Ireland offers a wide variety of Festivals all year round, that will make your experience in Ireland an experience to remember. Festivals are a hallmark of the city and evoke the spirit of the country through their different themes.
We present here a list of some of the best Festivals in Ireland by month, so take good note and schedule the time to enjoy the ones you want to visit
Best Festivals in Ireland by Month
Midwinter Festival STANFORD – Galway
The Midwinter Festival Standford is based on the music history of the great Irish composer Sir Charles Villiers Stanford whose choral music and extensive output deserve such recognition.
Stanford was one of the most important composition masters of the 20th century and this festival pays tribute to his works through a series of unique performances, including music by composers who influenced him and shared with him some years of his life.
TradFest Temple Bar- Dublin
More than a festival, an experience. TradFest Temple Bar is a festival deeply tied to the culture and history of Ireland, where they demand the best artists from home and abroad, highlighting truly original artists who resist categorization and have their own rules.
However, what makes TradFest Temple Bar so special is the sense of continuity and community feeling. The event may have grown to host new venues, street parades, craft fairs, outdoor concerts, children’s activities and art, but the essential spirit has remained intact.
Come and feel it!
Dublin Lunar New Year – Dublin
Founded in 2008, Dublin Lunar New Year is an event where to celebrate, promote and deepen the understanding of the Asian-Irish relationship by presenting an annual festival of arts, culture and exchange that brings traditional and contemporary ideas together in an innovative and exciting way.
Dublin Lunar New Year strives to broaden and grow its engagement with all communities that celebrate the Lunar New Year which include China, Vietnam, South Korea, North Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Brunei.
Are you gonna miss it?
Dublin International Film Festival – Dublin
The Dublin International Film Festival is Ireland’s premier film festival and is widely regarded as one of the top ten film festivals in Europe, showcasing the best of national and international cinema over two weeks each year.
Since 2003, the Festival has screened more than 1,500 films in a wide range of venues. Each year, the Festival concludes with the ever-popular – and totally unpredictable – Surprise Film, which leaves audiences delighted and stunned.
Spike Cello Festival – Dublin
Spike Cello Festival is for anyone who loves cello. This intimate Dublin-based festival brings audiences and world-class practitioners of non-classical cello together to showcase, celebrate and explore cello across multiple genres.
Since its inception in 2016, Spike has welcomed international guests and celebrated Irish talent across its four festivals. 2022 is the fifth festival. Spike provides a platform for new and experimental music and is a place of inspiring exploration for new audiences and experienced musicians alike.
The Mother Tongue Festival – Dublin
The Mother Tongue Festival is the largest gathering celebrating linguistic diversity through the arts in Ireland. This festival aims to showcase the rich artistic and cultural variety of the country and connect people through language.
The Festival encourages everyone to exchange knowledge and have fun while celebrating their mother tongue and the rich linguistic variety that exists in Ireland.
The five-day event features workshops, panel discussions, exhibitions, dance, music, art, live performances, film and storytelling in more than 15 languages.
Ortús Chamber Music Festival – Cork (Music)
Since 2016, the Ortús Chamber Music Festival has been bringing together the best Irish and international musicians in County Cork.
The festival includes educational and outreach projects in schools and public spaces throughout the community. The festival seeks to highlight the musical ability and innovation of young Irish musicians and composers, while making connections with musicians from around the world.
St Patrick’s Festival – All Ireland
As you may already know, St. Patrick’s Day is Ireland’s most famous national holiday.
Through contemporary and traditional Irish arts, culture and heritage, the Festival will connect families, friends and communities across Ireland, and our global tribe of 80 million.
The famous National St. Patrick’s Day Parade floods the streets of Dublin every March, with parades, marching bands and hundreds of participants who do not want to miss this iconic festival.
Are you going to miss it?
Ennis Book Club Festival – Ennis
A Festival by and for lovers of reading and books. Every year hundreds of readers attend the festival to share the joy of reading and it attracts important and relevant national and international speakers.
During the days of the Ennis Book Club Festival a variety of events are held including topical discussions, workshops, poetry readings, music, theater, walking tours of the historic streets of Ennis and much more!
Are you a lover of reading and books? This festival is for you!
