Welcome to the ultimate Dublin travel guide! If you’re planning a trip to the vibrant capital city of Ireland, you’re in for a treat. The city has a rich history and vibrant culture There are plenty of things to do and see. From world-famous landmarks to hidden gems, there’s no shortage of attractions to explore.
In this travel guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the best things to do in Dublin, from must-visit attractions to the city’s top restaurants, pubs, and breweries. Whether you’re interested in exploring the history and landmarks or experiencing its bustling nightlife and entertainment scene, we’ve got you covered.
So, let’s dive in and explore the best of Dublin!
A Brief Overview Of Dublin
Dublin is the vibrant capital city of Ireland, known for its lively culture, and friendly locals. The city is situated on the east coast of Ireland, bordered by the Irish sea and the Dublin Mountains. The city of contrasts, with a mix of old and new, traditional and modern, and bustling city life and peaceful green spaces.
Dublin is home to many world-famous landmarks, such as Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Guinness Storehouse. you can also explore the city’s many museums, art galleries, and theatres, which showcase the city’s culture and history. For those interested in experiencing Dublin’s legendary nightlife, the city is home to numerous pubs, bars, and nightclubs that cater to all tastes.
Explanation Of The Purpose Of This Article
The purpose of this article is to serve as a comprehensive guide for travellers who are planning a trip to the capital city. The article aims to provide information on the best things to do in Dublin, as well as tips on visiting the city, getting around, and experiencing its culture and history.
The primary goal of this article is to help travellers make the most of their time in the capital city by providing you with recommendations on must-visit attractions, free things to do and local hotspots.
Where Is Dublin
Map Of Dublin
History And Culture Of Dublin
The city is rich in history and culture, with a heritage dating back to Viking times. The city has played an important role in Irish history, from its early settlements to its role in the 1916 Easter Rising, which ultimately led to Irish independence.
One of Dublin’s most famous landmarks is Trinity College, founded in 1592. The college is home to the Book of Kells, a 9th-century illuminated manuscript, which is one of Ireland’s greatest treasures.
Dublin’s cultural scene is also reflected in its many theatres, such as the Abbey Theatre, which has been at the forefront of Irish drama since its founding in 1904. The city is also home to a thriving music scene, with many traditional Irish music sessions taking place in pubs and other venues throughout the city.
A Brief History Of Dublin
Dublin’s history can be traced back to the early Viking settlements in the 9th century when the city was known as “Dubh Linn,” which means “black pool” in Irish. The Vikings established a port in Dublin, which became an important centre of trade and commerce.
In the 12th century, the area became the capital of the English-controlled Lordship of Ireland, and over the next several centuries.
In the 18th century, the area experienced a period of great cultural and intellectual growth, known as the “Age of Enlightenment.” This was a time of great literary and artistic output, with notable figures such as Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, and W.B. Yeats making their mark on the city’s cultural scene.
Overview Of Dublin’s Culture And Traditions
Dublin has a great and vibrant culture, which reflects its long and complex history. The city is known for its friendly and welcoming people, its lively arts and music scene, and its love of good food and drink.
One of the most famous aspects of the capital city’s culture is its traditional music, which can be heard in many of the city’s pubs and music venues. Traditional Irish music features a variety of instruments, including the fiddle, the uilleann pipes, the tin whistle, and the bodhrán. Many visitors to Dublin also enjoy exploring the city’s literary heritage, which includes famous writers like James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and Oscar Wilde.
The capital city is also known for its delicious food and drink, with many excellent restaurants, cafes, and pubs throughout the city.
The Best Things To Do In Dublin
The city has loads of things to see and do, here are 29 things to see and do.
1. Trinity College
One of the most famous landmarks in the capital city, Trinity College is Ireland’s oldest and most prestigious university. The campus features beautiful historic buildings and gardens, as well as the famous Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript dating back created by monks, and viewing the book, is arguably one of the best things to do in Dublin.
