Unlike Galway and Belfast, there isn’t one main Dublin Christmas Market – there are several… usually!
And, while last year was a bit of a mess, it’s looking like there’ll be at least one Christmas Markets in Dublin in 2021: the Dublin Castle Christmas market.
There are also a handful of other markets that have run in recent years (Dun Laoghaire, Swords Castle and the Guinness Storehouse) that also have the potential to be going ahead, as you’ll discover below.
Some quick need-to-knows about Christmas markets in Dublin in 2021
So, there are some very quick need-to-knows if you’re looking to visit one of the Christmas markets in Dublin in 2021 (you’ll find info on the ones taking place further down).
1. Don’t believe what 90% of websites are saying
So, if you Google ‘Dublin Christmas Market 2021’ you’ll find a rake of websites listing off a load of markets that no longer take place, e.g. the Dublin Flea Christmas Market or the market at the IFSC.
2. Update: There’s currently 2 Christmas Market confirmed
3. More may be announced
The Dublin Christmas Markets that are likely to be taking place in 2021
Below, you’ll find the Dublin Christmas Market that is 100% taking place and a handful of others looking likely to take place.
Later, you’ll find some festive events taking place in Dublin, from drive-in Christmas movies to pantos, concerts and more.
1. The Dublin Castle Christmas market
A couple of years back, the Dublin Castle Christmas market arrived out of nowhere (it was first mentioned in the news in mid-December) and it went down reasonably well.
It has been confirmed that the 2021 Dublin Castle Christmas market will take place from Wednesday, December 8th until Tuesday, December 21st.
If you visited this market before, you’ll know that Dublin Castle was finely decked out in fairy lights and the entrance to the castle grounds was lined with 100+ Christmas trees.
Inside the castle grounds, there were 30+ stalls selling the usual stuff you find at Christmas markets and there was also carol singing, drink stands and a vintage carousel.
Arguably the biggest attraction of this Dublin Christmas market was the complimentary access to the traditionally decorated State apartments in the castle.
2. The Guinness Storehouse Christmas market
The Guinness Storehouse Christmas market is the second Christmas market in Dublin be officially returning in 2021.
If you visited their ‘main’ market last year, you’ll know that it wasn’t great – it was literally a handful of stalls inside the main entrance.
However, this years’ market sounds fairly different, with a show-stopping Christmas tree curated by award winning graphic designer Annie Atkins along with several live performances.
The Guinness Storehouse Christmas market is taking place from Saturday, November 27th 2021 to Sunday, January 2nd 2022.
3. Christmas Craft Market at the National Botanic Gardens
The Christmas Craft Market at the National Botanic Gardens takes place on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December and runs from 10am to 4pm.
Now, this is more a traditional craft fair than a German-style Christmas market, but it’s set in the impressive surrounding of the Botanic Gardens and there’ll be Christmas lights and a festive buzz.
You can expect over 35 stalls selling everything from sustainable gifts to tasty treats. This is one of the better Christmas markets in Dublin for those of you looking to pick up gifts with a twist.
4. Winteryard at the Bernard Shaw
The Winteryard Flea Market is another fair-style market that’s running in the Bernard Shaw (in their new location over in Glasnevin.
The flea markets here are taking place from December 5th to Jan 30th and there’s 15-20 stalls rocking away. You can expect to find all of the regular trinkets, crafts and food.
They’re also hosting Christmas movie nights too (you can grab tickets here).
- Thurs 2nd Dec: Home Alone (1990)
- Thurs 9th Dec: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
- Wed 15th Dec: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
5. The Dun Laoghaire Christmas Market
The Dun Laoghaire Christmas Market is one of the longest-running Christmas markets Dublin has to offer.
Here, you usually find all of the usual stalls offering hand-made gifts, festive treats, gourmet sausages and all of that craic.
However, this year, it looks to be just a Christmas funfair taking place, so it’s probably one more suited to those with kids.
It also has a very random feature: the Ferris Wheel from the movie Grease… yes, Grease! There’s also a vintage funfair, a tonne of lights and Santa’s Post Box.
6. Mistletown (update: now cancelled)
The recently announced Mistletown Christmas market was set to be the largest Christmas market in Dublin in 2021 and the biggest indoor Christmas market in Ireland.
Held inside the iconic wholesale fruit and vegetable market near Smithfield, the Mistletown Christmas market was due to run over several weekends in December, starting on the 4th and running until the 23rd.