Cúirt International Festival of Literature – Galway
Cúirt International Festival of Literature is one of Europe’s oldest book festivals, and a leading voice for literature both internationally and across Ireland. Cúirt brings readers and writers together to tell stories, share new perspectives, and to celebrate writing, books and reading in all forms.
Cúirt International Festival of Literature is held every April and has a year-round program of participation through which a space is created for conversation, debate and reflection.
Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival- BELFAST
The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival first took place in 2000 and was created by local playwright Martin Lynch and developed by Sean Kelly. Its creation was intended to creatively regenerate the northern city center through art and culture.
The Festival has gradually and sustainably transformed over the years and today features some 150 events. Pub plays, folk performances, concerts and different types of shows enliven the city for eleven days each year.
Come and discover it!
Dublin Dance Festival – May (and through the year)
The Dublin Dance Festival takes place every May and believes in the power of dance to express, connect and inspire change. It is a national and international gathering that also has a virtual version.
The Dublin Dance Festival is a link between contemporary dance artists and the public through the presentation of extraordinary Irish dance performances, creating opportunities for artists and demonstrating a commitment to dance in Ireland.
Do you love dance? Come and experience it.
International Literature Festival Dublin
The Dublin International Literature Festival is Ireland’s premier literary event. Each year it brings together the world’s best writers to excite, engage and thrill audiences.
For ten days there are readings, conversations, debates, screenings, guided walks, events, podcasts and much more. An event created for all audiences that focuses on emerging Irish writers and talents but gives voice to and welcomes artists from around the world.
At the Dublin International Literature Festival, the world-renowned Dublin International Literary Award, one of the richest literary prizes, with 100,000 euros, is awarded and is sponsored exclusively by Dublin City Council.
Galway Early Music Festival
Galway Early Music is a non-profit organization that promotes Irish and European music and dance from the 12th-17th centuries.
The event aims to bring 12th-17th century music and dance to life through concerts, increase awareness and interest in this music and dance through education and attract an existing early music audience from outside Ireland.
A unique festival not to be missed.
Bloomsday Festival – Dublin
Bloomsday is one of Ireland’s most famous holidays and is based on the novel Ulysses by James Joyce. The novel recounts the life and thoughts of Leopold Bloom and other characters, real and fictional, from 8 a.m. on June 16, 1904 until the early morning of the following day. Today this day is celebrated around the world with readings, reenactments, re-enactments and other events.
During the Bloomsday celebration, the costumes of the characters of the book and the clothing of the time are evoked through the attire of the participants.
Come to experience it!
Taste of Dublin – Dublin (Food & Drink)
Are you a foodie? Well, if so, this is your event. A celebration of eating, drinking and entertainment
A unique opportunity to source essential ingredients from artisan producers, engage with Ireland’s top culinary talent, be on the front line of masterclasses from and relax in the gourmet atmosphere of the summer’s finest food and drink festival.
Taste of Dublin also includes cooking demonstrations, wine tasting and much more!
Are you going to miss it?
Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride – Dublin
June is considered Pride Month. The Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride festival hosts organizations and venues that organize Pride events throughout the city and county.
Numerous events take place throughout the city with the sole objective of promoting diversity and inclusion in society and championing equality for all people.
A must-event for everyone!
Cork Midsummer Festival – Cork
The Cork Midsummer Festival is an annual multidisciplinary arts festival for all audiences of all ages.
Over 10 days, high-quality national and international art events take place using the city as a backdrop and inspiration.
Galway International Arts Festival – Galway
The Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF) is a multidisciplinary event that takes place every July in Galway and has become one of the most important art festivals in Europe.
The festival becomes the meeting point for new artworks and art forms and serves as a platform for debate on creation and innovation for national and international artists under its First thought Talks program.
Foyle Maritime – Derry
Foyle Maritime Festival on the banks and waters of the River Foyle in the city of Derry, Northern Ireland, welcomes each year some 150,000 participants from all over the world attracted by the lure of Ireland’s only walled city, the North Antrim coastline, the Giant’s Causeway and much more!
Foyle Maritime Festival has established itself as one of the largest and most ambitious maritime events in Europe. More than just an event, it is a full-scale 5-day experience that promises a stimulating program of entertainment, activities and interactive events.
Come and experience it, both on and off the water!
