Winter city breaks offer the perfect chance to embrace all the good parts of the season while getting a much needed break from the bad. Say goodbye to freezing on your way to work in dark early mornings, for example, and hello to turning up your coats and exploring under the twinkling lights!
With its cosy pubs, romantic charm and variety of cultural attractions, there are few better places than Dublin. Read on to learn why the Irish capital would make a perfect holiday destination for you this winter.
Get into the Spirit with Festive Attractions
Lit up brightly from the end of November throughout the Christmas season, Dublin is perfect to experience the romance and wonder of the period.
Churches and Castles
The religious minded and those with an interest in culture can experience the tranquillity of the Christmas Eve vigil at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, or the midnight Eucharist at Christ Church Cathedral. But don’t worry if a full church service isn’t for you; Dublin’s twelfth-century Malahide Castle runs an annual Christmas tour for all ages, including a warming cup of mulled wine at the end for the adults.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Of course, there are many more activities on offer too, with a huge number of the city’s bars and businesses offering special festive events. On top of this, you can also find plenty of markets, including:
- The Christmas Makers’ Market at the Chocolate Factory
- The Christmas Bazaar Market at Smithfield
- The Alternative Christmas Market at Arran Quay
There are many more – so keep an eye out!
Experience Culture at Distilleries and Museums
If the festive period is busy for you, you’ll be happy to know that Dublin has a lot to do over the rest of winter too. In fact, while more summery destinations might struggle to occupy you in cold or rainy weather, this city faces no such issues, with a range of museums, attractions and more to fill your time.
Teelings Whiskey Distillery
If you’ve never been to a whiskey distillery, you’re truly missing out. The tour here shows you the intricacies of the centuries-old production process and, best of all, offers a taste of the finished product at the end.
Ireland is well known for its whiskey, but it’s perhaps even more famous for Guinness. The iconic stout might be found in bars and bottles around the world, but there are those who say it never tastes as good as here in its home city. This trip around the storehouse lets you test that theory – and after you immerse yourself in the history of this one-of-a-kind drink, you can enjoy a fresh pint with an excellent city view!
Of course, the city has much more to its history and culture than just drinking, as you’ll find at the variety of museums. The Little Museum exhibits items from modern history, immersing you into ordinary Dubliners’ lives, while the Dublinia Heritage Centre takes you all the way back to the time of the Vikings.
Top Tip: If you’re lucky enough to be here over New Year, make sure to check out NYF Dublin – three days dedicated entirely to music and the arts.
Settle Down and Relax in Traditional Pubs
As with many other places around the world, perhaps the best way to get to know any Irish city is to explore its pubs. From historic sites like the Brazen Head, which claims the title of oldest pub in the city, to more modern microbreweries like J.W. Sweetman’s, there’s a huge range of pubs, bars and other establishments to let you wet your whistle.
Explore Traditional Music
For a truly unique Irish experience, though, seek out a venue hosting traditional music. From the iconic Auld Dubliner’s early-starting sessions, to the dance floors of O’Shea’s and The Celt, each venue boasts its own approach to the traditional style.
Most importantly of all, though, each of them can guarantee great musicians playing. So whether you own your own tin whistle or have never even heard of big names like The Dubliners, it’s an experience that shouldn’t be missed while you’re here.
Where to Stay
Russell Court Hotel: Just off St Stephen’s Green in the city centre, this Georgian-style building offers both lively onsite evening entertainments and antique-furnished luxury rooms. For a mix of modern fun and antique grace, it really can’t be beaten.
Hyatt Centric The Liberties Dublin: With a bar, shared lounge, restaurant and even a fitness centre onsite, it’s almost like the Hyatt doesn’t want you to leave! Add in complimentary WiFi and flatscreen TVs, and you’ll always have something to occupy a cosy night in. It’s also very close to the whiskey distillery and St Patrick’s Cathedral.
How to Get There
Many airlines offer affordable flights on the incredibly short journey from UK airports to Dublin, with almost 400 journeys along the route every week. Prices rise in peak times, but they’re always affordable, rarely exceeding £40 or £50.
Once you’ve landed, a transfer to the city centre on a pre-booked Shuttle Direct service is the best way to make the journey, allowing you to arrive unruffled by public transport.
- UK to DUB Flight Time: 1 hours 15 minutes
- DUB to Dublin Distance: 13 kilometres
- Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: 5 minutes
About Shuttle Direct
For airport transfers from Europe and North Africa’s favourite operator, look no further than Shuttle Direct. Our experienced drivers will get you where you need to go on time and without fuss, and they’re always willing and happy to share some local knowledge and tips.