My City Celebrates: Fiona’s Dublin
This year, inspired by our ever-popular “I Heart My City”
series on Intelligent Travel, we’re reveling in the holiday season by asking our readers to share their favorite ways to celebrate in their cities. Today’s city-lover is Fiona Hillard, of the Glove Box Blog who gives us a dose of Irish cheer from Dublin.
What to share the things that make your city special?
We’ve put together a festively-themed fill-in-the-blank questionnaire, and we’d love to hear your responses. So cut and paste the list, fill in your answers, and e-mail us your picks at email@example.com.
(Please include links and photos if possible). We’ll be featuring your “My City Celebrates” posts through the New Year, click here for a list of cities we’ve featured so far. Happy Holidays!
My City Celebrates: Dublin
When I need a dose of holiday cheer, I always head to Grafton Street to hear the street choirs and see the beautiful lights and extravagant window displays.
The best place to grab a cup of cocoa is Butler’s Chocolate Café, on the corner of Wicklow Street and South William Street.
If you want to find great sledding you have to head to the Phoenix Park (weather permitting!).
Strap on your skates at Smithfield ice rink and enjoy the view of the enormous 40 foot Christmas tree.
For a classic holiday photo op, be sure to check out the ornate horse-driven carriages at Stephen’s Green park.
A great place to take the kids during the season is the traditional pantomime at the Gaiety Theatre. The Gaiety’s Christmas pantomime has been a family favorite since 1894.
For all of your gift-giving shopping in one store, check out Brown Thomas (Grafton Street), Arnotts (Henry Street) or Clery’s (O’ Connell Street).
Moore Street (just off Henry Street) has the best markets, be sure to pick up a bunch of holly and mistletoe for your home.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
No holiday meal in my city is complete without a traditional Irish coffee.
My favorite holiday tradition in my city is the sense of patriotism (or is that craziness?) that overcomes the hardy individuals who uphold the tradition of jumping into the freezing cold waters of the Forty Foot on Christmas Day. The Forty Foot is a deep sea inlet located between the Sandycove and Bullock harbours, just south of Dublin. The Forty Foot is steeped in history and even makes an appearance in James Joyce’s Ulysses. The James Joyce Tower and Museum is located close by.
Locals know to avoid the throngs of shoppers on O’Connell Street/Henry Street and find real magic at the “live crib”
display outside the Mansion House (the Lord Mayor’s residence) on Dawson Street, where a stable is constructed on December 8th, complete with real sheep and a donkey.
The best part about my city during the holiday season is meeting friends by a cozy log fire in a warm, city-centre pub after the shopping’s all done and gifts wrapped.
Photo: When Dubliners get the urge to take the plunge, they head to 40 Foot–named for the British Army’s 40th Regiment of Foot, once stationed here. Photograph by Ingolf Pompe/Aurora Photos