14 Of The Best Things To Do In Dublin

To eat, drink and sightsee throughout Dublin is to admire the Irish’s undying patriotism.

Under gray skies and misty rain; Dublin – the capital city of the Republic of Ireland – is embedded with sordid history, a past full of vigorous fights for independence. Despite arduous memories, it’s easy to fall in love with Dublin. The city percolates immense patriotism, it’s proudly delineated from traditional Irish folk music, delicious pints of beers to its incredibly kind people. Full of wide and friendly smiles. A few days in Dublin starts with welcoming “cheers” from strangers, while concluding with an undeniable desire to go back for more. Here are some of the best things to do in Dublin, so you can also fall in love with a city unabashedly preserving its unique culture. Through ornamental songs and valiant stories.

 

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Dublin Castle

Dame St, Dublin 2, Ireland

One major site conveniently situated in the middle of city center is Dublin Castle on Dame Street, originally built by the dark pool, or “Dubh Linn.” Until 1922, the castle was the seat of the British government’s administration in Ireland. Once Ireland became a Free State, the castle became official grounds for state ceremonies. The tour is well worth a few hours of a profound dive into Ireland’s political history. Visitors can browse through different rooms used for various purposes. For instance, St. Patrick’s Hall – an extravagant room for state departments. And, the Throne Room, built in 1749, where a throne was produced to welcome King George IV’s visit in 1821.

Dublin Castle
Photo by Lisa Fecker on Unsplash

Guinness Storehouse

St. James's Gate, Dublin 8, D08 VF8H, Ireland

If there’s one beer in the world that’s synonymous with Ireland, it surely is Guinness. Unlike other brewery and distillery tours in Dublin, Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate is a mega campus spanning over seven floors and has been visited by 20 millions visitors since 2000. Each floor covers a different aspect of the beer-making process, starting from its base ingredients: water, barley, hops and yeast. Then, other floors cover barrel productions, scientific facts, and marketing ideas behind iconic slogans. The tour ends with a complimentary pint at the building’s rooftop bar, accompanied by a breathtaking 360-degree view of the entire city.

St Patrick’s Cathedral

St Patrick's Close, Dublin, D08 H6X3, Ireland

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin
Photo by KaLisa Veer on Unsplash

Since 70% of the Irish population identify as Catholic in Ireland, a visit to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is an integral part of the Dublin experience. The national cathedral of the Church of Ireland was constructed as a tribute to Ireland’s patron saint and it’s one of few buildings still remaining from the medieval period. 1500 years ago, St Patrick also baptized Christian converts at this very place – now the largest cathedral in all of Ireland. Jonathan Swift – Irish author, poet, essayist – who also write Gulliver’s Travels, was buried at the cathedral.

The Old Library & Book of Kells Experience at Trinity College

Trinity Long Room, The University of Dublin Trinity College, College Green, South-East Inner City, Dublin, Ireland

Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity College, is where travelers can find the Book of Kells – a glistening copy of the four gospels of the New Testament embellished with Latin text and elaborate illustrations. The 9th century manuscript is displayed in the Old Library, which is also home to Brian Boru Harp – Ireland’s national symbol and the country’s oldest surviving harp. The Old Library is currently under a conservation project, but normally, it holds 200,000 books in the Long Room chamber. For book lovers, this would certainly be a sight for sore eyes.

Jameson Distillery Bow St.

Bow St, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 N9VH, Ireland

One of the most informative and best distillery tours in Dublin has to be Jameson Distillery Bow St. From 1780 to 1971, this was the site where the original Jameson Irish Whiskey was produced and distilled. By 1886, the distillery became a world of its own, creating enormous job opportunities for millers, engineers, carpenters, coppersmiths…and more. After the fall from Prohibition era in the U.S., Jameson was one of the last distilleries in Ireland to close its doors in 1971. Today, the tour encompasses an interactive history lesson, and delicious whiskey tasting.

