40 Unforgettable Things to do in Dublin
For most travelers, Dublin’s the introduction to Ireland.
This isn’t a bad thing; after all, it’s a fantastic city with lively locals, countless pubs, a deep history, and great sites.
You’ll never run out of fun and exciting things to do in Dublin.
How this guide will help you
With a city that offers so many options, picking what to see and do in Dublin can seem overwhelming.
But where should you start?
What are the best sites for budget travelers? Which museums are the best for history junkies? Maybe you are looking for a quick getaway to get out and explore the famed Irish landscape?
Whatever you’re looking from your trip to Dublin, you’ve landed in the right place.
I’ve traveled to Dublin over six times and have spent over three months exploring the city. And here are the best things to do in Dublin that I’ve experienced in that time!
Let’s look at the 14 best things to do in Dublin.
These sites span a long history; from drinking a pint at the top of the Guinness Brewery to looking at the elaborate pages of a 1,000-year-old book.
Sadly, many travelers consider these the most touristy sites in Dublin.
But touristy doesn’t equal bad; or that you should steer clear of visiting them.
There are good reasons why these are the best things to do in Dublin.
And they offer some of the best views and greatest insights into the country’s history.
Note: Many of these places get long lines early in the day. Places like the Guinness Storehouse, Book of Kells, and St. Patricks Cathedral are best to visit as soon as they open or near closing time. (When crowds are typically the smallest.)
There are a few distilleries, and alcohol-related museums talked about in this post. But if there’s one you absolutely can’t miss, it’s the Guinness Storehouse.
Every single detail, every single level, and each display was crafted with meticulous detail.
For example, the interior might look like a normal seven leveled building. Each floor distinct and separate. However, when taken as a whole the entire building comes together to form a huge pint of Guinness — known as the largest pint in the world!
The self-guided tour is full of fun and useful information about the history of Guinness in the country. Detailing everything from the ingredients, fermenting process, and history of Ireland’s most iconic drink.
My favorite part of visiting the Guinness Storehouse comes at the end. As the tour ends, at the top of the building, you come to a glass dome offering a panoramic view of Dublin.
In the center of the dome, there’s a small bar with a freshly poured pint waiting for you. And you can take your time, sipping a Guinness, and soaking in the ineffable view of the city.
This isn’t just one of the best things to do in Dublin. It is one of the best places to visit in Ireland.
Guinness Storehouse: Hours, Price, and Location
Open All Year, Expect for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and St. Stephens Day.
Opening Hours: 9:30 – 7 pm.
During the Summer: 9:30 – 9 pm.
Grafton Street is full of well-to-do shops and restaurants. This has given Grafton streets an infamous reputation as a tourist trap. (which is true to a certain degree.)
But Grafton Street’s one of the best things to do in Dublin and a pivotal stop on any visit to Ireland. And once you look past the touristy exterior, expensive shops, and elbow-to-elbow crowds, you discover the true heart of Grafton Street.
Odd shops, neon signs, entertaining buskers, tippling houses, and talented street musicians line the sidewalks and alleyways. It is a place of mesmerizing splendor, rowdy pubs, and deep cultural roots.
If the madness of the crowds gets overwhelming, then just keep walking. Soon you’ll land in St. Stephen’s Green, the most scenic park in Dublin.
Hi! I’m Stephen Schreck (pronounced like SHREK), but don’t worry I’m not green.
I help people discover the world by helping them plan their trips with useful travel tips and guides.
St Patrick’s Cathedral isn’t just the Cathedral of Dublin. It’s the National Cathedral of Ireland.
Constructed in 1191, St Patrick’s has 800 years of history contained within its stony walls. Built-in a Neo-Gothic-style Roman Catholic style, it’s famous across the country for its elegant architecture.
It’s the oldest and largest church in Ireland. And every nook and cranny of the cathedral is stunning; from the colorful patterns lining the floor to the little details at the top of the belfry.
Notably, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the burial place of Jonathan Swift, the author who wrote Gulliver’s Travels.
Ireland has many wondrous cathedrals. But none as important as St Patrick’s Cathedral. And wandering through its halls, admiring the gorgeous interior is one of the best things to do in Dublin Ireland.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral Info
March – October
Mon – Fri: 09:30 – 17:00
Sat: 09:00 – 18:00
Sun: 09:00 – 10:30 / 12:30 – 14:30 / 16:30 – 18:00
November – February
Mon – Fri: 09:30 – 17:00
Sat: 09:00 – 17:00
Sun: 09:00 – 10:30 / 12:45 – 14:30
Family (2 adults & 2 children under 16): €18.00
Group Rates (10+): €7.00
The white stone buildings of Trinity College set it apart from any other campus in the world. And feels right at home in the historic center of Dublin.
