25 Best Things to Do in Dublin: Top Attractions and Hidden Gems in the Irish Capital

Things to Do in Dublin

Dublin, the capital and largest city of Ireland, is a vibrant city teeming with history, culture, and stunning architecture. From its rich literary traditions to its bustling pubs and modern attractions, Dublin offers something for everyone.

If you’re planning a trip to this charming Irish city, you’re in for a treat. In this article, we’ll cover some of the top things to do in Dublin, making sure you don’t miss out on its most iconic spots.

1. Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse
Photo: Google Maps/Piotr Piosik

One of the most iconic brands associated with Ireland is Guinness, and no trip to Dublin would be complete without visiting the Guinness Storehouse. Located in the heart of the city, the seven-story building is designed in the shape of a giant pint of Guinness.

Here, you’ll learn all about the brewing process, the history of this world-famous stout, and even get to pour your own pint. The Gravity Bar at the top offers a panoramic view of the city – a perfect place to enjoy your drink and take in the sights of Dublin.

Entry Fee: IEP 26; Location: Check Map
Address: St. James’s Gate, Dublin 8, D08 VF8H, Ireland.

2. Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin
Photo: Google Maps/Gary Bedell

Trinity College Dublin is not only one of the world’s most prestigious universities but also one of Dublin’s most visited sites. Founded in 1592, the historic campus offers visitors a chance to stroll through its cobbled squares, explore its impressive old libraries, and marvel at its classical architecture.

The main attraction at Trinity is the Book of Kells, a stunningly illustrated manuscript created by Celtic monks around the year 800. The Old Library, where the Book of Kells is housed, is itself a marvel, with its towering oak bookshelves and the Long Room that stretches out for 65 meters.

Entry Fee: IEP 18,50; Location: Check Map
Address: College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland.

3. Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park
Photo: Google Maps/Pierantoni Simone

Covering a vast area of 707 hectares, Phoenix Park is one of the largest enclosed urban parks in Europe. It’s a serene oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, offering visitors a chance to enjoy lush greenery, expansive lawns, and peaceful lakes.

Phoenix Park is home to several attractions, including the Dublin Zoo, the official residence of the President of Ireland, and the U.S. Ambassador’s residence. One can also find a herd of wild fallow deer roaming freely – a sight that harks back to the park’s origins as a royal hunting ground.

Whether you’re in the mood for a peaceful stroll, a bike ride, or just a place to sit down and enjoy nature, Phoenix Park is a must-visit.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Dublin 8, Ireland.

4. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
Photo: Google Maps/Ernest Chan

Delving into the stories of the 10 million Irish people who emigrated from their homeland, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is a state-of-the-art interactive experience. Located in the beautiful vaults of the CHQ Building in Dublin’s Docklands, this museum paints a powerful picture of the Irish diaspora and how they influenced and shaped the world.

As you journey through the 20 themed galleries, you’ll learn about the reasons for emigration, the challenges faced by the emigrants, and their significant achievements abroad. It’s not only a tribute to the indomitable spirit of the Irish but also a testament to how they’ve played pivotal roles in global history.

Entry Fee: IEP 22.00; Location: Check Map
Address: The Chq Building, Custom House Quay, North Dock, Dublin 1, Ireland.

5. National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology

National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology
Photo: Google Maps/Mayou PL

Situated on Kildare Street, the National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology is a treasure trove of artifacts dating from 7000 BC to the 20th century. Here, you’ll find everything from prehistoric gold artifacts and the famous Ardagh Chalice to ancient Egyptian items and Viking collections.

One of the museum’s highlights is the Bog Bodies exhibit, which showcases well-preserved human remains from Ireland’s peat bogs, offering a window into the rituals and life of ancient Celtic tribes. The museum serves as a deep dive into Ireland’s rich and complex history, making it an essential stop for history enthusiasts.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: 35A Kildare St, Dublin 2, D02 YK38, Ireland.

6. The Little Museum of Dublin

The Little Museum of Dublin
Photo: Google Maps/Miguel Goldfeld

For those seeking a more intimate look at Dublin’s past, The Little Museum of Dublin is a gem. Located in a Georgian townhouse on St. Stephen’s Green, this museum offers a chronological journey of Dublin in the 20th century. With each room dedicated to a different decade, visitors are immersed in the city’s cultural, social, and political evolution.

Guided tours often emphasize the stories of ordinary Dubliners, ensuring a personal touch. The museum also houses a vast collection of U2 memorabilia, celebrating the iconic band’s roots in Dublin.

Entry Fee: IEP 15; Location: Check Map
Address: 15 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, D02 Y066, Ireland.

