Halloween originated in Ireland more than 2,500 years ago, but it didn’t become the festival it is today until the mid-nineteenth century. Transported to the United States in the early nineteenth century, Halloween is now a highly anticipated and celebrated holiday in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and, of course, in Ireland and the United States.
In certain cities on both sides of the Atlantic, adults dress up in costumes and party all night long on 31 October into the wee morning hours of 1 November. In Ireland, Dubliners take their Halloween festivities very seriously and it’s well worth the visit to celebrate the holiday in the land where it originated. During this period, the Irish capital city becomes a tad bit terrifying…in the best way possible of course. Here are five things to do and discover in Dublin for Halloween.
1. Ride around Dublin on board the Ghostbus
Board the Ghostbus for a spooky city-wide experience! The Ghostbus, decorated especially for the occasion, will take you through Dublin’s dark streets as you listen to scary stories from your animated guide. Discover the true story of Dracula and his creator, Bram Stoker. See here for more information.
Dublin’s Samhain Parade
2. Don’t miss the Samhain parade
The Samhain parade is Dublin’s must-see Halloween event. Starting on Parnell Square, a pageant of dancers, ghosts, witches, giant monsters and mythical creatures make quite the spectacle as they strut through Dublin’s storied streets to cross the Liffey and arrive at Temple Bar, where the festivities conclude with a magnificent fireworks display!
Meeting time: 7.00pm
The dining room of “The Church” restaurant in Dublin
3. Savor local cuisine in an unusual setting
Head to “The Church” for a delicious meal in an atypical setting. Located inside a former church, the restaurant offers classic Irish cuisine from local terroir, such as smoked salmon, Kerry lamb and artisan beer. The trendy restaurant offers decent prices, and the building’s original authentic character has been well preserved. You never forget that you’re inside a former church.
“Lillie’s Bordello” club in Dublin
4. Are you ready for a terrifying night with Lillie’s Bordello?
On Halloween night, all the city bars and nightspots are decorated and waiting for you, but Hellfire Club will give you the most thrills. Lillie’s Bordello Halloween night is a party organized by Lillie’s Bordello, the famous club, taking place in one of the world’s most haunted places: the Hellfire Club. Here, ghost encounters are frequent. Rumor has it that people have heard screams and that the devil would do a little visit -in person- from time to time. Creepy!
The beach at Sandymount Strand
5. Escape at Sandymount Strand
After all the partying, you might want to take a step back and relax away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin’s streets. Sandymount Strand, a magnificent 2.5km-long beach is about 20 minutes by train from the city (the “Dart” commuter train leaves directly from downtown) or a 40-minute walk along the Liffey river through the parks. We know it’s not swimsuit season, but Sandymount Strand is serene and offers a magnificent view of Dublin.