So, you want to explore Ireland’s capital but don’t have all the time in the world? We’ve got you covered with this list of 10 ‘must-see’ spots in Dublin’s fair city.
1. Tour the Guinness Storehouse
Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction, the Guinness Storehouse is home to Ireland’s most iconic export. The tour celebrates the craft of brewing and the cultural impact of the “Black Stuff.” Visitors begin their journey at the bottom of the world’s largest pint glass. From there, they make their way through seven floors containing state-of-the-art interactive experiences; discovering how this treasured drink came to be.
They take in the scent, the sight, and, of course, the taste of Ireland’s beloved Guinness along the way. Visitors say the complimentary pint they serve on the rooftop Gravity Bar is perhaps the best way to enjoy a pint of plain- accompanied by a breathtaking view of Dublin’s fair city.
2. Discover Trinity College and the Book of Kells
Trinity’s campus is a little taste of old-world academia in the middle of a contemporary and highly developed city center. Visitors can take guided tours of its four major squares and learn about the school’s 500-year history. Famous alumni include Oscar Wilde and Jonathon Swift, or most recently, Sally Rooney, whose acclaimed novel-turned-series Normal People’ was filmed on the grounds.
A stop in the library to see the Book of Kells- an illuminated display of the Gospel manuscript, constructed in 384 A.D- is essential. A visit to Trinity is a perfect addition to your Dublin trip for the book lovers and romanticists of your travel group, and
3. Uncover your roots at EPIC Ireland
The Irish Emigration Museum has been welcoming visitors since it opened in 2016. The museum celebrates Irish ancestry and explores the question of what it means to be Irish, through stories from Irish immigrants who went on to live colorful lives outside the emerald isle. The museum offers an interactive, high-tech experience that is more engaging than your typical museum model and is sure to capture the attention of young and old alike.
EPIC Ireland is a must-see for those visiting the home of their ancestors and hoping to learn more about their heritage. They even provide a host of professional genealogists who are eager to help people construct their family tree and develop a better understanding of where they come from.
4. Get the royal treatment at Dublin Castle
Spanning over 44,000 square meters, Dublin Castle has played a key role in the history and evolution of Ireland’s capital. Its existence has lasted from the first Celtic settlement in the 1st century A.D. all the way through every Irish presidential inauguration. A tour depicts all the beauty and legend behind its corridors. Visitors can immerse themselves in places like The Chapel Royal, The Garda Museum, The Chester Beatty Library, and The Revenue Museum.
5. Visit Glasnevin Cemetery
Glasnevin Cemetery is the final resting place of some of Ireland’s most famous historical figures. Visitors can see the graves of Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Éamon de Valera, Arthur Griffith, Maude Gonne, and many more. Alongside the many prominent names buried here, are victims of the famine and civilians killed during the War of Independence.
Beneath every headstone is the story of a life lived, a rich history and joy, sorrow, struggle, and success. There is a small visitors center and tour available for guests. The cemetery is a hub for history buffs and admission- without the tour- is free.
6. Catch a game at Croke Park
If you’re visiting during the summer or fall, you might be lucky enough to experience GAA season in Ireland. Gaelic Football is the national sport and attracts huge crowds to the Gaelic football, Hurling and Camogie games that take place in the country’s largest sporting stadium.
Named in honor of Archbishop Thomas Croke, Croke Park is the home venue for the Dublin GAA team and the host of the most important games of the championship. Sporting events held here are second to none and host an audience of more than 82,000 fans.
The Gaelic Athletic Association Museum also offers tours of the stadium featuring an inside look at the history behind Ireland’s largest sporting organization.
7. Have a pint (or two) at the Temple Bar
They say if you can only go to one pub in Dublin, make it The Temple Bar. Take one step inside, and it’s not hard to see why that is. This iconic destination is thought of as the friendliest watering hole in Dublin. Tourists and locals alike venture here for a pint and great banter.
The Temple Bar boasts delicious craft beer and whiskey, fresh food, a beer garden, and bragging rights as Irish Music Pub of the Year for 10 straight years. With the right company, you are sure to experience the “craic” everyone talks about.
Alternatively, if your wish is to get deeper into the heart of Dublin, and drink like the locals, there are many pubs around Dublin that the natives would argue are better. Some include Ryans, Whelans, Flannerys, Doyles, or Merchants Arch. An additional bonus is that pints are usually much cheaper in non-tourist-heavy areas.
8. Take a lesson in art history at the National Gallery and Museum
The land of saints and scholars boasts a serious lineup of galleries and museums, many of which are within walking distance of each other in Dublin city. The National Museum of Ireland is located in a Palladian Building, that has stood on Merrion Street since 1890.
Just steps away is a treat for the art lovers, who can visit the National Gallery of Ireland, and gaze at exhibitions from Francis Bacon, Jack B. Yeats, and many others. Admission to both the museum and gallery is totally free, and the exhibitions are ever-changing and always interesting.
9. Tour St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Beautiful, historic, and tranquil – this holy site is near the area where Saint Patrick baptized Christian converts more than 1500 years ago. It’s a place of worship that also welcomes many visitors to Dublin each year. One of the most important pilgrimage sites of Ireland, it contains a rich history that can be learned through fascinating guided tours. A brief visit leaves many feeling moved and at peace.
10. Stroll around the city parks and spot the Natural Wildlife
One of Dublin’s most underrated features is the large, green areas that occupy invaluable city space. The city parks like St. Stephen’s Green and Phoenix Park, are the perfect spaces to alleviate city stress from the hustle and bustle. When the weather allows, you will find the parks filled with people walking, cycling, and picnicking on the green.
Phoenix Park is also home to some of Ireland’s most beautiful wildlife, as home to a herd of over 400 wild Fallow Deer. These deer are descended from the original herd that was introduced in the 1660s. You might also run into wild squirrels, hares, foxes, and ducks along the avenue, which eventually leads to the President of Ireland’s home.