With its dazzling illuminations and range of fun activities to get you in the Christmas spirit, Belfast makes a lively place to spend the holidays and the Northern Ireland capital goes all out when it comes to the festive season. Christmas in Belfast kicks off with the grand Christmas Lights Switch-on in late November, when the Lord Mayor and a host of celebrity guests and entertainers turn out for a night of free entertainment held in front of the grand Belfast City Hall.
The European tradition of Christmas markets has taken a while to make its way over to Irish shores, but Ireland has finally caught up and a number of festive fairs and markets can now be found around the country. From a traditional funfair along the Dublin waterfront to sweet mulled wine and seasonal foods at Belfast’s European-inspired market – here are 5 of Ireland’s best Christmas markets.
Dublin is a wonderful and vibrant city, but the real beauty lies outside of Dublin. This full day tour to Northern Ireland would get me out to a part of the country I had yet to see, and it also took me across borders – unmanned borders apparently. The tour not only included Belfast, but it took us all the way north to the well known coast line of Northern Ireland to the UNESCO world heritage site of Giants Causeway as well as some other fun stops along the coast. Robbie prepped us on the coach ride to Belfast with the troubled history of Northern Ireland and Belfast in particular. It was really helpful to have this context as we pulled into Belfast for our Black Taxi tour.
One of Ireland’s two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, the Killarney National Park is an undeniable highlight of southern Ireland and whether you’re cruising its lakes or scaling the rugged MacGillycuddys Reeks, the country’s oldest national park is also one of its best destinations for wildlife spotting.
Northern Ireland might be the only part of Ireland still in the UK, but its capital is still undeniably Irish and its vibrant culture makes it one of Western Europe’s most intriguing destinations. To make your trip even more unique, here are 8 things you can only do in Belfast.
The west coast alternative to Dublin, Galway’s small size and laid-back attitude makes it an ideal base for a family getaway and there are plenty of nearby sights to entertain all ages. From exploring a medieval castle to hitting the beach – here are some ideas for fun things to do in Galway with kids.