Five Reasons to Visit Dublin in Summer

Go windsurfing on The Grand Canal, drink on a patio, attend Bloomsday Festival, explore an urban park and watch the Gaelic Games.
 

St Stephen's Green, photo by gianliguori/Thinkstock

From green spaces and waterfront scenery to festivals aplenty, here’s why you should head to Dublin this summer.

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal runs 132 kilometres from Dublin’s docklands to the town of Shannon and offers plenty of summer activities on its shores.

Sign up for a stand-up paddleboard yoga or windsurfing class on the canal with Surfdock Watersports located right in the city centre. Or, take a scenic dinner cruise further south down the canal on the floating La Peniche barge. Feast on slow-cooked venison with seasonal mushrooms before checking out the tree-shaded waterway on the open deck.

Patios

Soak up the rays while grabbing a pint of Guinness or Irish whiskey at these outdoor patios.

Head to House Dublin’s cozy olive tree-shaded garden for its lengthy drinks menu, which includes a selection of Irish whiskies, beers and fun cocktails. Or, enjoy wine and Irish-focused small plates on the waterside patio at Ely Bar & Brasserie located in the neo-classical financial district.

Festivals

From June to August, festival season fills the city with literary events and outdoor concerts while tall ships sail down the River Liffey.

Celebrate James Joyce’s classic novel Ulysses during Bloomsday Festival. Starting on June 11 and leading up to June 16 (the day the novel takes place), reenact its Dublin happenings at city locations such as The National Library of Ireland, Grafton Street and more. For more Irish masterpieces, head to Taste of Dublin, running from June 15 to 18, to sample from 60 local producers in a beautiful garden setting.

Parks

Dublin green spaces, from Georgian parks to the National Botanical Gardens, come alive when the weather heats up.

Take a self-guided tour of Dublin’s main Georgian garden square by downloading the free St Stephen’s Green audio guide app. Visitors can learn about the park’s 350-year history at 10 spots that include the Fusiliers’ Arch, the Yeats Memorial and the Lime Walk (a path lined with citrus trees). Just a five-minute walk south, Iveagh Gardens is a hidden gem that offers a maze, rose garden, waterfall and, throughout July, concerts featuring bands such as Fleet Foxes and the Dropkick Murphys.

Gaelic Games

Summer is the best time to check out Ireland’s most popular (and official) sport: the Gaelic Games, which includes hurling and Gaelic football.

Book a three-hour Experience Gaelic Games adventure to try hurling (the speedy lacrosse-meets-handball game is over 3,000 years old), learn Ceilí folk dancing and play Gaelic football. Then, once you’ve mastered the sports, watch a match at Croke Park with more than 70,000 boisterous, face-painted fans. From June to September, the stadium hosts hurling and football cups and championships.

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