The emerald green dotting the streets of the city, the Irish music coming from the pubs, the omnipresence of Guinness beer, the welcoming smile of its inhabitants... Irish culture is breathed in every corner of Dublin. Here are the main recommendations to live the city to the fullest.
1. Take a guided tour of the mysteries of the city
Few cities have as many legends and mysteries as Ireland. Therefore, although there are many types of guided tours of Dublin, I recommend you to take the tour of dark Dublin, which was the one that I personally found most original.
While you walk through the streets of downtown an expert local guide tells you stories of murders, beheadings and ghosts so elaborate that you will even feel respect to continue walking around the city.
This type of tour takes place at dusk and is not usually suitable for younger children, but there are many other options that follow the same pattern: a group walking tour lasting 2 to 3 hours in which a guide shows you the main monuments and points of interest of Dublin while talking about the history, culture and customs of the city.
- Dublin Castle
- Temple Bar
- Smithfield Square
- The Olympia Theater
- The statue of Molly Mallone
- Christ Church Cathedral
- St. Patrick's Cathedral
- Jameson Distillery
- Trinity College
In case you are traveling with kids, you can't miss this list of things to see and do in Dublin with kids.
2. Discover the surrounding countryside
If walking around the city is already a privilege for nature lovers due to the many green spaces in Dublin, taking one of the tours around Dublin is an experience not to be missed during a visit to Ireland.
You have many places to choose from and most of them are accessible with an organized day trip. The most popular are: the route through the natural scenery where the Game of Thrones series was filmed, the visit to the Cliffs of Moher or the visit to Malahide Castle and gardens. The natural landscapes are the main attraction of Ireland and these tours are a good proof of that.
All of them can be booked online and include, in addition to transportation, the services of a specialized guide that highlights the historical and cultural importance of the destination. Do not hesitate and ask for all the information and recommendations you need.
Other places to see near Dublin
Ireland has incredible destinations besides Dublin that you can not miss, so I leave you this list of post where you can find out how to get to each of them from the Irish capital:
- How to go to Wicklow from Dublin
- Giant's Causeway from Dublin
- What to see in Howth on an excursion from Dublin
- How to get from Dublin to Belfast
- How to get from Dublin to Cork
- How to get from Dublin to Galway
3. Visit the Guinness Brewery
Given that Guinness beer is part of **Ireland'**s national heritage, it is not surprising that a visit to this brewery is one of the most popular activities for visitors to the capital. It's an experience for all audiences that will be enjoyed by beer lovers and museum lovers alike. Explore this article on how to visit the Guinness Bre wery to learn all the details.
The Guinness brewery consists of seven floors, is set up as a museum and the visit is designed in a very entertaining way. Not only will you learn facts about the history of beer, the reason for its importance in Ireland or the types that exist; you will also learn to throw a beer and you can taste a Guinness (or a soft drink for children) in the Gravity bar on the top floor, from where you can see the best views of the city.
The schedule is from 9:30 am to 19 pm (until 20 in winter) and I recommend that you buy the ticket online to avoid queues on arrival.
4. Tour the city on the sightseeing bus
Using the tourist bus in any European city is a quick and convenient way to visit all the monuments and points of interest of the city without having to spend several days and without having to walk. The tourist bus in Dublin has another advantage and that is that you can shelter from the rain without having to give up panoramic views of the city.
The service works the same as anywhere else: you buy a pass for 24 or 48 hours and during that time you can access unlimited tourist buses in the city whether you want to do the full route or if you want to use them as a means of transport to move between monuments and museums.
All tourist buses have audio commentary in several languages that will allow you to learn interesting facts about the city during your visit. In addition, buying a pass for the Dublin sightseeing bus with free stops you will also have a number of discounts and benefits in certain parts of the city.
5. Take a pub crawl around the city
It is quite difficult to leave Dublin without visiting some of its pubs; there is one on every corner and the atmosphere in them is unbeatable. Inside, locals and locals of all ages mingle to enjoy Irish music and beer and, of all the things you can do in Dublin, joining them is the most authentic experience you can have during your trip.
These pubs are so popular that there are even guided tours in which a local shows you some of the most legendary ones like Temple Bar. The real value of these tours is sharing time with a local, chatting and asking questions, but don't worry because Dubliners will be just as welcoming if you visit the pubs on your own. The important thing is that you don't miss out on getting to know the root of the city's social life.
6. Visit Trinity College
You've probably heard about this building in movies or books. Good news: it's in Dublin and it's open to the public. It is the oldest university in Ireland and was founded by Elizabeth I in 1592. The building itself and its gardens are a marvel, but the real gem is its splendid library.
You can visit the place every day from 9:00 to 17:00 and follow in the footsteps of some of its most famous students such as Oscar Wilde or Samuel Becket. I insist on the need to see the Old Library with more than 200,000 books, including the "Book of Kells" containing the 4 gospels of the New Testament.
7. Travel back in time from Dublin Castle
In the heart of Dublin you will find one of the most charming castles in the city. Today it is used for conferences and official receptions. Although a visit to the interior is a must, seeing the building from the outside is a must on any tour of central Dublin.
If you buy the Dublin Pass, you can enter for free and if you take the tour focused on the dark legends of the city stay tuned for the bloody stories that the guide will tell you when you arrive at its doors.
8. Visit St. Patrick's Cathedral
The largest church in the country is dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland and its Gothic architecture and ornate interiors are well worth a visit. It is located in the center of Dublin and is one of the most important points of interest in the city.
In the place where the cathedral stands today, formerly (so legend has it) there was a well in which St. Patrick baptized the pagans of the city to convert them to Christianity. Literature lovers will find inside the tomb of Johnathan Swift, the creator of "Gulliver's Travels".
9. Stroll through St Stephen's Green park
This Dublin park is what El Retiro is to Madrid or Hyde Park is to London: a real tourist attraction in itself. You are lucky that it is not very crowded and you can stroll calmly while you delight in its great variety of flowers.
The best time to visit it is from April to June. Don't miss the pond and the fairytale houses inside. The park is very large so get lost inside without fear to discover its different corners. Your camera is a must.
10. Get culturized in the National Gallery of Ireland
With free admission, the National Gallery of Ireland houses the works of painters such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Monet and Picasso. It is located in the center of Dublin and contains a collection of works ranging from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century.
In addition to enjoying the permanent collection, it is worth taking a look at the temporary exhibitions held periodically, all perfectly organized to make the visitor experience more than satisfactory.
11. Get your Dublin Pass for the best tours
The city tourist cards are certainly a good way to save money (as they allow you to access almost all the main attractions for a fixed price) and above all time, as they allow you to access these attractions without waiting in line at the entrance. In this guide about the Dublin Pass, you can see all the advantages and how to use it.
I leave here this and other tips for traveling to Dublin so you can find out everything before leaving for the Emerald Isle. Enjoy!
When is it best to travel to Dublin and for how long?
It is clear that traveling to Dublin at any time of the year will bring you very good vibes, but if you want to know the best plans depending on the month to help you make the decision I leave you this list of things to do in the most chosen months to know the Irish capital:
- 10 things to see and do in Dublin in January
- 10 things to see and do in Dublin in March
- 10 things to see and do in Dublin in April
- 10 things to see and do in Dublin in May
- 10 things to see and do in Dublin in October
- 10 Things to See & Do in Dublin in November
- 10 things to see and do in Dublin in December
Also by time of year:
- 10 things to see and do in Dublin in winter
- 10 Things to See and Do in Dublin in Summer
- 10 things to see and do in Dublin at Christmas time
Or depending on how much time you have to get to know the city: