We share with you the best things to do on the island of Ireland during this cozy season that will leave you in the festive spirit. 

If you're lucky enough to be spending time in Ireland this winter and are looking for inspiration, then here we have the top ways to have a truly authentic Irish experience. 

Feel merry and bright at festivals and performances 

Throughout the winter season, you can expect to find a whole range of fantastic events around Ireland. Panto performances are hugely popular this time of year and are always full of cheer and mischief, taking place in well-loved venues such as the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, The Waterfront Hall in Belfast, and the Cork Opera House. 

During the months of November and December head to Waterford, Ireland's oldest city, and be amazed by the magic of Winterval - the largest Irish Christmas festival returning for its landmark 10th year! While from 2-4 December, you can enjoy the Other Voices music festival in Dingle, Co Kerry, where musicians travel far and wide to perform in intimate venues around the town, creating an atmosphere like no other. 

Ring in 2023 by attending one of the largest New Year’s Eve parties on the island of Ireland. The New Year’s Festival Dublin is a thrilling countdown experience filled with family-friendly events, incredible live performances, dazzling light shows, and of course, fireworks displays. Taking place across two fun-filled days, the festival welcomes visitors from all over the world to join the locals and ring in the New Year.

Cozy up in a traditional pub with a winter warmer 

Immerse yourself in the festive spirit by sipping a Hot Whiskey by the fireside in a local Irish pub, or grabbing a window seat at a nearby coffee shop while you look at the twinkling lights on the streets with a mug of hot chocolate wrapped in your hands.

If you choose to go for a Hot Whiskey, try one made with Bushmills Irish Whiskey in the gas-lit bar at the Bushmills Inn in Co Antrim, or Paddy Irish Whiskey at An Bodhrán in Cork city

Made with whiskey, lemon, cloves, and a touch of brown sugar, a Hot Whiskey will warm you up from the inside out and there’s nothing like the scent of cloves to get you in the holiday spirit.

Chase the spectacular Northern Lights 

Experience an unforgettable winter display by watching the Northern Lights dazzle the sky on Ireland's northern coast. To see this amazing spectacle, you need three things: the right solar conditions, clear skies to the north, and no light pollution - that’s why the Inishowen Peninsula in Northern Ireland has a reputation as being a great spot to watch this natural phenomenon.

This remote and unspoiled landscape is Ireland’s most northerly point (next stop – the Arctic Circle), so find a quiet beach and watch rolling waves of pink, green and blue light up the night sky

Whether you decide to wander through 5,000 years of history in Ireland’s Ancient East, discover Ireland’s breathtaking west coast along the Wild Atlantic Way, embrace a giant spirit in Northern Ireland, or enjoy the unspoiled majesty of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands – you can do so in the knowledge that you will receive a welcome warmer than ever before and the guarantee of the experience of a lifetime. 

If you're thinking of pressing the Green Button and heading to Ireland this year or in 2023, we hope you feel inspired!

This article is presented proudly in partnership with Tourism Ireland. To learn more about Tourism Ireland and get inspired for your next visit to Ireland, check out their website.