There are two important things for travelers to do at Trinity College. And lucky for us, they are both included in the price of one ticket.
The first is the Book of Kells; a 1,000-year-old manuscript of the New Testament. The worn pages of the book are covered with colorful designs done in the insular style.
Known as the most magnificent and elaborate manuscript that’s ever existed. The Book of Kells is worth your time. (Even if – like me – you’re not religious.)
The second site travelers need to see at Trinity College is the incredible library. The shelves contain over 200,000 of Ireland’s oldest books. Spaning up two floors, the dark wood interior culminates in a pristine, wooded arched roof.
It’s an architectural marvel. And hands down, this is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.
Trinity & Book of Kells Travel Info
Mon – Sat (May – Sept)
08:30 – 17:00
Sun (May – Sept)
09:30 – 17:00
Mon – Sat (Oct – April)
09:30 – 17:00
Sun (Oct – April)
12:00 – 16:30
Adult: €11 – €14
All right, let’s take a quick break from shopping streets, churches, and libraries. And get back to one of the best parts of traveling Ireland… the booze.
The Jameson Distillery is perfect for travelers.
Well, because it is fun, educational, and affordable. Plus, the tour lets you try some Whiskey. (Which is perfect on a cold rainy day in Dublin.)
Sadly, this isn’t a working distillery anymore. But the Jameson Distillery’s still worth visiting. And takes you on an interactive journey through the history of Ireland’s most famous whiskey.
Throughout the tour, you get to sample three different premium whiskeys that will knock your socks off. (Which only adds to the tour’s value.)
Attached to the side of the distillery is the Jameson Bar. And one of my favorite pubs in Dublin. This tavern has a plethora of unique drinks to try. (Most centered around Jameson.)
The Jameson Distillery and Bar are two places I always stop for a sip of whiskey and a cocktail when visiting Dublin.
Jameson Distillery Information & Tips
May – September
Mon – Sat: 08:30 – 17:00
Sun: 09:30 – 17:00
October – April
Mon – Sat: 09:30 – 17:00
Sun: 12:00 – 16:30
I rarely use hop on hop off buses. But I can’t help but love the DoDublin Bus. Mainly because they go out of the to get off the beaten path, and take you to some non-touristy sites in Dublin.
They visit places like the Little Museum and the Epic Irish Emigration Museum, and the Telling Whiskey Distillery. (All of which we will talk about in this post).
Don’t worry, though. They also take you to all the major attractions in Dublin. The drivers are equally knowledgeable and entertaining. And you’ll have a great time as you traverse the city learning all its secrets.
DoDublin Bus offers a range of hop on and hop-off passes as well as day trips from Dublin. This is a great choice if your traveling Dublin with kids.
DoDublin Bus Info
24 Hours Hop on Hop Off Pass
48 Hours Hop on Hop Off Pass
Buses run 7 Days a Week
Hours: 9am – 5 pm.
Buses Come Every 15 minutes.
Multi-lingual buses every 30 minutes.
St. Michan Church has a long history dating back of 900 years. They built the church for Vikings. Who -spurred by their kinsmen- remained in Ireland.
Rebuilt in the late 1600s is the church we see today. But during all these hundreds of years, the crypt has stayed untouched. And from some strange, unknown reason, the bodies of the deceased have become mummies.
Summon your courage as you walk down the hauntingly narrow staircase into the crypt. As you make your way through the vaults you’ll notice that some tombs have decayed over time. And some caskets have limbs sticking out of them.
Here you see the mummified remains of a thief, whose hands and feet were cut off in punishment for his crimes. There’re the bodies of a nun and an “unknown” woman.
But the main mummy is an 800-year-old, six-foot-tall, Crusader. If you want to get even creepier, you are still allowed to touch the mummified hand of the Crusader Knight.
St Michan Church Travel INfo
Visits are by guided tour only
1 November – 16 March:
Monday to Friday: 12:30pm – 3:30pm
17 March – 31 October:
Monday to Friday: 10am – 12:45pm / 2pm – 4:30pm
Saturday (all year round): 10am – 12:45pm.
The abandoned prison of Kilmainham Gaol, an odd, but an absolute must-see in Dublin.
The only way to visit the prison is on a guided tour, but with the insanely low ticket price of €4 per person, it’s a bargain.
Tours last around 45 minutes to an hour. And walks you through the facilities, simultaneously teaching you about the prison’s history. – Much of which is tragic.
The prison we see today has undergone a lot of restoration. But by the time you leave, you’ll have a deeper knowledge of this hard era in Ireland’s history. And discover the hard conditions of prisoners until 1924.
