25 Best Things to Do in Dublin
Dublin exudes a vibrant combination of heritage and fun that never fails to disappoint. Dating back to the days of the Vikings, Dublin is a living museum of its history with cathedrals and medieval castles standing alongside 18th-century architectural splendors and masterpieces. Dublin can be experienced and enjoyed by visiting the many museums, galleries, and buildings on a variety of walking tours that delve into the beauty and history of the city. However, to experience Dublin and its locals at their most convivial, the first stop on a visit to this city is a traditional Irish pub, of which there are thousands dotted around the city. Photo: Lucian Milasan/Fotolia
Headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and home of Gaelic games, Croke Park has been at the center of Irish sporting life for over 100 years. Boasting a capacity for 82,300 people, Croke Park Stadium is one of the largest in Europe and can accommodate all types of events from local football games and field sports to high profile international sporting, cultural, and music events. Visitors to Croke Park can enjoy unique state-of-the-art interactive visitor experiences and guided tours that explore the history of Ireland’s unique national games Gaelic football and hurling. These tours also give guests a behind-the-scenes look at the stadium to see the team dressing rooms, warm-up areas, media center, and the famous players' tunnel and pitch.
Address: Jones' Rd, Drumcondra, Dublin 3, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-18-19-23-00 Photo: Croke Park
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Standing on a ridge above the River Liffey in the heart of the city, Dublin Castle is one of Dublin’s most popular tourist attractions. Dating back to the 18th century, the castle served as the seat for the English and later the British government of Ireland until 1922, and it is now a major Irish government complex and conferencing destination. Standing on a strategic site at the junction where the River Liffey meets the Poddle tributary, Dublin Castle has played a significant role in the history of the city – in fact, Dublin is named after the Black Pool (Dubh Linn) that used to lie on the site of the present Castle garden. Visitors can explore Dublin Castle on guided tours, which include visits to the Medieval Undercroft, Chapel Royal, and State Apartments, as well as the famous Dublin Tearooms, which are open Monday to Sunday.
Address: Dame St, Dublin 2, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-16-45-88-00 Photo: Leonid Andronov/Fotolia
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»Dublin Writers Museum
The Dublin Writers Museum celebrates the Irish literary tradition, which is one of the most illustrious in the world. It is renowned for its four Nobel Prize winners and for many other writers of international stature. Established in 1991 and situated in a magnificent 18th-century mansion in the northern part of the city center, the Dublin Writers Museum features a collection of works by some of Dublin's most famous literary celebrities over the past three hundred years, including Yeats, Beckett, Joyce, Shaw, and Wilde, Swift, and Sheridan. The collection includes a range of books, letters, personal items, portraits and presents exhibitions, lunchtime theater, and readings throughout the year. The Dublin Writers Museum has a special room devoted to children's literature and offers guided tours of the museum in a variety of languages.
Address: Rotunda, Dublin, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-18-72-20-77 Photo: Marc Johnson/Fotolia
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»St Patrick's Cathedral
Founded in 1191, St Patrick's Cathedral is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland and the tallest church in Ireland. Boasting a 141-foot spire, St Patrick's Cathedral has been designated as the national cathedral for the whole Ireland since 1870. However, it is not the seat of the Archbishop of Dublin, who has his seat in Christ Church Cathedral, also a Church of Ireland cathedral in Dublin. St Patrick's Cathedral is often used for national public ceremonies, including Remembrance Day and Carol Services, as well as degree ceremonies and state funerals. The cathedral welcomes all, seeing up to 300,000 visitors a year.
Address: St Patrick's Close, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-14-53-94-72 Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/Fotolia
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One of Dublin's most popular attractions, the Dublin Zoo is the largest zoo in Ireland, covering some 28 hectares. Home to some 400 animals in a variety of habitats and located in the Phoenix Park in the heart of Dublin city, the zoo is divided into different area that represent various habitats of the world, including African Plains, Asian Forests, South American House, Sea Lion Cove, Fringes of the Arctic, the Kaziranga Forest Trail, the Orangutan Forest, Roberts House, City Farm, and the House of Reptiles. The Dublin Zoo also plays a vital role in several conservation and breeding programs and is a registered charity.
