The best time to go to Dublin: a month-by-month guide to what’s happening in Ireland’s capital

The best time to go to Dublin: a month-by-month guide to what's happening in Ireland's capital

From celebrating St Patrick's Day to catching the best of the weather, here's what's happening in Dublin through the year © Westbury / Getty Images

Dublin may be small, but this charming capital punches above its weight in history and culture, and has a hefty dose of character. With a deservedly rainy reputation, no trip to Dublin is safe without an umbrella, but a bit of precipitation will never be enough to spoil your fun.

The summers are busy, and you'll see locals and visitors out together basking in the beauty of Dublin on a sunny day. When cool, rainy weather hits, it’s the perfect time to soak up the city’s culture with its museums, festivals, and theaters. Whenever you decide to go, you’ll always find a city oozing with charm. Use this month-by-month guide to what's going on in Dublin to plan the perfect time for your trip to Ireland's capital.

High season, from June to August, is the best time for good weather

While the summer will see the city packed with tourists, Dublin comes alive in good weather as everyone makes the most of their chance to soak up the sun. Crowds will throng to beer gardens, parks, and the city’s north and south canals. It’s a great time to wander the streets, admiring the architecture or following in the footsteps of James Joyce’s famous protagonist of Ulysses, Leopold Bloom. Brave travelers can head to the Forty Foot or one of the city’s many beaches for a bracing sea swim, or take a long stroll or bike ride through Phoenix Park. This is also a good time to head south for a hike in the Dublin Mountains or take one of the city's coastal walks, followed by pints at a pub with a view.

Shoulder season (March to May, September and October) is the best time for a mix of culture and the outdoors 

Hints of spring will enter the air in March and Dublin will see the country’s most famous celebration on St Patrick’s Day. The city will flood with visitors ready to party, as many Dubliners retreat from the center to avoid the chaos. As spring continues, travelers should seize a nice day by exploring Dublin’s beautiful green spaces, like St Stephen's Green or the Iveagh Gardens, with rainy days spent in the city's many museums, such as the Little Museum of Dublin or the National Gallery. 

In the autumn, head out of the city for a day trip to Glendalough, where you can admire the fall colors. September and October are great for those who want to sample Dublin’s incredible cultural offerings, as September brings the Dublin Fringe Festival and October the Dublin Theatre Festival. 

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The best time to go to Dublin: a month-by-month guide to what's happening in Ireland's capital

Winter is a great time to visit indoors cultural sites, like Trinity College Library’s Long Room © Andrew Montgomery / Lonely Planet

Low season, in November to February, is the perfect time to tour museums and galleries, and get cozy in pubs

The weather in Dublin is likely to be cold, wet and dreary throughout the winter season. If you aren’t used to the damp and cold, prepare to be chilled through. But this can be a great excuse to do as the locals do and pack into cozy pubs, see comedy shows or listen to live music. December will see the city light up with Christmas spirit, and the high streets will buzz with window displays and pretty lights. You may want to book tables for dinner, as pubs, restaurants, and bars will fill up with friends, families, and coworkers gathering in large groups to celebrate the holidays. Once the festive season is over, locals lay low, and January and February will be much quieter. This is a great time to explore museums or make like a Dubliner and visit one of the city’s independent cinemas, such as the Light House Cinema or the Irish Film Institute.

It's quiet in Dublin January 

It's cold and often wet, and the city is slowly getting over the Christmas break.
Key event: New Year's Celebrations.

February is a good time to visit museums and galleries

Bad weather makes February the perfect month for indoor activities, so take this chance to tour some of the city's very best museums and galleries. Some museums launch new exhibits.
Key events: Dublin International Film Festival; Six Nations Rugby; Dublin Racing Festival.

The best time to go to Dublin: a month-by-month guide to what's happening in Ireland's capital

On a rainy day, get a culture fix at one of Dublin's amazing museums or cozy up in a pub © Kevin Vong / Shutterstock

March means celebrating St Patrick's Day

This month is all about one festival. Weather is uncertain; it is often warmer but really cold spells are also common.
Key events: St Patrick's Festival.

The city starts to bloom in April 

The weather is getting better, the flowers are beginning to bloom and the festival season begins anew.
Key events: Irish Grand National; The Five Lamps Arts Festival.

May brings better weather and more events

The May bank holiday (on the first Monday) sees the first of the busy summer weekends as Dubliners take to the roads to enjoy the budding good weather.
Key events: Bord Bia Bloom; International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival; International Literature Festival Dublin.

The best time to go to Dublin: a month-by-month guide to what's happening in Ireland's capital

Celebrate Pride in June © jenniferdurann / Shutterstock

There are many great festivals through June 

The bank holiday at the beginning of the month sees the city spoilt for choice as to what to do. There's a bunch of festivals to choose from in the good weather.
Key events: Forbidden Fruit; Women's Mini-Marathon; Bloomsday; Taste of Dublin; Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride.

July welcomes a huge music event

There's something on every weekend, including Longitude, the biggest music festival of the year.
Key events: Longitude; Trinity Summer Series.

There's a vacation vibe through August

Schools are closed, the sun is shining (or not!) and Dublin is in a holiday mood. It's the busiest time of the year for visitors.
Key events: Dublin Horse Show; Dublin City Liffey Swim.

The best time to go to Dublin: a month-by-month guide to what's happening in Ireland's capital

Make the most of the warmer days by spending time in Dublin's parks © Irene Fox / Shutterstock

September's weather can be decent

Summer may be over, but September weather can be surprisingly good, so you can often enjoy the dwindling crowds amid a lingering summer.
Key events: All-Ireland football and hurling finals; Culture Night; Dublin Fringe Festival; Irish Craft Beer Festival; Great Dublin Bike Ride, 

It starts to get chilly in October

The weather starts to turn cold, so it's time to move the fun indoors again. The calendar is still packed with activities and distractions, especially over the last weekend of the month.
Key events: Dublin Theatre Festival; Dublin City Marathon; Ireland Music Week; Samhain (Hallowe'en).

November means staying indoors

There's less going on in November. It's too cold for outdoor activities, and everyone is getting ready for Christmas.

December is all about the festive season

Christmas in Dublin is a big deal, with everyone looking forward to at least a week's holiday.
Key events: Christmas Dip at the Forty Foot; Christmas Day.

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