Many people can only think about getting away to the beach and some sun in winter. Nothing but griping about the dark, snow and cold. I think this is missing out on some great opportunities. Northern cities can be a budget traveller’s gold mine in the winter. The hordes of tourists are scarce. Hotel deals are easy to find during the off season. Cozy pubs become inviting at 3 in the afternoon when it doesn’t feel like there are hours of sunlight being wasted. If it is going to be a northern city, why not look for a little Christmas magic while you’re at it in Dublin.


Photo Credit: infomatique

The Christmas season brings out the best in northern cities in the winter. Twinkly lights on display, outdoor Christmas markets with hand crafts, wandering like a wide-eyed child with a hand and tummy warming mug of mulled wine. The chance to catch a season classic like the Nutcracker or Handel’s Messiah. Some may claim it is all too cliche, but traditions do tend to the cliche so we all know what to expect. There is comfort in following along with the traditional. Best part about being a visitor, it is completely acceptable to observe if the tradition isn’t exactly your cup of tea, or whiskey.


Photo Credit: infomatique

Travelling at Christmas also helps to escape some of the commercial crush of buying presents for everyone at the last minute. Picking up a few little things that will fit in your suitcase is the fun of wandering around the markets but it become leisurely and not chaotic pressure of modern malls. Dublin has several Christmas markets to occupy a few hours on the weekends leading up to the holidays. It is also a great way to meet some local artisans for a conversation as you poke around their booth.


Photo Credit: infomatique

When the being out and about becomes too much it is time to take a break. Something that world travellers are familiar with is the phenomenal ease of finding an Irish Pub anywhere in the world. Interesting fact, in Ireland, they are just called pubs and they usually contain Irish people instead a bunch of backpackers looking for a cheap pint. I think it is safe to say the Irish may know a thing or two about pubs if the concept has been exported around the world. Whether it is a fine pint or a dram of whiskey for sipping, I don’t doubt there is somewhere with room for me at the bar.


Photo Credit: hollaBackpackers