Address: Phoenix Park, Dublin 8, Ireland, Phone: +3-53(0)-14-74-89-00 Photo: Dublin Zoo
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»Fabulous Food Trails
Experience Dublin through your stomach on one of Fabulous Food Trails’ award-winning Food Walks and Tasting Tours. Experienced, local guides take visitors to some of Dublin’s favorite foodie haunts and introduce them to the unexpected culinary pleasures that the city has to offer, with plenty of delicious tastings along the way. Tours are available in Dublin and Cork and feature many unexpected culinary treasures ranging from interesting architecture to fascinating historical stories and six to eight delicious tastings of the best of contemporary Irish food. Tour groups for the award-winning Dublin Tasting Walk can include up to fourteen guests and take about three hours, visiting a range of food halls, bakeries, food halls, cheese mongers, street markets, delicatessens, and other specialty shops along the way.
Address: 44 Oakley Road, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-14-97-12-45 Photo: Fabulous Food Trails
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Home to Ireland’s famous black ale, the Guinness Storehouse® is one of the city’s most visited tourist attractions. Located in the heart of the St. James's Gate Brewery, the Guinness Storehouse® offers visitors an unforgettable Irish experience that explores the history of Ireland's famous beer and its long-brewing heritage, complete with a guided tour of the brewery and plenty of tastings. The Guinness Storehouse® experience begins at the bottom of the world's largest pint glass, journeys up through seven floors packed with interactive experiences, and ends on the world-famous rooftop Gravity Bar with the perfect pint.
Address: St James's Gate, Ushers, Dublin 8, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-14-08-48-00 Photo: VanderWolf Images/Fotolia
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»Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) is the leading national institution of contemporary and modern art in Ireland and is home to the National Collection. Housed in the 17th century Royal Hospital building in Kilmainham, the IMMA features a dynamic program of exhibitions that highlight works from Irish and international artists, as well as education and family programs for all ages. Formal gardens, meadows and ancient burial grounds, and a variety of facilities surround the museum. You will find a bookshop and the casual Itsa Café, which serves a range of light meals, snacks, and drinks. Visitors can enjoy free guided tours of the museum’s exhibitions on a daily basis.
Address: Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Phone: +3-53-16-12-99-00 Photo: Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
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Once a prison for some of Ireland’s most famed political and military leaders, many of whom were executed in prison by the British, Kilmainham Gaol is now a museum that is open to the public. Renowned for being the largest unoccupied jail of these islands, Kilmainham Gaol gives visitors an in-depth insight into life behind bars in this forbidding bastion of punishment and correction between 1796 and 1924, when it was finally closed. The prison was home to leaders of Ireland’s many rebellions such as Charles Stewart Parnell, Robert Emmet, Eamon de Valera, and the 1916 Easter Rising leaders. Visitors can enjoy guided tours and exhibitions throughout the prison.
Address: Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Co. Dublin, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-14-53-59-84 Photo: spectrumblue/Fotolia
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Malahide Castle is a beautifully preserved castle located in the Malahide Demesne Regional Park that dates back to the 12th century. Surrounded by 260 acres of remaining estate parkland and stunning walled gardens in the pretty seaside town of Malahide, Malahide Castle was once both a fortress and a private home to the Talbot family for almost eight centuries. Boasting an eclectic mix of architectural styles, the castle is furnished with beautiful period furniture and an extensive collection of Irish portrait paintings, which visitors can experience on guided tours. Established between 1948 and 1973, the Talbot Botanic Gardens are one of the Castle’s main attractions and are included in the guided tours.
Address: Malahide Demesne, Malahide, Co. Dublin, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-18-16-95-38 Photo: araraadt/Fotolia
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»National Botanic Gardens
Located in Glasnevin, the National Botanic Gardens is home to an array of beautiful plant collections consisting of more than 15,000 plant species and cultivars from a variety of habitats around the world. Renowned for their exquisitely restored and award-winning glasshouses, including the Great Palm House and the Turner Curvilinear Range, the National Botanic Gardens features a variety of gardens and habitats, including an alpine yard, a rose garden, a pond area, a rock garden, an arboretum, and beautiful herbaceous borders. Committed to conservation, the National Botanic Gardens are also home to over 300 endangered plant species from around the globe, including six species that are already extinct in the wild.
