How to Prepare for your Bloomsday Pilgrimage (Part 1)


Are you planning to visit Dublin to walk in the footsteps of Leopold Bloom, the anti-hero of James Joyce’s Ulysses? Here are some ideas for preparing for your Bloomsday pilgrimage.

If you have not read Ulysses yet, why not start reading it now. It might be a daunting prospect, so here are some helpful tips:

  • Reading it out loud makes it easier to follow, so find out if there is a reading group where you live. In Dublin, you can join in at Sweny’s Pharmacy, the original location from the Lotus Eaters episode. They read it on Thursdays and Saturdays as well as other days in different languages. The James Joyce Centre is also reading Ulysses every Friday from 1.05pm.

  • Listening to the book read aloud can give you a great way in as well as a feel for Joyce’s language and the rich stories and characters that he created. There are some free audio versions here or here.

  • You can also listen and watch various well-known Joyce experts and fans give bite-sized introductions to each chapter of Ulysses on the James Joyce Centre’s YouTube Channel here.


To plan your pilgrimage, have a look at our Bloomsday Festival programme. It’s bursting with traditional events in iconic locations from Ulysses as well as contemporary explorations of Joyce’s life and works through different art forms.

You could discover Leopold's Bloom alter ego in the engaging play bloominauschwitz or explore the streets of Dublin that inspired James Joyce with one of our walking, bus or pub tours across the city. You’ll discover Joyce’s old neighbourhoods, famous pubs, and seaside towns. Bloomsday pilgrims will converge at the immersive cabaret nightclub experience Poetry Brothel and the Bloomsday Blowout, a Joyce-inspired literary salon.


The Bloomsday Fringe is springing into life with Joycean locations like Sweny's Chemist, Glasnevin Cemetery and Dalkey welcoming Bloomsday explorers. Allow Pat Liddy to be your Bloomsday guide or go Strolling through Ulysses for a whistle stop tour through Joyce’s novel. Take to the streets with A Play on Ulysses  or take a lesson in How to Marry a Literary Genius.

We will be writing more about how to prepare for Bloomsday on this blog in the coming weeks. So keep an eye out for further posts or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for more tips.

And as Dublin is a main character in James Joyce’s big book, explore the city while you are here. Find out what’s going on and what’s worth visiting on

You might be surprised!

Marty GilroyNews, Blog