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With so many vibrant and exciting events taking place throughout the year, Dublin has plenty of options for expats looking to get out and about. Here are some of the city's most well-known and well-loved yearly events.
Annual events in Dublin
Dublin International Film Festival (February)
Each February, Dublin draws thousands of film buffs as the city becomes a hub for international cinema. This is a two-week festival showcasing works by independent filmmakers from across the world alongside releases from mainstream Hollywood studios. There is something here for everyone, from those with art-house tastes to families looking for an exciting outing.
St Patrick’s Festival (March)
For a rip-roaring good time, there’s no better party than the St Patrick’s Day festival in Dublin. The varied events include performers, clowns, games, singing, dancing and, of course, plenty of Guinness.
Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair (March)
One for the beer buffs and gourmands, the Alltech Fair is one of the funnest weekends on Dublin’s calendar, showcasing Ireland’s best brews, stews and so much else. Visitors can look forward to live music, an abundance of exciting food stalls, and more than 400 craft beers, ciders and spirits.
Dublin International Literature Festival (May)
Literary fans have a whole week in which to catch their favourite authors at a variety of workshops, masterclasses, debates and other events all across the city. The list of big-name writers at this festival grows more impressive every year, and we’d recommend interested visitors book their event tickets early.
Dublin Pride (June)
This week-long celebration of LGBT+ culture is a magnificent showcase of Dublin's diversity and tolerance. The high point is the traditional Pride Parade – a loud, colourful street carnival that provides a spectacular day out for Dublin residents.
Body & Soul Festival (June)
Held on the stunning grounds of Ballinlough Castle, Westmeath, this fairy-tale music festival is a yearly highlight for friendly revellers. Live music, woodland spa pop-ups and spiritual workshops are all on the cards here, not to mention healthy food stalls, wood-fired hot tubs, and plenty of other entertainment.
The Festival of Curiosity (July)
Truly one for the curious minds, this city-wide festival celebrates technology in a number of weird and wonderful ways, drawing 50,000 visitors each year with themed exhibits, events, pop-up installations, performance art, theatre, and even guided bicycle tours.
Irish Derby (June/July)
One of the most prestigious horse racing events on any Dubliner’s social calendar, the Irish Derby is held on one of Europe’s oldest sporting grounds, The Curragh. Put on your best hat and head down to the track for a day at the races.
Culture Night (September)
Culture vultures have one night of free late-night events to enjoy when more than 200 museums, libraries, art galleries and theatres put up events, tours and workshops. We recommend setting out on foot between Trinity College and Merrion Square, as the National Library of Ireland, the Museum of Archaeology, National Gallery and the Natural History Museum are all situated in this area.
Liffey Swim (September)
The River Liffey, which runs through the centre of Dublin, isn't the most inviting swimming spot, but once a year hundreds of swimmers brave the icy waters. It's worth watching even if expats don't fancy taking a dip themselves.
Bram Stoker Festival (October)
In the spirit of Halloween, the Bram Stoker Festival celebrates all things Gothic when various Dublin venues host readings and theatrical performances of the Dracula author’s most haunting works. Festival-goers are also treated to ghost tours, parades and other frightening performances.
Dublin Marathon (October)
The 26-mile (42km) run through Dublin's Georgian streets is dubbed the 'Friendly Marathon'. Since 1980, the marathon has become an excuse for a huge public street party. Today it attracts around 10,000 runners and even larger numbers of spectators.
Dublin City Pub Crawl (December)
Not just any old pub crawl, this drinking tour is both fun and educational, and celebrates the city’s history and pub culture – Guinness in hand, of course. Keen crawlers are taken on a journey to Dublin’s oldest pubs and taught how and where it all began.