As the song goes: “Dublin can be heaven with coffee at 11 and a stroll in Stephen’s Green”. If you need some ideas on how to spend your time in Ireland’s heavenly capital, here’s our handy list of the best things to do in Dublin.
Breakfast in Bewley’s Cafe
Why not start your day in Dublin with a coffee and traditional Irish breakfast in Bewley’s Cafe on Grafton Street? Bewley’s is one of Dublin’s much-loved cafes and most famous landmarks.
Before you enter this beautifully restored building, make sure you admire the historic front façade and the stained glass windows by Harry Clarke. Once inside, grab a sit by the window for some first-rate people watching or cosy up by one of the open fireplaces.
If you come here on a Saturday, you can even take part in a guided tour of the building and learn about the 180-year history of Bewley’s.
Shop on Grafton Street
From Bewley’s, take a stroll along Grafton Street, which is Dublin’s premier shopping area. Browse the designer goods in Brown Thomas department store, pick up a bunch of flowers from the street sellers, or nip into one of the cosy pubs located on the side streets.
Stroll in Stephen’s Green
At the top of Grafton Street, you’ll find St Stephen’s Green. This Victorian public park is the green heart of Dublin city centre. A stroll along the tree-lined paths that loop around lakes and fountains is a perfect way to while away an hour or two.
Visit Dublin’s magnificent museums
Located within walking distance of St Stephen’s Green are some fascinating and informative museums. The Little Museum of Dublin tells the history of the city in 30 minutes, and standard admission goes for only €8! The Natural History Museum (free admission) has a collection of animals from across Ireland and beyond as well as extensive geological exhibits. This museum is great for children, especially on a rainy day. Next door you’ll find the National Gallery of Ireland, which is also free to visit.
Explore Trinity College Dublin
Just across the road from the National Gallery is Trinity College. Trinity College is one of the top attractions in Dublin. It dates back to 1592 and the campus is a beautiful mix of old cobblestone quads, 18th-century buildings, huge maple trees, manicured lawns as well as more modern facilities. You’ll get plenty out of just strolling around and soaking up the atmosphere, but you can also pop into some of the buildings.
See The Book of Kells
The big draw is the Book of Kells, the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. The book is housed in the magnificent Old Library Building, which is just breathtakingly beautiful.
Visit the Museums in Trinity College
You can also visit the Zoological Museum, the Geology Museum and the simply brilliant Science Gallery. These are all free to visit. The Science Gallery has some fascinating exhibitions and the Science Gallery Cafe is home to some of the best coffee and cakes in the city. The perfect combination of brain food and body fuel.
Experience The Guinness Store House
About a 30-minute walk from Trinity College is Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction, the Guinness Store House. If you are short on time, or your feet are too tired, why not buy a Hop On Hop Off Bus ticket from us? Not only will it save your tired feet, but it will also save you money too.
The Guinness Store House is your one-stop destination for learning about Irish history, culture, and food as well as sinking a few pints of ‘the black stuff’. Before you leave, head up to the Sky Bar and take in the magnificent panoramic views of Dublin. Don’t forget your camera.
Tour Kilmainham Gaol
Not far from the Guinness Store House is the historic Kilmainham Gaol. Now a museum, this used to be a prison where many Irish revolutionaries were detained. Many of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were imprisoned and executed here. A tour of the gaol will tell you all about this part of Irish history and you’ll also see where many movies were filmed including In the Name of the Father, The Italian Job, Michael Collins and The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
Tour Áras an Uachtaráin
One of the more interesting free things to do in Dublin is tour Áras an Uachtaráin. This is the official and private residence of the President of Ireland. You’ll find it in the beautiful setting of the Phoenix Park, which just happens to be one of the largest parks in Europe.
Tours of Áras an Uachtaráin take place almost every Saturday and tickets are free, but they are on a first-come-first-served basis. You can get tickets from the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre which opens at 9.30am and we recommend getting there early to make sure you get a ticket.
Explore The Phoenix Park
Whilst you are here, take a walk or a cycle around the Phoenix Park and look out for the herds of deer. Fallow deer have been living in the park since the seventeenth century. You can also visit the children’s playground, there are plenty of areas for a picnic too and you’ll also find Dublin Zoo here too.
Check Out The CHQ Building
If you make it down to the Dublin Docklands, check out the CHQ Building, which is a grade one listed building. Inside you’ll find some great cafes, wine bars and restaurants.
Visit EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
The CHQ Building is also home to one of the best museums in Dublin; EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. This hands-on, interactive and engrossing museum shows the far-reaching influence of Irish history and you can even discover some of your own family history and Irish heritage with its genealogy partners.
Free Things To Do in Dublin
Looking for more free things to do in Dublin? Here’s a list of what we suggest:
- Take a stroll along the Grand or Royal Canal
- Wander the narrow medieval streets of the Temple Bar area
- Walk the boardwalk along the River Liffey which divides the city into North and South.
- Chill out in the tranquil Iveagh Gardens, which were designed in 1865
- Head down to the Dublin Docklands to the somber Famine Memorial.
Day Trips From Dublin
Dublin is also a great base for getting out and exploring the rest of the country. You could take a day trip from Dublin with Wild Rover Tours to Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway, the Cliffs of Moher or Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains.
Our day trips from Dublin will take you to some stunning parts of the country with a dedicated tour guide on board so that you can find out more about the history and culture of Ireland. Contact us today for more information!