The festival of Halloween originated in Ireland thousands of years ago. So, there really is nowhere better to experience the spooky season than the Emerald Isle itself.
Halloween is coming, and the goose is getting fat. So, it’s time to discover the best towns and cities to experience Halloween in Ireland.
The festival of Halloween that is known and loved across the globe today originated in Ireland as the Celtic festival of Samhain.
According to pagan beliefs, 31 October was the night when the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest. On this night, spirits could wake and walk among the living.
While the celebration of Halloween looks much different to its origins in Celtic Ireland, many traditions such as feasting and bonfires continue to this day.
So, if you happen to be in Ireland on Halloween night, here are some places you should check out.
5. Galway, Co. Galway – for an unforgettable Halloween experience
Galway is Ireland’s Capital of Culture. The city is known for its tendency to go all out at times of celebration – and Halloween is no exception.
If you happen to be in the west of Ireland leading up to the fated night, make your way to Galway for a Halloween night like no other.
There are dozens of great events hosted all across the city to mark the spooky celebration. Namely, Macnas Halloween Parade, Galway Aboo Halloween Festival, Halloween at Brigit’s Garden, and more.
With something for all ages, this is one of the best towns and cities to experience Halloween in Ireland with kids.
4. Belfast, Co. Antrim – spooky events for all
Halloween takes hold across Belfast from the beginning of October as the darker nights draw in.
With dozens of family-friendly festivals and fireworks shows, as well as paranormal nights and terrifying activities suited for those aged 18 and over, Halloween in Belfast is a must.
The city is home to one of the most notorious and haunted prisons in Ireland, Crumlin Road Gaol. Every year, visitors make their way inside the prison to encounter the ‘Jail of Horrors’ and ‘Paranormal Investigations’.
Other events across the city include movie screenings, pumpkin patches, and Halloween at the Museum.
3. Boyne Valley, Co. Meath and Co. Louth – for a look into Ireland’s history of Halloween
The annual Púca Festival is undoubtedly one of the best Halloween events Ireland has to offer.
Set along Ireland’s Ancient East, this annual festival makes the Boyne Valley region home to some of the best towns and cities to experience Halloween in Ireland.
Taking a deep dive into Irish folklore and tradition, there is plenty to see and do at the Púca Festival.
The event takes place between 23 and 31 October, with highlights including musical performances, light festivals, food stalls, and more.
Centred around the Celtic spirit of the Púca, considered to be bringers of good and bad fortune, this is one of the most interesting and traditional Halloween festivals there is.
So, if you’re a Halloween lover, you need to add this spooky event to your bucket list.
2. Dublin, Co. Dublin – the capital doesn’t hold back for Halloween night
Dublin’s dark side comes out on Halloween night as the city’s spooky feeling comes to the fore.
With many tales of hauntings around the city, you can embark on one of the many ghost tours or walks guiding you through the city streets.
Alternatively, you can head to one of the many seasonal events, such as the Halloween Parade, taking place throughout the capital. With something for all ages, Dublin is the perfect place to head if you’re travelling with family.
If you’re over 13 and fancy something scarier, then book yourself and your friends into one of the many events run by RDS Nightmare Realm.
With haunts such as the Church of the Damned, The Butcher Boys, Panic Attack, this award-winning Halloween event is sure to provide a night you’ll never forget.
1. Derry, Co. Derry – home to one of the best Halloween festivals in the world
Known as the home of one of the biggest Halloween festivals in Europe, Derry tops our list of must-visit towns and cities to experience Halloween in Ireland.
The annual Derry Halloween and Awakening the Walls festivals are world-renowned, with visitors travelling far and wide for a piece of the action.
A breathtaking firework display and a fantastic street parade are some of the highlights of this Halloween event.
Celebrating the Samhain traditions of folklore, feasting, and festivities, Derry Halloween has been running for over 35 years. Growing into a world-leading Halloween event, it is a must-visit for any lovers of all things spooky.