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Dublin in August: 29 Fun Things to See, Do & Eat

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

Summer months like August are the busiest time of year to visit Dublin. On the positive side, this means there are endless activities, attractions, and events to keep you busy. 

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

What is the Weather Like in Dublin in August?

In my experience, August tends to be the hottest month of the year in Dublin, with average temperatures reaching into the 70s (20-25°C) and maybe even the low 80s (although this is rare). 

I find that Dublin often feels hotter in the summer than the objective temperature would suggest especially if the sun is shining. 

I recommend booking a hotel that has air-conditioning (not guaranteed in all places in Ireland) since buildings are not well insulated and can get warm in the summer and cold in the winter.

Panoramic view over the River Liffey in Dublin in August

Even in August, I recommend packing light layers in case it gets chilly as well as an umbrella, sunglasses, and a good sun hat. 

During our 12 years living in Ireland, it was rare for us to take a walk without a jacket or to wear shorts even in the peak of summer.

The trick with visiting Ireland is to be ready for anything weather-wise.

Poppy and a rusted fence in Dublin in August

Things to do in Dublin in August at a Glance

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

Table of Contents

        1. Visit the Blackrock Weekend Market
        2. Shop for Art on Merrion Square
        3. Stroll the Beach in Bray
        4. Take a Walk in Phoenix Park
        5. Go to the Dublin Horse Show
        6. Enjoy a Sunny Walk in St. Stephen's Green
        7. Shop Grafton Street
        8. Hike to Poolbeg Lighthouse
        9. Take a Shady Walk on the Grand Canal
        10. Go for a morning walk on the Dodder
        11. Walk in Marlay Park
        12. Enjoy a bright morning coffee walk along Grand Canal Dock
        13. Swoon for Swans and Cygnets in Grand Canal Dock
        14. Bet on the Ponies at Leopardstown
        15. Check out Baby Grebes in Herbert Park
        16. Go for a Dublin Bikes Ride
        17. Take a Day trip to Victor's Way
        18. See a Concert at Collin's Barracks
        19. Visit the Dead Zoo
        20. Catch a Show at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin
        21. Visit Windmill Lane Recording Studios
        22. Take in a Trad Sesh at O'Donoghue's
        23. Go for a Michelin Starred Meal
        24. See a Movie at the Stella
        25. Catch a Concert at The Academy
        26. Tour the Irish Whiskey Museum
        27. Shop Powerscourt Townhouse
        28. Take the Guided Tour of Dalkey Castle
        29. Catch a Music Set at the Schoolhouse Hotel

        Things to do in Dublin in August in Detail

        Let's explore cool things to do in Dublin in August in more detail. I've actually done all of these things in the month of August, 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 good and what to do in Dublin if it rains or the weather is bad.

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

        Let's start on an optimistic note. Here are some ideas for things to do in Dublin in August if the weather is sunny.

        1. Visit the Blackrock Weekend Market

        Hop on the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) and head south to Blackrock. A short walk will bring you to Blackrock Market from the train station. 

        Browse for unique souvenirs, handcrafted jewelry, antiques, or grab a bite to eat from a variety of food vendors. 

        Also, did you know that Blackrock Market is home to one of Dublin's Michelin Star rated restaurants? If you are interested in a splurge, book a table (well in advance) at Liath.

        Blackrock Market sign featuring Georgian Doors

        2. Shop for Art on Merrion Square

        Looking for a one-of-a-kind souvenir of your trip to Dublin? Look no further than Merrion Square on a sunny Sunday when the railings around this beautiful Georgian park transform into an open-air art gallery. 

        Local artists showcase their work, from paintings of popular Dublin landmarks to stunning seascapes and more abstract works.

        Paintings hanging on the fence along Merrion Square in Dublin in August

        3. Stroll the Beach in Bray

        Fancy a day by the sea? Take the DART to Bray, a charming seaside town just south of Dublin in County Wicklow. Bray Beach is unique in that it boasts smooth pebbles, worn smooth by the Irish Sea instead of sand. 

        Spread out a blanket or a towel and soak up the sunshine tempered by the cool ocean breeze. Listen to the soothing rhythm of the waves rolling across the stones. Bray is the perfect summer escape from Dublin City when the weather is fine.

        Bray Beach south of Dublin

        4. Take a Walk in Phoenix Park

        Did you know that Phoenix Park is the largest city park in Europe. Explore its vast grounds on foot, rent a bike, or simply relax on the grass. 

