Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, is a bustling metropolis that is steeped in history and culture. With its cobbled streets, charming pubs, and lively atmosphere, Dublin has a charm that is hard to resist. The city is known for its warm and welcoming people, who are always happy to share their love for their city and their country. It is a city that is rich in culture and heritage, with a fascinating history that spans over a thousand years. From the medieval castles and cathedrals to the Georgian mansions and stately museums, the city is a treasure trove of historical landmarks and attractions. If you’re a history buff, you’ll love exploring the many historic sites and landmarks that are scattered throughout the city.
Here are 10 things to do in Dublin that you won’t want to miss.
1. Visit the Guinness Storehouse
No trip to Dublin would be complete without a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, the most famous attraction in the city. The Guinness Storehouse is a seven-story building that was once the fermentation plant for the Guinness Brewery. Today, it has been transformed into a world-class visitor experience that allows you to learn about the history, culture, and taste of the iconic Guinness beer.
The tour of the Guinness Storehouse begins on the ground floor, where you will be greeted with the aroma of hops and barley as you start your journey through the brewing process. You’ll learn about the ingredients that go into making Guinness, the water that’s used in the brewing process, and the various steps involved in creating the perfect pint of Guinness.
As you make your way through the seven floors of the building, you’ll learn about the history of the Guinness family and the evolution of the brand over the years. You’ll get to see vintage advertisements, old brewing equipment, and a collection of artifacts and memorabilia that tell the story of Guinness and its impact on Irish culture.
One of the highlights of the tour is the Gravity Bar, which is located on the top floor of the building. This glass-walled bar offers stunning views of the city and is the perfect place to enjoy a pint of Guinness while taking in the sights. You’ll also learn how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness, a skill that takes years to master, but one that you can try your hand at during the tour.
Overall, a visit to the Guinness Storehouse is a must-do for anyone who loves beer, history, or Irish culture. It’s an experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for this iconic brand and the role it has played in shaping the city of Dublin.
2. Explore Trinity College
Trinity College is a historic and prestigious university located in the heart of Dublin, making it a must-see attraction for visitors to the city. Established in 1592, Trinity College is not only the oldest university in Ireland but one of the oldest in Europe. Its beautiful architecture, manicured grounds, and rich history make it a fascinating place to explore.
One of the main attractions at Trinity College is the Old Library, which is home to the famous Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is a stunning illuminated manuscript that was created by Irish monks over a thousand years ago. It is one of the most important medieval manuscripts in the world and a testament to Ireland’s rich cultural heritage. The exhibit takes visitors on a journey through the history of the book and the techniques used to create its intricate designs and vivid colors.
In addition to the Book of Kells, the Old Library is also home to a vast collection of rare and ancient manuscripts, including works by Shakespeare, Newton, and Darwin. The Long Room, a magnificent chamber that stretches 65 meters in length, is a highlight of the Old Library. With its vaulted ceiling, wooden shelves, and antique books, it’s a sight to behold and a must-see for any book lover.
But Trinity College has much more to offer than just its library. The campus itself is a stunning example of Georgian architecture, with beautiful courtyards, manicured lawns, and historic buildings. The campanile, a tall bell tower located in the center of the campus, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city.
Trinity College is also home to a number of museums and galleries, including the Science Gallery, which hosts a range of interactive exhibits on science and technology, and the Douglas Hyde Gallery, which features contemporary art exhibitions. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants on campus, making it a great place to relax and take in the atmosphere.
Overall, Trinity College is a must-visit attraction in Dublin, with its rich history, stunning architecture, and world-class exhibits. Whether you’re a history buff, a book lover, or simply looking for a beautiful place to explore, Trinity College is sure to impress.
3. Visit Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle is a historic fortress located in the center of the city, and one of Dublin’s most iconic landmarks. The castle dates back to the 13th century when it was originally built as a military fortress, and it has played a significant role in Irish history ever since. Today, it is home to a fascinating museum and beautiful gardens that are well worth a visit.
The museum at Dublin Castle showcases the castle’s rich history, from its medieval origins to its role in the modern Irish state. Exhibits include archaeological artifacts, historic documents, and art that tells the story of the castle and its importance to the people of Ireland. One of the highlights of the museum is the State Apartments, a series of grand rooms that were used by the British monarchy when they ruled Ireland. These opulent rooms are decorated with stunning works of art, tapestries, and antique furniture, and offer a glimpse into the lavish lifestyles of the ruling classes of the time.
The castle’s gardens are another highlight of a visit to Dublin Castle. The gardens are situated on the site of the castle’s original courtyard and feature a variety of plants and flowers, as well as ornamental fountains and statues. The gardens are a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city and a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to relax and take in the views.
In addition to the museum and gardens, the castle also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, exhibitions, and cultural festivals. These events provide a great opportunity to experience Irish culture and learn more about the country’s history and heritage.