2. Guinness Storehouse
Located in the centre of the city, the Guinness Storehouse is a must-visit for beer lovers. The seven-story building features interactive exhibits, a rooftop bar with stunning views of the city, and of course, a chance to learn how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness. It is Ireland’s top tourist attraction and one of the best things to do in Dublin.
3. The Book of Kells
The Book of Kells is an incredible illuminated manuscript housed in Trinity College. It is one of the most important medieval texts in existence, and visiting the library where the book is kept is one of the top things to do in Dublin. Created around 800 AD, it contains a mixture of the Latin text from the four gospels of the New Testament as well as traditional Celtic art featuring intertwining spirals, knotwork patterns, pictures from nature, and more.
4. Dublin Castle
Dating back to the 13th century, Dublin Castle is a symbol of the city’s long and complex history. You can take guided tours of the castle, exploring its beautiful architecture and learning about its role in Irish politics and culture. This is one of the coolest things to do in Dublin.
5. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Built in the 12th century, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the most famous and iconic buildings in the city. The cathedral features beautiful stained glass windows, ornate carvings, and a fascinating history that spans centuries of Irish culture and religion.
6. Temple Bar
A visit to Temple Bar is one of the best things to do in Dublin for anyone looking for a good night out. This historic district in central Dublin is known for its lively nightlife, colourful buildings, and trendy restaurants and shops. Visitors can enjoy live music, street performances, and a buzzing atmosphere that’s quintessentially the capital city.
7. Phoenix Park
The largest enclosed park in Europe and one of the best FREE things to do in Dublin. Phoenix Park is a beautiful green space that’s perfect for a relaxing day out. Visitors can explore the park’s gardens, and wildlife, as well as visit the Dublin Zoo, which is located within the park.
8. Kilmainham Gaol
This former prison is now a museum that tells the story of Ireland’s struggle for independence. you can explore the cells and learn about the lives of the prisoners who were held here, as well as the political and social context of the time.
9. Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral is one of the most important landmarks in Dublin and is an absolute must-visit for anyone interested in the city’s history and culture. It is a stunning example of medieval architecture and is located in the centre of the capital city’s historic centre. This is one of the most interesting things to do in Dublin.
Founded in the 11th century, Christ Church has a rich and fascinating history. Over the centuries it has been damaged by fire, rebuilt, renovated, and extended.
10. The Epic Museum
The Epic Museum is a must-visit attraction in the capital city for anyone interested in Irish history. This interactive museum tells the story of Ireland and its people, from early settlers to modern times, through a series of immersive exhibits and installations. This is one of the most interesting things to do in Dublin if you want to learn about the famine in Ireland. The museum is housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century warehouse in the heart of the docklands area, with stunning views of the River Liffey.
11. Malahide Castle
Malahide Castle is a must-see attraction in the capital city that offers a glimpse into the area’s rich history. Located just 20 minutes north of the city centre, this stunning medieval castle dates back to the 12th century. You can take a guided tour of the castle’s interiors, which feature period furnishings and artwork and learn about its fascinating history. this is arguably one of the top things to do in Dublin if you like old castles.
12. The Jeanie Johnston
The Jeanie Johnston is a replica of an Irish famine ship that sailed between 1847 and 1851, during the height of the Great Famine. Visitors to the capital city can step aboard the fully-masted ship and learn about the history of Irish emigration and the conditions that many Irish people endured during the famine. The Jeanie Johnston is docked at Custom House Quay in the centre of Dublin, and guided tours are available daily. This is one of the best things to do in Dublin.
13. The Dublin Mountains
The Dublin mountains are rightly called a green oasis in the urban jungle. Located just to the south of the city, they offer up an array of amazing things to do and explore. Stunning landscapes lie around every corner, whilst mountain biking trails and walking routes traverse the high peaks, this is one of the best things to do in Dublin if you wanna get active. Make sure to take a break from your hike at one of the many pubs along the way, there’s no better place for a traditional Irish pint!