        Pay a visit to the American Ambassador's residence and Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President of Ireland. 

        If you're an animal lover, a visit to Dublin Zoo, located within the park, is a must. If you're lucky, you may even spot the herd of resident deer that call Phoenix Park home.

        Obelisk at Phoenix's Park in Dublin

        5. Go to the Dublin Horse Show

        If you're visiting Dublin in mid-August (August 14-18 in 2024), check out the spectacle that is the Dublin Horse Show. This annual event is a highlight of the Dublin's social calendar. 

        Witness daring horse jumping displays and plenty of fascinating hats among the crowd. The show also features an extensive shopping area with vendors selling everything from equestrian gear to unique Irish souvenirs. The event takes place at the RDS (Royal Dublin Society) Showgrounds in Ballsbridge.

        Horseback riding at the Dublin Horse Show in Dublin in August

        6. Enjoy a Sunny Walk in St. Stephen's Green

        Take a stroll through Dublin's most famous Georgian square park. Admire the colorful flowerbeds, and find a quiet corner to relax and soak up the warm rays. 

        Feed the ducks and swans swimming in the pond within the park. I love to bring a book and relax on one of the park benches surrounding the central fountain.
        Fountain in St. Stephen's Green in Dublin

        7. Shop Grafton Street

        No sunny summer visit to Dublin is complete without a stroll down Grafton Street, Dublin's most famous thoroughfare. This pedestrian street is lined with a variety of shops, mostly popular high-street brands, including Ireland's luxury department store, Brown Thomas. 

        Browse for clothes, souvenirs, books, and more. Grafton Street is also famous for its street performers. Bring some change to throw into the hat after watching an impromptu performance.
        Grafton Street in Dublin on a sunny day

        8. Hike to Poolbeg Lighthouse

        Dublin boasts some amazing coastal walks, and none are more iconic than the hike to Poolbeg Lighthouse. Starting in Sandymount, this scenic route takes you along the shoreline, offering fatnastic views of Dublin Bay. 

        Keep an eye out for ferries navigating the busy port, playful seabirds darting amongst the rocks, and local fishermen casting their lines at the end of the breakwater.

        Path to Poolbeg Lighthouse and an incoming container ship in Dublin

        9. Take a Shady Walk on the Grand Canal

        Escape the midday sun and find tranquility along the shaded path that runs along Dublin's Grand Canal. I am particularly fond of the area between Grand Canal Street and Leeson Street where a tree-lined path follows the canal. 

        Ambitious walkers can extend the hike all the way to Harold's Cross. Watch out for graceful swans, hunting herons, and playful ducks gliding along the water.

        10. Go for a Morning walk on the Dodder

        Start your day with some light exercise on a refreshing morning walk along the Dodder River. As you follow the river's path, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings – you might be surprised by a playful fox or two. 

        The Dodder snakes through the heart of Dublin, but the further south you venture, the more suburban and forested the landscape becomes. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature as you slowly leave Dublin City behind.

        Path along the River Dodder in Dublin

        11. Walk in Marlay Park

        Marlay Park is a Dublin hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Though it sometimes hosts lively summer concerts (be prepared for potential transportation challenges if you decide to go!), the park offers a tranquil escape during the day. 

        Explore the vast grounds, wander through the charming walled garden, or simply find a quiet spot to relax and enjoy the sunshine.

        Flowers and gardens in Marlay Park in Dublin

        12. Enjoy a bright morning coffee walk along Grand Canal Dock

        Fuel your exploration of Dublin in August with a morning coffee walk in Grand Canal Dock. Admire the modern apartment buildings and offices reflected in the still water. 

        Grand Canal Dock is great for photography lovers. Take your pick from excellent cafes like Art of Coffee and Il Valentino to grab a coffee to go.
        Buildings reflected in the water at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin

        13. Swoon for Swans and Cygnets in Grand Canal Dock

        While you're out in Grand Canal Dock, consider grabbing some birdseed, corn, or frozen peas. Here you may find pairs or larger groups of swans slicing through the water. 

        If the swans aren't out, on a sunny summer day in Dublin, you'll likely find people picnicking in the shadow of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and the Marker Hotel. Grab something to eat and drink at Fresh supermarket and join in.

        Swan swimming in Grand Canal Dock in Dublin

        14. Bet on the Ponies at Leopardstown

        Feeling lucky? Head to Leopardstown Racecourse. This popular horse racing venue comes alive in August. 