Address: Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-18-04-03-00 Photo: National Botanic Gardens
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»National Gallery of Ireland
The National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin houses a grand collection of European art spanning the 14th to the 20th-century, including over 2,500 paintings and approximately 10,000 other works across a variety of media ranging from drawings and watercolors to prints and sculpture. Established by an Act of Parliament in 1854 and opened to the public a decade later, the National Gallery of Ireland is located in the heart of Dublin just a short distance from Merrion Square and Trinity College. The gallery offers free audio tour guides to visitors to explore the permanent collection, as well as free tours for the public on the weekends, various family activities, a gallery shop, and a casual restaurant.
Address: Merrion Square W, Dublin 2, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-16-61-51-33 Photo: Airi Pung/Fotolia
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»National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland is a major museum in Dublin that focuses on natural history, culture, and Irish art. The museum has three branches in the city, namely the National Museum of Ireland – Archeology, the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History, and the Natural History Museum. Located on Kildare Street, the National Museum of Ireland – Archeology magically transports visitors back to 7,000 B.C. to explore the ancient history of Ireland. The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History showcases an excellent collection of ceramics, silverware, glassware, and furniture dating back to 1300 A.D. The Natural History Museum is located on Merrion Street and houses specimens of animals from around the world.
Address: The National Museum of Ireland – Archeology: Kildare St, Dublin 2, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-16-77-74-44 Photo: Airi Pung/Fotolia
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»National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology
Located on Kildare Street in Dublin, the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology is home to a collection of archeological artifacts and prehistoric items that document the history of Ireland. Established in 1890 as a branch of the National Museum of Ireland, the collection includes objects from Ancient Egypt, Cyprus, and the Roman World as well as the Viking medieval periods. Select exhibitions include the Treasury, which features outstanding examples of Celtic and Medieval art, and Ireland's Gold, which showcases a fascinating collection of prehistoric gold artifacts. Medieval Ireland 1150-1550 explores life in ancient Ireland in the age of cathedrals, monasteries, and castles.
Address: Kildare St, Dublin 2, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-16-77-74-44 Photo: National Museum of Ireland
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»Old Jameson Distillery
The Old Jameson Distillery is a famous tourist attraction for whiskey lovers and aficionados. Established in 1780 and formerly called the Bow Street Distillery, the Old Jameson Distillery is located just off Smithfield Square and is the original site where whiskey was distilled for the city. After a challenging period that included the American Prohibition and the introduction of Scotch blended whiskey, the Old Jameson Distillery began to struggle. It was one of the last distilleries in Ireland to close in 1971. Today, the distillery is an inviting visitor’s center that offers guided tours and whiskey tastings, a casual restaurant and bar, and a gift shop.
Address: Bow St, Smithfield Village, Dublin 7, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-18-07-23-55 Photo: carso80/Fotolia
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Phoenix Park is a beautiful urban park in the western part Dublin that lies just north of the River Liffey. Surrounded by an 11 km perimeter wall and spanning over 700 hectares, the park is one of the largest enclosed urban recreational spaces in Europe. Named after the Irish phrase “fionn uisce” meaning “clear water,” the park boasts tree-lined avenues and rolling grasslands, and it has been home to a herd of fallow deer since the 17th century. Phoenix Park has several notable features, including Áras an Uachtaráin, the residence of the President of Ireland, the Dublin Zoo, the Papal Cross, and famous monuments, such as the Wellington Monument and the Phoenix Column.
