The ultimate guide to New Year's Eve & New Year's Day in Dublin

Media captionCelebrate in style at the New Year's Festival.
The stage at NYF Dublin.
Media captionCelebrate in style at the New Year's Festival.

Dublin is a city that’s made for New Year’s Eve. There’s something going on everywhere, the pubs are full of life and people race around town to hug their loved ones at midnight.

This year, Dublin New Year's Festival goes big across four days and in multiple venues around the city centre. The National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks and Dublin Castle are festival ground zero, while on New Year's Day the party extends to Meeting House Square in Temple Bar. Elsewhere, the city is buzzing with club nights, indie gigs and parties, with a shindig to suit any musical taste. The celebrations don’t stop at midnight, either – there’s plenty to keep you occupied on New Year’s Day, whether you want to fill your lungs with fresh air or take in some classical music.

Whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it in Dublin. Here's how to wave goodbye to 2023 and see in the New Year in style.

New Year’s Festival Dublin

Get your party shoes on, because Dublin’s New Year’s Festival is the biggest one yet, with three locations across the city centre and a mixture of free and ticketed events. 

December 29

The primary focus for the whole celebration is the NYF Dublin Festival Quarter at the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks. The party officially kicks off at 6pm and runs until 11pm with three stages and a host of live performers. The Divine Comedy will headline the main stage, with special guests The High Kings. The other two stages will host sets by All Tvvins, Lucy McWilliams, Big Sleep, Aonair and DJs Ed Smith, Sally Cinnamon and Kelly-Anne Byrne. There'll be loads of street entertainment and a variety of food trucks too. Tickets cost €39.90.

December 30

At Collins Barracks, the Festival Quarter continues with performances by Chasing Abbey, Ryan Mack and Jen Payne, while DJ sets by Emma Power, Shelly Gray and Dec Pierce's Block Rockin' Beats will ramp up the energy. Tickets cost €29.90.

Dublin Castle joins the party from 8pm with a mix of live acts and DJs setting the atmosphere. 

Media captionHead to the Festival Quarter for live music and DJs.

December 31

If you have kids (or you can’t stay awake past 10pm) then the family-friendly celebration on December 31 at Dublin Castle is just the ticket – it has all the fun of the New Year's Eve midnight countdown, but with an earlier finishing time. Midnight Moment – Matinee kicks off at 4pm with music from Moncrieff, Lea Hart and Lucy Gaffney, before a spectacular visual and musical display leads into the countdown to “midnight.” It’s the ideal compromise – you get to ring in the New Year but leave soon after the event wraps up at 7pm, ready for an early bedtime. Tickets start at €7.90 (€22.90 for families).

Media captionBring the kids to the Midnight Moment Matinee.

When it’s time to see in the New Year for real, your masters of ceremony will be Kildare rockers Picture This, who'll be making the crowd feel good from 8pm alongside Moncrieff and Lea Hart, who are sticking around from the afternoon show. As midnight strikes, the skies above will light up with a pyrotechnics show. Tickets for the gig are €49.90.

Meanwhile, over at Collins Barracks the Festival Quarter runs until 12.30am, offering revellers another location in which to ring in the new year. The main stage headliners are Irish folk rockers The Scratch with special guests Sharon Shannon & Gemma Dunleavy. Ispíní na HÉireann, Lemoncello, Anamoe Drive and Krea will be performing on the other stages, along with DJ sets from Nialler9, Claire Beck and Blood Donor. Tickets are €29.90.

Media captionCountdown to midnight at Dublin's New Year's Festival.

January 1

All won't be quiet on New Year's Day. Jerry Fish, the Dublin Gospel Choir, Code of Behaviour and the New Brass Kings take to the stage at Dublin Castle for a free concert between 1-5pm. Meanwhile, over in Temple Bar, Meeting House Square will host a celebration of traditional and folk music with a free afternoon gig starring Rónán Ó Snodaigh and Myles O'Reilly, Dani Larkin, Niamh Bury and Sola. Both are unticketed events; all you need to do is show up. 

