
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Ha’Penny Christmas Market at Grand Social
This market actually takes place every Saturday of the year in the Grand Social, a large and lively bar and social space just over the famous Ha’Penny bridge in Dublin city centre. The weekly market gets a Christmas makeover towards the end of November and continues every Saturday right up until Christmas Eve.
This is a fun place to come if you’re looking for quirky Christmas gifts such as vinyl records, vintage clothing and handmade arts and crafts that make great stocking-fillers! It’s situated right across the river from Temple Bar, in Dublin 1.
When: From November 26th
Where: Grand Social, 35 Liffey Street Lower
What time: Saturdays from 12pm – 6pm
Official Website: : https://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/ha-penny-flea-market
Dublin Christmas Flea Market – Point Square
North of the River Liffey, and a short walk from Google Docks (the epicentre of tech companies in Dublin!) and across the square from the 3 Arena is the Dublin Christmas Flea Market which takes place in Point Square. This year’s Christmas Flea Market takes place over two weekends, the 6th to the 9th of December and the 13th to the 16th December. With over 135 stalls displaying handmade crafts, books and irish contemporary design – you won’t be short of beautiful gifts to purchase. To see what sort of beautiful crafts will be on offer beforehand, take a peek at their website.
When: 6th-9th and 13th-16th December.
Where: The Point Square
What time: Thursday and Friday 1-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm.
Official Website: http://dublinchristmasflea.ie/
Dun Laoghaire Christmas Market – Dun Laoghaire
If you want to escape the city for an afternoon and breath in some fresh sea air, then hop on the DART (the Dublin commuter train line) and check out the Dun Laoghaire Christmas Market in South County Dublin. Dun Laoghaire is a beautiful seaside town, with a well-known yacht club and a fascinating history, making it perfect for a day trip any time of the year. The market is only open on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) for most of November and December and will be open every day of the week on the final lead up to Christmas Day. Here you’ll find carefully selected seasonal arts and crafts and plenty of delicious food vendors to keep your belly happy.
This is one of the prettiest Christmas Markets in Dublin and is especially magical in the late afternoon when all the lights on the small huts are turned on and it looks like a winter wonderland – minus the snow!
When: 18th November until December 23rd
Where: The Metals, Dun Laoghaire
What time: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 12.30pm – pm
Official Website: https://dublin.ie/whats-on/listings/dun-laoghaire-christmas-festival/
Christmas at Smithfield – Smithfield Square
If you’re staying in Dublin City Centre and don’t want to venture too far from town, Christmas at Smithfield is a fun place to go. Smithfield is a hub of activity any time of year, being home to the Jameson Distillery, the lively Cobblestone Pub, The underground Lighthouse Cinema and just a stone’s throw from Temple Bar, Phoenix Park and Dublin Zoo. It’s here on Smithfield Square that you can set your eyes on one of the largest Christmas trees in Dublin, and in the past they’ve been known to erect ice rinks here!
They often throw a free concert on the day the Christmas lights get turned on, with popular Irish musicians in attendance. The market here isn’t a permanent fixture, but on the days it is open you can expect arts and crafts stalls and some delicious local, and traditional, food options.
When: 24th November
Where: Smithfield Square
What time: 4pm-9 pm
Official Website: https://www.dublintown.ie/whats-on-events/smithfield-christmas-night-market/
MART Market – Rathmines Old Fire Station
The MART Market in Rathmines, just south of Dublin city centre is a very unique market that’s a lot of fun to check out. It takes place in an old fire station, and alongside the usual festive arts and crafts, you’ll also see lots of beautiful paintings by local artists, local fashion and jewellery displayed around the gallery.
When: 8th-9th, 13th-16th, 20th-23rd December
Where: MART Market Rathmines
What time: 12pm-7pm
Official Website: http://www.mart.ie/market/
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Other Christmas Highlights in Dublin
Besides the main Dublin Christmas Markets listed above, there are also some key festive events taking place in the city that visitors might not know about. Below we’ve tried to share all our local Dublin secrets so visitors to Dublin’s fair city in December can hopefully have just as much fun as we do.
The Bernard Shaw Flea market and Eatyard Special
Besides organizing fun party nights, The Bernard Shaw, one of Dublin’s most famous and most loved pubs also plays host to a weekly flea market on their premises on Richmond Street South (Dublin 8) for the month of December. In addition to the Saturday market, they also sometimes have a pop-up night market on Thursdays to satisfy all those late night shoppers or party-goers who over to shop after a hot whiskey or two!
When: Every Sunday and Thursday from December 1st
Where: The Bernard Shaw, 11-12 Richmond St South.
What time: 1pm-6pm Saturdays, 5pm-10pm Thursdays
Official Website: https://the-eatyard.com/
Craft & Design Fair – RDS Main Hall
If you’re interested in getting your hand on some of Ireland’s best-made arts and crafts, or you just fancy a fun day out, then head to the Craft & Design Fair in the RDS this December. Don’t worry, it’s not just arts and crafts you’ll find here, as the fair also attracts some of Ireland’s top jewellery makers and artisans! This year’s fair takes places from the 5th to the 9th of December with tickets available at the door or for purchase online here.
When: 5th-9th December
Where: RDS Main Hall,
What time: Thursday and Friday 10am-10pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-7pm
Official Website: http://www.giftedfair.ie/
Winter Funderland – RDS
Bringing children to Dublin for Christmas or believe you’re just a big kid yourself? The annual Funderland Funfair takes place at the RDS each Christmas and is home to some top thrill rides including roller coasters, Dodgems, a haunted house, and even a log splash. Wrap up warm though as it can very cold standing in queues and hanging outside for hours on end!
When: 14th December – 14th January
What time: Daily 12pm-10pm
Official Website: https://www.funderland.com/
The Annual Christmas Lights Switch On
If you’re in Dublin in November, you can’t miss the much-anticipated turning on of the Christmas lights. It’s one of the best days of the calendar year for kids, and the atmosphere on Grafton Street, where the biggest crowds turn up, is always electric. There are also separate events in Smithfield and Dundrum to turn the lights on, so if you miss one event you can try to make one of the other two!
There’s simply no denying that Dublin at Christmas is the most magical time of year. Sure, you’ll laugh at the locals walking around in their ugly Christmas jumpers, and you’ll stand in awe at the never-ending queues of groups trying to get into pubs to complete the 12 Pubs of Christmas tradition, but most of all you’ll feel welcomed into our beautiful city and hopefully be able to head home with a suitcase full of treats from all the wonderful Dublin Christmas markets,
When: To be announced (19th November in 2017)
Where: Grafton Street
What time: 5.30pm
Official Website: https://dublinatchristmas.ie/
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