Planning a trip to Dublin?
Dublin boasts attractions by the bucket loads which means even on a full week you’ll find it hard-pressed to see and do everything Dublin has to offer. If you’re only planning a few days in the capital of Ireland you’ll definitely want to make sure not to miss doing the following things:
Take a tour of the old Gaol
The old Kilmainham Gaol is unarguably one of the star attractions in Dublin, and as a history buff taking a tour of this former prison it will be no doubt one of the best things you’ll do in Dublin.
The guided tour offered at the old Kilmainham Gaol really gives you a fascinating (yet sobering) insight into Irish history and Irish freedom fighters. You also get to wander through various parts of the prison and see the cells where former Irish political leaders were imprisoned.
Enjoy a traditional Irish evening out
When visiting Dublin you certainly cannot miss experiencing a night out at a local pub to soak in traditional Irish music. Dublin is naturally the pub capital of Ireland and home to great pubs such as the Merry Ploughboy Pub and The Irish House Party. However, the best place in the heart of Dublin where you can go for a fun evening out is at “Brazen Head” at 20 Bridge Street.
Brazen Head is the oldest pub in Dublin and the pub certainly does a great job at keeping alive old Irish traditions such as the storytelling of leprechauns and fairies. All of this, of course, while enjoying a traditional Irish dinner and live music.
Take a walk along Temple Bar
Temple Bar is Dublin’s oldest quarter and the bustling cultural heart of Dublin. Temple Bar is home to charming shops, restaurants, old pubs, theaters, street buskers and interesting tourist sights such as the National Photographic Archive, the Irish Film Institute and Meetinghouse Square where free movies are shown during the summer time.
You can easily explore Temple Bar on foot in 2-3 hours, which will be more than enough time to soak in the jubious atmosphere the area is known for. During your walk, be sure to stop by the Temple Bar or the Oliver St John Gogarty Pub to sample a lovely pint of Irish cider and a traditional Irish meal!
Catch a game at Croke Park Stadium
Croke Park is the main entertainment arena in Dublin and it’s one of the best places in Europe to catch a game of soccer or rugby. However, there's another reason to visit Croke Park and that is to visit the GAA Museum, which is located under the Cusack Stand. The GAA Museum offers another great opportunity to learn about Irish history and traditional sports such as camogie (women’s hurling) and Gaelic football.
Also, while in Croke Park Stadium you shouldn't pass the opportunity to see the trophies and learn about GAA legends by joining a free guided tour of the stadium between 11am and 3pm.
See the Book of Kells
The Book of Kells is located at the library of Trinity College and it’s without a doubt, one of the things you must do in Dublin Ireland.
The Book of Kells is Ireland’s most treasured artifact and it’s truly one of the world’s greatest pieces of human craft ever produced. Words cannot really describe the impressiveness of this Celtic gospel manuscript, so don't pass the opportunity to see it your own eyes!
Book a Dublin sightseeing tour
On your itinerary of Dublin, you definitely have to make time for a bus tour, river cruise and walking tour. The Dublin Bus tour costs around €18 and it’s a great way to see other tourist attractions in Dublin such as the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Zoo, Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Old Jameson Distillery, and the Government Buildings on Merrion Street.
A walking tour is also something else worth doing because you’ll get to visit hidden gems such as Marsh's Library (first library in Dublin) and Bewley’s (Dublin’s oldest cafe) that you would normally miss on a bus tour. On a river cruise (~ €14pp) along the River Liffey you get to ride through the heart of Dublin and take in Dublin’s landmarks from the comfort of a boat.
Take a half-day trip from Dublin
Train travel is a fantastic way to discover Ireland and if you’re looking for stuff to do within the vicinity of Dublin, you should definitely take a train tour on the Wicklow Mountaineer.
The Wicklow Mountaineer train runs through the beautiful countryside of Wicklow County (a.k.a. Garden of Ireland) and Wicklow Mountains and offers great views of castles and the ocean along the way.
The “Wicklow Mountaineer tour” costs around €40 and consists of the train ride from Dublin to Arklow and a coach tour of the area that includes visits to Avoca (a.ka. Ballykissangel) and Glendalough, which is home to a beautiful well preserved medieval settlement.
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