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Dublin in February: 12 Fun Things to See, Do & Eat

Discover things to do in Dublin in February. Find out if a February trip to Dublin is worth doing. Enjoy the best of Dublin in late winter.
Are you wondering what it’s like to visit Dublin in February? I lived in Ireland for 12 years, close to Dublin City Centre and had the incredible opportunity to experience life in the capital during different parts of the year.

Did you know that in Ireland, February is considered the first month of Spring?! It's true and Dubliners are excited to welcome milder weather and get outside after a long, dark winter. 

I think Dublin is a worthwhile destination for a romantic city break. February does include Valentine's Day after all.

Let’s explore a variety of cool things to see, do, and eat in Dublin in February to help inspire your own trip to Ireland at this time of year.

St. Stephen's Green Shopping Center in Dublin

What is the Weather Like in Dublin in February?

February in Dublin tends to be a bit milder than January, with average temperatures hovering in the 40s (6° - 10°C). 

February can be quite rainy, but this is true of most times of year in Ireland. The good news is that the weather changes quickly and I've personally witnessed 4 seasons in a single day. 

February is a good time to visit Dublin if you're looking for a quieter and less crowded city.

View of the River Liffey and Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin in February

The days start to get longer in February, so you may even experience a few hours of sunshine.

I recommend packing layers including a warm jacket plus winter hat and gloves. I find gloves to be essential. The temperature may remain above freezing, but the humidity often causes my hands to get chapped if I don't wear gloves. 

I also suggest packing waterproof clothing, and most definitely an umbrella.

Things to do in Dublin in February at a Glance

Now let's take a look at things to do, see and eat in Dublin in February at a glance. Each heading is clickable and will take you directly to the item of interest.

Table of Contents

      1. Temple Bar Food Market
      2. Check out the Buskers on Grafton Street 
      3. Go on a Specialty Coffee Crawl 
      4. Admire the Neon Lights of Grand Canal Dock 
      5. City Centre Shopping 
      6. Sunrise Walk on the Dodder 
      7. Visit Love Lane in Temple Bar
      8. Catch a Movie at the Dublin International Film Festival
      9. See a Performance at the National Concert Hall
      10. Book in for a Wine Tasting at Ely's 
      11. Grab a Cocktail at the Marker 
      12. Tea and Cake at Kilkenny Shop

      Things to do in Dublin in February in Detail

      Let's explore cool things to do in Dublin in February in more detail. I've actually done all of these things in the month of February, so they are tried and tested for this time of year. 

      In Dublin, the weather is always a wild card, so I've broken down my recommendations into two parts: what to do if the weather is nice and what to do in Dublin if it rains or the weather is bad.

      What to do in Dublin in February if the Weather is Nice

      1. Temple Bar Food Market

      I recommend a visit to the Temple Bar Food Market if you visit Dublin in February. The Temple Bar Food Market is held every Saturday in Meeting House Square. 

      Here, you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and other delicious treats. On a cold day, grab a coffee to warm up. 

      Umbrella over the Temple Bar Food Market in Dublin

      The market is best enjoyed in good weather, but Meeting House Square is covered with giant mechanical umbrellas, so you can still stay dry if it rains.

      2. Check out the Buskers on Grafton Street 

      Another fun thing to do in Dublin in February is take a walk down Grafton Street and keep an eye out for talented buskers. 

      You will be amazed by the daring feats that some of these performers will undertake, such as juggling fire, swallowing swords, or riding a unicycle. 

      Busker juggling on a unicycle in Dublin in February

      In addition, you will likely find a wide range of musical performers scattered at intervals along Grafton Street. Be sure to check out the talent in this most musical of cities.

      3. Go on a Specialty Coffee Crawl 

      I believe that Dublin is incredibly underrated when it comes to coffee. The specialty coffee scene here is absolutely outstanding, with a variety of different cafes to choose from. 

      You'll be spoiled for choice every day of the week, whether you're looking for a quick coffee to go or to sit and savor a latte, v60, or batch brew before breakfast.

      In fact, there is so much good coffee in Dublin that I've incorporated a coffee stop into each of my 25 one day in Dublin itineraries.