        Place your bets and enjoy a fun evening out. You might even get lucky like we did and win a few Euros while catching a concert by a legendary Irish band like the Boomtown Rats!

        Leopardstown Race Track Near Dublin

        15. Check out Baby Grebes in Herbert Park

        Escape the busier pace of Dublin City Centre and find serenity in Herbert Park in Ballsbridge. This sprawling green space is a local favorite, especially on sunny days. Keep your eyes peeled in August for baby grebes taking their first swim or hitching a ride on their parent's back on the park's pond.

        Grebe family in Herbert Park in Dublin

        16. Go for a Dublin Bikes Ride

        Travel Dublin like a local and rent a Dublin Bike. With a one or three-day pass, you can explore the city at your own pace. 

        Download the Dublin Bikes app, pick up a bike at any of the stations dotting Dublin City Centre, and cycle along the scenic Grand Canal path or along the River Liffey where the bike lanes are well protected from traffic. 

        I find that Dublin Bikes are a fantastic way to get some exercise, soak up the sunshine, and get around a little more quickly than you could on foot.

        Dublin Bikes parking station

        17. Take a Day trip to Victor's Way

        Interested in exploring beyond Dublin City? If so and you have a car, take a day trip to Victor's Way, a unique sculpture park situated near Roundwood in County Wicklow.  

        For €10, you can embark on a meditative forest walk while appreciating sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses reimagined with a modern twist. Can you spot the cell phone and pint of Guinness incorporated into the sculptures?

        Statue in the forest at Victor's Way on a day trip from Dublin in August

        18. See a Concert at Collin's Barracks

        Collins Barracks, housing one branch of the National Museum of Ireland (focused on decorative arts and history), comes alive with evening concerts during the summer. 

        We once enjoyed a tribute concert to the legendary Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy – the energy and atmosphere were truly unforgettable!

        Collins Barracks lit up in purple light after dark

         back to 'at a glance'

        What to do in Dublin in August if it Rains

        Now let's take a look at things to do in Dublin if the weather gods turn against you and it rains during your August trip to Ireland.

        19. Visit the Dead Zoo

        The Museum of Natural History, known by locals as "The Dead Zoo", offers free entry to a world of taxidermied creatures. Immerse yourself in the Victorian-era atmosphere with its wood and glass display cases, showcasing fascinating specimens from the 19th and 20th centuries.  

        You might even discover pieces of Charles Darwin's legacy – insects pinned to boards by the renowned naturalist himself!

        20. Catch a Show at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin

        A rainy day is the perfect excuse to catch a performance, Dublin is an incredibly musical city after all.  Conveniently located near Temple Bar on Dame Street, the Olympia Theatre offers a diverse program. 

        We've seen electrifying concerts from some of our favorite bands (like Erasure) as well as moving Irish musical theatre productions like "Once."

        Facade of the Olympia Theatre in Dublin

        21. Visit Windmill Lane Recording Studios

        Peek behind the curtain of Dublin's vibrant music scene!  Originally located near the River Liffey, today the iconic Windmill Lane Recording Studios can be found in a cool Lime Green Art Deco building on Pearse Street. 

        The unique €22 tour is worth every penny to have the chance to explore this Dublin hidden gem and delve into the world of music production.  

        Try your hand on a mixing board, admire the star-studded walls signed by artists like Hozier and Ed Sheeran, and even tickle the ivories on the same Steinway piano that David Bowie once played.

        Sound board at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin

        22. Take in a Trad Sesh at O'Donoghue's

        A traditional Irish music session is a must on any trip to Dublin. O'Donoghue's, a legendary pub known for its lively atmosphere and top-notch trad music, is the perfect place to experience some Irish tunes. 

        Settle in, grab a pint of Guinness, and let the music transport you to the heart of Irish culture.  Who knows, you might even spot celebrities like Bono and Sean Penn who have been known to frequent this centrally located Dublin pub and music venue.

        O'Donoghue's sign in Dublin City

        23. Go for a Michelin Starred Meal

        Treat yourself to a luxurious culinary experience on your trip to Ireland. Dublin boasts several Michelin-starred restaurants, like Chapter One, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, and Liath. 

        Savor the freshest Irish ingredients prepared with creative flair. While it may be a splurge, your taste buds and stomach will thank you.