Are certain sections of the prison are drumming up déjà vu?
You’re right, the prison should look familiar! Part of the prison was used in the Shawshank Redemption.
Kilmainham Gaol Prison Tickets Tours and Hours
- Adult Ticket: €8.00
- Senior Ticket 60+: €6.00
- Student Ticket: (18+) €4.00
- Child Ticket (12-17yrs) €4.00
- Child Ticket (Under 12yrs): €0.00
- Family Ticket – 2 Adult and 2 Children (12-17yrs): €20.00
Open Seven Days a Week: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Christ Church Cathedral, the second of Dublin’s Medieval cathedrals, dates back to 1030 A.D.
People have been visiting this Church for almost 1,000 years.
Christ Church’s overshadowed by travelers focused on visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
But missing this lesser-known Cathedral is a mistake. It’s an inspiring example of a medieval church and an amazing architectural feat.
Known as the Cathedral of the United Dioceses, or the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. The Cathedral has a 12-century crypt, narrow corridors, and a display of 16th-century costumes.
However, the major highlight is climbing the winding staircase to the top of the Belfry and ringing the church bells for yourself.
Open 364 days a year (Closed on December 26th) this is one thing to do in Dublin year-round. And tickets start at the low price of 7 Euros.
Note: On Sundays, the Cathedral is closed in the afternoon.
Christ Church Cathedral Hours and Tickets
March and October
April – September
November – February
- Adult: €7.00
- Senior (60+): €5.50
- Student: (must have valid ID) €5.50
- Child: (under 12) €2.50
- Family: (2 adults + 2 children) €17.00
- Groups: (10+) €5.00
In the heart of the Pale, sits Dublin Castle. Commissioned by infamous King John, this castle has played an important role in Ireland’s history.
Originally established in the 13th century, Dublin Castle was built on the remains of an old Viking Settlement.
The castle has been a key setting for some of Ireland’s most pivotal events. And the seat of power of the British forces in Ireland – until the early 1920s when the country garnered its independence.
Today, this magnificent castle offers a lot of fun things for travelers to do. The castle walls, keeps, turrets, and ramparts are all well preserved. There are even the original steps that lead down to the moat.
Make sure not to miss the gardens, art, and the Royal Chapel. But most of all the manuscripts in the nearby Chester Beatty Library. (which we talk about under the museum section.)
Pro tip: You can visit Dublin Castle and Chester Beatty Library back to back. Then head north, grab a few pints in the Temple Bar district.
Cross the Ha’ Penny Bridge, and see the Dublin Spire. In one fell swoop, you can cross off some of the best things to do in Dublin.
Dublin Castle Travel Tips
Monday – Sunday & Bank Holidays:
9:45 – 17:45 (last admission 17:15)
Closed: 25th, 26th & 27th December, and 1st January
- Adult: €8
- Senior (60+): €6
- Student (valid student ID required): €6
- Child (12-17): €4
- Family (max. 2 adults & 5 children): €20
- Adult: €12
- Senior: (60+) €10
- Student: (valid student ID required) €10
- Child: (12-17) €6
- Family: (max. 2 adults & 5 children) €30
Steeped in history, the Irish literary giants W. B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory opened this theatre in 1904.
Today, the theatres a good place option for a night out in Dublin, taking in some art, history, and culture of the city in one place.
Irish roots run deep in the national theatre. The Abbey’s mission is to bring fun, imaginative, and dramatic plays to the masses.
Striving to bring the country’s culture to life in front of your eyes.
Tickets sell for around 10-15 euros, so the Abbey’s pretty budget-friendly. And since shows change regularly this is one thing to do in Dublin that never gets old.
You can check out the latest price and upcoming plays here.
At the young age of 125 years, the Teeling Distillery is the newest whiskey distillery in Dublin.
And while Teeling isn’t as popular as Jameson, Teeling has won over 220 awards around the world for their high-quality whiskeys.
And the distillery still produces up to half a million liters of whiskey a year.
The distillery’s located in the heart of Dublin City Center. It is easy to find and lets you taste some of the best whiskey in the city.
Learn the history of the family, distillery, and whiskey on a guided tour. These budget-friendly tours start at around $20, which includes whiskey sampling.
Teeling Whiskey Tours
Telling Whiskey Distillery Travel
Distillery Tours: €15
Single Malt Experiences: €50
Monday – Sunday: 10:00 – 17:40
- New Years Day
- St Patricks Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- May Day
- June Holiday
- August Holiday
- October Holiday
- Christmas Day closed
- St Stephens Day closed
For the last decade, the Dublin Flea market has been a staple of the ol’ Pale. And since its inception become the most beloved market in Dublin.