Jameson Distillery, Dublin
PHOTO INSTAGRAM @wendyhung915

Temple Bar

Temple Bar neighborhood

Don’t be fooled by its name, but Temple Bar is, in fact, a neighborhood, and not a bar in downtown Dublin. It includes: Liffey to the north, Dame Street to the south, Westmoreland Street to the east and Fishamble Street to the west. This busy neighborhood is arguably, the most crowded and tourist-happy area in the entire city. Temple Bar is globally defined by colorful houses upon cobblestone streets, souvenir shops, vintage boutiques, traditional Irish restaurants and pubs featuring bands performing live folk music.

Ha’penny Bridge

Bachelors Walk, North City, Dublin, Ireland

If you’re walking around central Dublin all day, you won’t miss Ha’penny Bridge, also an iconic ivory structure over River Liffey. Built in 1816, it’s the first iron bridge in Ireland and Dublin’s oldest pedestrian crossing over River Liffey.

Irish Whiskey Museum

119 Grafton Street, Dublin, D02 E620, Ireland

If you’re ever confused about the difference between Scottish whiskey and Irish whiskey, you can learn all about it at the Irish Whiskey Museum. The visually appealing tour is somewhat theatrical as the guide puts on an animated show that narrates the entire history of whiskey production in Ireland. The tour concludes with a tasting of three different Irish whiskeys, and if you’re hooked, the building also encompasses a private bar where you can opt for more tastings or a lovely Irish coffee.

National Gallery of Ireland

Merrion Square W, Dublin 2, D02 K303, Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland displays massive collections of both Irish and European art. Situated on Merrion Square, the wide array of masterpieces extend from 1300 to the present day, including works by: Picasso, Monet, Velázquez, Vermeer, Caravaggio, Alice Neel, Jack B. Yeats…and many more. The museum is open every day of the week, offering free entrance, with free guided tours on weekends.

Powerscourt Townhouse Centre

59 William St S, Centre, Dublin 2, D02 HF95, Ireland

A delightful stop for shopping and eating is at the Powerscourt House Centre which is located at the former Dublin townhouse of Viscount Powerscourt from the 18th century, originally constructed for the member of the Irish House of Lords. The building showcases Palladian architectural style which highlights symmetry and principles of Greek and Roman designs. Between 1978 and 1981, the structure was renovated into a charming shopping center. Today, you can indulge in tasty pizza at Little Pyg, or shop for antiques and jewelries in this captivating hub.

St Stephen’s Green

Dublin, Ireland

For nature lovers, wandering through St Stephen’s Green will be a dream, away from busy shops and boutiques on Grafton Street. The 22 acres of verdant landscape make up one of Ireland’s oldest parks. Until 1663, this piece of land was used for herding. Once gorgeous Georgian houses developed around the park, it also attracted elites who could afford the real estate. During 19th century, the park went through a massive makeover. Today, visitors can relax in gardens surrounded by magnificent trees and graceful swans floating upon tranquil ponds.

St. Stephen's Green, Dublin
INSTAGRAM @spiridk

National Botanic Gardens

Glasnevin, Dublin 9, D09 VY63, Ireland

For more exquisite options besides pubs and distilleries, the National Botanic Gardens is another splendid choice. Owned by the Office of Public Works, the botanic gardens not only boasts a dreamy greenhouse, but also presents 20,000 living plants that promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable initiatives. It’s free to visit, making it a serene break from far too many pints of beers.

Hugh Lane Gallery

Charlemont House, Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin 1, D01 F2X9, Ireland

For fans of contemporary art, the Hugh Lane Gallery is a creative space which hosts works mainly completed by Irish artists. Located in 1763’s Charlemont House, the art gallery shows Irish artist and illustrator Harry Clarke’s stained glass masterpieces from The Eve of St. Agnes. In addition, there’s also a collection of French artwork by the likes of Renoir, as well as Manet. Admission is free.

Kilmainham Gaol

Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 RK28, Ireland

Located on the outskirt of the city is Kilmainham Gaol – a former prison transformed into a museum. For over a century, numerous Irish revolutionaries were imprisoned and executed here, by the UK Government. Prisoners ranged from women, men and children that committed minor crimes; to those who fought for Ireland’s independence during the 1798 rebellion, the 1916 Easter Rising, the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21), and the Irish Civil War (1922-23.)

Wendy Hung

CEO, FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!

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