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What to Do in Dublin in January

Updated: October 1, 2023

This post contains our top 10 list of fun things to do this January in Dublin, updated for 2024.

It includes free entertainment, after-dark activities, family-friendly things to do, concerts, festivals, and tours.

We also have a post on the January weather in Dublin.


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN JANUARY

Below are our favorite 10 events and activities to do this January in Dublin.

For more ideas, take a look at our post about things to do in Dublin at any time of year!

If you’re looking for more tips and things to do in Dublin, take a look at our other popular posts: 

If you want to get an up-close and personal look at the city, you can find plenty of pay-what-you-like walking tours running every day in January.


1. Enjoy Music

The Irish have a love for music that is deep in their bones. It's considered part of their national heritage.

Music used for storytelling purposes and to invoke strong feelings. Below are a few events in which you can take part.

Concerts

Music and Dance

Music-Related Tours

Behind the Scenes Tour


2. Visit the Guinness Storehouse

Guinness is one of the most famous brand names in all of Ireland, and its home storehouse and factory is in Dublin.

They’re also one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city!

It is easy to grab a ticket for a self-guided tour to walk through the storehouse and learn how the beer is made.

Once you’ve made it to the end, their Gravity Bar has beautiful views of Dublin in all directions, and enjoy a free pint of Guinness (or a soft drink).

If whiskey is what you prefer, though, don't forget you can also take a Jameson Distillery tour (with a tasting)!

Note: This attraction is listed on multiple Dublin city passes.

For more family-friendly activities or things to do after dark, check out our full posts.


3. Sightseeing Tour

January is usually quite cold, which means that tours and attractions will have far fewer other tourists than during the busy season! 

You can take advantage of hop-on-hop-off bus tours to take you directly to the popular spots, with commentary as you go.

If you want to get an up-close and personal look at the city, you can find plenty of pay-what-you-like walking tours running every day in January.

If you don’t want to be on a schedule, self-guided tours you can complete at any time of day or night are perfect options. 

These tours are all great for kids as well! If you're looking for more family-friendly fun, check out our full post


4. Attend a Christmas Panto

If you're looking for fun for the whole family, you won't want to miss a Christmas Pantomime (Panto), yes, even in January!

An important part of the holiday season, the panto involves everyone in the audience and is sure to bring smiles all around.

You might also find a well-known person from off of the telly as many name actors take part in them over the holidays.

Pantos

Check our our post 27 Things to do with Kids for even more suggested activities.


5. Save Money With an Attraction Discount Pass

If you’re planning on visiting a lot of popular attractions while you’re in Dublin, you could save some money with a Dublin city pass.

The biggest pass offered in this city is an all-inclusive pass, which includes entry to the most popular attractions in Dublin.

There is also a travel pass, which makes utilizing public transportation easy and includes some other perks.

Here are some of the best locations and tours included with a Dublin tourist pass:

  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Distillery Tours
  • Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Croke Park Tour
  • Dublin Castle
  • Dublin Zoo

To see how much money a pass could save you, please read our post covering Dublin tourist passes.

Or, if you've already found the best discount pass for your purposes, one can be purchased here: All Inclusive Dublin Go City | Explorer Dublin Go City | DoDublin Travel Card


7. TradFest 2023

Anyone hoping to get a glimpse of “traditional” Irish music while in Dublin should definitely seek out some trad sessions.

Fans of the genre will be happy to discover that Tradfest 2024 is taking place from January 24th - 28th.

The festival takes place in the Temple Bar district and has become Ireland’s largest traditional music festival. 

There will be headline concerts in various Dublin venues, daily music sessions in Temple Bar pubs, and family-focused concerts.

The lineup has been announced and tickets are on sale for the concerts with admission fees.

For more entertainment options, check out our free things to do post or our list of things to do at night in Dublin.


7. Dublin Bowie Festival 2023

The iconic David Bowie was an internationally loved singer, actor, artist, and icon.

From January 7th–11th, you can join in the celebration of his life and legacy.

In years past, there have been multiple events, from panels and talks to musical tributes and cover bands.

For more information, visit the Dublin Bowie Festival website.

You can also find more free things to do in Dublin in our free activities post.


8. Take the Kids to Dublin Zoo

The Dublin Zoo will be hosting an event called Wild Lights, which features amazing light displays.

This magical nighttime experience creates light installations that are truly mind blowing, and are designed around a new theme each year.

With a theme that takes you through an illuminated and magical woodland, all ages are sure to be captivated.

In January, Wild Lights is open 7 days a week. As of September 2023, the final dates haven't been released yet, but it is usually open for at least the first week in January.

Learn more about Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo.

NOTE: While you need to purchase separate tickets for this event, you can get admission to the Dublin Zoo at a discount with the All Inclusive Dublin Go City and the Explorer Dublin Go City discount passes.


10. See a Play or Musical

Dublin is home to excellent theatre productions that are both modern and traditional, depending on where you look.

A play, musical, or dance is performed somewhere in the city on a weekly basis.

A few theatres you might check out are:

  • Abbey Theatre | Ireland's National Theatre, this was home to premiers of works by some of Ireland's best-known playwrights
  • Gate Theatre | a big player in Irish theatre history that has a focus on classic and contemporary plays
  • Gaity Theatre | dating back to the 1800s, this theatre attracts top-tier musicals, plays, comedy shows, and more
  • Liberty Hall Theatre | known for modern plays written by both Irish and international playwrights
  • Olympia Theatre | dating back to the 1800s, this theatre has plays, comedy shows, concerts, and more

For even more things to do at night, read our post Things to do at Night in Dublin.


10. MegaCon Live

If comic books, sci-fi, anime, fantasy, and gaming are up your alley, you might enjoy MegaCon Live.

MegaCon, formerly Comic Con Ireland, takes place at RDS Stadium in Dublin.

There will be cosplay, a Kidtropolis, a games area, and sometimes even a famous face.

Events takes place January 20th-21st and tickets can be purchased here.


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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: October 1st, 2023
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