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35 Essential things to see and do in Dublin

If you don't know Ireland yet, you will definitely come back with a broken heart. I assure you that a little piece of you will stay in Ireland, or a little piece of Ireland will go with you. It is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe. Here do not expect to find great museums, crowded cities, monuments... here you will find landscapes from movies, culture, history, traditions and legends, many legends. Legends that will make you believe in fairies and elves.

Dublin, its capital, is a relatively small city, but with many things to see and do. The ideal is to dedicate 2 to 4 days. In this post I talk about the 35 essential things to see and do in Dublin, I add a list of interesting excursions and some tips on accommodation.

Let's start!

things to see and do in Dublin


1. Visit Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle is a fortress of Viking origin that dates back to the 17th century and is one of the most important places to see in Dublin. It is located in the heart of the city, on Dame Street. Today the castle is home to the City's Interactive History Museum, although until a few years ago it had been used as an Irish royal residence, as civil service offices and was also home to the Irish Court of Justice.

2. The Chester Beatty Library

The Chester Beatty Library was founded in 1950. The library itself is impressive, here a reading geek who never misses a library, I think the one in Dublin is impressive. It is located in Dublin Castle. The library's collections are exhibited in two collections: Sacred Traditions and Artistic Traditions. There is an immense variety of books, manuscripts, texts, miniature paintings...

things to see and do in Dublin

3. Take a free tour in Dublin

You have the opportunity to get to know the city with some of its free tours. There are several options and each one offers a different itinerary and history. I leave you here the links of the free tours so you can choose the one you like the most:

4. Visit Trinity College

In the heart of Dublin you will find one of the most essential places to see in the city, the old University of Ireland. Trinity College was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 and great writers such as Oscar Wilde, Samuel Bekett and George Bernard Shaw have passed through here. Its library is impressive, among the more than 200 thousand manuscripts found in the library, the Book of Kells is one of the most popular to see. It is a manuscript of the Gospels with Celtic motifs dating from the 9th century.

5. Visit St. Patrick's Cathedral

This Cathedral was built right next to the well where Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, baptized converts during the 5th century. At first it was a simple wooden temple and later this incredible building with a Victorian façade and an interior of Gothic style. Inside is one of the largest organs in Ireland and portraits of illustrious Dubliners such as Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels.

6. Take a guided tour of the Guinness Storehouse

If you are a beer lover you will like to visit the Guinness Storehouse. During the visit you will take a tour of the factory where the beer of this brand was fermented until 1988. You will be able to discover how it is made, who Arthur Guinness was, see old advertising posters and learn many curiosities about this drink.

It is a very pleasant visit that you can also do with a guide in Spanish.

7. Visit the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

Known as Christ Church, this is one of the oldest and most important churches in Dublin. It dates back to the 11th century, when a Viking king had a small wooden temple built. Over time the building became Gothic Revival with the largest crypt in Ireland.

8. Fall in love with temple bar

This charming neighborhood of Dublin is the perfect place to get lost in its cobbled streets, enjoy the Irish night and it is also a very good area to stay in Dublin. In the neighborhood you will also find interesting places to visit such as the Irish Film Institute. The most representative image of the neighborhood is the temple bar, a pub with a red facade that dates back to 1840.

9. Phoenix Park and Dublin Zoo

The Phoenix park is a huge park of just over 700 hectares. It is the largest closed urban park in Europe. In it, is the zoo, one of the oldest in the world. As well as the Áras an Uachtaráin residence, where the president of Ireland lives, and there is even a herd of deer, which were introduced in the 17th century and currently roam freely in the park. It is one of the most beautiful and quiet places to see in Dublin.

Recommendations to save money in Dublin

If you are going to be visiting different places in the city and want to get to know them from the inside, the ideal is to hire the Dublin Pass tourist card. You can visit Guinness Storehouse, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Malahide Castle, St. Patrick's Cathedral... among many more places. You have more than 30 attractions included with the Dublin Pass.

Buy the Dublin Pass from here

10. Visit Kilmainham Gaol Prison

This former prison is located southeast of Phoenix Park, very close to the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Currently, the building is a museum. The jail opened in the late 18th century and goes hand in hand with many moments in Irish history. Many of the leaders and participants in the fight for Irish Independence were imprisoned and executed here.

