We went to check out the Dublin Castle Christmas market over the weekend. It’s the first year that there has been a Christmas market at this iconic location, so we had to go and see if it’s worth a visit!
First impressions were definitely good. The set up is really beautiful, with lots of lights at the Palace Street entrance and rows of Christmas trees lining the entrance to the courtyard, where the market is located.
Inside there’s everything you’d expect from a Christmas Market. The stalls are set up in cosy wooden huts, much like those at the Galway Christmas Market, if you’ve been. From jewellery and ceramics to skincare and clothing, there are lots of options if you’re still on the hunt for gifts. Additional vendors will be setting up inside the Bedford Tower at weekends too.
The usual offering of pizzas, burgers, churros, donuts and the like, will help keep the hunger at bay while you browse the stalls or just wander around soaking up the festive vibes. Veggie and vegan options are available. A full list of vendors can be found on the Dublin Castle website.
There’s a vintage carousel, always a crowd pleaser and sure to keep the kids happy for a few minutes! On weekends, there’s also the opportunity to ride in a horse and carriage around the castle grounds.
If you like your Christmas cribs, be sure to check out the Castle’s handmade Neapolitan crib. You can view it inside the Chapel Royal.
Best time to visit
Yep, it was crazy busy at the weekend. That’s to be expected though and there was a great atmosphere and buzz. Even the ridiculous queue for the mulled wine didn’t dampen the spirits. In the end it was worth the wait and €5 seemed a reasonable price. On what was a pretty Baltic day, it certainly went down very well!
If you’re not a fan of the crowds, your best bet is probably to visit early on a week day. However, like any Christmas market, if you want to experience it at its best, get there around sunset and heading into dusk. Any time from around 3.30pm should be good.
When the sky turns that beautiful royal blue and the lights begin to twinkle, it’s definitely all the more magical. In the evenings there is also carol singing and you can get a peep inside the State apartments. They are open from 6 – 8pm with free entry and are decorated in their Christmas best.
It’s safe to the say the market has added a little more magic to the city this Christmas. So here’s hoping the Dublin Castle Christmas market will be back for many years to come.
Christmas at Dublin Castle at a glance
When: Christmas at Dublin Castle runs from December 12th until December 22nd and is open from 12pm – 8pm daily.
Where: the courtyard at Dublin Castle
What: Food & gifts, mulled wine, vintage carousel, carol singers, free entry to the State apartments and a fun filled atmosphere
How much: Free entry & then it’s up to you
Verdict: Unless you’re a Christmas Grinch, you’re going to want to check this one out!