The 8 Best Things To Do in Dublin, Ireland
Looking for things to do in Dublin?
Awash in iconic landmarks, rich cultural heritage, lush scenery, and pints of world-class drinks, Dublin offers an array of things to do that will suit any taste. While we can’t tell you which of these tourist attractions is ideal for you, here is our list of the things to do in Dublin.
St. Stephen’s Green Park
One of Dublin’s most iconic squares, St. Stephen’s Green Park, retained its original Victorian layout, much to the delight of history buffs and nature lovers. Built in 1880 under the command of Lord Ardilaun, the park’s picturesque landscape, lake, plants, and shrubs captivate locals and tourists alike.
Every must-see attraction in Dublin is just a few steps away from this square. The historic park is open throughout the year from as early as 7AM until dusk, but check the opening hours during holidays to be sure. Grafton Street, a world-renowned shopping strip, is nearby, giving visitors easy access to boutique shops, big brands, cafes, and restaurants.
The Little Museum of Dublin
Just north of St. Stephen’s Park lies the Little Museum of Dublin. Visitors who want an intimate look at Dublin’s history should make a stop at this museum, which is probably the cutest in the city. Listen to informative commentary and stories told by a friendly, well-versed local guide as you scan the two-room museum.
Because of its small size, this tourist spot fills up quickly, so save yourself from disappointment by buying a ticket online. The walls are packed with collections of newspaper clips, artwork, photographs, and objects from the 1900s to the 2000s. All these displays attempt to sum up the history and heritage of Dublin. When the tour is over, you will leave with a better understanding of Ireland’s capital and largest city.
This castle is a fixture in most Ireland travel guides and for good reason. Rich in history, the Dublin Castle used to be surrounded by a river. This is where Dublin got its name: the Gaelic word “Dubh” for “black” and “lin“ for “pool.” Visitors can freely explore the gardens and grounds outside the castle, yet they need to join a guided tour in order to access the castle’s many rooms, such as the drawing room, portrait room, the state apartments, and the throne room.
Guided tours are scheduled every hour and each lasts for about 50 minutes. Don’t forget to look up and point your camera to the ceiling to capture amazing paintings. If you are staying downtown, you can easily reach this spot on foot. Try to brush up on your Irish history knowledge before visiting for a truly worthwhile experience.
National Gallery of Ireland – Archaeology
Walk farther up north from St. Stephen Garden to reach the National Gallery of Ireland. It is one of the country’s top (free) visitor attractions. Over 700,000 visitors explore its stunning and rare collections every year. Architecture fans and art buffs admire the building and the fantastic collections housed in it. Among the noteworthy of these exhibitions are the outstanding collections from European masters and local artists.
Most visitors rave about the excellent in-house shop that sells books, cards, posters, children’s puzzles, and so much more. Travelers with huge bags and umbrellas can store them in the museum’s cloakroom free of charge. Some sections of the museum allow visitors to take photographs, but no one can eat or drink inside. If you want some light snacks and a good cup of coffee, there’s a large cafe located on the museum’s ground floor.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
At the heart of St. Stephen’s Green Park stands St. Patrick’s Cathedral for over eight centuries and counting. Before it became a major tourist attraction, this place of worship held significant gatherings and events among the Irish people. It doesn’t matter what your faith is because all are welcome in this medieval cathedral.
If you would like to know more about the largest church in Ireland, hire a local guide. The facts, stories, and folklores you will hear from an insider will enrich your travel experience. With his direction, you will also be able to find ways to skip the line and escape the crowd.
Guinness (St. James’s Gate Brewery)
Kick off or cap off your Dublin trip with an excursion to Ireland’s most famous attraction and hangout spot. Within this seven-floor building awaits a variety of beer-tasting experiences that culminate at the rooftop pub known as the Gravity Bar. Due to its popularity, this tourist spot can get packed, so secure a ticket online ahead of your visit.
It’s open all year except for special holidays. And if you’re wondering why this company has a name similar to a world record award-giving body, there’s absolutely no connection except that this brewery makes world-class drinks. The award-winning, world-renowned drink (or the “black stuff”) is labeled ‘Guinness’ after its inventor, Arthur Guinness. Visitors can enjoy lots of exclusive experiences in this storehouse, from beer-making, to tasting, to transporting around the world.
Blue Light at the Dublin Mountains
When you’ve had your fill of drinks from a tourist-packed brewpub, head over to the foothills of the Dublin Mountains to soak up the laid-back vibe and lovely panoramic views of the city and beyond at Blue Light. A little far from the city center lies this charming country pub with a relaxing atmosphere, spectacular views, enjoyable live music (on weekends), and delicious drinks.
Feel free to look for a spot in the pub where you’re most comfortable, such as the lounge, bar, or courtyard. The service is efficient, the setting couldn’t be cozier, and a pint of the best local brews couldn’t be tastier.
Chester Beatty Library
To get a glimpse of the wealth of knowledge the locals possess as a community, explore one of the most-visited local libraries. If you happen to be in town on a Wednesday or a Sunday afternoon, you might as well join a free guided tour at Chester Beatty Library. Dublin people have been well-known for their wit and wisdom, even earning the accolade of being one of the the most intelligent communities in the world.
There isn’t an online booking option to reserve a spot at Chester Beatty Library, so plan your visit well by checking their website. Overseas visitors are absolutely welcome. A great array of written works and valuable objects will expose you to wondrous and varied world cultures, opening your mind to new ideas and ways of thinking.