things to do in dublin

Last Updated on: 14th June 2024, 05:22 am

As your personal guide, I am thrilled to present to you the best things to do in Dublin, Ireland. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a returning tourist, Dublin is a city that never ceases to amaze and inspire. Get ready to experience the vibrant culture, rich history, and warm hospitality that this incredible city has to offer.

From exploring historical landmarks to indulging in delicious food and drink, to uncovering hidden gems, Dublin has something for everyone. With its stunning parks and gardens, iconic cultural landmarks, and lively nightlife scene, there is never a dull moment in Dublin, Ireland.

Join me on this exciting journey, and let’s dive into the heart of Dublin. Whether you want to discover its hidden treasures, experience its breathtaking natural beauty, or enjoy some of the world’s best beers, Dublin is the destination for you. Let’s start exploring the exciting things to do in Dublin today!

Things to do in Dublin, Ireland

1. Explore Dublin’s Rich History

As I mentioned, Dublin is a city with a rich history, and there are numerous historical sites to explore. One of the most well-known is the iconic Guinness Storehouse, where you can learn about the history of Ireland’s most famous beer. You can also take a tour of the facility, learn how the beer is made, and even sample a pint at the end of the tour. Another must-visit historical site is Dublin Castle, which has been a symbol of English rule for over 800 years. You can take a guided tour of the castle and explore its stunning architecture and fascinating history.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other historical sites in Dublin, such as:

  • The historical Kilmainham Gaol, which played a significant role in Irish history and is now a museum
  • The Christ Church Cathedral, which has been standing for over 1,000 years
  • The Dublinia exhibition, which showcases Dublin’s Viking and medieval past

For a comprehensive guide to Dublin’s historical sites, take a look at the table below:

Name of Historical Site Location Description
Guinness Storehouse St. James’s Gate A seven-story museum dedicated to the history and making of Guinness beer
Dublin Castle Dame St. A historical site that has been occupied by the British government for over 800 years
Kilmainham Gaol Inchicore Rd. A former prison that played a significant role in Irish history and is now a museum
Christ Church Cathedral Christchurch Pl. A cathedral that has been open for over 1,000 years and is a popular tourist attraction
Dublinia St. Michael’s Hill An exhibition that showcases Dublin’s Viking and medieval past

2. Embrace the Beauty of Dublin’s Parks and Gardens

One of the best things about Dublin is its abundance of beautiful parks and gardens. If you’re looking for some peace and tranquillity, head over to Phoenix Park, one of the largest city parks in Europe. This stunning park boasts of scenic walking trails, charming gardens, and even a herd of wild deer that roam freely. It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy some fresh air.

Another must-visit park is St. Stephen’s Green. Just a stone’s throw away from Grafton Street, it’s the perfect location for a picnic lunch on a sunny day. With a stunning lake, beautiful flower beds, and plenty of benches to relax on, St. Stephen’s Green is a charming place in the heart of the city.

If you’re a fan of botany and greenery, then a visit to the National Botanic Gardens is a must on your Dublin sightseeing list. The gardens are spread across 19.5 hectares and have more than 15,000 plant species on display. From the Victorian Palm House to the exotic orchid collection, there’s something for every nature lover.

parks in Dublin

These are just a few examples of the many parks and gardens that Dublin has to offer. So, why not pack a picnic and enjoy the natural beauty of Dublin’s parks and gardens?

3. Experience Dublin’s Cultural Landmarks

When it comes to cultural landmarks and museums, Dublin has a lot to offer. Visitors can explore the iconic Kilmainham Gaol, which played a significant role in Irish history and now serves as a museum that illustrates the country’s fight for independence. The gaol’s stunning stone walls and historic interiors provide a glimpse into Ireland’s past and are a must-visit for anyone interested in the country’s history.

