Being in Ireland was a long-time dream for us. But exploring the country during Christmas season was an adventure. Before sharing all the findings and breathtaking views and experiences with you, we will try to bring you the Irish Christmas spirit and mood.
It seems like everything around Christmas is binded with the decorations, the food and the cold weather. More or less this covers the most places in the world (or at least in Northern hemisphere). But the way it is done, the attention to the detail and the lovely feelings are the things that can make the difference.
Let us see how it is done the Irish way!
It is very important to listen to this song to immerse yourselves in the Christmas vibes. It is an absolute winter hit since it was conceived in 1944 and let’s hope it will entertain us performed by different singers for many years on.
It is cold outside in the city of Cobh. You will be compensated by views of smoking chimneys and steep streets with colorful houses. And make sure you make it for the sunset over the harbor!
Once you go out and hit the small streets around the river, everything changes and the party starts! We heard that people in Waterford know how to have fun and the streets are lively even later in the evening. Pubs too.
In Kilkenny, you can have a tasty lunch but you cannot skip the decorations on every building, even in the yard of the castle. The colorful town adds the green-red Christmas combination to its palette to keep your eyes happy.
In Cork people don’t forget the beloved ones that are not among them anymore. After all, Christmas is all about getting together, right? Cork streets can get quite crowded so mind the parking space you plan to occupy.
Ring of Kerry (Portmagee)
The strong wind and heavy rain greeted us while we were starting the scenic Ring of Kerry. So not much of a Christmas decorations were left to be captured. Beer tasting after the long and hard drive was the Christmas treat for us.
Cliffs of Moher
Along the coastline, a lot of wind, waves, and cliffs can be seen. Each one more gorgeous and stunning than the other. But in the spirit of Christmas and the shopping fever, the small “Hobbit Hole” stores can be a non-traditional place to choose a gift from.
Small places like Kilrush can help get the Christmas mood again and believe in the Christmas spirit. Places like this introduce you to friendly locals decorated their whole house and every little detail of it. Or wine shopkeepers introduce you to traditional Irish music played by concertina.
The capital of culture – Galway – won’t miss any kind of decoration or the cheerful playful vibes. Locals won’t miss the chance to hang out in the evening wearing sandals (?!?!) while bands of violins tease your dance spirit to come out.
In the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, everything is about the medieval and modern mash-up. You can choose between Christmas dinner in the castle premises, Mrs. Santa giving out gifts to all the good children, or hop on the fairytale train through houses, farms, and woods.
Coming back to reality, we heard about the 12 pubs, 12 drinks tradition. So we decided to follow the locals and do it in Dublin – the capital of the country and the pub culture. The challenge is to have a drink in every pub and walk to the next one. There are some funny and totally unnecessary rules you can observe – like holding the drink with the hand you don’t use or taking the punishment of carrying a random object in the pub or faking an accent different than yours. We found out the real challenge was to find pubs open as the night was going old. So we would recommend doing the traditional challenge a day or two before Christmas Eve. And to enjoy it with a good company of your family and friends, or with a group of strangers with great potential, like we did. 🙂
Check out more Christmas vibes and customs that we gathered over the years – Christmas and New Year’s traditions and customs around the world.
Where did you celebrate Christmas this year? What can you recommend us for the next year?