Top things to do in Dublin, Ireland
With Dublin only being an hour flight from most cities in the UK, it’s clear to see why so many people choose this picturesque city as a weekend break away. Dublin is full of culture, history, food, Guinness and most importantly friendly locals. There are so many fun and top things to do in Dublin all year round so you’ll be guaranteed to have a good time. So, if you’re wondering what to do in Dublin, you’ll be glad to know there are endless amounts of fun for all ages of the family.
Dublin is the awesome capital of Ireland and is the most visited city in this awesome country. When visiting Dublin you will get to see stunning historic buildings such as the amazing Dublin castle, discover Irish heritage and learn about the Irish culture. Also, don’t forget the amazing Dublin Zoo, these are just some of the amazing places to visit in Dublin.
In this blog post, you’ll find the best things to do in Dublin, as well as insider tips and the best places to stay.
Best things to do in Dublin
Let’s get on with this city break itinerary and what’s on in Dublin;
#1 Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse needs to be on your bucket list even if you’re not a Guinness lover like me! This brewery experience tells the tale of Ireland’s most famous beer with tastings, interactive experience and a rooftop gravity bar. If you want to know what’s on in Dublin, this is the place you need to visit!
Each floor involves learning about the stages to creating the perfect pint from picking the ingredients to fermentation and transportation. It truly is a unique experience. Finish at the gravity rooftop bar to sample Ireland’s number one beer whilst overlooking Dublin City. You even have the option of pouring your pint, now there are not many places where you can do that! You can also opt for a soft drink if Guinness isn’t for you.
Finish off at the Guinness Storehouse gift shop where you can purchase pretty much anything Guinness related from t-shirts to hats to fridge magnets, who doesn’t love a good souvenir.
- Location: St James’s Gate, Dublin 8, Ireland
- Guinness Store Price: From (€18.50 per adult)
- Insiders tip: Book online to save 20%
#2 Dublin Zoo
If you’re an animal lover, then this has to be on your one day Dublin itinerary. Dublin zoo makes a great day out for everyone whether you’re a solo traveller, couple or family. As one of the world’s oldest yet most popular zoo, Dublin zoo is home to over 400 animals from elephants, to giraffes, to monkey and lions.
The animals are well looked after and cared for in a safe and stimulating environment. Dublin Zoo is part of many international breeding programs to help endangered species to increase numbers and hopefully, one day introduces these wonderful animals back into the wild.
Why not learn more about your favourite animal and attend one of the informative talks or visit the state of the art discovery centre where there is several interactive workshops and resources for everyone to enjoy.
- Location: Phoenix Park, Dublin
- Dublin Zoo Price: The entrance fee for the zoo in Dublin is (Adult: €18), (Children: €13.50), (Under 3: Free) and (Senior Citizens: €14).
- Insiders tip: Check the times for animal interaction and feeding sessions before you go so you don’t miss out on your favourite animal
#3 Temple Bar Area
We were a little apprehensive about visiting Temple Bar as I’d heard it’s a tourist trap to make you spend all your money on one pint! Yes, it is more expensive than other pubs in and around Dublin but it’s an experience not to miss.
The Temple Bar offers live music every day through the afternoon until late evening, with some of the world’s most famous bands playing they’ll always be something to enjoy, so sit back relax and sip your pints. If you fancy a bite to eat, The Temple Bar also provides a mammoth choice of gourmet sandwiches, platters and seafood, as well as over 450 whiskeys, now that’s a decision to be made.
There are lots of other bars and pubs around the Temple Bar area is check out, we recommend in the summer as they have a rooftop Terrance to enjoy the sunshine whilst sipping cocktails.
- Location: 47/48 Temple Bar, Dublin
- Price: Average beer = €8, Average spirit and mixer = €9 and Cocktail = €10
- Insiders tip: Visit Temple bar for one drink and experience the atmosphere before heading over to Grafton street where you’ll pay less on average for any drink!
#4 Pick up a bargain
If you like shopping you’re in the right place. From high street brands like Pennys (or Primark to me), new look, Zara, Topshop and Riverside to designer boutique, there’s something for everyone. There are several different shopping centres in Dublin, selling everything from arts and crafts to books and tech gadgets, good for us but maybe not so good for our bank accounts!
- Location: Jervis Shopping Centre, Grafton Street, Stephen Green shopping centre, IIac Shopping Centre
- Insiders Tip: Head to the shops early morning or weekdays to beat the queues
#5 James Distillery
Enjoy a 40-minute world’s leading distillery tour to learn about the birthplace of Irish Whiskey, as well as sampling different whiskeys and finish off with a complimentary Jameson in the exact spot of where it all began.
Why not try a cocktail whiskey-making class or whiskey blending class to impress your friends back home, whilst learning about the history and enjoying a drink or two. These sessions are available 7 days a week but are sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
- Location: Bow St, Smithfield Village, Dublin
- Price of the James Distillery: Tour fee = (€22 Adults /€18 Students/65+), Cocktail making class= €50 (60 minutes, including 3 drinks), Whiskey blending class = €70 (90 minutes) and Secret whiskey tasting = €30 (40 minutes, includes 6 drinks)
- Insiders Tip: You’re unable to book the cocktail or whiskey blending class as well as the tour due to alcohol consumption levels, so if you want to do both be sure to book on separate days.
#6 Grab some hearty food at The Brazen Head
Visit the oldest pub in Ireland and enjoy some hearty food whilst enjoying some traditional Irish music. Dating back to 1198, the Brazen Head is famous for its delicious food, as well as live music and storytelling. Travellers from far and wide come here to enjoy the historic setting of one of the best pubs in Dublin.