Sadly, the market only takes place on the last Sunday of the month, so it might not align with your trip.
But if you’re in town; don’t miss it.
The market houses over 60 outstanding stalls, selling virtually anything you could ever want or need.
A venerable focal point to shop for some extraordinary souvenirs or small trinkets. The markets offer a good place for getting a sense of local life and people watching.
Not traveling through Dublin on the last Sunday of the month? Don’t worry.
There is a myriad of other markets peppered around the Dublin on the weekends.
Market Guide to Dublin
Hours and Location
Last Sunday of every month from 11am-5pm
Location: Newmarket Square, Dublin 8
Other Markets in Dublin
- Ha’ Penny Market
- Merchants Market
- Jamestown Flea Market
- Blackrock Market
- Point Village Car Boot Sale & Market
- The Mart
What’s more thrilling than pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and into a new and exciting experience. While still having a blast, of course.
Experience Gaelic Games offers a fun, entertaining, and educational day. Where else in the world can you try out games that ancient Irish civilizations were playing over 3,000 years ago.
And after getting a handle on the rules, you play some of the oldest games in the world, like Gaelic football and hurling.
Perfect for solo and group travelers or families traveling with older kids. It’s an incredible day where you become of ancient Irish history.
They also have experiences in Galway and Cork.
Gaelic Games Information
Ticket Price & Hours
Price Range from €28.00 – €39.00
Individuals for online bookings:
Nov-Feb / March-October
Group Bookings Open All Year.
Dublin’s home to a handful of awesome museums that cover everything we associate with Ireland.
What to know about the history of whiskey – while sipping on whiskey? No problem, head to the Irish Whiskey Museum.
Want to hear folklore and Irish legends? Then spend an afternoon at the Leprechaun Museum.
Or maybe you’d rather stick to the practical and see at historical artifacts. Then spend a morning exploring the National Museum of Ireland.
Let’s look at some of the best museums in Dublin.
Spending a couple of hours in Epic: The Irish Emigration Museum takes you on an interactive journey spanning across 1,500 years of Irish history.
And through the stories of over 100 million people who left the country. This museum lets you uncover their history. Where they went, where they lived, and what their daily lives were like. Discover some of the greatest poets, artists, and scientists from Ireland. And see the overall impact and reach the Irish emigrants have had on the world.
The EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum’s one of the most state of the art museums in Europe. And has won tons of awards; most recently, Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2019.
This museum is great for anyone with Irish roots. And for anyone traveling with kids; the museum is very interactive with touch screens, videos, audio, quizzes, and more.
Get Your Tickets and Save!
Emigration Museum Travel Info
Adult (18+): €16.50
Child (6-15): €8.00
Child (0-5): Free
Senior (65+): €15.00
Student (16+): €15.00
Family (2 Adults + 2 Children): €40.00
Additional Child (with Family): €6.50
Family (2 Adults + 1 Child) : €36.00
Hours & Location
Monday – Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Holiday hours may differ.
Most people haven’t heard of the Little Museum of Dublin. (I know I didn’t hear about it until my third trip to the city.)
And as you probably gathered from the title, the museums… little. But little doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.
In fact, the Little Museum of Dublin’s rated as the #1 museum in Ireland. (via TripAdvisor)
They offer a famous 29 minute guided tour; and the museum has displays on everything Irish, from Women’s History to a U2 Exhibition.
Free admission, anyone? If you book the DODublin bus (mentioned above), you get a free Little Museum of Dublin ticket.
The museum, located in an elegant townhouse in the heart of Dublin.
Pro Tip: The museum offers a fantastic walking tour of St. Stephen’s Green (also mentioned above). That meets in front of the Museum every Saturday at 11 am. This walking tour requires a sperate ticket.
Little Museum of Dublin Information
Tickets & Hours
Tickets Range from 8 – 15 Euros
Monday – Sunday: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Holiday hours may differ.
The National Museum of Ireland is one stop everyone should add to their itinerary.
The museum’s located in the former military compound of Collins Barracks (which in itself is a historical site).
The museum hosts great art and exhibits open to the public year-round. The Viking Exhibit, with its elaborate gold artifacts and interesting history, is a personal favorite.
There are the hauntingly eerie “bog men”; bodies found throughout the bogs in Ireland. The chemical properties of the swamps preserve a lot of the details on these 2,400-year-old bodies. Each one has its own shocking and moving story on display.
A trip to this museum will give you greater insight into the culture and history of this wonderful country. And budget travelers get ready to do a happy, little jig… the museum is free!