      I recommend checking out the following cafes:
      • Creed on Pierce Street
      • 3FE on Fenian Street
      • Art of Coffee (multiple locations)
      • Gerard's on the River Liffey
      • Mr. Magpie near St. Stephen's Green
      • Shoe Lane in the city center
      • United Coffee on Baggot Street (nestled in the front of a hardware store)

      Collage of specialty coffees in takeaway cups in Dublin Ireland

      I kid you not, the coffee in Dublin is outstanding, and I miss it greatly. I would even go so far to say that coffee is one of Dublin's hidden gems. Why not take some time to warm up with a cuppa in Dublin in February?

      4. Admire the Neon Lights of Grand Canal Dock 

      The days are short in Dublin in February, so why not take a self-guided tour of the neon lights of Grand Canal Dock in the evening? 

      Neon lights in the colors of the Irish Flag on the Dublin Convention Center in February

      Head to Barrow Street to see the ever-changing colors of the bridge connecting the different Google buildings. You'll also find a neon forest outside of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre near the Marker Hotel.

      5. City Centre Shopping 

      Why not take some time to explore the shopping options in Dublin City Center if you visit in February? 

      Grafton Street is a popular destination for its upscale stores, but you can also find a wider range of shops on Henry Street on the north side of the city

      Inside St. Stephen's Green Shopping Center in Dublin

      The Stephen's Green Shopping Centre has a large variety of shops and bonus! the architecture is extremely Instagrammable.

      6. Sunrise Walk on the Dodder 

      One of my favorite things to do in Dublin in February is take a sunrise walk along the River Dodder (one of my top picks for best walks in Dublin). The days are short in February, so you don't have to get up too early to enjoy this activity. 

      Grab a coffee and walk between Bath Avenue and Ballsbridge. You might even spot a cute fox, kingfisher, or even a seal along the way. 

      Sunrise over the Dodder River and Aviva Stadium in Dublin in February

      The odds of seeing a seal are low, but we saw one once in our 12 years living in Dublin, and it absolutely made our week.

      7. Visit Love Lane in Temple Bar

      February in Dublin is a month for love. After all, it's the month of Valentine's Day! I recommend heading to Temple Bar and checking out the sentiments on Love Lane to get into the romantic spirit.

      Ceramic tile street art on Love Lane in Dublin in February

       back to 'at a glance'

      What to do in Dublin in February if it Rains

      8. Catch a Movie at the Dublin International Film Festival

      February brings the Dublin International Film Festival to town. Winter is a great time to catch a movie, and you may even be lucky enough to encounter a celebrity in town to celebrate the premiere of their film at the festival. 

      Russell Crowe at the Dublin International Film Festival in February 2015

      We were lucky enough to see Russell Crowe in person. He did a Q&A after the screening of his film, The Water Diviner.

      9. See a Performance at the National Concert Hall

      The National Concert Hall is located just around the corner from St. Stephen's Green in Dublin City Center. If you visit Dublin in February, be sure to check out the event schedule. 

      Chandelier inside the National Concert Hall in Dublin in February

      You can expect to find a variety of performances, including chamber music, orchestral music, opera, ballet, and more. All performances take place in an elegant setting, making it an ideal activity to do on a rainy day.

      10. Book in for a Wine Tasting at Ely's 

      In February, one of the fun things to do in Dublin is to book a wine tasting at Ely's. The location in CHQ, along the River Liffey, features atmospheric seating in a stone-lined cave. 

      Ian Brosnan, the sommelier at Ely's, always has an interesting anecdote to share about the wines he presents. 

      Wine tasting at Ely's CHQ in Dublin in February

      If there are no wine tasting events at Ely's when you are in town, book yourself in for dinner and a glass of wine (or a bottle!) You won't regret it.

      11. Grab a Cocktail at the Marker 

      The Marker Hotel in Grand Canal Dock is a posh place to enjoy a cocktail. If you were visiting Dublin in July or August, I would recommend heading to the rooftop bar for drinks with stunning views of the city. Note that the Marker gives first dibs on tables in the rooftop bar to guests.

      Cocktails at the Marker Hotel in Dublin in February

      Of course, this post is about things to do in Dublin in February, so if you're visiting during this month, I suggest staying inside and ordering a cocktail from the extensive menu in the lobby bar. This is a great option for a cozy afternoon or evening.

      12. Tea and Cake at Kilkenny Shop

      Another fun thing to do in Dublin in February is to visit the Kilkenny shop on Nassau Street. Kilkenny features a wide range of products from local designers, including jewelry, clothing, homeware, and gifts. 

      If you head upstairs to the first floor, you'll find a cafeteria-style café where you can enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake on a rainy winter day.