11. Stroll down O'Connell Street

O’Connell Street is a lively downtown area for walking and shopping. It starts at O'Connell Bridge, over the River Liffey, and runs to Parnell Street. Along the street there are several monuments such as The Spire (the spiral), a stainless steel needle that is 120 meters high, the statue of Daniel O'Connell, a nationalist leader of the 19th century, and the Central Office building Post Office, a historic place as it is where the Republic of Ireland was proclaimed.

12. Docklands, an essential place to see in Dublin

Here are the old Dublin shipyards. Formerly it was already a shopping center in the Viking Age and today, it continues with the same function, although much more modern and futuristic. Here there is a large shopping center with shops, restaurants, walking areas... It is also an area where you can paddle surf or kayak.

things to see and do in Dublin

13. Stroll through St Stephen's Green Park

St Stephen's Green Park has 9 hectares and is another of the green areas in the center of Dublin. You'll be able to wander among towering trees, statues of famous Dubliners and Victorian-style gardens. There is a beautiful lake full of swans and ducks.

14. Visit the National Museum of Ireland

If you like to know the history of the places you visit, you cannot miss the National Museum of Ireland. The museum complex is made up of different museums; the Museum of History and Decorative Arts, the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Archeology and the Museum of Rural Life (all located in different places). If you do not have time to visit them all, the National Museum of Ireland is one of the most important, it is located in an impressive building both inside and out.

15. George's Street Arcade Market

George's Street Arcade is a covered market with a gorgeous red brick facade. It is a building that dates back to the end of the 19th century with a Victorian style. It is located in the heart of Dublin, less than 5 minutes walk from Temple bar. There are more than 40 stalls where you can buy vintage fashion, jewelry, souvenirs... it also has food stalls, restaurants, bars...

16. Find the statue of Molly Malone

The song “Cockles and Mussels” means “cockles and mussels”. It is an unofficial anthem of Ireland. It comes from the character of Molly Malone, a woman who was dedicated to selling fish and prostitution, and who died in one of the many cholera outbreaks that Dublin suffered. Today, on Suffolk Street, you will find the statue of Molly Malone.

17. Cross Ha'penny Bridge

The River Liffey is crossed by 15 bridges. From any of them you will have beautiful views of the city. This one in particular, the Ha'penny Bridge was the first pedestrian bridge and the first made with cast iron. This bridge connects Temple Bar with Dublin's North Bank. Its name comes from the toll charged for crossing it, which cost half a penny.

18. Take a boat tour of Dublin

A good option to see all of Dublin's bridges and see the city from another point of view is to take a boat trip along the River Liffey. During the journey, a guide (in English) will explain the history of the city.

things to see and do in Dublin

19. Merrion Square Park

This beautiful park is located in the neighborhood of the same name and is surrounded by Gregorian mansions. In the beginning it was a private park for the neighbors, among which Oscar Wilde stands out, of which there is a monument in the same park. At the north end of the park you will find the writer's house. Under this park an air-raid shelter was built for more than a thousand people.

20. Visit the National Gallery

Another interesting museum to visit in Dublin, especially if you like art, is the National Gallery. In it, paintings by Monet, Turner, Picasso, Rembrandt... In addition, there is a prestigious exhibition of Irish painting with renowned artists such as Jack Butler Yeats. There are more than 12 thousand works ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Admission is free.

21. Grafton Street

Dublin is a city full of art and street music is part of the charm of the city. On Grafton Street you will find dozens of musicians playing. It is a central street, between Trinity College and St Stephens Green.

22. Glasnevin Cemetery

This cemetery is more of a Victorian garden where more than 1.5 million people have been buried. Touring Glasnevin Cemetery is a curious way to learn about Irish history. There is a museum and guided tours are offered. The O'Connell Tower, is the tomb of Daniel O'Connell, it is the tallest tower in Ireland and from the top there are incredible views of the city.

23. The Botanical Gardens

I am a big fan of natural spaces, plants... my house is a clear example of that. Therefore, if I travel in the spring or summer season, I never miss a botanical garden. Dublin Botanic Garden is amazing, with over 15 thousand species of plants, 300 of them endangered and 6 of them no longer seen in the “free” nature so to speak. The greenhouses are incredible, the Great Palm House has a beautiful Victorian style.