14. The Chester Beatty Library
The Chester Beatty Library is a must-see for anyone who loves art and culture. This magnificent museum has an incredible collection of artefacts which includes manuscripts, prints, miniature paintings, rare books, and illuminated scripture from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. The library also houses a stunning range of Japanese kimonos, Chinese clothing as well as Mughal paintings from India and Ottoman artefacts from Turkey.
15. The Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens is certainly worth a visit if you’re in the area. Located on the south side of the city, this stunning public garden has been around for centuries and continues to be an integral part of the community today. Boasting over 10 acres of beautifully landscaped green spaces and an array of exotic plants, trees and shrubs from around the world, it’s easy to see why so many people think this is one of the finest things to do in Dublin.
16. Áras an Uachtaráin
Visiting Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin Ireland is quite a memorable experience, the grand building dates back to 1751 and boasts breathtakingly beautiful architecture both outside and inside the grounds. The president of Ireland lives in Áras an Uachtaráin. There is a FREE tour of the building on Saturdays”
17. The National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland is an incredible place to explore and learn about Ireland. This museum is a must-see for any visitor to the city. With collections from prehistory to the present day, it is a great way to get an insight into the fascinating history of Ireland. Exhibits include archaeological artefacts from all over the island, medieval manuscripts, coins and ornaments and much more, it is guaranteed to be an educational experience.
18. The GPO
Situated on the bustling O’Connell Street, the GPO museum offers an exceptional journey through Irish history. Exploring this fascinating building which famously served as a focal point in the 1916 Easter Rising, one can’t help but be impressed by how well-preserved and authentically presented it is. Visiting here allows one to immerse themselves in history, learn about significant events and marvel at rare artefacts from one of Ireland’s most important events and times.
19. The Marsh Library
The Marsh Library is a library unlike any other. Founded in 1701, this library is one of the oldest in the country and stores over 70,000 ancient and modern volumes! With recent renovations, it’s now home to some gorgeous gilded ceilings that really make you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. And while they don’t offer art exhibitions or lectures anymore, there are still plenty of books to keep your attention. This is one of the most interesting things to do in Dublin.
20. Glasnevin Cemetery
Glasnevin Cemetery is one of the city’s most historically fascinating sites. Established in 1832 and spread over 124 acres. The cemetery offers an abundance of sites to explore from the crypt containing revolutionary hero Daniel O’Connell to the graves of writers like Brendan Behan and Patrick Kavanagh or those honouring other noteworthy political figures including Éamon de Valera and Michael Collins, this is one of the top things to do in Dublin for history buffs.
21. Two Of The Best Whiskey Distilleries
Here are two great whiskey distilleries to check out in the capital city!!!
Dublin is home to numerous whiskey distilleries and is a great place for all kinds of whiskey lovers from novices to connoisseurs. The Jameson Distillery is a great experience for visitors and it offers some of the best Irish whiskeys in the world. This visitor centre is one of the best things to do in Dublin if you’re into whiskey. There are tours available giving visitors an exclusive insight into how whiskey is made as well as getting a chance to sample different products straight from the barrel!
Teeling Whiskey Distillery
Teeling Whiskey Distillery is one of the leading producers of handcrafted and blended Irish whiskey. Founded in 1987 by the Teeling family, they have made a name for themselves as the only independent distiller in Dublin, using traditional copper pot stills to produce some of the finest Irish whiskey available. They focus heavily on small-batch releases, releasing unique and flavour-filled expressions that focus on character and quality.
Dublinia is a great museum that offers a wonderful exploration of what life was like during the Medieval period in Ireland. It has plenty of interactive experiences and exhibitions filled with artefacts from Dublin’s early history, such as dress-up costumes for kids and scale models of Viking ships. There are reconstructions of the city streets to show how the city would have looked like during the Viking times, along with an outdoor area which includes a replica of the famous Dublin Castle. The museum also houses a large collection of artefacts from Irish archaeology and coins dating back centuries ago.