All Together Now Festival, Waterford
All Together Now is a festival that takes place in a unique setting in Waterford and offers its attendees an experience in which to feel free and involved in music, comedy, theater, debate, art, workshops and many more activities that will not leave you indifferent.
All together now festival, welcomes a multitude of national and international artists under an attractive program that takes place over a weekend.
Come and discover it!
Spraoi International Street Arts Festival – Waterford
The Spraoi Festival welcomes artists from all over the world to the streets of Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, during the August Bank Holiday.
Spraoi is the Irish word for fun and exuberance and the festival lives up to it through free concerts, Spraoi parade, fireworks launched from the River Suir, shows, circus performers, attraction, food market, and much more!
A festival for all audiences and ages. Come and discover it!
Festival of Curiosity- Dublin
The Festival of Curiosity welcomes over 45,000 attendees each year to 14 venues in Dublin’s city center. It is an annual celebration of art, science, technology and design that has rapidly grown to become one of the most exciting and innovative festivals of its kind in Europe.
Each year the festival brings together the most innovative local, national and international leaders in industry, education, culture, government, media and philanthropy who believe in creating a better future for Ireland and creating a culture of curiosity.
Come experience the curious version of Dublin.
The Fleadh Cheoil: meaning “festival of music”) is an Irish music festival run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ), a non-profit organisation.
The festival includes live music events as well as competitions. Each year a single town or city hosts the Fleadh: it has been held in Mullingar, Sligo, and Tullamore, among others. Around 20,000 performers compete in fleadhanna each year.
Puck Fair – Killorglin, Kerry
Puck Fair is the oldest fair in Ireland and a somewhat peculiar event, since its celebration revolves around the coronation of a goat, whose history dates back to 1610.
According to the story, at that time the Irish were suffering the English invasion and it was a goat that alerted them of its arrival, which allowed them to prepare for battle. Since then the goat has become the protagonist of the festival and every year the inhabitants of Killorglin go up the mountain to capture a goat for its coronation, thus starting the celebration.
For three days in August this historic festival offers horse fairs, outdoor concerts, children’s competitions, parades, rides, street entertainment, dancing, eating and drinking contests and much more.
Dublin Horse Show – Dublin
Are you an animal and horse lover? This is the festival for you.
The Horse Show festival was first held in 1864, and over the years has become a Dublin institution. A celebration of Ireland’s affinity with the horse, from the best show horses to the best international show jumpers.
It is one of Ireland’s most important summer events and each year welcomes crowds of people from Ireland and around the world.
Kilkenny Arts Festival
Every August for ten days, the Kilkenny Arts Festival offers an exceptional variety of events and brings together renowned musicians, performers, writers and artists from around the world to the medieval city of Kilkenny.
Combining tradition and innovation, the festival offers a combination of performances that give it a unique spirit.
Classical music, open-air theater, and contemporary dance, among others, are some of the top-level shows that the festival organizes with a single goal: to dazzle and enchant all audiences.
Cape Clear Story Telling – Cape Clear Island
The Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival was founded to keep the Irish storytelling tradition alive and has become a world-renowned event for showcasing world-class storytelling on the incredibly beautiful island of Cape Clear.
Its founders created this event in order to make the island an international storytelling center through an annual festival inspired by the local people who usually spent hours together sharing tales and stories late into the night.
Today the festival welcomes storytellers and audiences from around the world for three days every September, who in addition to enjoying a unique event, enjoy the natural resources of Cape Clear Island.
Dublin Fringe Festival – Dublin
The Dublin Fringe Festival is a multidisciplinary event featuring bold ideas and the performing arts. It features both national and international arts makers and each year welcomes over 30,000 adventurous participants over 16 days each September.
The festival offers support, resources, space, time and professional development to the independent arts sector and transforms Dublin into an exhibition of great creative talent from around the world.
A cultural event not to be missed!
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival – Dublin
The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is an event created for singles from all over the world. It takes place every September and offers a month of music and dancing with Ireland’s best country music musicians.
Come enjoy, dance and meet people at this quirky Irish festival!
Galway Oyster Festival – Galway
Galway Oyster Festival is the oldest oyster festival in the world and the most internationally recognized Irish festival after St. Patrick’s Day.
