Insider Tips

Welcome the New Year at NYF Dublin 2019/20

By Visit Dublin

2nd December 2019

Dublin is alight with imagination and wonder for its New Year Festival, bringing the city to life over two days of breathtaking spectacle, lively entertainment and memorable experiences for everyone to enjoy.

New Year’s Festival Dublin

There are a number of events taking place between 31 December and 1 January for NYF Dublin – from family-friendly activities to great food, music and dancing – making Dublin a must-visit destination to celebrate the arrival of 2020.

Independent arts organisation, The School of Looking, present 'Change Your Stripes' – turning the Custom House arch into a giant, interactive abstract painting. The black and white stripes ripple and evolve as people move, inviting onlookers to be part of the art. This immersive experience has delighted audiences worldwide.

There will be music, family fun and food at the Docklands on 31 December from 12–6pm, featuring a range of young bands and performers from Ireland. Food vendors will include Lala Poutine, Cuevas Mexican, Hells BBQ and Coffee.

Also on 31 December, there are three spectacular waterfront events taking place at the Custom House to give visitors the experience of a lifetime as they welcome in the new year.
Family smiling in front of the Custom House
To kick off the festivities, children and adults alike can enjoy a countdown event and light show at the Liffey Lights Midnight Moment Matinee. This is a free, but ticketed event taking place between 6–7.30pm.

For the night owls, the Countdown Concert kicks off at 8pm. Following sold-out tours across Europe, Walking On Cars are headlining this year’s event at the Custom House, with special guests Ash, Aimee and Lisa McHugh. Tickets are €36.90 with booking fee and include the Liffey Lights Midnight Moment.

Herald in 2020 with a dazzling display at The Liffey Lights Midnight Moment. Onlookers will be awestruck by a sensational symphony of lights as up to 100 aqua beams, lasers and searchlights blaze the night sky, choreographed to harmonise with an original score created especially for the event.

NYF Dublin continues the revelry on 1 January with the New Year’s Day Concert in Temple Bar. Some of Ireland’s finest musicians will perform, including Kila with more to be announced, as well as pop-up street performances to delight the little ones. This is a free, non-ticketed event.
Performers posing in costume at NYF Dublin
For additional information on NYF Dublin, visit www.NYFDublin.com. Keep up to date with news about all upcoming events by using the hashtag #NYFDublin and following @NYFDublin on Twitter and Instagram.

And that’s just the beginning – the beauty of a place as thrilling, fun, unexpected and charming as Dublin is that there’s something memorable to do here all year round. Stay a while with us, because Dublin is magical at this time of year. Watch our video below and check out our tips on what to do while you’re here… 

Eating out

Dublin’s restaurant and café scene has never been as vibrant and as varied as it is now. There’s sophisticated dining at Forest Avenue, cool seafood in casual surrounds at Klaw Poke and tempting street food options at The Eatyard market (just beside the hip Bernard Shaw pub). How about superb single-origin coffee at Meet Me in the Morning, authentic Hong Kong duck at Duck or sushi and karaoke at Ukiyo? There’s fabulous fish and chips at Beshoff’s in Howth, hunger-sating cures at Wowburger and a myriad of cuisines to savour at one of the city’s newer additions, Dollard & Co

Cultural kicks

Culture lovers are always in for a treat in Dublin. The Natural History Museum has been cherished by generations of the city’s children for more than a century – but its charms will not be lost on grown-ups, either. A short walk away, a more recent addition, The Little Museum of Dublin, offers an intriguing snapshot of city life over the past 100 years or so. Even Dublin’s statues have a story to tell – whether it’s that of Oscar Wilde at Merrion Square Park or Cú Chulainn at the GPO: just download the Talking Statues app, and scan the QR code on each of the 10 featured statues to hear their tales.

Not far from Oscar Wilde’s childhood home, you’ll find Sweny’s. This former chemist was immortalised in James Joyce’s Ulysses – and it hosts a number of Joyce-themed events throughout the year. 

Out and about

If you need to stretch the legs and blow away a few cobwebs during your stay, head for Sandymount Strand – a popular playground for walkers, runners and skaters all year round with its candy-striped Poolbeg chimneys providing a much-loved backdrop. Or stroll over the harp-shaped Samuel Beckett Bridge, one of the newer ones that span the Liffey. 

Elsewhere, Kilmainham boasts several historically important buildings, including the Royal Hospital Kilmainham and Kilmainham Gaol – consistently the top-reviewed Dublin attraction on TripAdvisor. It’s easily accessible by Luas, especially now that the Cross City project linking the Red and Green lines has been completed. And the vast expanse of the Phoenix Park remains as beloved now as it was when the Earl of Chesterfield opened its gates to all in 1745. 

This city’s got heart. This city’s got soul. This city’s got love.


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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