Address: Phoenix Park, Dublin 8, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-18-20-58-00 Photo: rodrigobellizzi/Fotolia
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The Science Gallery is a public science center located within the Naughton Institute of the Trinity College in Dublin. Established in 2008, the gallery features a program of evolving and cutting-edge science and technology-focused exhibitions, workshops, and events for visitors of all ages, and it also partakes in ongoing research projects. Since opening in 2005, the gallery has featured nearly forty unique exhibitions ranging from materials science and living art experiments to the future of the human race with a focus on allowing visitors to participate and facilitate social connections. Even though the gallery doesn’t have a permanent collection, there is always something new to see, and the gallery shop and café are open to enjoy.
Address: The Naughton Institute, Pearse St, Dublin 2, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-18-96-40-91 Photo: Science Gallery
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»St Stephen's Green
St Stephen's Green is an urban space and public park in the heart of Dublin. Designed by William Sheppard, the Victorian park was officially opened to the public in 1880 and lies at the center of Dublin’s bustling shopping and commercial district. Boasting 22 acres of beautiful landscapes in the original Victorian layout, the park consists of herbaceous borders of conifer trees, perimeter tree and shrub plantings, and spectacular spring and summer beds of bright flowers. There are several Victorian lakeside and Swiss shelters throughout the park, as well as over two miles of walking trails and pathways winding through the park, waterfalls, rock works, sculptures, and a children's playground. Open-air concerts are held in the park during lunchtimes in the summer months.
Address: St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-14-75-78-16 Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/Fotolia
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»Teeling Whiskey Distillery
Teeling Whiskey Distillery is a traditional Irish whiskey distillery in Dublin– the first to open in 125 years. Once the world’s whiskey distilling capital, Dublin was home to over thirty-five distilleries in the early 1900s before the last of the original Dublin distilleries closed in 1976, and Teeling Whiskey Distillery is the first whiskey distillery to operate in Dublin in almost 40 years. Established by Jack and Stephen Teeling, the distillery is located in Dublin’s Liberties area and boasts the brand of a phoenix rising from a pot still, symbolizing the re-establishment of the Teeling Whiskey brand. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the Teeling Whiskey Distillery, complete with tastings and souvenirs.
Address: 13-17 Newmarket, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8, D08 KD91, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-15-31-08-88 Photo: Teeling Whiskey Distillery
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Temple Bar is a vibrant and bustling district on the south bank of the River Liffey, which is renowned as Dublin's cultural and entertainment quarter with shopping, dining, entertainment, and a lively nightlife. Dating back to 795 A.D. when the Vikings set up camp here, Temple Bar has always been a favorite spot with narrow laneways and off-shooting streets lined with cafés and restaurants, galleries and pubs, boutiques and shops and plenty of nightclubs. Buskers, street artists, exhibitions, and open air markets create a colorful carnival atmosphere, and popular spots with both locals and visitors include the Temple Bar Pub, the Palace Bar, Oliver St. John Gogarty's and the Auld Dubliner. Photo: Petair- Fotolia.com
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»The Little Museum of Dublin
The Little Museum of Dublin is a tiny museum located on St Stephens Green that tells the story of the Irish capital. Located in an 18th-century Georgian townhouse, the Little Museum of Dublin can only be explored on guided tours that chronicle the history of the city in the 20th century and delve into its rich heritage through fascinating exhibits and displays. The museum features a collection of over 5,000 artifacts and objects over three floors of exhibition space, as well as the award-winning Irish café, Hatch & Sons Irish Kitchen. Notable exhibits include the 1916 Uprising and President John F. Kennedy’s visit to Dublin, as well as a new exhibition that focuses on the success of the world-renowned rock band U2.
Address: 15 St Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-16-61-10-00 Photo: The Little Museum of Dublin
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»Dublin Free Walking Tours
Dublin Free Walking Tours offer free daily guided walking tours of the city. Starting every day at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, tours leave from The Spire on O'Connell Street and include trips to the south and north side of the city, whiskey and beer tours, pub crawls, and hiking tours to Howth. Highlights of tours include Dublin Castle, Trinity College, Temple Bar, cathedrals, churches, and other renowned buildings. Knowledgeable, entertaining and charismatic guides with a passion for their city guide the tours, which are entirely tips-based at the discretion of guests. Groups have a maximum of ten people, and private tours are available if required.