Overall, a visit to Dublin Castle is a must-do for anyone interested in Irish history and culture. The castle’s fascinating museum, stunning gardens, and ongoing events make it a great place to explore and learn more about this beautiful city and its people.
4. Go on a Viking Adventure
If you’re looking for a unique and exciting way to explore Dublin’s history, a Viking Adventure tour is a great option. Led by knowledgeable guides dressed in authentic Viking garb, this interactive tour takes you on a journey back in time to the days when the Vikings ruled Dublin. You’ll visit historic sites such as Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and learn about the city’s Viking past through engaging storytelling and demonstrations of Viking weapons and tools. The tour is suitable for all ages and is a great way to experience Dublin’s history in a fun and memorable way. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a unique adventure, the Viking Adventure tour is not to be missed.
5. Enjoy a pint at the Brazen Head
If you’re looking for an authentic Dublin experience, a visit to the Brazen Head pub is a must. Dating back to the 12th century, this is the oldest pub in Dublin and has a rich history as a meeting place for locals, artists, and writers. The pub’s cozy interior features exposed brick walls, wooden beams, and an open fireplace, giving it a warm and inviting atmosphere. And it’s not just the atmosphere that draws visitors - the Brazen Head also serves up some of the best traditional Irish fare and drinks in the city.
One of the most popular things to do at the Brazen Head is to enjoy a pint of Guinness or a whiskey while taking in the pub’s lively atmosphere. With live music, storytelling, and comedy shows taking place throughout the week, there’s always something happening at the Brazen Head. The pub has also been a favorite haunt of famous Irish writers such as James Joyce and Brendan Behan, adding to its cultural significance. A visit to the Brazen Head is a great way to immerse yourself in Dublin’s history and culture, while enjoying great food, drinks, and entertainment.
6. Check out the Ha’penny Bridge
The Ha’penny Bridge, also known as the Liffey Bridge, is a beautiful and historic bridge in the heart of Dublin. Built in 1816, it was the first pedestrian bridge to cross the River Liffey and quickly became a symbol of the city. Today, the bridge is still used by locals and tourists alike and offers stunning views of the river and the city. It’s especially beautiful at night when it’s lit up with thousands of lights. Take a stroll across the Ha’penny Bridge, and you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time to old Dublin.
7. Take a tour of Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Irish history. This former prison, which was in operation from 1796 until 1924, played a significant role in the Irish struggle for independence. Many famous Irish revolutionaries, including Robert Emmet and Padraig Pearse, were held and executed at Kilmainham Gaol. Today, the prison has been transformed into a museum, and visitors can take guided tours to learn about the harsh conditions and political history of the prison. The tour includes a visit to the cells, where you can see the conditions in which the prisoners were held, as well as the restored chapel and the stone-breaker’s yard where the executions took place. A visit to Kilmainham Gaol offers a sobering reminder of Ireland’s tumultuous past and the sacrifices made by those who fought for Irish independence.
8. Take a dip in the Forty Foot
The Forty Foot is a unique and exhilarating spot to visit in Dublin. This natural swimming hole, located in Sandycove, is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. The water can be quite cold, but many brave souls take a dip regardless, especially during the summer months. The area around the Forty Foot is also lovely for a scenic walk, with stunning views of the Irish Sea and the surrounding cliffs. In addition, the Forty Foot has a rich history and has been used for swimming and diving for over 250 years. It was originally a male-only swimming spot, but today, people of all genders are welcome to take the plunge.
9. Explore the Dublin Flea Market
The Dublin Flea Market is a vibrant and eclectic gathering of independent traders, artists, and craftspeople. Held every Saturday in the trendy Stoneybatter neighborhood, the market is a great place to find unique souvenirs, vintage clothing, and handmade crafts. In addition to the shopping, visitors can enjoy live music, delicious street food, and a friendly, community atmosphere. It’s a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning in Dublin and experience the city’s creative spirit.
10. Walk the Howth Cliff Path
The Howth Cliff Path is a picturesque hiking trail located just outside of Dublin. The path takes you along the cliffs of Howth, offering breathtaking views of the sea and the city. The trail is suitable for all levels of fitness, and there are various starting points depending on how long a walk you would like. Along the way, you can stop at the historic Howth Castle, explore the fishing village of Howth, and even try some fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants. The path is a must-visit for any nature lover or outdoor enthusiast visiting Dublin.
Dublin is a city full of life, culture, and history. With so many things to do and see, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich heritage, enjoying its vibrant nightlife, or immersing yourself in its art and culture, Dublin has it all. So if you’re planning a trip to Ireland, make sure to add Dublin to your itinerary.
The city of Dublin has so much to offer visitors, from its historic landmarks and cultural attractions to its stunning natural scenery and vibrant nightlife. Whether you’re traveling solo, with family, or with friends, there’s always something to see and do in Dublin. So pack your bags, book your flights, and get ready for an adventure in this beautiful and charming city.