National Museum of Ireland Information
Hours & Price
Tuesday to Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sunday & Monday: 1pm- 5pm
Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday
Free Admission: Entry to all four National Museum of Ireland is free.
Archaeology – Kildare St, Dublin 2
Decorative Arts & History – Collins Barracks, Benburb St, Dublin 7
Natural History – Merrion St, Dublin 2
While we are on the subject of Whiskey, it’s a good time to mention the Whiskey Museum. The history of Ireland is often associated with booze, and no drink – apart from maybe Guinness – is more popular in Ireland than Whiskey.
So it goes without saying that visiting the Whiskey museum is hands down, one of the best things to do in Dublin.
Located on the ever-popular Grafton street, you don’t even need to go out of the way to visit. Chances are you’ll naturally stumble by it while exploring Dublin.
There are over 100 different Irish Whiskeys throughout the museum. Their tour guides, or storytellers as they call them, take you through the exciting 2,000-year-old history of whiskey in Ireland.
The tour takes you through 4 different rooms each themed to represent a different time period of Irish history.
At the end of the tour, you get to sample 3 different types of Irish Whiskey. And If you opt for the VIP package, you get a special 4th drink. Plus, a shot glass that will make a perfect souvenir.
Irish Whiskey Museum Tours and Tips
Monday – Sunday 10:30 A.M – 6 P.M.
Tours start every 15 – 30 minutes.
Classic Tour Price: Adult €20 | Senior €18 | Student €18
Premium Tour Price: Adult €23 | Senior €21 | Student €21
Whiskey Blending Experience: Adult €30 | Group (10+) €28pp
The National Leprechaun Museum brings folklore to life while making it fun.
One perk of the museum, it teaches Irish myths and legends, but doesn’t take itself too seriously.
There are fun exhibits that shrink you down to the size of the Leprechaun, storytellings, and more. By the end of the tour, you’ll feel like a kid again.
The Leprechaun Museum offers two experiences. During the day, you enjoy the fun-loving folklore of Ireland.
However, on Friday and Saturday nights, the tour takes you down the shadowy twisted road of Ireland’s darker tales and myths.
Because of the darker content, only people 18 years or older can embark on this eerie night tour.
National Leprechaun Museum
Hours & Price
Daytime Tours: 11:00 A.M – 5 P.M.
Darkland Tours: 19:30 A.M / 20:30 P.M.
- Adult: €16.00
- Student €14.00
- Family €44.00
Located on the grounds of Dublin Castle is the Chester Beatty Library; one of the most noteworthy and unforgettable museums in Europe.
Surprisingly, not too many people know about all the treasures held within its old walls. And since it’s a library most of these treasures revolve around religious texts, and literature.
The museum/library has a famed series of Buddhist manuscripts (exhibit runs until 2020), a collection of rare books, and other documents.
The library houses clay tablets traced back to Babylon. Old papyrus containing biblical text and over 250 manuscripts of the Quran.
However, the show stopper is the 4,700-year-old drawings.
If you’re into religion, ancient history, – or just beautiful libraries – then this is one thing to do in Dublin that you can’t miss.
Chester Beatty Library
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The IMMA (Or Irish Museum of Modern Art) gives a glimpse into the modern and contemporary art styles around the world.
The museum’s brimming with works from up-and-coming, and famous artists worldwide. The collection of artists seems to push and inspire each other, creating some stellar pieces of work.
One of the best things about the IMMA is that it’s free! Well, mostly free as general admission costs nothing. But every once in a while, a special exhibit requires an entrance ticket.
IMMA HOURS AND PRICE
HOURS & Price
- Thusday – Friday: 11:30AM–5:30PM
- Saturday: 10AM – 5:30PM
- Sunday: 12AM – 5:30PM
General Entrance: Free
Some special exhibits require tickets
Sometimes we don’t have the funds to do everything we want to do or see everything we want to see.
If that is hitting a familiar cord, then don’t worry, Dublin has you covered. From beautiful parks to harp-shaped bridges to icy swims, there are a lot of cheap or free things to do in Dublin.
Let’s look at some budget-friendly things to do in Dublin.
St. Stephen’s Green, a massive park filled with lush landscape and beautiful flora and fauna, seems boundless. And one of the most scenic places in downtown Dublin.
There’s a lot of things to do in the park, from walking to relaxing.
Thick trees hang over the tranquil ponds and streams, begging for someone to curl under them with a good book. Small wooded trails peppered around the park are perfect for getting a little lost. And, almost anywhere you turn some great photo opportunities.
St Stephen’s Green does get its fair share of locals and travelers visiting daily. People who come to sightsee the monuments, relax, exercise, or have a picnic.
