Ireland in December – Here’s What to See and Do
Hot Irish stew, a thick pint of the black stuff and a cozy pub setting with roaring fires is the perfect way to warm up during the winter season in Ireland. Although it’s the coldest time of year to be embarking on a luxury tour of the Irish coastline and countryside, the climate is still mild compared to other European destinations.
In the city of Dublin, you can expect daily averages of 9°C (48°F) and temperatures that rarely fall below 4°C (39°F). Winter can be wet, but Ireland wouldn’t be Ireland without a little rainfall. And with the entire nation getting excited for Christmas, this is one of the liveliest times to enjoy a vacation here.
Here are some of the most wonderful things you can do during Ireland’s holiday period.
Christmas Markets – Galway
Head to Eyre Square in Galway to experience the electric atmosphere of the Christmas Market. The city center transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting over 300,000 visitors from all over the world. With market stalls selling arts and crafts, artisan products and gifts, this is the perfect place to do some Christmas shopping.
Entertainment such as carol singers, live music and Santa’s Grotto are also available every day of the week. This famous festive market, like many in Ireland, runs from mid-November to late December.
Festivals – Winterval in Waterford
Another unmissable event during the holiday season is Winterval in Waterford. This is a fun, family-friendly festival with great food and drink, a Santa’s Grotto, outdoor ice-skating and rides. Waterford is also spectacular at this time of year, especially for a luxury foodie vacation.
The city has been chosen as the winner of Foodie Destinations 2019, with judges observing its spectacular sense of community and local awareness, as well as its pride and passion for advancing food tourism in the area.
Hiking – Glendalough Lake Walk
The Glendalough Lake Walk in Wicklow is perfect for a chilly day, as it is only 5.5km in distance and is conveniently signposted. Explore this gorgeous loop walk around the lake and take in the breathtaking winter scenery. Enjoy views of the water, the surrounding hills and forests, and the mountain range in the distance.
The route starts and finishes at the National Park Information Office, where you can learn more about the surrounding area. For a bite to eat after your hike, try Casey’s Bar & Bistro or Wicklow Heather Restaurant.
City and Culture – Belfast
Belfast in Northern Ireland is home to some of the top visitor attractions in Ireland. Including Belfast City Hall featuring striking architectures as well as free exhibits and displays, the world-famous Titanic Museum and Experience, and stunning Belfast Castle.
For a bit of high culture, the Grand Opera House is not to be missed. Or for art collections, there’s the Engine Room Gallery, Townhouse Gallery or Ulster Museum.
Shopping – Dublin
For the best Christmas shopping in Ireland, the capital should be your first port of call. You’ll find an excellent choice of shopping destinations. As well as the grand Christmas Market that takes place every December, you’ll also find the main shopping areas around Grafton Street and Henry Street.
Shopping centers and department stores include Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre (for high street brands), Powerscourt Townhouse (specializing in antiques and jewelry), and Brown Thomas (for luxury brands).
To find out more about bespoke travel in Ireland, get in touch with us today.