Start planning your festival tour in Ireland
From rolling green fields to fascinating historical landmarks, Ireland is a spell-binding place any time of year. But its energetic cultural scene and many traditions make it a brilliant destination for a festival trip. The Irish really know how to throw a party, so come here for the ‘craic’ (fun times) of festival season and you’ll have an unforgettable vacation.
What makes Ireland's festivals and carnivals so special?
True to Ireland’s spirit, many of this country’s festivals are unique. Take the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, for example—a party specifically for single people. Or visit the Redhead Convention in County Cork for an astonishing gathering of thousands of people with red hair. Other festivals, though, are steeped in tradition, such as the most famous party in the country: the St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin. Whatever festival you choose to visit in Ireland, you’ll be charmed by this country’s passion for fun.
The most iconic festivals and carnivals to experience in Ireland
Regardless of your preference, Ireland offers a type of festival and carnival for every taste. Whether you want to admire art, listen to music, watch a film, or indulge in the country’s hearty food and drink, Ireland will provide something for everyone. Here are the best festivals to visit in Ireland.
Listen to traditional music at Temple Bar Tradfest
The Temple Bar Tradfest was created in 2006 and now it's known as the country's largest and most celebrated traditional music festival. Every January, live music is played across many of Dublin's historic venues, such as St Patrick's Cathedral, St Michan's Church, and the City Hall.
Catch a film at Dublin International Film Festival
This festival is spread throughout the city of Dublin in February and March, and it celebrates the great world of cinema. Visitors have the chance to watch movies and interact with filmmakers through public interviews and Q&As. Famous stars have made appearances at this festival too, such as Liam Neeson, Charlize Theron, and Daniel Day-Lewis.
Eat your way through Galway Food Festival
The Galway Food Festival, usually in early April, is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some of the local cuisine offered in Ireland. The festival includes talks, food demonstrations, workshops, as well as an open-air food market.
Experience true Irish tradition at the Puck Fair
During this August event in Killorglin, a wild mountain goat is crowned as king of the town by the ‘Queen of Puck’. The festival includes a coronation parade, horse and cattle fairs, trade stalls, and many family events.
Party hard on St Patrick's Day
Each year on the 17 March this spring cultural celebration of Ireland's patron saint is famously a wild party. Every city and village will prepare their own celebration, but Dublin is the center of the action with parades, live music, and jovial community get-togethers. This celebration is not complete without a taste of the local beer: Guinness.
Tips for visiting one of Ireland's festivals and carnivals
If you’re aiming for a St Patrick’s Day party in Ireland for your vacation, you’ll need to book well in advance. For best prices year-round, book at least six months to a year in advance.