Shake off the gloom of winter with a stay in a city that offers the warmest of welcomes and a cosmopolitan calendar of events.

From music and markets to theatre, art, fabulous food and cosy pubs, Dublin has everything you need for an amazing winter break. Here is a taste of what’s on offer:

A night at the theatre

There’s always lots of great theatre in Dublin. Winter highlights include the Abbey Theatre’s modern take on Brendan Behan’s The Quare Fellow featuring a cast of all female and non-binary actors playing the male roles, while over at the Gate Theatre there’s a chance to see Roddy Doyle’s reimagining of Peter Pan.

Wonderful lights

Ireland’s largest-ever light show returns to Malahide Castle with the gardens and woodland glowing with huge installations. This year’s Wonderlights theme is The Magic of Winter with new displays spread along the 1.8km walking trail. And over at Dublin Zoo, Wild Lights, a nighttime spectacular takes you into a land of magical creatures.     

Awesome art

Art lovers will be spoiled for choice. The Hugh Lane Gallery is hosting Ireland’s biggest ever Andy Warhol exhibition, Andy Warhol Three Times Out  while the National Gallery of Ireland’s winter exhibitions include Lavery. On Location. a tribute to the internationally renowned Irish painter.

Great gigs

Dublin’s 3Arena will host performances by top artists including Anne Marie, Ice Cube and Hozier as well as a sensational Viennese Christmas Gala Concert. And at Bord Gáis Theatre musical delights will include Puccini’s La Bohème and the musical Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Elsewhere, live music abounds; check out Whelan’s and Vicar Street for an eclectic programme of gigs.

Literary insights

On the first Friday of every month, the Museum of Literature Ireland stays open late for an evening of readings, discussions and whiskey tastings, alongside the usual exhibits. At the National Library of Ireland you can explore the work of two Nobel Laureates Seamus Heaney and WB Yeats. Or why not experience an enchanting music-filled tour of St Patick’s Cathedral and discover the legacy of Jonathan Swift.

Christmas magic

Bustling markets, streets lit by fairy lights, angelic choirs and festive fun make Dublin a great Christmas destination. Why not enjoy a Celtic Nights Christmas show full of good food, Irish music and dance or hop on board a Christmas Twinkling Lights Vintage Tea trip where you can savour a festive afternoon tea on a bus ride through the city. 

New Year Festival

Dublin’s four-day New Year Festival is a great reason to visit the city. Ring in the New Year at the countdown concert, just one of the festival’s many live music concerts taking place in three of the city’s landmark locations – Dublin Castle, the National Museum of Ireland: Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks and Meeting House Square. There will also be street entertainment, pyrotechnics, light displays parades and more.   

Traditional music

Post Christmas blues will be blown away when Tradfest strikes up in January. Showcasing the best of established and emerging musical talent in over 50 performances across Dublin over five days, Tradfest is a celebration of traditional Irish music and culture alongside international folk music. This year’s headliners include Janis Ian and Ralph McTell.