Galway

6 Tips for Handling the Irish Winter

Claudia Garcia is a student at the University of Arkansas and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Galway, Ireland.

Galway is a vibrant city filled with brightly colored shops and houses.

Galway is a vibrant city filled with brightly colored shops and houses.

I am sure you have heard of the dreaded winter months in Ireland. Cold, rainy and windy are some words that may come to mind. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Irish winters are indeed all of the above. Thankfully, it does not get as cold as it does back in the States, but when you combine it with the wind and rain it can be a bit unpleasant. It is bearable, however, as long as you are prepared. Here are my best tips on surviving the winter months in Ireland.

  1. Invest in a good coat

This was one of the first things I thought about when I decided to study in Ireland. If you have to walk around all day soaking wet from head to toe, you will be cold and miserable. Yes, a good coat can be a bit pricey, but trust me, you will be wearing this thing every day, so it will be a good investment in the end. You will want to find a coat that has a hood and one that is waterproof–not water resistant. A coat that is insulated and longer is also a plus.

These rain boots have been put to good use.

These rain boots have been put to good use.

  1. Rain boots

Even though you will not see many locals wearing rain boots every day, I do not regret bringing mine. Rain boots are an easy way to keep your feet warm and dry. Just make sure to wear them on the plane ride over so you can save room in your suitcase.

  1. Layers, Layers, Layers!

Layers are very important when living in Ireland. You will be cold when you are walking outside and almost too warm when you go into a pub or restaurant. Wearing layers helps eliminate this problem. I also suggest bringing a big scarf to bury your face in on those cold winter days.

Some of my favorite spots in Galway are along the water.

Some of my favorite spots in Galway are along the water.

  1. Take advantage of every sunny day

It may not sound like it, but Ireland does actually have sunny days. Whenever the sun is out, it’s important to take full advantage of it and spend some time outside. My favorite thing to do is walk along the Salthill Promenade where you will find great views of Galway Bay.

  1. Don’t let the rain interfere with your plans

One of the most important rules to follow. If you constantly let the weather stop you from leaving your warm apartment, you will end up doing nothing. Do not let the rainy weather stop you from experiencing Ireland. Bundle up and think positively. You are only in Ireland for a short time–make it count!

  1. One last word of advice

You may be reading this and thinking to yourself, “The weather in Ireland sounds miserable. There’s no way I’m going there.” If you are thinking anything along these lines, stop. Do not let the weather discourage you from coming to Ireland. Yes, it may take a couple weeks to get used to the weather, but even on the worst of days, Ireland is still one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I do not regret coming here for one second.

Breathtaking views of Connemara National Park

Breathtaking views of Connemara National Park

The world awaits…discover it.

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