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18 Top Things To Do In Dublin, Ireland
- Jonathan Chum
Dublin is one of the most visited cities in Europe, and for good reason. This historic town has something for everyone, from history lovers to art buffs, foodies, and nature lovers alike. We've put together a list of some of the best things to do in Dublin so that you can make the most out of your time here!
Dublin Castle is one of the most iconic sights in Ireland's capital city. It was built in 1204 by King John of England as a royal residence, and later became the seat of British rule in Ireland until 1922. It was also used for signing the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921 and has been used for civil ceremonies and exhibitions since then.
The castle itself is divided into two parts: a medieval castle (which includes four towers) and an 18th-century house that has been converted into offices, conference centers, museums, cathedrals, and even apartments (a very rare opportunity). The grounds are open to visitors year-round, but keep in mind that there are no guided tours during winter months between November 1st - March 31st so if you want to get inside you need to make reservations online first!
Irish Whiskey Tour
One of the most popular things to do in Dublin is a whiskey tour. The Irish people have been drinking whiskey since they first made it, and the history of this drink is fascinating. You'll learn exactly how whiskey is made and spend some time tasting some of the best varieties around.
Here are some tips for making sure your experience goes smoothly:
Make reservations ahead of time. If you book with one of our recommended companies, you will get up close access to distilleries that aren't normally open for tours---a real treat!
Wear comfortable shoes; this isn't an all-day affair but there will be walking involved in many cases (and sometimes climbing stairs). Bring water along as well, so you don't dry out during those long visits to different locations!
The Guinness Storehouse is a must-see for any tourist in Dublin. It's the most popular attraction in Ireland, and for good reason: it's an interesting look at the history of one of Ireland's most beloved exports.
The building itself is worth seeing, as well. With its gorgeous dome and colorful interior, it looks like something you'd find in an ancient civilization---but it was only built in 2000! If you're lucky enough to visit during Christmas time (which runs from late November through early January), you'll be treated to a truly magical display of lights illuminating this beautiful structure.
It's also worth checking out even if you're not interested in drinking beer---the Gravity Bar provides 360-degree views of Dublin city below (and some pretty amazing photos!). And don't forget about the gift shop!
St. Stephen's Green Park
St. Stephen's Green Park is a central location in Dublin and offers some of the best things to do in Ireland. The park was designed by renowned landscape architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and was built in 1906 for use by members of the Irish House of Lords. The park was initially known as "The Royal Hospital" until being renamed by King George V in 1919.
Included on this list are some of the more popular attractions (and lesser-known gems) that can be found at St. Stephen's Green Park:
The duck pond - visitors can feed bread crumbs to a variety of ducks and swans while enjoying panoramic views of downtown Dublin.
Georgian buildings - restored century-old homes now serve as art galleries showcasing local artists' work such as sculptures, paintings, and photographs.
Literary landmarks - James Joyce's old home at 1 Ely Place has been turned into a museum; novelist Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu lived at 5 Eustace Street for most of his life; James Plunkett wrote about his childhood growing up on Francis Street---all these places make up what is known today as Writers' Square where authors like Bram Stoker (Dracula), Oscar Wilde (The Picture Of Dorian Gray), Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels), Samuel Beckett (Waiting For Godot) once lived!
St. Patrick's Cathedral
This is a must-see for all visitors to Dublin. The cathedral was built in 1191 and is the largest gothic cathedral in Ireland. It's extremely popular among locals and tourists alike, who flock here to admire its beauty and history.
Merrion Square Park
Merrion Square is a Georgian garden square on the south side of Dublin, Ireland. The park is surrounded by some of Dublin's most important buildings, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Natural History Museum. The park is also home to many statues and monuments to Irish patriots, poets, and writers. It is a popular meeting point for Dubliners and serves as a venue for numerous cultural events throughout the year.
Trinity College Library
Trinity College Library is the largest library in Ireland, and it contains many famous books. The Book of Kells, which was written sometime between 800 and 900 AD, is one of the most famous works held within its walls. Its pages are filled with intricate illustrations depicting scenes from the Bible that few people have ever seen outside of this room.
The Book of Durrow was also completed around 800-900 AD, but this time it was written in Latin instead of Gaelic script. This book contains less detailed illustrations than its sister text, but its cover page is still quite beautiful to behold.