23. The Dublin Spire
The Dublin Spire on O Connell Street stands 120 metres tall and is one of Ireland’s most iconic modern landmarks. It consists of a single column made up of 420 stainless steel spikes and curves gradually towards a conical peak. This is one of the coolest FREE things to do in Dublin.
24. Some Of The Best Pubs In Ireland
The capital city is known for its lively pub culture, a great way to experience Irish hospitality, as well as the best of local drinks and food, is to pop into one of Dublin’s many pubs. A pub crawl around the city has to be one of the best things to do in Dublin.
25. The Abbey Theatre
The Abbey Theatre is an icon in the world of theatre. Founded in 1904, the Abbey has long been Ireland’s national theatre. With a rich history spanning more than a century, it has gained a reputation for its unique blend of modern classics and ground-breaking theatrical works by celebrated Irish playwrights such as George Bernard Shaw, John Synge, W. B Yeats and Sean O’Casey. If you’re into live performances this is definitely one of the best things to do in Dublin.
26. The Garden of Remembrance
The Garden of Remembrance is a beautiful spot dedicated to those who lost their lives in the cause of Irish freedom. Built in 1966 and located off O Connell Street, the garden includes iconic sculptures such as the Children of Lir. The site also includes fountains, flowers, trees, pathways, and benches dedicated to the heroes of 1916. This is one of the best FREE things to do in Dublin.
27. Recommendations For Day Trips From Dublin
There are a load of day tours to try out from the capital city, and here are some of the best ones to do!
Visit Glendalough Day Tour
If you’re looking for a great day trip from the capital city, one of the best picks would be Glendalough. Situated in the Wicklow Mountains National Park, it’s a stunning place to explore and take in some breathtaking views. With various looped walks around lakes and quiet forests, there’s something here for you to enjoy. This tour is one of the top things to do in Dublin, it has loads of stuff to see including some old historic buildings and an old round tower.
The Cliffs Of Moher Day Tour
A day trip to the beautiful Cliffs of Moher is a must-do for any visitor looking to experience spectacular coastal beauty. You will see the towering sea cliffs that reach heights of up to 214m above sea level along 8km of uninterrupted views. On your tour, you’ll have plenty of time to explore O’Briens Tower, one of Ireland’s iconic viewing points, or visit the indoor exhibition centre where you can learn more about this stunning area.
The Ring Of Kerry Day Tour
A day trip to the Ring of Kerry from Dublin is an ideal way to experience the rugged beauty of Ireland’s west coast. From charming Killorglin, you will travel around the famous picture-perfect Ring of Kerry and its craggy coastline sparking memories for a long time to come. Along your journey, you will be amazed by many historic sites and scenic areas like Moll’s Gap with incredible views overlooking the Lakes of Killarney.
28. Beaches To Check Out in Dublin
From Dollymount Strand to the sheltered waters of Killiney Bay and Bull Island Nature Reserve, there’s plenty to enjoy whatever your preference might be.
Those looking for a relaxed place to unwind will love the trails along Bray Head or Sandymount Strand, while adventure seekers can find plenty of room for activities such as windsurfing and kite-surfing on North Bull Island or Skerries Beach. A visit to one of the many beaches has to be some of the top things to do in Dublin.
29. The Best Towns And Villages To See In Dublin
Take a stroll around Howth, with its stunning views of the sea and gorgeous two-mile cliff walk.
Delve into local culture and check out quaint little eateries in Swords.
People always have spoken highly of Balbriggan. particularly about their stunning beach and golf courses.
Dublin’s Food And Drink Scene
Dublin’s food and drink scene is bustling and vibrant, offering something to suit all tastes. From traditional Irish staple dishes like bacon and cabbage to the more locally-inspired creations of the country’s leading chefs, there’s something for you in this cosmopolitan city. After a meal, visitors can sip their way through the capital city’s diverse selection of craft beers, whiskies, and international wines.
Dubliners have long enjoyed potatoes, seafood and dairy products as staples, such as boxty, a type of potato pancake or fried white fish with parsley sauce.
