Ireland Christmas Vacation 2019

A 8 day trip to Ireland 
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Looking to start a new Christmas tradition? Then hop across the pond to the Emerald Isle, where the scene is sure to light your eyes and the people are sure to warm your heart. With the best shopping, finest food and most charming locals, Dublin is sure to give you the very merriest of Christmases.

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

City sightseeing, authentic local restaurants and the wonderful Christmas markets in the city of your choice

Departure Dates 

November and December

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Arrival in Dublin, Ireland’s Best Holiday Stop

Today welcomes you to beautiful Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland and one of the most endearing of Europe’s major cities. After getting set up in your luxurious and elegant hotel, you’ll surely want to explore everything all of the wonderful diversions this city has to offer. Fantastic traditional Irish food can be had throughout the city, but those waiting to try the best of Erin’s offerings would do well to stop by The Quay in Temple Bar, where the Guinness stew and Dublin coddle are without peer. Waiting just outside The Quay’s door is the vibrant and vivid scene of Temple Bar at night, lined with some of the most exciting and unique pubs in Dublin. The prominent Oliver St. John Gogarty’s offers Irish music every night and three separate pub levels, offering something for everyone, while a narrow back alley will lead you to the door of The Stag’s Head, crowned by a beautiful mahogany bar and filled with some of the most captivating characters you could ever hope to meet.

Day 2-4: Hitting the Highlights in the Capital City

Dublin is a city seemingly built for touring: from its wide, expansive streets to the rambling River Liffey, from the charming and knowledgeable cabbies to the ease and convenience of the city’s hop-on/hop-off bus tours, you’ll never be without a place to see and an easy and fun way to get there. While months could be spent exploring this remarkable metropolis, a guided tour will be sure to give you an excellent overview of all of Dublin’s myriad cultural offerings.

Sightseers will want to ramble along O’Connell Street, Dublin’s main road north of the River Liffey and home to some of the most prominent monuments to Irish legends in the city, as well as the Dublin Spire, the world’s tallest sculpture. Some of Dublin’s most highly-regarded museums lie south of the Liffey on Kildare Street, including the National Gallery, which features works by Caravaggio and Juan Gris and rooms housing the pieces of Irish literary legends W.B. Yeats and George Bernard Shaw. Kildare Street is also the site of the National Museum of Ireland, containing one of the largest collections of Bronze Age gold works in Western Europe as well as the spectacular Cross of Cong and remnants of the flag that flew over the General Post Office during the abortive Easter Uprising.

Buses can take you to Dublin’s more remote attractions, including Phoenix Park, the home of the Dublin Zoo as well as some of the city’s more impressive works of statuary. Fascinating exhibits are always in residence at the National Museum at Collins Barracks, and the National Botanic Gardens is the foremost of its kind in Ireland, housing over 20,000 species of plant life and backing up to the expansive Glasnevin Cemetery, home to a number of Irish political figures including Daniel O’Connell and Charles Stewart Parnell.

Day 5: Christmas Shopping on Ireland’s Fifth Avenue

The unrivaled center of Irish high fashion can be found in the heart of Dublin and the sidewalks surrounding chic and stylish Grafton Street. Blocked off from the vehicular traffic snaking around Trinity College, Grafton Street is particularly gorgeous around Christmas time, when strings of lights and illuminated chandeliers hang over the smooth stones and impart an angelic glow to the store windows and the wares they house. Brown Thomas is universally regarded as the best department store in the city, offering handbags from Italy, silks from Paris, English porcelain, Irish crystal and the biggest names in haute couture. 

Stephen’s Green Center, at the Grafton Street’s southern edge, is one of the largest enclosed shopping areas in Dublin and certainly the most diverse, while the Powerscourt Centre in an enclosed Georgian courtyard offers high-quality Irish antiques and sophisticated boutiques. Heraldic stores and shops offering the softest Irish wool and the warmest Donegal tweed line Nassau Street and its various offshoots, and luxurious chocolates and other sweets can be found at Butler’s Irish Chocolate and Leonidas, the famous Belgian chocolatiers.

Shopping north of the Liffey is livelier and less high-end, but it’s also the place for some of the city’s gems when it comes to antiques and handcrafts. Henry Street is the most popular destination, and during Christmas time it’s certainly worth taking a stroll down this merry street to observe the Yuletide scene, which usually includes a healthy smattering of Irish natives visiting the capital in search of goods they can’t find in Kilkenny, Galway, Cork or Waterford. There are also excellent art galleries throughout the city, and, as befits its literary heritage, there a healthy number of purveyors of collectible books, maps and manuscripts.

Day 6-7: Further Out in County Dublin

The city’s excellent light-rail system, known as the DART, can take you to the edges of County Dublin and into the heart of neighboring counties, where fine gifts and fine food can be found in abundance. South lies the city of Bray, home to delectable seafood restaurants that sit on the shore of the Irish Sea, and the town of Greystones, once the premier vacation spot for Dublin’s elite. To the north lies the fishing village of Howth, where fine glass goods can be found as well as the best fish and chips in the east. Howth also features a fantastic headland with a sturdy and handsome lighthouse and ocean walks that afford some of the most picturesque views of the coast in County Dublin. The train rides to either extreme of County Dublin are less than an hour long, and the trains run regularly through both of Dublin’s main stations. 

Day 8: Returning Home for the Holidays

Today sees the end of your mini-vacation and the return to your home countries, heavily laden with gifts and filled with memories of one of the grandest holidays you’ve ever experienced.

Price

Starting Price 

$3,195
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.