There are lots of things for you to do and see while in Dublin, the capital city of Ireland. Dublin is a dynamic city, full of culture and many historical sites.
This beautiful city will blow you away. It contains many famous urban attractions in addition to the beautiful sceneries and local charming streets that are perfect for Instagram-worthy travel photos.
There is something for everyone in Dublin, from families to single travelers. Children can enjoy themselves in nature and large places such as parks and zoos while adults will enjoy the lively city and night entertainment. By the end of your trip, you will have amazing memories to take home.
Below I am sharing some of the best things that you can do while in Dublin, Ireland. Also check this travel guide post that includes a 2-day Dublin itinerary where you can find specific information for a short weekend trip to the city.
Table of Contents
The best things to do in Dublin, Ireland
1. Kilmainham Gaol
The Kilmainham gaol, or jail, was once a prison. Visiting this site will open your eyes about the history and stories of the prisoners who lived and died within its walls. For history lovers, this is the place to be. You can follow the guided tour of about 50 minutes throughout the building. I would definitely recommend taking the tour to learn about its dark past.
This tour will enlighten you about a trying time within the history of Ireland, when the leaders declared Ireland independent from the UK. This is the place where the rebel leaders were locked up. This tour will detail the poor treatment that the inmates within these cells received and what happened before their execution.
2. Little Museum Of Dublin
Here is a great place to find out more about the Irish history. The museum provides plenty of information regarding the many events in Ireland’s past. Objects within this museum are donated by the Irish people. Each artifact, that can vary from musical, political and cultural objects, has its own unique story. If you are interested in Irish heritage this little museum can be very informative and a great opportunity to learn more about the culture of the country.
3. Phoenix Park
Who does not love a picnic in the park? Phoenix Park is the place to go for a walk or to relax. It is about 2 miles to the south of Dublin. A perfect family friendly environment with lots of trees and green spaces. This park is popular with runners too, and Dublin’s annual marathon passes through it.
The official residence of the president of Ireland is in Phoenix Park. The park is also home of the city’s zoo, which is a great attraction for visitors of all ages.
4. The Temple Bar Area
Temple Bar is a fun, lively place in the south bank of the river Liffey, that has established itself as a must-do night –out and entertainment area if you are visiting Dublin. Although there is a bar with the same name the Temple Bar districted is in fact an area full of shops, bars and restaurants all right next to each other. If you want to find out what the Irish ‘craic’ is about, then this is the place to go.
5. The Trinity College Library
This is the largest library within Ireland. An exhibition within this library will offer you the chance to see the Book Of Kells, the world’s most famous and oldest book, dating back to the 9th century. Written on calfskin, this manuscript contains the New Testament and abstract artistic decorations. You can book a tour to the old part of the library where the Book of Kells exhibit is located.
6. The Dublin Castle
For many years, this castle was the headquarters of the British within Ireland. This castle has more than 800 years of Ireland history and memories. You can opt for a self-guided tour all around the castle. The many rooms within the castle and museums such as the Revenue Museum and the Chapel Royal will definitely amuse you. Alternatively, you can opt for a guided tour around the castle.
7. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
The is the largest church in the whole of Ireland. It was founded over 800 years ago in 1191. This architectural masterpiece is rich with Irish culture and history as St. Patrick used a well on this very site to baptize Christians about 1500 years ago. The design of both its exterior and interior is fantastic and a great place to visit if you enjoy beautiful architectural buildings.
8. The Spire Of Dublin
This is the perfect place for you to take a photo while in Dublin. Located on O’Connell Street, the spire rises 120 meters above the ground surface and can be spotted from far away. The monument is made with stainless still with reflects softly the sun rays during daylight time. At night the base and the tip of the spire are lit.
9. The Guinness Storehouse Factory
This is a popular destination for tourists in Ireland and anyone interesting in learning more about the Guinness brand. Situated within St. James’s Gate Brewery, this storehouse contains the largest pint in the world. This is the ideal place to find out more about the brewing history in Ireland.
The seven floors of this factory contain eye-opening information about the entire process of the Guinness brewery production. On the 7th seven you can have a taste of Guinness in the Gravity Bar as you look into the beautiful skies and sceneries across Dublin.
10. The Irish Whiskey Museum
This museum is the place for history on Irish whiskey on a fun and engaging tour! Here you will learn not only about the many types of whiskey, but also experience how to blend whiskey yourself. You get to enjoy the taste of whiskey at the end of the tour as well.
11. The Dublin Zoo
This is a wonderful place to visit and suitable for people of all ages. You can tag along with young kids and enjoy the different variety of animals found within this zoo.
The zoo area is actually quite large so make sure you have enough time to see everything you want and witness the interaction between animals.
12. The National Botanic Gardens
These gardens have a lot of flowers and plants to see and some lovely walking paths. You can spend a whole day roaming and enjoying the serenity of nature. The entry into these gardens is absolutely free. Another great family friendly attraction that you should not miss.
13. The Dublin Mountains
A hike into the Dublin Mountains is a must do to get some of the best views of the city. The mountains range spreads into the neighbor county Wicklow but there are some close to the city and easily accessible by bus or car. This is an ideal place to enjoy with family and friends and also perfect for nature lovers who will definitely enjoy the landscape and views.
14. The Old Jameson Distillery
This was the original location for the production of Jameson whiskey. This production and distillation stopped in the early 1970s.
A guided tour into this distillery will get you informed on the whole whiskey production process. It will cover the history of Jameson whiskey, how refined whiskey was produced and distilled throughout the years. You will also be able to engage in whiskey blending, tasting and whiskey comparison while in this distillery tour. This is a fun, engaging tour for anyone wanting to learn more about Jameson’s whiskey history and production.
In summary Dublin is a city that will captivate and engage you with its many attractions. You are guaranteed to leave this city with many happy memories of your trip.
You will enjoy the cultural, historical and heritage sites of Ireland’s capital. The friendly Irish people will make you feel at home with their warm welcome and the tasty local cuisine and beverages will leave you craving for more. Before you know it you will be booking your next trip!
Guest Author: Thassia is a travel blogger who lives in County Clare, Ireland. She writes about family travel tips and kid-friendly itineraries over at Family off Duty. Her goal is to encourage families to dream big, make happy memories and travel more!