Dublin’s Cuisine And Traditional Dishes
Stews are also popular, such as Irish stew made from lamb or mutton and Guinness stew. There’s also soda bread, which is a dense and thick-textured wheaten loaf.
The city also enjoys international cuisines like Asian food, French brasserie classics, and Italian dishes such as pizza and pasta.
Recommendations For The Best Places To Eat In Dublin
The capital city has a great food scene with a variety of options to suit all tastes and budgets.
Here are some of the best places to eat in Dublin:
- Chapter One: A Michelin-starred restaurant serving modern Irish cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients.
- The Winding Stair: A charming restaurant overlooking the River Liffey, offering a menu of classic Irish dishes made with local and sustainable ingredients.
- Brother Hubbard: A cosy cafe with a Middle Eastern-inspired menu featuring dishes like shakshuka and falafel.
- Forest Avenue: A contemporary Irish restaurant with an ever-changing menu of inventive dishes.
- The Fumbally: A laid-back cafe serving delicious breakfast and lunch options with a focus on fresh, local ingredients.
- Hang Dai: A stylish Chinese restaurant with a focus on barbecue dishes and creative cocktails.
- L. Mulligan Grocer: A gastropub with a focus on craft beer and a menu of elevated pub grub.
Dublin’s Drink Culture & Its Famous Pubs And Breweries
Dublin is known for its vibrant and innovative drink culture, with an array of pubs and bars offering a plethora of beverages to choose from. Traditional pubs often offer traditional beer styles such as stout or porter alongside unique blends with richer flavours and some infused with the likes of coffee or chocolate!
As well as beers, wine lists are perfect for those wanting something lighter and patrons can also choose from International whiskey, gin, vodka and Vermouth selections. There are loads of different types of cocktails to try.
The Best Pubs In Dublin
The capital city has soooo many good pubs, here are three of the best ones!!!
1. The Temple Bar Pub
The Temple Bar Pub is a favourite among locals and tourists alike and one of the best things to do in Dublin. Nestled between the River Liffey and Trinity College, the historic pub provides a cosy atmosphere ideal for relaxing after exploring the city. Inside its walls are filled with classic Irish charm, featuring traditional wooden furniture and plenty of walls adorned with old photographs, prints and artwork.
2. The Brazen Head
The Brazen Head is a classic Irish pub with centuries of history behind it. As one of the oldest pubs in Ireland, you can almost feel its age in the atmosphere, it was first established in 1198. This popular bar is a great Dublin pub and offers a true taste of old-school Irish hospitality.
3. O’Donoghue’s Pub
One of the most legendary pubs in the city and a must-see tourist spot is O’Donoghue’s. First established in the 1920s, this beloved spot has seen many a good Guinness enjoyed in its storied walls. It remains a favourite haunt for locals. With its old-school charm intact, one look around this traditional pub will have you feeling as though you stepped back in time.
Practical Information And Tips For Visiting Dublin
The capital of Ireland and one of the most vibrant cities in Europe. A city steeped in history, Dublin is abundant with attractions for all types of travellers.
The city is easily accessible, with Ireland’s main airport and regional rail links. Dublin Airport (DUB) is the busiest airport in Ireland and handles millions of passengers annually. Arrive and depart in both comfort and style with one of the many dedicated airport transfer and shuttle services operating in Dublin.
Dublin has a load of accommodation options from budget hostels to deluxe city centre hotels that are close to popular attractions. When staying in the area, you can find many world-class hotels offering everything from luxury accommodation to budget rooming. When booking a room, plan well in advance in order to take advantage of the many discounts and packages that are available.
The Best Time To Visit Dublin
If you’re looking for the best time to visit, late summer or early fall (i.e. August – October) is probably your best bet. During this period temperatures are generally mild, though rainfall does happen occasionally. This is also when many tourist attractions, such as museums and galleries, open their doors for the season, so it’s a great time to explore all that the city has to offer. Plus, there are plenty of outdoor activities you can take part in too!