        One of the courses served to us at 2 Michelin-starred Liath

        24. See a Movie at the Stella

        Head to the recently restored Stella Theatre in Rathmines for the ultimate movie-going experience on a rainy day in Dublin. Sink into a plush armchair and enjoy a film on the big screen. Elevate the experience by ordering food and wine directly to your seat.

        Jennifer of Sidewalk Safari at the Stella Theatre in Dublin

        25. Catch a Concert at The Academy

        Catch a live performance at The Academy, an edgy music venue on Dublin's northside. Known for its slightly gritty atmosphere, The Academy is the perfect spot to catch a hard rock show.  

        We've rocked out to bands like Skid Row and even saw a tribute to Prince featuring Irish legends like Hozier. Head upstairs and grab a spot along the railing for an amazing view of the stage.

        Concert at the Academy in Dublin

        26. Tour the Irish Whiskey Museum

        Embrace Ireland's signature spirit with a tour and tasting at the Irish Whiskey Museum.  Located near Trinity College, this museum offers a fun and educational look at the history of Irish whiskey. 

        Take your pick of guided tours with whiskey tastings – choose from a classic experience with 3 samples or a VIP option with 4 whiskeys. Learn about the fascinating rise, fall, and resurgence of Irish whiskey while sampling a variety of delectable drams.

        Exhibit at the Irish Whiskey Museum in Dublin

        27. Shop Powerscourt Townhouse

        Escape the rain and do a bit of shopping at Powerscourt Townhouse. What was once a magnificent 18th-century Georgian townhouse has been transformed into a boutique shopping mall. 

        Browse through shops featuring local Irish designers selling clothing, unique jewelry, and home décor. Afterward, recharge with a drink or a bite to eat in the charming interior courtyard.

        Facade and door of Powerscourt Townhouse in Dublin

        28. Take the Guided Tour of Dalkey Castle

        Hop on the DART train to Dalkey and book in for a tour of Dalkey Castle (tickets are €16 at the time of writing). The interactive experience features characters in period costumes who bring the castle's history to life. Learn about one of my favorite Irish castles and its inhabitants over the centuries.

        Stone wall of Dalkey Castle in Dublin

        29. Catch a Music Set at the Schoolhouse Hotel

        I think the Schoolhouse Hotel and Pub is the perfect refuge for a pint on a rainy Dublin day.  This atmospheric pub, housed in an old schoolhouse featuring dark wood paneling, boasts a cozy vibe: even moreso if they've got the fireplace going. 

        Yes, even in August, you might need a wee fire to take the chill off in Dublin, especially when it rains.

        Pint of Guinness at the Schoolhouse Pub in Dublin

        Where to Stay in Dublin in August

        I lived in Dublin for 12 years, so I haven't availed of that many hotels 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 called The Gasworks attached. It's close to the Google offices in Grand Canal Dock.
        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.
        Side entrance to the Schoolhouse Hotel in Dublin
        I can also recommend a few other hotels that my family has stayed in:
        1. The Marker is a posh hotel with a fabulous rooftop bar in Grand Canal Dock.
        2. The Dylan is a boutique hotel in a historic building in Ballsbridge. It's walking distance to Dublin City Centre and just around the corner from the vibrant shops, restaurants, and pubs on historic Baggot Street.
        3. The Schoolhouse Hotel is truly unique and (as mentioned above) is located in a historic school house and is home to one of my favorite pubs in Dublin.
        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. 

        Getting to Dublin in August

        Dublin Airport is extremely 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 can go straight to your connection or to baggage claim when you arrive in the US.

        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 rail.

        Dublin Airport Terminal viewed from outside

        Should You Visit Dublin in August?

        There are pros and cons to visiting Dublin at any time of year. In August, I see the pros as:
        1. There is a higher probability of nice weather.
        2. You'll have the widest selection of tours and activities to choose from.
        3. Lots of fresh Irish ingredients are in season.
        The cons of visiting Dublin in August are:
        1. The city can be crowded and is most definitely expensive at this time of year.
        2. Many locals take their own holidays in the summer so you are more likely to find yourself surrounded by other tourists instead of local people.
        3. Dublin Airport can be crowded with long wait times.
        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:

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        Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Dublin in August: 29 Fun Things to See, Do & Eat
        Dublin in August: 29 Fun Things to See, Do & Eat
        Discover things to do in Dublin in August. Find out if an August trip to Dublin is worth doing. Enjoy the best of Dublin in the Summer.
        Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog