Dublin in detail

Month by Month

Top Events

St Patrick's Festival, March

Forbidden Fruit, June

Taste of Dublin, June

Culture Night, September

Dublin Fringe Festival, September

January

It's cold and often wet, and the city is slowly getting over the Christmas break.

New Year's Celebrations

Experience the birth of another year with a cheer among thousands of revellers at Dublin's iconic Christ Church Cathedral.

February

Bad weather makes February the perfect month for indoor activities. Some museums launch new exhibits.

Dublin International Film Festival

Most of Dublin's cinemas participate in the city's film festival, a two-week showcase for new films by Irish and international directors, which features local flicks, arty international films and advance releases of mainstream movies.

Six Nations Rugby

Ireland plays its three home matches at the Aviva Stadium in the southern suburb of Ballsbridge. The season runs from February to April (www.irishrugby.ie).

March

This month is all about one festival. Weather is uncertain; it is often warmer but really cold spells are also common.

St Patrick's Festival

The mother of all Irish festivals, where hundreds of thousands gather to 'honour' St Patrick on city streets and in venues throughout the centre over four days around 17 March.

April

The weather is getting better, the flowers are beginning to bloom and the festival season begins anew.

Irish Grand National

Dublin loves horse racing, and the race that's loved the most is the Grand National (www.fairyhouse.ie), the showcase of the national hunt season that takes place at Fairyhouse in County Meath, 25km northwest of the city centre, on Easter Monday.

May

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.

Bloom in the Park

Ireland's largest gardening expo (www.bloominthepark.com) sees more than 90,000 visitors coming to Phoenix Park over one weekend at the beginning of the month to eat food, listen to music and, yes, test their green thumbs.

International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival

A fortnight at the beginning of May devoted exclusively to gay theatre – plays by gay writers past and present that have a gay or gay-related theme.

International Literature Festival Dublin

A 10-day literature festival held from mid-May, attracting Irish and international writers to its readings, performances and talks.

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.

Forbidden Fruit

An alternative-music festival on the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, held over the first weekend in June.

Women's Mini-Marathon

A 10km charity run (www.vhiwomensminimarathon.ie) on the second Sunday of the month that attracts up to 50,000 participants – including some poorly disguised men.

Bloomsday

Edwardian dress and breakfast of 'the inner organs of beasts and fowls' are but two of the elements of the Dublin festival celebrating 16 June, the day on which James Joyce's Ulysses takes place; the real highlight is retracing Leopold Bloom's steps.

Taste of Dublin

The city’s best restaurateurs share their secrets and dishes with each other and the public at the wonderful Taste of Dublin in the Iveagh Gardens, which takes place over a long weekend in June and features talks, demonstrations, lessons and some extraordinary grub.

July

There's something on every weekend, including the biggest music festival of the year.

Dublin Horse Show

The international horsey set trot down to the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) for the social highlight of the year (www.dublinhorseshow.com). Particularly popular is the Aga Khan Trophy, an international-class competition packed with often heart-stopping excitement in which eight nations participate.

Longitude

A mini-Glastonbury in Dublin's Marlay Park, Longitude packs them in over three days in mid-July for a feast of EDM, nu-folk, rock and pop.

Street Performance World Championships

The world's best street performers test their skills over two July weekends in Merrion Sq – from jugglers to sword-swallowers.

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.

Dublin City Liffey Swim

Five hundred lunatics swim 2.2km from Rory O'Moore Bridge to the Custom House – one can't but admire their steel will.

September

Summer may be over, but September weather can be surprisingly good, so you can often enjoy the dwindling crowds amid an Indian summer.

All-Ireland Finals

The climax of the year for fans of Gaelic games as the season's most successful county teams battle it out for the All-Ireland championships in hurling and football, on the first and third Sundays in September, respectively.

Culture Night

For one night in September, there's free entry to museums, churches, galleries and historic homes throughout the city. These places host performances, workshops and talks.

Dublin Fringe Festival

This excellent two-week theatre showcase precedes Dublin's main theatre festival, with more than 700 performers and 100 events. It's held in the Famous Spiegeltent.

Irish Craft Beer Festival

The country's largest celebration of craft beer (www.irishcraftbeerfestival.ie) has plenty of music, cuisine and, of course, 200-plus craft beers.

Great Dublin Bike Ride

More than 5000 cyclists in shimmering lycra gather for the charity Great Dublin Bike Ride (www.greatdublinbikeride.ie), which has 60km and 100km routes around the city.

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.

Dublin Theatre Festival

Held between the end of September and early October, this is Europe's oldest theatre festival, showcasing the best of Irish and international productions at various locations around town.

Dublin City Marathon

If you fancy a 42km running tour through the streets of Dublin on the last Monday of October (www.sseairtricitydublinmarathon.ie), you'll have to register at least three months in advance. The winner crosses the finishing line on O'Connell St at around 10.30am.

Hard Working Class Heroes

The only showcase (www.hwch.net) in town for unsigned Irish acts, this three-day music festival features 100 bands and musicians playing at venues on and around Camden St on the south side of the city.

Samhain (Hallowe'en)

Tens of thousands take to the city streets on 31 October for a night-time parade, fireworks, street theatre, drinking and music in this traditional pagan festival celebrating the dead, the end of the harvest and the Celtic new year.

November

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

December

Christmas in Dublin is a big deal, with everyone looking forward to at least a week's holiday.

Christmas Dip at the Forty Foot

At 11am on Christmas Day, a group of very brave swimmers jump into the icy waters at the Forty Foot, just below the Martello Tower in the southern suburb of Sandycove, for a 20m swim to the rocks and back.

Leopardstown Races

Blow your dough and your post-Christmas crankiness at this historic and hugely popular racing festival at one of Europe's loveliest courses (www.leopardstown.com). Races run from 26 to 30 December.