Transportation And Getting Around Dublin
When visiting the capital city, one of the most important concerns is transport. With a total population of over 1.2 million people, Dublin has a transport network that is efficient, reliable and well-connected. There is no metro underground system in the capital city.
The best option to get around the city is by public transport. Dublin has a comprehensive bus network with over 120 bus routes, covering all areas of the city and connecting to the suburbs. Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann are the main bus service providers.
The Luas (Over Head Tram)
The Luas is the tram system in the capital city. It consists of two main lines, the Green Line and the Red Line, which connect various areas of the city and its suburbs. The Luas is a popular and convenient mode of transportation for locals and tourists alike.
The city also has a light rail system, Dublin Light Rail (DLR), which covers most of the inner city and serves as an efficient connection between north and south Dublin. There are two main train lines, the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) and the suburban train network, which connect most parts of the city. The DART is especially useful for locating trains to and from the city centre and other parts of the city.
For those looking for a cheaper and more convenient option, Dublin’s bicycle-sharing scheme, Dublin bikes, provides a great alternative. There are numerous bike stations located throughout the city, as well as an app that makes it easy to find and rent a bike. The city has a strict policy on bicycle use and cyclists should always obey the law and wear a helmet.
Taxis are another popular option, and fares are generally reasonable and easy to find throughout the city. The Free Now taxi app is a handy one to have on your phone.
Hop on Hop Off Tour Buses
There are a few companies offering hop-on and hop-off tours of the city, this is a great way to get around and take in the cool vibes of the city.
Tips For Budget Travellers
Start by researching deals online, such as airline deals and last-minute discounts, take advantage of student discounts, and book transportation early in order to get the best deal.
One key tip is to make use of credit card reward programs, which allow you to earn miles or cash back on hotel stays and flights.
Maybe check Airbnb instead of expensive hotels can save a bundle when travelling with a group, just be sure to read the reviews thoroughly!
Bringing your own snacks or meals from home or getting them at local grocery stores is easier (and often cheaper) than eating out every day on vacation.
Consider all the FREE activities, like FREE walking city tours, FREE sites to visit, museums, and art galleries.
Explanation Of Cultural Norms And Customs In Dublin
Dublin is full of interesting stuff, where locals and visitors alike can observe a unique blend of traditions. Dubliners enjoy participating in an array of sports activities, from Gaelic football and hurling to rugby and rowing. Irish music and dance culture also thrives in the city, often with traditional ceilis (dancing) being held in pubs.
Local Irish pubs offer up great music and entertainment, perfect for you to enjoy the traditional atmosphere. Dubliners take pride in their spectacular parks and gardens, locals are known to have picnics or meetings along the riverbanks of the Liffey or people relax in St. Stephen’s Green. It’s definitely worthwhile learning some classic Irish phrases before your visit to truly immerse yourself in all that Dublin has to offer!
When planning a visit to the beautiful city of Dublin, one is indeed spoilt for choice with the many wonderful sights, activities, and attractions to enjoy. There is truly something for all ages in the city. From stunning Irish scenery to an array of cultural attractions, it is the perfect destination for an unforgettable getaway.
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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What are some popular tourist attractions in Dublin?
Dublin has several popular tourist attractions, including the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College, Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the National Museum of Ireland.
Q2. What is the best time of year to visit Dublin?
The best time to visit is during the summer months of June, July, and August when the weather is mild and there are several cultural events and festivals taking place. However, if you’re looking for cheaper rates and fewer crowds, consider visiting during the months of April-May or September-October.
Q3. How do I get around Dublin?
Dublin has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, a tram called the Luas and trains. Visitors can also make use of Dublin Bikes, a bike-sharing program or hire a taxi. Walking is also a great option for exploring the city’s many attractions.
Q4. What is the currency used in Dublin?
The currency used in Dublin is the euro. Visitors can exchange their currency at banks, and exchange bureaus, or withdraw euros at ATMs throughout the city.
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