Another fascinating museum is the National Museum of Ireland, which showcases the country’s archaeological treasures and later history. Visitors can view ancient artifacts ranging from Viking swords to Medieval jewelry. These displays provide insight into Ireland’s history and culture, illustrating the country’s evolution through the ages.

Another cultural landmark worth exploring is Trinity College. The college’s stunning architecture and historic significance make it a must-visit attraction. Founded in 1592, the college boasts beautiful courtyards, gardens, and buildings, including the famous Old Library and the Book of Kells Exhibition. Don’t forget to visit the college’s Museum Building to see impressive historical art collections.

4. Indulge in Dublin’s Food and Drink Scene

As a food lover’s paradise, Dublin offers a diverse range of dining experiences that cater to all tastes and budgets. From upscale restaurants serving international cuisine to casual pubs with traditional Irish dishes, you’re sure to find something that satisfies your appetite.

One must-try dish is the iconic Irish stew, a hearty and warming meal that’s perfect for colder weather. Made with tender lamb, root vegetables, and a savoury broth, this dish is sure to delight your taste buds.

food in Dublin

When it comes to drinks, a trip to Dublin wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of its famous pubs. Enjoy a pint of Guinness, Ireland’s most popular beer and a staple of the country’s culture. Many of these pubs also offer live music, providing an authentic Irish experience.

Best Dublin Pubs to Visit

Pub Name Location Speciality
John Kavanagh – The Gravediggers Glasnevin Atmosphere
Guinness Storehouse St. James’s Gate Classic Guinness
Nancy Hands Dame St Live Music
The Temple Bar Pub Temple Bar Trad Music Sessions

Don’t forget to sample a drop of Ireland’s famous whiskey, Jameson, at one of its distilleries in Dublin.

No matter your food or drink preferences, Dublin has plenty to offer, making it a destination for those who love to eat and drink.

5. Shop ’til You Drop in Dublin

Dublin is a shopper’s delight, with a variety of shops and markets to explore. From high-end boutiques on Grafton Street to unique finds at the Temple Bar Market, shopping in Dublin offers something to suit every taste.

The famous Grafton Street is home to a range of high-end international brands, as well as local artists and designers, showcasing Irish creativity.

For a unique shopping experience, visit the George’s Street Arcade, the oldest indoor market in Dublin, featuring a variety of specialty stores, vintage shops, and funky boutiques.

Did you know? The Dublin Flea Market, held every last Sunday of the month at Newmarket Square, offers an eclectic mix of vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, and gourmet food.

Check out the Best Shopping Destinations in Dublin:

Location Highlights
Grafton Street High-end brands, street performers, historic statues
Powerscourt Centre Designer shops, art galleries, restaurants in an elegant Georgian building
George’s Street Arcade Specialty stores, vintage shops, funky boutiques
Temple Bar Market Arts & crafts, jewelry, unique souvenirs

Whether you’re looking for unique souvenirs, designer fashion, or vintage finds, Dublin’s shopping scene has something for everyone. Don’t forget to stop by one of the city’s many pubs for a pint of Guinness and experience the local culture.

6. Experience Dublin’s Vibrant Nightlife

Dublin pubs are famous around the world, and for good reason. The city is known for its lively nightlife with countless bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from. Whether you’re looking for traditional Irish music or want to dance the night away, Dublin’s nightlife scene won’t disappoint.

One of my favourite spots is The Temple Bar, located in the heart of the city in the pedestrianised area of Temple Bar. This pub embodies the spirit and culture of Dublin with its warm and welcoming atmosphere, live music performances and traditional pub food.

If you’re looking for a more sophisticated atmosphere, check out The Whiskey Bar at The Shelbourne Hotel. Here you can enjoy premium whiskey and cocktails in a luxurious setting.

For an alternative to traditional pubs, head to the trendy neighbourhood of Stoneybatter to experience the hip and quirky vibe of The Bernard Shaw. This converted warehouse has a beer garden, pizza restaurant and regular events such as flea markets and outdoor cinema screenings.

nightlife in Dublin

“The best Guinness in Dublin is at The Guinness Storehouse. It’s a must-visit spot for anyone visiting the city.”

