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Things to do in Dublin in Summer

Ok ok, so the Caribbean it ain’t, but summer in Dublin is nevertheless a pleasant season defined by warm, (mostly) dry days, lively festivals and events aplenty, and evenings balmy enough to dine al fresco. Unsurprising, then, that the months of June to August are among Dublin’s most popular. Read on for our guide to visiting Dublin in summer, including Bloomsday and Dublin Pride celebrations, what to expect from the weather and, of course, the best places to sample the black stuff. Our guide includes:

  • The Guinness Storehouse
  • St Stephen’s Green
  • Phoenix Park
  • Dublin bike tours
  • Temple Bar
  • Howth Maritime & Seafood Festival
  • The Wicklow Mountains
  • Bloomsday
  • Dublin Pride

Visiting Dublin in Summer

Dublin’s summers are pleasantly warm affairs with July – the hottest month of the year – having been known to hit (gasp!) the dizzy heights of the high 60s. This is Northern Europe after all, where ‘pleasantly warm’ is a relative term. So if you’ve been picturing sizzling Mediterranean beaches for your summer vacation, move along please, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Like the weather here, summer tourism in Dublin is generally mild... with the occasional downpour. In other words, even though May to September is peak season in Ireland, the attraction queues are rarely overwhelming and, though hotel prices have – to be sure – increased with demand, there’s still plenty of affordable accommodation to be had, especially if you’re willing to stay a little outside of the center. However, there will still be occasions when tempers fray due to waiting times at, say, the popular Guinness Storehouse or Book of Kells, just as there will be times you’ll be glad you packed an umbrella and waterproof walking boots.

As for what else you should pack for your summer adventure in Dublin, layers are your friend. While you might (just about) get away with short sleeves and bare legs on hotter days, you’ll be thankful for that cardigan and pair of comfy jeans after sunset.

Things to do in Dublin in Summer

Outdoor types rejoice! For Dublin is an adventurer’s paradise, with stacks of al fresco activities to get involved in both inside and outside the city. First up on our hotlist of recommendations is – and bear with us on this one – Dublin Bay’s beaches! Ok sure, it takes a brave soul to take the plunge and dive into the icy Irish Sea without first donning a wetsuit, but the sweeping sandy beaches along this stretch of coastline are perfect for picnics, scenic strolls and, well, just chilling on the sand with a good book and a glass of vino. Hit up Dollymount Strand (pictured) or Sandymount, or head a little further afield for the many #humblebrag Insta opportunities presented by beautiful beaches at Portmarnock, Killiney and Howth.

Sticking with the outdoor theme, summer is as good a time as any to rent a bike and explore Dublin at your own pace. Pedal your way to big-ticket attractions including medieval Christ Church Cathedral, with its creepy crypt and resident (mummified) cat and rat. Wobble riverside to the historic Kilmainham Gaol Museum, famed for its role in the Easter Rising executions and Irish War of Independence, and essential to any meaningful understanding of Irish history and heritage. Don’t forget to stop off at the Guinness Storehouse for some much-needed refreshment along the way! Many of these attractions and tours are included with a pass from Go City, meaning you can save money if you plan to visit a few of them.

Dublin’s lush public parks really come into their own in summer. Stroll the seemingly endless pathways of the sprawling Phoenix Park, a former royal hunting ground that’s home to herds of fallow deer, and is almost as big as Dublin itself! And picnic on the lawns of St Stephen’s Green, a verdant Victorian oasis at the end of busy Grafton Street, where a bust of James Joyce, abstract Henry Moore sculpture of W.B. Yeats and imposing statue of brewing magnate Arthur Guinness provide points of interest among the greenery, gardens and duckponds.

Day trips to the dramatic Cliffs of Moher and charming seaside village of Howth present further opportunities to experience Ireland’s wild, untamed beauty. Ramblers and romantics alike will also get a real kick out of the Wicklow Mountains south of the city, where long walks in otherworldly landscapes dotted with rivers, bogs and neolithic tombs will have you coming over all Bill Bryson.

What’s on: Dublin Summer Events

There’s plenty going on during summer in Dublin. Dublin Pride has been a June fixture in the city for 40 years, promising a rollicking roster of events celebrating LGBTQ+ culture, including queer-history walking tours, hard-hitting theatrical drama, world-class drag acts, lively club nights, live music and more. The festival’s focal point is the colorful Pride Parade, which sees O’Connell Street transformed into party central, as flamboyant floats and extravagantly costumed revelers wobble and weave their way down to Pride Village in Merrion Square.

Bookworms will find much to enjoy on Bloomsday, which any James Joyce fan worth their salt will tell you falls on 16th June, as depicted in his novel Ulysses. In fact, Bloomsday runs for several days around the 16th, and features performances, readings and other events, many taking place at the very locations and establishments referenced in the book. Get into the spirit by dressing the part: think Edwardian garb including shawls, frilly blouses and fancy hats for the ladies, and Joyce-style britches, braces and straw hats for the lads.

Similar in name only, Bloom is Ireland’s largest gardening festival and promises five days of green-fingered fun every June. Expect exquisitely presented gardens spanning some 10 acres of Phoenix Park, with a side order of celeb-chef cookery demonstrations and a difficult-to-resist artisan food market.

In August, the Dublin Horse Show canters into town, bringing racing, showjumping and dressage events galore to the eager (and well-dressed) masses, as well as plenty of family fun including kids’ entertainment and pony rides.

Last but by no means least, September’s Howth Maritime & Seafood Festival caps off the Dublin summer schedule with a welcome return to the beach. We’re talking two days of family fun in one of Ireland’s prettiest seaside towns. As the name suggests, you can expect some of the finest seafood this fair isle has to offer, as well as funfairs, treasure hunts, circus acts, Irish dancing, boat rides and stacks more.

Save on things to do in Dublin

Save on admission to Dublin attractions with Go City. Check out @GoCity on Instagram for the latest top tips and attraction info.

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