It is known as one of the oldest food shows in Europe and attracts thousands of visitors to taste Galway’s famous native oysters at the end of September each year. More than 20 competitors, representing countries from all over the world come to Galway to compete for the title of world champion.
If you love food, this is the festival for you.
Electric Picnic – Stradbally (Laois)
Electric Picnic, held in Stradbally, is one of Ireland’s most famous music and arts gatherings.
With its huge selection of music, art, theatre, comedy, craft workshops, food, topical debates and holistic health, it’s the Emerald Isle’s end-of-summer party not to be missed.
Bram Stoker Festival – Dublin
Whether you’re a resident vampire or visiting from further afield, Bram Stoker Festival has something for everyone in its Gothically inspired program of events in Dublin. Get ready for four days of living stories and four nights of deadly adventures as Dublin gets gloriously gothic on October Bank Holiday Weekend.
Belfast International Arts Festival – Belfast
Originally established in 1962, Belfast International Arts Festival was hosted by Queen’s University until 2015, after which a new independent organisation (a company limited by guarantee and registered as a charity) was formed with the support of all stakeholders to deliver a new artistic vision for the event. The event covers theatre, dance, classical and roots music, visual, film and digital arts and literature accompanied by outreach and education events. It takes place every October in venues and locations across Belfast.
Wexford Festival Opera – Wexford
The festival was founded by an ambitious group of local enthusiasts in 1951 and has since become a cultural crowning-jewel for locals. Year after year, they have dedicated their time and talent to ensure that Wexford Festival Opera has become a leader of both national and international opera, praised by critics the world over.
Cork Jazz Festival – Cork
Ireland’s biggest Jazz Event, the Guinness Jazz Festival in Cork kicks off at the end of October.
The Cork Jazz Festival is celebrating in association with Guinness with around 1,000 musicians from over 30 countries playing at over 80 venues throughout the city, along with a host Fringe events, in a weekend to remember in Cork.
Around 40,000 music fans from around the world are expected in Cork for the Jazz Festival that feature some of the biggest names in Jazz. Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Cleo Laine and Chick Corea have headlined the Cork Jazz Festival in the past.
Púca Halloween Festival – County Meath
Púca is one of Ireland’s newest festivals and celebrates Ireland as the original home of Halloween, which began as the ancient tradition of Samhain over 2,000 years ago. The original Irish Halloween was a time for feasting, for gathering and for storytelling, as darkness turns to light and the shape-shifting spirits roam the night.
Cork International Film Festival – Cork
Cork International Film Festival is a local, national and international celebration of cinema, running annually in venues and online in November. Award-winning films from the international film festival circuit, new discoveries and cinema classics are selected by our experienced curatorial team, to be premiered in cinemas in Cork and screened online via the Festival Digital Platform, available to viewers nationwide.
West Wicklow Chamber Music Festival – Wicklow
The West Wicklow Chamber Music Festival welcomes relevant artists from Ireland and abroad to beautiful County Wicklow every May.
The festival was founded by pianist Fiachra Garvey who, having performed at festivals around the world, created this festival in his homeland in 2017. The event takes place in iconic and historic venues in Wicklow linked with music, making the performances unique experiences.
Waterford Winterval – Waterford
Promoting Christmas values of togetherness, family, joy, thankfulness, and wonder, Waterford Winterval festival marks the gathering back together of families, friends and communities and the creation of lifelong magical memories for all to cherish.
Waterford Film Festival – Waterford
The Waterford International Film Festival is Waterford’s premiere film festival that showcases the works of national & international filmmakers & artists.
This festival was established by filmmaker Stephen Byrne in 2007 and he is the creative/festival director of the annual event.
Christmas markets are very recent in Ireland. But it is getting increasingly popular, attracting locals and visitors with live entertainment, festive treats, and gift shopping.
Nothing beats the atmosphere of a good Christmas Market with tempting aromas in the air, Christmas music, cute gifts to browse and nice food to nibble on as you walk around. Here are some of the Best Christmas Markets in Ireland.
Belfast Christmas Market at the City Hall
Christmas Winterland Market in Derry
Christmas Market at Dublin Castle
Wicklow Christmas Market
Glow, Cork Christmas Market
Galway Christmas Market