Insider Tips

Dublin Festivals

By Visit Dublin

7th January 2019

There’s a party atmosphere to be discovered all year round in Dublin. No matter the season, the finest in music, film, literature, food, theatre and arts come to life through a host of fantastic festivals dotted around the city’s streets, parks and unique spaces. Here are 20 essential spectaculars to discover and delight…

Some Dublin events are established, beloved celebrations; Tradfest, St. Patrick’s Festival and the New Year’s Festival are exhilarating Irish parties not to be missed, while the Bram Stoker Festival honours the iconic Dracula author. The rest we’ve divided into handy categories...



Music lovers will be spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding which Dublin events to attend; as you can see, there’s lot’s happening! Forbidden Fruit takes place every June, and is set on the gorgeous grounds of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. Longitude meanwhile unfolds over three glorious days in leafy Marlay Park every July. A somewhat newer addition to the fold, a Summer Series of gigs is hosted by Trinity College in the city centre. And anyone passionate about discovering upcoming artists should be sure to attend Hard Working Class Heroes in September, while that same month the pretty Grand Canal provides the setting for Canalaphonic, a charming get-together celebrating the best of local Dublin artists.

Man in bubble being held up by crowd at festival
Image credit: Karl Martini

Food & Drink

Lovers of seafood flock to the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival in the idyllic coastal town of Howth every March to sample the freshest catch. There’s always a fantastic atmosphere, and if you’re feeling adventurous, Howth Head is waiting to be conquered. In June, the Taste of Dublin celebrates all manner of cuisine, from artisan foods to locally-brewed beers, conveniently located in the central Iveagh Gardens, so you can easily work it into your itinerary. Gin connoisseurs won’t want to miss the Irish Gin & Tonic Festival that same month.  Over the August bank holiday weekend Beatyard based in another gorgeous coastal village, Dún Laoghaire, easily accessed by DART (train) from the city-centre matches great music and delicious food. Finally, also in August, the Big Grill BBQ & Craft Beer Festival in central Herbert Park will go down a treat with meat-lovers.

Platter with an array of seafood including prawns and crab claws


There are quality year-round arts events happening too; every February the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival showcases the best in local and international filmmaking. The Dalkey Book Festival in June meanwhile sees a host of renowned authors visit the charming village of Dalkey for talks, open mics and panels. Also in June is Bloomsday, a colourful, theatrical ode to iconic Irish author James Joyce. Fans don their finest Ulysses-era clothing and follow in the footsteps of the book’s beloved hero, Leopold Bloom. Speaking of theatrical, two important events take place in September; Dublin Fringe Festival and Dublin Theatre Festival. Both showcase the finest established and upcoming playwrights in theatres, galleries and all manner of quirky venues around the city.

Actors in period costume beside O'Connell Bridge on Bloomsday


In April, OFFSET invites some of the best designers in the world to Dublin share their stories and creative work. Also in June, Pride Festival celebrates Dublin’s LGBTQI community, while July’s Laya Healthcare City Spectacular features street performance, food stalls and kids’ entertainment. The Festival of Curiosity – also in July – is a quirky showcase of science, art, design and technology, spread across a number of Dublin venues. Finally, art lovers won’t want to miss the Dublin Gallery Weekend in November. More than 30 galleries around the city welcome visitors inside for tours, talks and workshops. There’ll be an opportunity to chat to artists, find out about their work and explore hidden galleries.

One man and three women smiling  and covered in colourful powder and paint


Intrigued? That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Find out more about the diverse range of events, festivals and exhibitions happening in Dublin.

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