To round out our Christmas Irish vacation, after visiting Mount Juliet Estate in Kilkennyand Galway, we spent our last three days, including New Year’s Eve and Day, in Dublin. This article explains what we did and provides some (hopefully) useful tips!
DAY ONE: IRISH COFFEE, JAMESON & A PUB CRAWL!
We arrived in Dublin around noon on the 30th of December, having driven from Galway directly to our hotel, The Davenport (see below for more info on The Davenport!). Some had a brief rest on arrival, while others walked over the River Liffey for an Irish coffee at Dan’s favorite Irish coffee shop, Vice’s. We discovered Vice’s on a Dublin food tour on a previous visit and now Vice’s is in our permanent itinerary. As always, Vice’s Irish Coffee was absolutely delicious, and this time we also split a chicken toastie (not nearly as good as the coffee). We also got a little visual tour of Dublin en route; holiday crowds were out strong.
Dan and I visited Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher for the third time last December, when we spent the week between Christmas and New Years in Ireland. We got a bit of commentary from people telling us not to go to the Cliffs of Moher in the winter, but we had a great time with better weather than our prior visit (a May trip). Moral of the story – don’t let the time of year put you off from visiting stunning the Cliffs of Moher!
Some cow friends made en route to the Cliffs of Moher.
Dan and I spent a few days between Christmas and New Year’s in Galway, Ireland. This was our third trip to Galway, and we had a lovely time, despite it being winter. This article shares information on what we did and some tips for visiting Galway between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Galway on December 27th!
WHAT WE DID IN GALWAY BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S 2023!
Galway is decorated beautifully for Christmas and Christmas decorations, with the exception of the small Christmas market on Eyre Square, stay up through New Year’s, possibly longer. As such, this is a great time to just stroll around Galway, take in the decorations, and simply enjoy the town. And that is just what we did. We didn’t have too much planned for our three days in Galway, but we ended up doing some shopping, some pubbing, some sightseeing and a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher.
Galway decorated for Christmas – with blue skies!
Sailboats with Christmas lights in the River Corrib.
Dan and I spent last Christmas, as well as my birthday (!), at the absolutely lovely Mount Juliet Estate with seven other family members (9 total!). Located about 15 minutes outside of Kilkenny, Ireland, Mount Juliet is an Irish country estate with a world renowned golf course, multiple restaurants and bars, and enough activities to keep one busy for a week. It is also part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection (a surprise plus for us!). All 9 of us had a lovely time and found Mount Juliet to have something for everyone, particularly those of different generations. This post reviews our stay over the holidays as part of Mount Juliet’s Christmas Package. However, in short, Christmas at Mount Juliet was just perfect – the decorations were gorgeous and the staff took care of everything. We felt our stay was worth the cost and the food was excellent!
Christmas at Mount Juliet Estate!
THE MOUNT JULIET HOTEL
As mentioned Mount Juliet is a grand estate with lots to do for all ages, but I’m first going to talk about the actual hotel. For purposes of the hotel itself, the hotel is split between two buildings: the Manor House, the original home on the property, and Hunter’s Yard, the former stables. We stayed in Hunter’s Yard, and I was happy with our decision. Guests of either building can freely use facilities in both; vans and golf carts shuttle passengers between the two if walking is not feasible or preferred (but its a flat, paved 5 minute walk between the two).
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, my second favorite holiday (after my Birthday), I am sharing three really lovely pubs that I visited in December in Kilkenny, Ireland. This was my second visit to Kilkenny, Ireland, and Kilkenny is home to many great pubs and restaurants. As such, there are certainly other great pubs in Kilkenny, but I enjoyed these three a lot!
TYNAN’S BRIDGE HOUSE BAR
Tynan’s Bridge House Bar was, by far, my favorite pub in Kilkenny, and ranks among my favorites of all time. Tynan’s is located right of the River Nore in the heart of Kilkenny. Tynan’s is a quintessential Irish pub that is filled with character and charm. The bartender gave us a very warm welcome despite it being 11 AM on Christmas weekend…. Like any real Irish pub, Tynan’s serves no food and there are no TVs in the bar. I enjoyed several Guinness here during my visit in December. Tynan’s is a must-visit for pub lovers in Kilkenny.
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