However, the park’s big enough for everyone and offers a pleasant escape from the bustling streets of downtown Dublin.
At the base of the shopping mecca, Henry Street and the busy road of O’ Connell Street Upper, sits the Dublin Spire.
This monument towers 393 ft. over historic Dublin, and it’s one of the easiest sites to spot in the entire city.
Made from reflective stainless steel, the tall spire reflects everything from the sun to colorful lights at night.
The Spires easy to see from various parts of the city, making it a useful landmark for getting around and a nice meeting point.
In terms of size, the Spire’s one of the biggest things to do in Dublin. To be honest, there’s not a lot to do, other than taking a few photos. But since the tower’s in central Dublin, at some point, you’ll be near it anyway.
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Shaped like an Irish Harp, the Samuel Beckett Bridge – an architectural marvel – has become a symbol of Dublin over the last decade.
Joining the southern part of the river Liffey (at Guild Street) to Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, the bridge lies a little further away from the tourist center of Dublin.
However, it’s within walking distance from Trinity College. And since it’s unlike any other suspension bridge in the world, the bridge warrants a visit.
This artist bridge is great for photos at day or night, and one of Dublin’s newest sites.
On the other side of the bridge, there are a handful of pubs, nice for a pint or a small meal. I recommend the Fisherman.
And since the bridge is free things is one of the best things to do in Dublin on a budget.
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If you have any Irish blood coursing through your veins, there a good chance you have a distant blood relative laid to rest in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Prospect Cemetery (another name for Glasnevin) covers over 134 arches and has over one and a half million people buried within.
It’s a hauntingly beautiful place and the final resting place to some of the most important heroes and figures in Ireland’s history.
You can see the grave of Daniel O’ Connell, the Liberator of Ireland. There are numerous authors, poets, and politicians buried in Glasnevin.
The cemetery’s free, However, there is a small museum and guided tours that will cost you around 6-8 Euros.
Cemetery is free. But for tour and visitor center expect to pay around 6 euro.
Mammoth, gigantic, or huge are a few terms often associated with Phoenix Park. And the biggest urban park in Europe. The park’s 7 square kilometers (or 2.7 square miles).
Surprisingly, this park has a long role in Dublin’s history, dating back 350 years. And to this day, it’s a section of the city revered and respected among the locals.
This behemoth park contains miles of untouched verdant fields and thick forest, home to the herds of wild deer. Phoenix Park’s great for picnics, biking, or scenic strolls.
The park also houses the residency of Ireland’s President, the US Ambassador, and a handful of other prestigious homes.
The park has many paid things to do, like the Dublin Zoo. But there’s so many free or cheap things to do that it’s perfect for budget travelers.
Phoenix Park Tips and Info
Best Places to Visit in Phoenix Park
- Visitors Center
- The President’s Residence
- People’s Flower Garden
- Farmleigh House and Gardens
The Ha’Penny Bridge is a massive cast-iron bridge, spanning the River Liffey, and separating the Temple bar District from Bachelor’s Walk.
Officially, known as the Liffey Bridge, it dates back to the early 1800s. Its purpose was as an easy alternative to cross the River Liffey, opposed to using the ferries. And was nicknamed the Ha’ Penny after the Half Penny Toll required to cross it.
While walking across a bridge might seem like a silly thing to do in Dublin, you shouldn’t miss it. The Ha’ Penny Bridge is a symbol of the city and gives nice views of the waterfront. And if you’re worried about your lack of half pennies, don’t. Today the bridge is toll free.
Ha’ Penny Bridge Tips
Nearby Places to Visit
Temple Bar District
Brazen Head Pub
The Church Pub
National Leprechaun Museum
Forty Fort has garnered a reputation as one of the best spots to take a dip in Ireland. This swimming spot at the southern tip of Dublin Bay was made famous by James Joyce.
Forty-Foot’s a great spot to jump off small rocky cliffs and into the icy waters.
To be honest, a trip to Forty-Foot’s less of a swim, and more of a quick, in-and-out dip. Mainly because most people’s reactions – myself included – sounds something like “c.c.c.COLD…”
Forty Foot acts as a fun little adventure for adrenaline junkies, people wanting to push themselves, or the super jet-lagged in need of a sharp wake up call.
Despite the cold water, Forty-Foot’s still a beautiful place to swim. The New York Times even called it one of the best places to swim in the world.
Welcome to a quiet oasis, brimming with beautiful flora, fauna, and flowers from around the world. The biggest highlight are the various glasshouses scattered around the Gardens. These elegant houses contain collections of hundreds of different plant species.
In total, there are seven glasshouses; each one focusing on different types of plants.