      Where to Stay in Dublin in February

      I lived in Dublin for 12 years, so I haven't has as many occasions to stay at a hotel here. However, I can personally recommend the following hotels based on my experience staying there:
      1. The Wilder Townhouse is a boutique hotel that was once a home for retired governesses. It's situated in a 19th century brick building just a short walk to The National Concert Hall and St. Stephen's Green. The breakfast here is outstanding, the beds are comfy, and the rooms are named after former residents.
      2. The Grand Canal Hotel is a more budget-friendly option with a craft beer bar attached. The Grand Canal Hotel is close to the Google offices in Grand Canal Dock about a 30 minute walk to Grafton Street and St. Stephen's Green.
      3. The Charlemont Hilton is conveniently located along the Grand Canal and within easy walking distance of Dublin City Centre, Ranelagh, and Rathmines. I found the hotel room to be well-insulated from noise and I got a great night's sleep.
      The Dylan Hotel in Dublin

      I can also recommend a few other hotels that my family has stayed in:
      1. The Marker is a high-end hotel with a fabulous rooftop bar in Grand Canal Dock.
      2. The Dylan is a boutique hotel in a historic building in Ballsbridge. The Dylan is walking distance to Dublin City Centre and adjacent to historic Baggot Street.
      3. The Schoolhouse Hotel is truly unique and is located in a historic school house. It's also home to one of my favorite pubs in Ireland.
      In my experience, the best neighborhoods to stay in Dublin depend on your preferences. If you want to be in the heart of it all, stay around Stephen's Green. Ballsbridge or Grand Canal Dock is a good choice if you want to be central, but not too central. 

      In general, areas south of the River Liffey are considered more "posh" and areas north of the Liffey can be a bit edgier. I don't recommend staying in Temple Bar (it will be noisy!) 

      There are a number of hostels and cheaper accommodation along Gardiner Street on the North Side. This is definitely an edgier part of town and I wouldn't recommend it.

      My travel tips including where to stay and what to do in Dublin have been featured on Irish Stew and We Travel There podcasts.

      Red and blue Georgian doors in Dublin, Ireland

      Getting to Dublin in February

      Dublin Airport is very well connected to the UK and Europe thanks to Aer Lingus and Ryanair. You'll find a wide range of point-to-point connections to get you to Ireland.

      For transatlantic flights to the US, Dublin has the advantage of having US pre-clearance. This means that you can clear US customs and immigration in Dublin Airport, so you land in the domestic terminal and can go straight to your connection or to baggage claim when you arrive in the United States.

      To get to Dublin from Asia, India, or Australia/New Zealand, I recommend flying through Dubai on Emirates. I've personally flown Emirates business class and Emirates first class, and I highly recommend the experience.

      Skyscanner Banner to Book Flights

      You can also connect to Dublin from almost anywhere in the world via airports like Lisbon, Amsterdam Schiphol, Frankfurt, Paris, or Istanbul.

      To get from Dublin Airport to the city center, you can take a taxi for about €30. There is a surcharge for transportation late at night and on Sundays. The Aircoach or Dublin Bus are more economical options. Unfortunately, Dublin Airport is not served by train.

      Should You Visit Dublin in February?

      There are pros and cons to visiting Dublin at any time of year. In February, I see the pros as:
      1. February in Dublin is a good excuse to book in for a wine-tasting to celebrate Valentine's Day.
      2. Spring is on the way and locals are excited about it.
      3. You're more likely to find bargain accommodation and flights and the days are starting to get longer (compared to Dublin in January)
      Row of Georgian buildings in Dublin in February

      The cons of visiting Dublin in February are:
      1. While locals think February equals Spring, the reality is that the weather is more likely than not to be cold and rainy.
      2. Some popular activities (e.g., Viking Splash) don't run at this time of year. 

      Are you planning a trip to Ireland and trying to decide what time of year to visit? Check out month-by-month ideas of things to do in Dublin based on my personal experience:
      Better yet, check out my comprehensive one-stop-shop post covering all the fantastic things to do in Dublin throughout the year. Why not dive deeper and explore the best places to visit in Ireland as a whole?

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      Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Dublin in February: 12 Fun Things to See, Do & Eat
      Dublin in February: 12 Fun Things to See, Do & Eat
      Discover things to do in Dublin in February. Find out if a February trip to Dublin is worth doing. Enjoy the best of Dublin in late winter.
      Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog