It is the gateway to Ireland for many looking to make the trip to the Emerald Isle. Whether it’s the starting point for a bigger road trip around the country or a weekend break I hope the following things to do in Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath) can help you to explore the city and most of all enjoy it as much as I have.
The below of course isn’t a complete list, nor is it to be considered gospel. It’s just a sample of the best bits of Dublin that I’ve been able to enjoy while calling the city home for three months. If you have suggestions on other items people should see then please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear it.
Exploring a city is hungry work and Dublin is not short of places to enjoy a meal. Having spent three months in and out of the city I’ve had the chance to try a few different places that should cater to all tastes.
- Elephant & Castle – Located in Temple Bar these guys offer up amazing burgers and chicken wings that are to die for. All meals are priced around the 10-15 euro mark and are well worth the price.
- Brother Hubbard – A small independent cafe on Capel street, this place is perfect for a late breakfast or to grab a coffee with friends. With a focus on fresh food and attention to details it’s a great out-of-the-way cafe to relax in.
- Market Bar – This tapas style bar can be found on Fade street and is a perfect spot to bring all your friends to enjoy a drink and a meal. The entrance might be small but the dining area is huge and offers up some great dishes.
- Iskanders – It would be remiss of me not to mention the meal of all meals in a city that enjoys a drink or two. The kebabs here are a worthy investment for anybody on the drink and while you may never remember how good it tasted your hangover the next day will thank you if you enjoy one.
Given this is Ireland I should have mentioned this first, but it’s always best to eat before you drink I’ve learnt. There are many pubs in Dublin to enjoy a pint in and I’ve written about some of my favourite Dublin pubs already. But even that is only scratching the surface on places to go.
The more import thing to know is that drinking in Temple Bar will be very bad for your wallet. By exploring outside of this tourist hotspot you’ll get the best bank for your buck and get to experience venues that are high on quality and low on tackiness.
Like all good European cities there is an abundance of things to see in Dublin that will only cost you time and some sore feet. The first stop should be O’Connell Street in the heart of the city where you can take in some window shopping at the various malls while passing the Spire (you know the big pointing thing) and walking through the historic GPO.
Across the river Liffey is where you will find Temple Bar. While much of the establishments here charge at tourist prices and cater to those looking to party it’s a sight you have to experience while in Dublin. And since you are here you might as well stop for a pint at the famous Temple bar itself, it would be wrong not to indulge your tourist side just a bit.
Stepping away from the river you’ll discover St Stephens Green, Dublin Castle, Dubhlinn Gardens and Chester Beatty Library to name just a few. Walking the streets south of the river is an experience in itself as you zig zag around trying not to get lost. Oh and be sure to wander up Grafton Street to enjoy the many buskers that work their trade as well, many of them are quite good.
For those of you willing to really stretch your legs then you can venture up to Phoenix Park and seek out the wild deer that call it home while spanning a photo out the home of the President of Ireland and stopping off at the Zoo if you have the time. And for those of you interested in street art make your way down to Grand Canal Dock for a sample of what can be found around the city.
Not everything is free in Dublin though, so here is my selection of things to do in Dublin that are worth your time and money. To make your money last in Dublin when visiting attractions I’d also look into getting a Dublin Pass. It offers free entry to a whole list of attractions and helps to keep the cost down. Single day passes starts at 35 euros so if you plan your day right, you can easily get your moneys worth.
- New Europe Free Walking Tour – Starting next to City Hall at 11AM and 1PM every day free walking tours are a great way to get to know about a city. You learn about its history, orientate yourself and make a few new friends for the day.
- Guinness Storehouse – It might be overly touristy but it’s a bit of a Dublin tradition so worth a visit if you are a fan of the black stuff and willing to part with 16.50 euros. While there learn to pour a Guinness and take in the view of Dublin from the popular gravity bar.
- Kilmainham Gaol – Entry is only by guided tour and cost to enter is 6 euros. Tours run every 20 minutes and last for about one hour leading you all over the jail as you soak up the history of the place.
- Trinity College Library and Book of Kels – Entry is 9 euros but for 10 euros you can take a 30 minute tour of the college as well as the library and book of Kels. The library is the standout item to see and really is worth the entry fee in my opinion. And if you are a star wars fan then the library will hold even more significance as it was the inspiration for the jedi archives in episode II.
- Chester Beatty Library – Is a free museum that holds an amazing archive of items collected by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty. If you only visit one museum while in Dublin then make sure this is the one.
Do you have a suggestion on other things to do in Dublin that you feel were worth your time? Then leave it in the comments below for all to see.
Oh Dublin! what I would give to go back to Ireland and certainly make Dublin amongst one of my stop offs! That Guinness factory will one day be conquered! Loving these Ireland posts! so jealous!
Thanks Rebecca, it’s been a great experience being here and can’t believe its taken me this long to do it as well. Certainly making the most of my time as this is my last week here. Time to get out and enjoy all of Dublin I think.
Thank you for the free walking tour recommendation! I am going to Dublin in November and this will be very helpful!
Bookmarking this for sure! Making the move in about a month now… I would add shopping to the list 😉 But of course this isn’t on most traveller’s itineraries hahaha. x
Good luck with the move Jacquie. It’s a great place to be and having spent three months here now it will be a little sad to leave.
Guinness. Nuff said. Oh, and drink Kilkenny!!
GOD I miss Dublin…
There has been quite some Guinness consumed here in Dublin but I’ll have to admit to never seeing Kilkenny anywhere.
Dublin!! We have been reading articles about Europe and ofcourse 200% Dublin is in our bucket list. Definitely excited to drink, see, eat, etc. Thanks for the insights about Dublin.
There is also a free Vikings walking tour of the Viking district. And you can get discount entry to see the Book of Kells an hour before closing time.
Great post! I am heading to Dublin in December and can’t wait to check out the Guinness Storehouse!
Thanks Samantha, Dublin will be cold in December but hey maybe you’ll get lucky with some snow. That always makes things look and feel better.
My lady and I are going to Dublin for our honeymoon in Nov and after reading your posts on Where To Go and the Best Pubs, I’m starting to feel a bit less intimidated and a bit more savvy on what to avoid. Thanks for the words of wisdom and insight.
Jameson, no problem at all. Dublin and Ireland for that matter is a great place to go and if you ever need a hand there will be plenty of folk around to help you out.
Good list. I’m glad you pointed out the fact that Temple Bar is crazy expensive. It seems to be the go to place for tourists when they really should stay away from it.
Thanks for the post – you’ve given me some things to add to my list during my next visit.
Hi Jennifer, always happy to add to someones travel todo list 🙂
the Brazen Head! Oldest pub in Ireland and the food was very good! Def a must! We also did a quick crypt tour at St Michans church. Was only about €7 for a 30 min tour to the crypts below the church. Just for kicks we did the Leprachaun museum. Cute if you have kids…we didn’t but had fun anyways 🙂 loved Ireland and want to go back!
Sounds like you had a great time in Ireland Lisa. I never made it to the Brazen Head but really enjoyed the 3 months I spent there. Great country.