Perhaps the most beautiful flowers lie in the Orchid house. While Curvilinear Range, a low range glasshouse built with a curved roof; is the most incredible building.
The National Botanical Garden acts as a welcome escape from the city, perfect for any traveler. You could easily spend an entire afternoon slowly strolling through the gardens. As a perk, these gardens are 100% free. Guided tours cost around $6.
Botanic Gardens Dublins
Winter Opening Hours: 9am to 4.30pm weekdays, 10am to 4.30pm Sat, Sun & Public Holidays.
Summer Opening Hours (from March 2020): Open daily 9am to 5pm weekdays 10am to 6pm Sat, Sun & Public Holidays
Head to the grounds of the King’s Inn, outside downtown Dublin, and you’ll stumble on a strange site.
The Hungry Tree, an 80-year-old plane tree, gets its name because it’s slowly, but surely consuming a nearby cast iron bench.
It’s definitely not the first tree to eat something, but the unique look sets this tree apart. It appears as if the bench is being munched on by a mouth. A mouth curving into a smile in sheer satisfaction.
Location & Hours
Hours – Monday through Friday: 7:30AM–7:30PM
If you’re looking for pub food or a fresh pint of Guinness, then it’s easy to find a good place in Dublin. The city thrives off its bar food. And I, for one, love it.
While most places will offer excellent simple food, like burgers, mac, and cheese, scotch eggs, or deep-fried pickles.
However, there are some places to eat and drink that take it to the next level. That rises above the rest in terms of atmosphere, drinks, and food.
Here are some awesome places when looking for where to eat in Dublin.
The streets of the temple bar district are lined with tippled taverns. Sounds of live Irish tunes leak out onto the street. And the stale pub smell, that I love dearly, fills the air.
By all accounts, Temple Bar District is touristy; but there’s a good mixture of locals thrown into the mix as well. Touristy, or not, it’s still one of the best areas to visit in Dublin for a pint.
Temple Bar’s arguably the most popular pub in Dublin. The pub dates back almost 300 years and has over 450 different whiskeys to choose from.
300 years is impressive, but it isn’t nearly as old as the Brazen Head. A pub, only ten minutes’ walk from the Temple Bar District that’s the 5th oldest bar in the world.
Overall, no trip to Dublin is complete without at least grabbing one drink in the Temple Bar District.
And there’s a good chance that if we are ever in Dublin on the same evening that you will find me in the temple bar district, pint in hand, craicing on.
Temple Bar District Tips and Info
Best Bars in Temple Bar District
- Temple Bar
- Foggy Dew
- Place Bar
- Auld Dubliner
When walking down ever-popular Jervis street – a stone’s throw from the Leprechaun Museum – you’ll see an old building taking up a sizeable portion of a block. As you approach the outside, one of the first things you’ll notice is that this building resembles a 300-year-old church, complete with a round tower.
But this isn’t your typical place of worship; actually, it’s not a church at all. Rather, a converted bar/restaurant.
The inside also reflects an old place of worship, along with the stained glass windows, dark wood trimmings, and ornate gold trinkets.
The middle of the building contains a massive bar. They have good food, live music, and traditional Irish dance. It’s one of my favorite places to have a pint in Dublin.
The Church Pub Hours & Location
Monday – Thursday: 10:30AM–11PM
Friday – Saturday: 10:30AM–1:30AM
Located in the historic heart of downtown Dublin sits O’Neill’s. This 300-year-old pub consistently serves good food and overflowing pints. But more importantly, it sits a spot that holds a lot of rich history.
Before the pub was built, the Vikings used to hold their “Thingmote”, or councils, on this exact spot.
As time passed, it was the spot for a temporary palace for King Henry II, before becoming a spot for public entertainment (and executions). Eventually, the old Viking council mound was torn down, and they built the pub.
Today, the pub has a much quieter atmosphere. But O’Neill’s still hosts live music, serves traditional Irish food, and it’s one of the best pubs in the heart of historic Dublin. I always make a point to stop in for a pint.
O’Neill’s Hours and Location
Monday – Thursday: 08:00AM–11:30PM
Friday – Saturday: 08:00AM–12:30AM
Brazen Head has a couple of notable claims to fame. Dating back to 1198 AD makes it one of the oldest bars in the world and the oldest pub in Dublin.
The pub facades made up of interlaced, elegant stonework, and hordes of vibrant flowers. It’s an awesome spot for photo junkies. The interior’s equally beautiful and photogenic. It’s exactly what you expect from a pub in Ireland.
The Brazen heads outside the touristy temple bar district, meaning that the pub sees more locals. (Although it still gets its fair share of travelers).