- Location: 20 Lower Bridge St, The Liberties, Dublin
- Price: Average meal: €16
- Insiders tip: If the sun is shining be sure to visit and sit out in the courtyard.
#7 Take a stroll through Phoenix Park
If you’ve had enough of city life head over to Phoenix Park for a stroll in the beautiful grounds and stop off for a pot of tea and cake to enjoy the surroundings and you can even spot deer, now that’s something nobody expects for an urban city.
Being the world’s largest enclosed park in any capital city in Europe, there’s plenty of walking, running and cycle tracks to keep you occupied. Take a pit stop at Wellington monument, standing at 62 meters it’s an impressive piece of architecture.
- Location: Phoenix Park, Dublin
- Price of the Phoenix Park in Dublin: FREE
- Insiders tip: Dublin Zoo is located in Phoenix Park so why not visit both to save time!
#8 Enjoy the many Cathedrals and Churches
Dublin seemed to be full of pubs, cathedrals and churches so you might as well visit one while you’re there! There is something unique about the historic architecture that makes Dublin’s Cathedrals so popular and rightly so. Regardless of your religion or whether you’ve spent any time in a church before its worth visiting these beautiful buildings to snap a worthy insta shot.
- Location: Christ Church Cathedral (Wood Quay, Dublin), St Michan’s Church (Arran Quay, Dublin) and St. Ann’s Church (Dawson Street)
- Price of most churches and cathedrals in Dublin: €7 for self-guided tour or €11 for a guided tour
- Insiders tip: Remember to take your camera to capture some insta shots!
#9 Feed the ducks at St Stephens Green
After strolling down Grafton Street take a walk through St Stephens Park with a gelato ice cream and relax in the colourful flower gardens. It feels like a real escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
If you’re looking for things to do with kids in Dublin or even free things, then you should make your way to one of these epic parks.
- Location: St Stephens Green
- Price: FREE things to do with children in Dublin
- Insiders tip: If you’re on a budget, pack your own picnic and relax for the afternoon on the grassy fields
#10 Take a day trip to Howth
A 25 minute DART or train to us takes you to a seaside fishing village north of Dublin called Howth. Here you can walk around the headland and burn some calories before finishing off with a bite to eat at one of the many traditional Irish pubs or eat tasty fish and chips of the seafront. There’s also a weekend market selling arts and crafts, delicate handmade jewellery, as well as several different food vendors selling waffles, pancakes, burritos and Asian inspired street food. YUM! It’s the perfect place to pick up a gift or to treat yourself.
Less than a 10-minute walk from the market you’ll find yourself immersed in Howth Castle grounds, soak up the history and enjoy the ruins of St Marys Abbey.
- Location: Howth, Dublin
- Price of the train from Dublin to Howth: €6 for a return train ticket from Connelly’s Station
- Insiders tip: The trains to Howth are every 30 minutes from Connelly’s station in the heart of Dublin
#11 Grab a selfie with Molly Malone
Molly Malone is a popular Irish song, which has become the unofficial anthem of Dublin. The history of Molly Malone is uncertain and some people don’t even think she existed, but the song refers to her as being a young fishmonger who sold her yield from a cart in the streets of Dublin and died of a fever and went on to haunt the city.
- Location: Suffolk Street, Dublin
- Price: FREE
- Insiders tip: Visit the Powers court Centre nearby, which is a small shopping mall selling designer apparel, jewellery and antiques, plus tasty cafes
#12 Visit the National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Dublin has three sites, focusing on archaeology, history or arts, so make sure you plan for your favourite one. Learn about prehistoric Ireland including early work in gold, as well as the Viking and Medieval era or visit displays of past time money and weapons. There’s so much too see and something for everyone young or old.
- Location: The National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, on Kildare Street
- The National Museum of Ireland – History, on Merrion Street
- The National Museum of Ireland – Arts, on Benburb Street
- Price: FREE
- Insiders tip: Check out The National Museum of Ireland for events happening throughout the year
Best Places To Stay Dublin
I recommend just doing 2 days in Dublin as this is plenty of time to do all the top things! Anyway, let’s have a look at some of the best Dublin hotels;
This budget-friendly hostel provides travellers with a shared kitchen, as well as a continental breakfast included in the price. A real bargain as Gardiner House is located 17 minutes away from the Temple Bar area. The airport bus also runs directly outside so perfect for transferring to and from the airport. Gardiner House is the perfect way to meet other travellers by staying in clean modern stylish bunk bed options.
Amberly House is perfectly located as everything is within a 10-minute walk. Pick up a freshly baked croissant for breakfast at Tesco express just round the corner or splurge out and grab breakfast at the many cafes around. The main train station is only a 5-minute walk away if you’re looking to take a day trip out of Dublin and the Temple Bar area is a 10-minute walk away. Each room comes with a coffee machine, iron, hairdryer and flat-screen TV. Even though this hotel is situated on the main road it is surprisingly quiet at night perfect for recharging those batteries and the bed is extremely comfy so you’re guaranteed a good nights sleep!
Luxury Hotel The Merrion Hotel (From €220)
This award-winning hotel is perfect for those looking to splurge on a luxury night away in the heart of Dublin. Within an infinity pool, 2 Michelin stars restaurant and spa, it’s no surprise this hotel is a popular choice with those looking for a perfect break away. The hotel is conveniently located next to St Stephens Green, which is a 5-minute walk from Grafton Street where you’ll find lines of shops, bars and restaurants. The staff are extremely friendly and will go above and beyond to make the trip one you won’t forget!
Where to Next?
Here are some of my favourite places to see in the UK;