However, it’s just been announced that this market will no longer take place, which is a pain as it was the only market officially confirmed.
Spending Christmas in Dublin? Here are 5 festive things to do!
OK, there are only a few markets above, so I’ve whacked in some other festive things to do at Christmas in Dublin this year.
I’ll add more to the list below when pantos, carols, and other events are announced closer to December (find loads more things to do in the city in our guide on what to do in Dublin).
1. Have a ramble around the city and check out the lights
Like many of Ireland’s towns and cities, Dublin is completely lit up during the festive period. However, the Christmas light switch on in Dublin has gone a*se ways over the years.
For a number of years, there was a big switch on that people travelled in to see. However, those running the event couldn’t control the crowds, and it was cancelled.
Grab a cup of coffee and take a little stroll around O’Connell Street, Henry Street, Grafton Street and just follow the lights. Finish the festive ramble off with a bite to eat in one of the best restaurants in Dublin.
2. Catch a festive flick on a screen the size of 2 double-decker buses
Fancy watching the Santa Clause, ELF, Home Alone or Love Actually on a big aul screen from the comfort of your car?
The lads at Retro Drive-In have confirmed that they’re coming back in 2021. Retro Drive-In is an outdoor cinema that takes place at Leopardstown each year.
If it’s lashing rain and you don’t fancy getting drenched while sauntering around a Dublin Christmas market, take refuge in your car and catch a festive flick.
3. Visit a panto
If the Christmas Markets in Dublin aren’t you’re cup of tea, you can kick-back with some live entertainment at one of the many pantos taking place.
- The Gaiety Panto (The Little Mermaid): November 28th to January 9th
- The Liberty Panto (Snow White): December 20th to January 2nd
- The 3Olympia Theatre (Olly, Polly and the Beanstalk): December 22nd to January 9th
- The Helix Panto (Red Riding Hood): November 26th to January 9th
- The National Stadium Panto (Aladdin): December 9th to January 2nd
4. Kick-back to some Christmas carols
There’s an absolute tonne of different Christmas carol events you can visit in Dublin at Christmas, with many confirmed already. Here are three to check out:
- The Guinness Choir Christmas Concert: December 5th at St Patrick’s Cathedral
- The Key Notes Christmas Concert: December 21st and 22nd at The Pepper Canister Church
- Peter McVerry Trust Christmas Carol Concert: December 4th at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
5. Visit some Christmassy pubs for a cosy pint and a chat with friends
Dublin’s home to many a pub, but some go all out during November and December with Christmas decorations.
The Hole in the Wall pub is one of those places that you need to visit at Christmas if you haven’t nipped by already.
The folks here go all out decorating from November, and the result is incredibly special! Find loads more bars to visit in our guide to the best pubs in Dublin.
6. Dublin Christmas lights 2021 switch-on
The Dublin Christmas lights switch-on has been a bit hit and miss for the last couple of years. And that’s putting it mildly.
In 2017, the Christmas switch-on parade on O’Connell Street had to be cancelled due to concerns of overcrowding.
In 2018, an event titled ‘Winter Lights Dublin City’ saw 12 different iconic sights lit up throughout Dublin City for 30 days instead.
I can’t remember what happened in 2019, but in 2020 that started getting switched on from November 19th, so we can expect a similar, gradual lighting up again in 2021.
Christmas markets Dublin: What have we missed?
Although I’ve spent (literally) 3 hours researching what Christmas markets Dublin may have returning to it in 2021, it’s been a pain.
Most websites are outdated by 2+ years and getting up-to-date info is near impossible. If you know of one we need to add, comment below.
FAQs about Dublin at Christmas
We get tonnes of emails every year asking about Dublin at Christmas. And, after the last 18 months we’ve all had, it’s nice to see a bit of normality returning.
I’ve popped in the most FAQs below. If you have one that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section.
What Dublin Christmas markets are confirmed for 2021?
The only Christmas Markets in Dublin that are confirmed for 2021 are the Dublin Castle Christmas market, which will run from December 8th until December 21st.
What other Dublin Christmas markets are likely to return?
It’s hard to know as it’s now getting so close to Christmas. The only other market that could be announced is the Dun Laoghaire market.
I was born in a quiet corner of a Gaeltacht on the Dingle Peninsula. Over the years, I’ve explored Ireland far and wide, from the wilds of West Clare to the shores of Sherkin. Particularly fond of heritage, history and hikes (and words beginning with ‘H’, apparently…).