The pub’s a great place to grab a bowl of Guinness stew and soda bread, then sit down with a pint, and enjoy the local live music or the Irish storytellings.
Not onl is the Brazen Head the second oldest bar in Ireland, right after Sean’s Bar in Athlone, but it has also been visited by Irish legends, James Joyce and Michael Collins
Barzen Head Dublin Info
Monday – Thursday 11:30AM–12AM
Murphy’s has become a staple of Dublin. Known for their odd, yet delicious, ice cream.
They focus on developing strange combinations of flavors; flavors like Green Pea and Mint, Gin, and Spicy Clove.
However, one of the craziest, and oddly most delicious flavors is the brown bread.
Good-by itself, or combined with other flavors such as sea salt, or Irish oats, trying this ice cream is a must when traveling Dublin.
Only in the brown bread obsessed country that is Ireland will you find an ice cream flavor for bread.
Pro Tip: Murphy’s isn’t exclusive to Dublin. You can find other shops in Killarney, Galway, and Dingle.
Murphy’s Ice Cream Travel Information
Sunday – Tursday: 12PM – 10PM
Friday – Friday: 12PM – 10PM
The Cliffs of Moher aren’t in Dublin. Technically, they’re on the other side of the country. But wait! Stick with me.
Ireland’s small so the other side of the country can easily be reached within a few hours.
And Ireland’s landscape doesn’t get better than the Cliffs of Moher!
Standing 400 ft above the icy rollers of the Atlantic; these sheer cliffs dominate the Bay of Galway’s crenulated coastline.
One quick glance at the cliffs, and it’s easy to see why they’ve become one of the most iconic sites in Ireland. Plastered on postcards and posters around the country.
There are countless day tours to the Cliffs of Moher that leave from Dublin. Driving yourself is another option.
The Oratory of the Sacred Heart refers to a small chapel in Dun Laoghaire. Art addicts will marvel at this amazing, off the beaten track site.
From the outside, the chapel doesn’t seem like much. But that changes as soon as you step inside. Spanning every nook and cranny of the chapel walls are incredible, hand-painted Celtic murals.
The art features intricately designed Celtic knots, large crosses, and detailed animals made with meticulous detail and vibrant colors.
Sister Concepta Lynch made this ineffable artwork and took her over 16 years.
The painted murals commemorate WWI and honor the local Irishmen who were killed in the horrific battles.
It’s one of the most impressive pieces of art in Ireland. And most people don’t even know it exists. There’s nothing else like it, making the 40-minute journey outside historic Dublin is well worth it.
Oratory of the Sacred Heart Location
Over 30 minutes outside Dublin, on the eponymously named peninsula, sits salt-stained Howth. A tiny coastal town; known for its seafood, and weekend markets.
It’s easy to lose yourself in Howth’s charm, and, if you don’t pay attention, lose track of time wandering the town’s small streets.
But without question, the untamed landscape’s the best reason to visit. The green hills and mesmerizing cliffside views are unforgettable.
There are various cliff walks ranging from 4-5 to 12km. Each giving you unforgettable panoramic views over Dublin Bay and Muir Éireann.
Howth’s one of the closest and quickest day trips from Dublin. And easily reached via bus or car. Any visit is time well spent.
Howth Cliff Walks Map
Carlingford and The Cooley Peninsula might be the best-kept secret in Ireland. Lying on the border of Northern Ireland in the area known as the ancient east.
What draws people to Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula?
Perhaps it’s the charming small towns, great hiking, boat trips, and fun adventures (there are a lot of water sports in Carlingford).
Maybe it’s the myth, lore, or history? This small section of Ireland’s associated with one of the greatest Celtic heroes, Cuchulainn.
Or it could be the beauty. The area is awash with pristine landscapes and small sea-stained towns.
Carlingford and Cooley Travel INformation
Things to do
- Coastal Walks
- Scenic Drives
No no, this isn’t Dublin’s hottest nightclub. The Hellfire Club is a popular name for the building sitting on top of Montpelier Hill.
At the top of the Hill, you get sweeping views of Dublin. But make no mistake. There’s a good chance this isn’t a place you want to venture (after all, they nicknamed it Hellfire club for a reason).
The building is awash with a dark history, mysterious tales, and supernatural sightings.
The myths date back to the 18th century when a man, lured by the unparalleled views, tore down an ancient cairn to build a house on this spot. Some say it offended the devil, while others say it drew the wrath of Pagan gods.
Whoever it offended, one things for sure, the location is believed to be cursed by most who visit. With multiple ghosts and devils sightings, tragic fires, and other unspeakable events.
Hellfire Club Travel Tips and Tricks