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