– Tourism Ireland

Lastly, if you’re a music lover, be sure to catch a live show at The Button Factory or Whelan’s. Both venues offer an intimate setting, where you can discover local talent or catch established artists up close.

7. Enjoy Dublin’s Festivals and Events

Get ready to join in on the vibrant celebrations that Dublin has to offer. Known for its love of festivals and events, Dublin has something for everyone throughout the year. From music to food and everything in between, the city brings out its best for these exciting occasions.

The St. Patrick’s Festival

One of the most popular festivals in Dublin is the St. Patrick’s Festival. Celebrated every year in March, the festival honours the patron saint of Ireland and the Irish culture. Enjoy the lively parade, see the stunning national landmark buildings lit up in green, and join in on the festivities throughout the city.

The Dublin Fringe Festival

If you’re interested in the arts, the Dublin Fringe Festival is not to be missed. Taking place in September, it showcases a range of talents from theatre productions to comedy shows.

Taste of Dublin

For foodies, the Taste of Dublin is an event to look forward to. This festival showcases the best of Dublin’s food and drink scene, offering delicious bites and refreshing drinks in a lively atmosphere. Plan your visit in June for a culinary experience like no other.

Experience the unique atmosphere of these festivals and events during your visit to Dublin. Don’t forget to check out other exciting events happening throughout the year.

8. Discover Dublin’s Hidden Gems

If you’re looking to venture off the beaten path and discover some of Dublin’s best-kept secrets, you’re in luck. The city is full of hidden gems just waiting to be explored. Here are some of my favourite secret spots in Dublin:

Temple Bar

If you’re looking for a charming neighbourhood to explore, head to Temple Bar. This vibrant area is full of colourful buildings, unique shops, and trendy bars and restaurants. Stop by the Temple Bar Market on Saturdays for local crafts and food stalls.

Iveagh Gardens

If you’re looking for a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city, look no further than the Iveagh Gardens. Tucked away behind the National Concert Hall, this hidden gem is a stunning blend of formal gardens and natural beauty.

Dublin Mountains

For breathtaking views and rugged natural beauty, escape to the Dublin Mountains. Just a short drive from the city centre, this stunning area offers hiking trails, panoramic vistas, and a chance to experience the great outdoors.

hidden gems in Dublin

“Dublin’s hidden gems are what make the city truly special. Don’t be afraid to explore off the beaten path – you never know what treasures you might discover.”

9. Explore Dublin’s Surrounding Areas

While Dublin itself is a wonderful destination, the surrounding areas are also well worth exploring. Here are some amazing day trips from Dublin that you don’t want to miss:

Howth

Howth is a charming coastal town just a short train ride from Dublin. This picturesque fishing village is famous for its fresh seafood, scenic walks, and stunning views of the Irish Sea. Take a hike along the Howth Cliff Path Loop, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the coastline and even spot seals and dolphins.

Malahide

Another great coastal town to visit is Malahide. This seaside village boasts a beautiful castle and gardens, perfect for a leisurely stroll on a sunny day. Take a walk along the coast to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding areas or visit a local restaurant and indulge in some delicious seafood.

Newgrange

If you’re interested in ancient history, then a trip to Newgrange is a must. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is over 5,000 years old and is one of the oldest and most significant prehistoric sites in Europe. Discover the wonders of this ancient passage tomb and marvel at the ancient engineering and astrological understanding of the societies that built it.

The Dublin Coastline

The Dublin coastline is one of the most beautiful in Europe. Take a drive along the coastal road and enjoy the stunning views of the sea. Stop off at a beach, explore the charming towns dotted along the coast, or take a boat ride to see the city from a different perspective.