24. Aviva Stadium and Croke Park

Croke Park is the third largest stadium in Europe. Gaelic games are played here, consisting of football and hurling. There is also a viewpoint and a museum. In the Docklands area is the Aviva Stadium where football and rugby matches are held, of the Irish national teams, as well as concerts and conferences.

25. The Irish Literature Museum

Ireland is a place of writers, stories and legends. The Moli, is a museum about Irish literature. In it, you can learn more about Ireland's literary heritage, from the narrative traditions of the Middle Ages to its great contemporary writers.

26. The Irish Whiskey Museum

Whiskey is one of the typical products of Ireland. It's an alcoholic drink (which I'm sure you know hehe) and if you like it you can visit the Whiskey museum in Dublin. It is located on Grafton Street. During the visit you will take an interactive tour to learn about its manufacture, curiosities...

27. Visit the old Jameson Distillery

If you have been left wanting more, after visiting the whiskey museum, you can visit the old Jameson distillery where you can also do a drink tasting. This distillery was founded in 1780 and this Irish whiskey was manufactured there for about 200 years. In. The visit will take whiskey from the barrel in the maturation warehouse, they will teach you how to prepare your own cocktail with whiskey...

things to see and do in Dublin

28. Find the Hunger Sculptures

These bronze sculptures were built in the year 1997. They represent the lives of those who had to flee Ireland to escape famine and disease. The sculptures are located right next to the Custom House Pier.

29. Saint Audoen's Gate

Dublin in ancient times was a walled city. The great wall and its gates were built in the year 1240 by Norman settlers. For centuries, the fortifications defended the city from invading clans and foreigners.

When the need for protection diminished, no further maintenance was done on the wall, until it eventually fell off due to poor condition. Finally, parts of the wall were torn down. Only one of the city's historic gates exists today. Behind one side of the church, you will find a small section of the wall that remains, the Gate of Saint Audoen that leads to a narrow alley. This gate was restored in 1976.

30. Visit Howth and Malahide Castle

The Castle was built 700 years ago. Howth is a beautiful little fishing village and you can visit Malahide Castle there.

Already in the 9th century the Nordic Vikings inhabited this place and today, it is a coastal town full of restaurants, craft shops, vintage items...

Malahide Castle is the most essential place to see in the town. It dates from the 11th century and its last restoration was in the Gregorian era. You can visit the interior and you will learn a little more about the history of the place and about the family that inhabited the castle for eight centuries.

things to see and do in Dublin

31. Visit St. Michael Church

This church is popular for its crypt dating from the 17th to 19th centuries. It is full of mummies. A narrow, dark staircase will take you to the basement, where you will find 5 vaults. The mummies of the rebellious Sheares brothers stand out, executed in 1798. Also the mummy of a nun and a strange mummy with only one hand. However, the most outstanding is an 800-year-old mummified person who is more than two meters tall. To be able to visit it you must hire a guided tour that costs around 8 euros.

32. Cross the Samuel Becket Bridge

The design of the Samuel Becket Bridge leaves no one indifferent. It is a modern bridge, built in 2009 and designed by Santiago Clatrava. The bridge recreates the shape of the Irish harp with the cables that hold it.

33. The hungry tree of King's Inns, something mystical to see in Dublin

This tree stands at the height of the King's Inns and is a quirky and mystical thing to see in Dublin. It is literally eating an iron bank. If you have time you can take a quiet walk around the area or sit on the bench and take an original photograph.

34. The Little Museum

This small museum is perfect to learn more about the history of the city in the 20th century. It is divided into three floors with more than 5 thousand works on display. Here you'll find items like James Joyce's death mask and a first edition of Ulysses.

35. Take an excursion from Dublin

If you are visiting the city for only a few days and you are not thinking of doing a route around the country, you can spend a day doing one of the excursions that can be done from Dublin. So you can complement your visit with some of the incredible places in Ireland. If you are interested, in the post the best excursions to do from Dublin I tell you about how to visit the Cliffs of Moher, visit Cork or even how to visit Northern Ireland.

Here are some of the best excursions to do from Dublin:



I hope you enjoy your trip to Ireland very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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