Dublin may be small, but this delightful 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.
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The summer months of June to August are 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.
Mix culture and the outdoors in March to May, September and October
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.
Winter is a great time to visit indoors cultural sites, like Trinity College Library’s Long Room © Andrew Montgomery / Lonely Planet
Get cozy in pubs during the winter months of November to February
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 in 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
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.
On a rainy day, get a culture fix at one of Dublin’s amazing museums or cozy up in a pub © Kevin Vong / Shutterstock
Celebrate St Patrick’s Day in March
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: International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, International Literature Festival Dublin.
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: Bord Bia Bloom, Forbidden Fruit, Women’s Mini-Marathon, Bloomsday, Taste of Dublin, Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride.
July welcomes a huge music event
There’s something going on every weekend in Dublin through July, including Longitude, the biggest music festival of the year.
Key events: Longitude, Trinity Summer Series.
It’s busy in Dublin 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.
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.