Elsewhere in the city

As you might expect, there’s plenty else going on in Dublin this New Year's Eve, with many venues putting on a shindig to usher in the new year. There’s a party in Fitzsimons in Temple Bar, and a night of Afrobeats from DJ Ahmed just over the River Liffey in The Grand Social. Over at Rascals Brewery in Inchicore, there will be DJs on the decks for the New Year's Eve Party, alongside a menu of woodfired pizzas and, of course, their very own beer. 

Annie Mac's Before Midnight club is going to get the dancefloor going at Silo at the RDS Arena. DJ Kelly-Anne Byrne will get the party started from 6.30pm, and Pantibliss will MC the night, which ends at 12.30am. 

If you prefer to dance to live music, Mack Fleetwood take to the Whelan's stage over two nights from December 30-31, playing the music guessed it...Fleetwood Mac. 

The Talbot Hotel in Stillorgan is putting on a masquerade ball with a four-course meal, prosecco and live entertainment courtesy of the Bentley Boys. If you prefer a more Irish twist to your new year's celebrations, the Celtic Nights New Year's Eve Gala at the Arlington Hotel also comes with a meal and prosecco to accompany the festive traditional tunes. 

Media captionHave a dance and a bite to eat at Rascals Brewing on New Year's Eve.

Cultural vibes

Expect dialled-up elegance at the National Concert Hall, where the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will join forces with Jazz trumpeter Guy Barker for New Year's Extravaganza: The Great Gatsby, a night of music from the roaring twenties - and everyone is encouraged to dress appropriately. 

There will also be an afternoon concert the following day, when soprano Celine Byrne joins the National Symphony Orchestra for the NSO New Year's Day Celebration, featuring a menu of Viennese waltzes penned by the Strausses.

Media captionVisit the National Concert Hall this New Year's Eve.

New Year's Day

If you’re dealing with a slightly fuzzy head or simply want to kick off 2023 with virtue, a big long walk is always a good idea on New Year’s Day. You’ll see loads of Dubliners out for a bracing stroll along the cliffs at Howth Head, following the narrow path along the headland as the waves crash below. The trails at Ticknock are a popular choice too, the tracks weaving through the trees leading to epic views of the city and coastline.

Media captionHead out on a walk to clear your head on New Year's Day.

If you really want to blow off the cobwebs, join the people who mark the start of the year with a swim (or a lightning fast dip) at the Forty Foot. There's also the option of a swim at the Dún Laoghaire Baths; while the pool itself is yet to be complete, you can swim from the jetty that juts into the sea towards Sandycove.

Though New Year’s Day is a bank holiday, there are plenty of museums and galleries open around the city. The National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks are offering multiple free museum tours, including Not Just Shamrocks: Irish Symbolism in the NMI's Collections, Recovered Voices: Stories and Experiences of the Irish during WWI and Food & Drink in the NMI's Collections. The other two branches - Archaeology and Natural History – are open from 1-6pm on January 1, with free admission to all. You can also head over to the National Gallery of Ireland to check out the Lavery. On Location. exhibition as well as the rest of the permanent collection. 

For a quirky look back at the capital over the past century, from James Joyce to a whole room dedicated to U2, the  Little Museum of Dublin will be welcoming visitors on New Year's Day. Tours are also running at Kilmainham Gaol, and you can wander around IMMA afterwards to catch the free Self Determination: A Global Perspective exhibition, one of four running in the gallery through January. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is open and running a special temporary exhibition dedicated to The Pogues and Shane MacGowan. Or pay a visit to the Jeanie Johnston just a few minutes’ walk away.

Media captionVisit the Little Museum of Dublin on New Year's Day.

Discover Dublin’s cosy pubs

If you’re looking for a laidback bar to celebrate the New Year or a peaceful pint on January 1, check out our guide to Dublin’s cosiest pubs.