Photo: Dublin Free Walking Tours
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»Butlers Chocolate Experience
Go behind the scenes of a working chocolate factory on Butlers Chocolate Experience. The ultimate guided tour for chocoholics, the Butlers Chocolate Experience offers an inside look at how Butlers Chocolates is made and its rich history dating back to the early 1930s. Located in Dublin 17, the Butler’s Chocolate Factory offers a variety of tours for all types of groups, all of which include an expert guide who will share their knowledge about the chocolate making process and the different types of chocolate made in the factory with plenty of tastings along the way. One of the top things to do in North Dublin, Butlers Chocolate Experience Tours run three times a day from Monday to Saturday.
Address: Clonshaugh Business Park, Dublin 17, Ireland, Phone: +3-53-16-71-05-99 Photo: Butlers Chocolate Experience
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»Chester Beatty Library
Established in 1950 to house the impressive collections of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, the Chester Beatty Library is located on the grounds of Dublin Castle and is home to one of the world’s most significant collections of Islamic and Far Eastern artifacts. The main collection has two sections, namely Artistic Traditions and Sacred Traditions, both of which feature a vast array of paintings, prints, drawings, manuscripts, rare books, artifacts, and valuable objects. The museum also presents a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, which include works of art from foreign institutions and collections. Admission to the museum is free.
Address: Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, Phone: +3-53-14-07-07-50 Photo: Chester Beatty Library
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»Day Tours Unplugged
Day Tours Unplugged offer award-winning small group Wicklow day tours from Dublin that explore the very best of Ireland's Ancient East. Wicklow day tours visit Glendalough and the Wicklow National Park, which is home to some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. The tour also visits the historic Newgrange and the Boye Valley where guests can learn more about Europe’s 5,000-year history and explore passage tombs older than the Pyramids! Approved Failte Ireland Badged tour guides lead Day Tours Unplugged, which are offered as full or half-day tours with a choice of travel in air-conditioned tour vehicles with a maximum of sixteen guests or in a private saloon.
Address: 1 Fairways Green Griffith Road Dublin 11 Ireland,
Phone: 3-53-18-34-09-41 Photo: Day Tours Unplugged
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25 Best Things to Do in Dublin
- Croke Park, Photo: Croke Park
- Dublin Castle, Photo: Courtesy of Leonid Andronov - Fotolia.com
- Dublin Writers Museum, Photo: Courtesy of Marc Johnson - Fotolia.com
- St Patrick's Cathedral, Photo: Courtesy of SeanPavonePhoto - Fotolia.com
- Dublin Zoo, Photo: Dublin Zoo
- Fabulous Food Trails, Photo: Fabulous Food Trails
- Guinness Storehouse, Photo: Courtesy of VanderWolf Images - Fotolia.com
- Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Photo: Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
- Kilmainham Gaol, Photo: Courtesy of spectrumblue - Fotolia.com
- Malahide Castle, Photo: Courtesy of araraadt - Fotolia.com
- National Botanic Gardens, Photo: National Botanic Gardens
- National Gallery of Ireland, Photo: Courtesy of Airi Pung - Fotolia.com
- National Museum of Ireland, Photo: Courtesy of Airi Pung - Fotolia.com
- National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology, Photo: National Museum of Ireland
- Old Jameson Distillery, Photo: Courtesy of carso80 - Fotolia.com
- Phoenix Park, Photo: Courtesy of rodrigobellizzi - Fotolia.com
- Science Gallery, Photo: Science Gallery
- St Stephen's Green, Photo: Courtesy of SeanPavonePhoto - Fotolia.com
- Teeling Whiskey Distillery, Photo: Teeling Whiskey Distillery
- Temple Bar, Photo: Courtesy of Petair- Fotolia.com
- The Little Museum of Dublin, Photo: The Little Museum of Dublin
- Dublin Free Walking Tours, Photo: Dublin Free Walking Tours
- Butlers Chocolate Experience , Photo: Butlers Chocolate Experience
- Chester Beatty Library, Photo: Chester Beatty Library
- Day Tours Unplugged, Photo: Day Tours Unplugged
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Lucian Milasan - Fotolia.com
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