Insider Tips

A New Year in Dublin

By Visit Dublin

1st November 2018

Dublin City is alight with imagination and wonder for New Year’s Festival Dublin, hosting a series of spectacular events that annually grow more ambitious. As well as the festivities what else can you experience? We give you nine reasons to visit Dublin and find the best of what this unforgettable city has to offer at the outset of a fresh new year.

1. New Year’s Festival Dublin

Winter is a magical time in Dublin, and the post-Christmas landscape is one of crisp air, festoons of lights and an abiding festive joviality. New Year’s Festival Dublin offers an innovative programme, helping you to start the New Year immersed in fun and a party atmosphere. Events over the years of this festival have included aerial stunts on the River Liffey, symphonic light displays, street performances and the 3 Countdown Concert at the Custom House.

For additional information on NYF Dublin events please visit Keep up to date with news about all upcoming events by using the hashtag #NYFDublin and following @NYFDublin on Twitter and Instagram.

2. Parks & nature spots like no other

Phoenix Park is an urban park and one of the largest enclosed recreational spaces in Europe. The site encompasses vast areas of beautiful grassland and has been home to wild deer since the 17th century. Going for a quiet stroll and then spending a while watching the wild deer rest and graze is a meditative act – perfect for contemplating the year gone by and making resolutions for the new year to come. Wrap up cosily, pack a wool blanket for resting on benches, and bring a nice flask of tea with you. In addition to Phoenix Park, explore the city’s other parks and wonderful nature spots.

Wild deer in Phoenix Park

3. Traditional music 

Music is embedded in Ireland’s culture and the capital city is no exception. Listening to Irish traditional music is a great way to spend an evening and Dublin is home to a vast selection of pubs that host traditional music sessions. Head to Temple Bar in the city centre or Johnnie Fox's in the Dublin Mountains to experience some of Ireland’s finest musicians. Whatever your musical flavour, Dublin has theatres and venues peppered throughout the city.

4. The Irish welcome 

Internationally famed for its warm welcome and the ‘craic’, Dublin is definitely not a city of strangers, as Dubliner W.B. Yeats once said – only friends you haven’t met. If you’re preparing for a visit to Dublin, this list of ten of the city’s most beloved sons and daughters should help get you psyched. Who knows, you might even bump into one or two on your travels.

5. Discover Dublin on foot 

One way to step into the year is to spend a little time considering lessons from the past. If you like to run your own schedule and are fascinated with curios and tales from history, use the Dublin Discovery Trails app to go on a free walking tour and unlock the treasures and stories of this fascinating city. There are eight different trails to follow; you’ll pass sites such as Kilmainham Gaol, Glasnevin Cemetery, and St Stephen’s Green, watching these landmarks come alive as you learn their story.

The imposing exterior of Kilmainham Gaol

6. Food glorious food!

The New Year is the perfect time to go on the hunt for healthy yet tasty food, to help kick off your wellness resolutions. Fear not: healthy doesn’t always mean overly crunchy or tasteless. It’s perfectly possible to begin your new habits while still enjoying a festive vibe in Dublin. The streets are rich with cafés and restaurants, many of which are suitable for vegans, vegetarians, or those with food intolerances. Cornucopia on Wicklow Street, a casual dining vegetarian restaurant, provides a cosy environment with reasonably priced options that cater for a wide range of diets and tastes. The Eatyard on Richmond Street South features a variety of street foods from Thursdays to Sundays, 12pm to 10pm – and for any chill that ails you in this outdoor market, they have kindly provided a Winter Warmer bar to help you defrost. The food at Brother Hubbard North is another healthy option to make you salivate, with every menu item freshly made from scratch. To get a real taste of Dublin during your stay take a look at some of the best spots in the city and along its coastal villages.  

7. A city with nature on its doorstep

We believe that Dublin’s native beauty is unrivalled, and one of the best and most picturesque ways to explore it is by taking a scenic train journey on the DART. Try the train to Killiney and opt for a gentle walk up Killiney Hill; you’ll be rewarded with some stunning views of Dublin Bay, Bray Head, and even the Dublin Mountains. Magnificent vistas such as this prove great for inspiration – ideal for making plans!

Scenic view of Killiney Beach and DART on cliffs

8. Magical museums

There is a wide range of museums and galleries throughout the city. The National Gallery of Ireland displays an impressive collection of Irish art alongside pieces from every major European school of painting. The National History Museum showcases many artefacts from Ireland’s rich archaeological heritage including gold work, bog bodies, Viking treasures and early Christian art. And don’t miss EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum; a modern museum in Dublin’s Docklands that tells the moving and unforgettable story of the 10 million Irish people who left their homeland and how they influenced and shaped the world.

9. A shopping haven 

Dublin offers a wonderful shopping experience where traditional craft sits alongside couture. With something for every budget and taste, a stroll along Grafton Street is a great way to soak up the city. Rest your legs with a sweet treat and refreshing cup of tea in the historic and beautiful surroundings of Bewley’s Café.

The above is merely a minute taste of what Dublin has to offer! To help plan the rest of your itinerary, take a look at the abundant festivals, events and exhibitions happening in Dublin.

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