Dublin is a fabulous city to visit all year round but it is especially magical at Christmas. Every street, from the wide thoroughfares to the little winding alleys are lit for the season and the shops – always a delight – really rise to the occasion. For a very special Christmas break, Dublin is hard to beat and you can find an assortment of hotels on offer from Hotel Direct. Dublin’s markets are famous and at Christmas they are where you will find some great bargains and some unusual gifts for people back home. The Christmas Cracker Flea Market is on this year from the 13th to the 15th of December and is a must-see with over a hundred stalls selling everything from food to vintage clothing. The Docklands Christmas Festival is on for longer – from 12th to 23rd of December – and so whether you are a planner or a ‘last-minuter’, it is ideal. As well as loads to buy, there is also entertainment on offer, with carousels for the kids.
How to get there
Dublin is a very short flight away from most UK airports but if you think you might be buying lots, you might prefer to take the car. There are ferries running frequently from Fishguard, Holyhead and Liverpool so you can just drive on, drive off and get on with the shopping. For a cheaper option that is a little more relaxing than driving or wrestling with airport crowds, you can also go by coach or train. It is easy to book straight through from a number of UK stations. Typically, the coach is the cheapest option, cheapest of all when prebooked using a coachcard.
Many of the pubs and bars in Dublin go all out to ensure their patrons have a good old-fashioned Christmas and perhaps the pinnacle of the decoration is to be found in the Central Hotel, in Exchequer Street. Their Library Bar is like a Christmas dream come true with deep comfy armchairs and sofas, a huge Christmas tree and all the trimmings. Their wonderful Mulled Wine completes the deal and shouldn’t be missed when in Dublin at Christmas. The Stag’s Head turns its upstairs bar into a kind of fairy grotto and with hot toddies all round it is impossible not to join in the Christmas spirit. Dublin is so full of wonderful places to eat and drink that seeing Christmas in with a cheer is easy – just walk outside and listen for the noise! Many of the restaurants are very child friendly too, so there is no need to leave the kids at home. Christmas is all about children after all and the looks on their faces when they see the amazing decorations that Dublin is full of at this time of year makes you feel covered in Christmas glow. The great thing about Dublin is that it is one of the most walkable of all cities, so strolling through the lights and tinsel is easy to do and even Ebenezer Scrooge would end up full of the joy of Christmas before he had gone many steps.