March 17, St Patrick’s Day
Late May for 4 days, Dublin Soul Festival, a celebration of peace, unity and love!
June, Organ and Choral Festival
June, Music in Great Irish Houses Festival, mostly Dublin, plus counties Wicklow and Kildare. Excellent.
June-August, Contemporary Arts Festival, Temple Bar.
First 2 weeks of October, Theatre Festival.
End September – mid October, Fringe Theatre Festival
For some precise dates or more information see: European Festivals or Arts Festivals.
A blue themed Dublin street scene. Photo by psyberartist.
Arts and culture
The city is famous for its theatres. The Abbey, the Gate and the Gaity are the best known and show a great variety of modern and classical theatre.
Museums & galleries
The Natural History Museum will keep the kids happy for hours and the National Museum has wonderful artefacts from Ireland’s Celtic past.
The Hugh Lane city Gallery of Modern Art is justly famous.
You must see the extraordinary, illustrated 8th century Book of Kells in Trinity College Dublin.
The Chester Beatty Library houses a great collection of oriental art.
The National Gallery is worth a visit. If you like Turner water colours, it opens its magical, gem-like collection only once a year, on New Year’s Day.
The Temple Bar. Photo by psyberartist. Temple Bar is also the name of an ancient, southern district in Dublin.
Dublin is a sensational place for drinking, clubbing and wild weekends if you don’t mind spending time with seriously inebriated folk. Many people go to Dublin for stag and hen nights. There is a thriving pub culture, with attractive drinking dens everywhere, many of them providing live music and staying open late.
More famous for epic drinking, this is not a city renowned for gastronomic delights, but over the last few years Irish chefs returning from abroad have triggered a taste renaissance with modern Irish cuisine, featuring plenty of organic produce and seafood.
Traditional Irish cooking is based on potatoes, cabbage and fat bacon and is best avoided.
St. Stephens Green Shopping Center. Photo by psyberartist.
Grafton Street is a pedestrian shopping street with the usual chain stores; Brown Thomas as the most glamorous.
The St. Stephens Green Shopping Center and the Powerscourt Centre at the top of Grafton Street are the best known shopping centres in Dublin.
Irish crystal is expensive but gorgeous, as are Irish woolens.
Wild Irish smoked salmon is delicious and reasonably priced.
Irish whiskey and Irish silver are, of course, world renowned.
You will also find a large number of different items, less well known, sporting tiny green men in pointed hats. You need at least one of these in addition to a hole in your head.