These are just a few of the incredible day trips from Dublin that you can take. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or coastal scenery, there’s something for everyone. Get out and explore the surrounding areas to experience the amazing natural beauty that Ireland has to offer!

Conclusion

Having lived in Dublin for a number of years, I can confidently say that this city has captured my heart. From the beautiful parks and gardens to the vibrant nightlife, there is always something to see and do. Whether you’re interested in exploring Dublin’s rich history, indulging in traditional Irish food and drink, or discovering the city’s hidden gems, you’re sure to have a wonderful time here.

Don’t forget to plan a day trip to one of the nearby towns or villages, such as Howth or Malahide, to experience the breathtaking natural beauty that surrounds Dublin. And if you’re lucky enough to visit during one of the city’s many festivals or events, be sure to join in the fun and embrace the unique atmosphere.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your visit to Dublin today and discover all that this incredible city has to offer.

FAQ

What are some popular things to do in Dublin?

Some popular things to do in Dublin include exploring historical sites such as the Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle, visiting parks and gardens like Phoenix Park and St. Stephen’s Green, experiencing the city’s cultural landmarks like Kilmainham Gaol and Trinity College, indulging in the food and drink scene, shopping at various markets and boutiques, enjoying the vibrant nightlife, attending festivals and events, discovering hidden gems, and exploring the surrounding areas on day trips.

What historical sites can I visit in Dublin?

Dublin offers several historical sites to visit, including the iconic Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol, and Trinity College. Each of these sites offers a glimpse into Dublin’s rich history and heritage.

Are there any parks or gardens to explore in Dublin?

Yes, Dublin is known for its beautiful parks and gardens. Some popular options include Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed public park in Europe, the National Botanic Gardens, and St. Stephen’s Green. These green spaces offer a tranquil escape from the bustling city.

What cultural landmarks and museums can I visit in Dublin?

Dublin is home to a variety of cultural landmarks and museums. You can explore Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison turned museum, visit the National Museum of Ireland to learn about the country’s history, or admire the stunning architecture of Trinity College.

What is the food and drink scene like in Dublin?

Dublin boasts a diverse and vibrant food and drink scene. You can sample traditional Irish cuisine, dine at international restaurants, and visit famous pubs for a pint of Guinness. The city also offers a wide range of dining options to suit every budget.

Are there good shopping opportunities in Dublin?

Absolutely! Dublin offers a great shopping experience, from high-end boutiques on Grafton Street to unique finds at the Temple Bar Market. Whether you’re looking for fashion, souvenirs, or local crafts, you’ll find plenty of shops and markets to explore.

What is Dublin’s nightlife like?

Dublin is renowned for its vibrant nightlife. The city offers countless bars, clubs, and music venues where you can enjoy live music, traditional Irish sessions, or dance the night away. The nightlife scene is diverse and caters to different tastes and preferences.

Are there any festivals or events in Dublin?

Dublin is a city that loves to celebrate. Throughout the year, you can enjoy a range of festivals and events, such as the St. Patrick’s Festival and the Dublin Fringe Festival. These events provide a unique and lively atmosphere that shouldn’t be missed.

What are some hidden gems to discover in Dublin?

Dublin is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. You can explore the charming neighbourhood of Temple Bar, wander through the peaceful Iveagh Gardens, or venture into the stunning Dublin Mountains for breathtaking views. These secret spots offer a different perspective of the city.

Can I go on day trips from Dublin?

Absolutely! Dublin’s location allows for easy access to stunning natural beauty and picturesque towns. You can take a day trip to coastal towns like Howth or Malahide, explore ancient ruins at Newgrange, or enjoy the stunning coastline. These day trips offer a chance to explore beyond the city limits.

What makes Dublin a captivating city to visit?

Dublin captivates visitors with its rich history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical landmarks, indulging in delicious food and drink, or immersing yourself in the lively nightlife, Dublin has something to offer everyone. Plan your visit today and experience the magic of this incredible city.