Another reason why you should visit Trinity College Library is so you can see where Leinster House (the seat of government) once stood before they moved it next door in 1815 due to overcrowding issues at this building!
Kilmainham Gaol is where you'll find the last remaining prison in Ireland, which was completed in 1796. The prison is home to a large collection of artifacts that allow visitors to gain insight into Irish history and culture.
The prison is open daily from 10 am until 5 pm. Tickets are €8 per adult or €5 for children under 12 years old, and a guided tour costs an additional €3. If you plan on visiting Kilmainham Gaol on your trip to Dublin, I would highly recommend booking tickets ahead of time so that you don't have any trouble getting inside!
If you're looking for somewhere nearby to grab some grub after your visit, I'd suggest checking out The Stag's Head Pub just next door---it's small but cozy (and pretty cheap too!).
Temple Bar District
Temple Bar is a district in Dublin City Centre, Ireland. It's the part of town that most tourists come to see, and it's a very lively area with lots of bars, restaurants, and shops.
You'll find Temple Bar on the south bank of the River Liffey---it's right across from Trinity College (see below) and not far from O'Connell Street (which you can take to get to Grafton Street).
Malahide Castle is a medieval castle located in Malahide, Fingal, Ireland. It is a National Monument.
The castle was built by the Normans in 1220 and was the seat of the Earls of Meath. The Castle consists of two main towers connected by curtain walls with four circular corner towers. The entrance to the castle lies between two round towers at either end of the rectangular keep tower which is connected to it by an arched bridge across its moat (dry since 1610).
Dublin Zoo is a zoo located in Phoenix Park, Dublin. The zoo was opened in 1830 and it is the largest zoo in Ireland with over 700 animals from around the world. It is a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).
Dublin Zoo has been voted as one of Europe's best zoos by Trip Advisor users for two years in a row! There are lions, tigers, monkeys, penguins, and more. You can even pet some of them!
You're going to love this zoo because you'll find yourself surrounded by exotic animals that are native to countries all over the world like Africa or South America.
If you're interested in learning more about our planet's wildlife then I recommend visiting Ireland's only dedicated bird park which contains over 400 different species including parrots (your favorite kind), toucans (your second favorite kind), and flamingos (your third favorite kind).
National Botanical Gardens
The National Botanical Gardens are a collection of gardens and parklands, spanning more than 100 acres. You can spend hours wandering through the grounds, admiring Ireland's native flora.
The gardens include a woodland walk, which is perfect for a sunny day stroll or picnic in the shade. There's also an alpine garden and a rockery area with streams and ponds filled with water lilies and other aquatic plants. If you're lucky enough to be visiting in summertime (or even better---spring!), you'll see lots of blooming flowers like tulips as well as cherry trees in full bloom!
Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland, and it is located in Dublin City Centre.
It has a beautiful campus with magnificent architecture and art. The buildings are from the late 17th century to the early 20th century, so there are many great examples of architecture in this area.
The college's long history includes the fact that it was founded by Queen Elizabeth I when she gave land to create Trinity College back in 1592! It was originally designed as an Anglican institution but now has no religious affiliation whatsoever - students can attend whatever classes they wish regardless of whether they're Catholic or Protestant (or neither). In addition, many famous alumni have attended Trinity College such as Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, and Bram Stoker (author of Dracula).
Trinity College also has one of Europe's largest libraries---the Long Room Library---so if you like books then you'll want to check out this place!
Jameson Distillery Bow St.
Dublin is the home of Jameson Irish Whiskey, and its distillery is a must-see for any whiskey lover. The beautiful building is located in the heart of the city, making it easy to get to by public transport (use Dublin Bikes!). It has a great tour and tasting experience that's free to visit!
If you're looking for an exciting way to spend a day in Dublin, Phoenix Park is the place to be. Located just south of the city center, it is home to many important buildings and attractions, including the Dublin Zoo and the residence of the President of Ireland. The park is also popular with locals as a place for recreation---there are miles of walking trails winding throughout its lush green grasses, perfect for people-watching or enjoying quiet time alone.
And there you have it! Some of the most popular things to do in Dublin, Ireland. We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to this beautiful city.