7. National Gallery of Ireland

National Gallery of Ireland
Photo: Google Maps/Vito

Nestled in the heart of the city on Merrion Square, the National Gallery of Ireland boasts an impressive collection of European and Irish fine art. With pieces dating from the Middle Ages to the contemporary era, the gallery houses works by notable artists like Vermeer, Caravaggio, Turner, and Irish legends like Jack B. Yeats.

Recent renovations have further enhanced the gallery’s appeal, adding modern touches to the historic setting and ensuring that the art is displayed in the best light. Regular exhibitions, workshops, and events make this a dynamic space, always offering something new for art lovers and novices alike.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Merrion Square W, Dublin 2, D02 K303, Ireland.

8. National Botanic Gardens

National Botanic Gardens
Photo: Google Maps/Rui Gomes

A green oasis in the heart of the city, the National Botanic Gardens is a verdant retreat for nature lovers. Spanning over 19.5 hectares in Glasnevin, this garden is home to over 20,000 living plants and millions of dried plant specimens. Visitors can marvel at the intricately designed herbaceous borders, the rose garden, the alpine yard, and the many glasshouses that house exotic plants from around the world.

The gardens are not only a feast for the eyes but also a hub for botanical research and conservation. With its stunning plant collections, scenic walking paths, and the tranquil River Tolka meandering through, it’s a haven of peace and beauty.

Entry Fee: IEP 19.00; Location: Check Map
Address: Glasnevin, Dublin 9, D09 VY63, Ireland.

9. Irish Whiskey Museum

Irish Whiskey Museum
Photo: Google Maps/Jim King

Whiskey enthusiasts, rejoice! Located across from Trinity College, the Irish Whiskey Museum delves deep into the intoxicating history of Irish whiskey. Through interactive exhibitions, visitors trace the origin and evolution of Ireland’s famed spirit, from its golden era to its decline and recent revival.

Guided tours conclude with tastings where one can sample and savor a selection of fine Irish whiskeys. For those keen on a deeper dive, the museum offers blending experiences where you can craft your blend and take home a small bottle of your concoction.

Entry Fee: IEP 22.00; Location: Check Map
Address: 119 Grafton Street, Dublin, D02 E620, Ireland.

10. Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle
Photo: Google Maps/Alec

Steeped in history and architectural grandeur, Dublin Castle stands as a testament to Ireland’s turbulent past and its journey through time. Originally built as a defensive fort for the Norman city of Dublin in the 13th century, it later served as the British government’s administrative center in Ireland until 1922.

Today, visitors can explore the State Apartments, the medieval undercroft, and the beautiful Dubh Linn gardens. The castle also hosts art exhibitions, concerts, and cultural events, making it a hub of history and contemporary culture.

Entry Fee: IEP 8.00; Location: Check Map
Address: Dame St, Dublin 2, Ireland.

11. St Patrick’s Cathedral

St Patrick's Cathedral
Photo: Google Maps/Matteo Ceruti

An architectural masterpiece, St Patrick’s Cathedral, also known as the National Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint Patrick, Dublin, is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Built between 1191 and 1270, this Gothic cathedral stands tall with its soaring spires, stunning stained glass windows, and intricate stone carvings.

Apart from its architectural marvels, the cathedral has a rich history. Jonathan Swift, the author of “Gulliver’s Travels,” was once the dean here and is buried within its walls. Visitors can explore the nave, chapels, and climb the tower for a panoramic view of Dublin.

Entry Fee: IEP 9.00; Location: Check Map
Address: St Patrick’s Close, Dublin, D08 H6X3, Ireland.

12. Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral
Photo: Google Maps/Oleksandr Kaliberda

One of Dublin’s oldest buildings, Christ Church Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, is a powerful testament to the city’s medieval past. Founded around 1030 by the Hiberno-Norse, the cathedral’s architecture features both Norman and Gothic styles. Inside, its vaulted ceilings, intricate stained glass windows, and medieval crypt — which is one of the largest and oldest in Britain and Ireland — mesmerize visitors.

The cathedral also serves as a venue for concerts and cultural events, thanks to its fantastic acoustics. The bridge connecting it to the former Synod Hall, now home to the Dublinia Viking and Medieval Museum, is yet another iconic feature of this historic structure.

Entry Fee: IEP 10.50; Location: Check Map
Address: Christchurch Pl, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, Ireland.

13. Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo
Photo: Google Maps/Jakub Maik

Situated in the heart of Phoenix Park, Dublin Zoo is one of the city’s most popular family attractions. Established in 1831, it’s among the world’s oldest zoos and has been instrumental in worldwide conservation efforts. The zoo spans over 28 hectares and is home to some 400 animals, showcasing wildlife from around the globe.

From the African Savanna to the Kaziranga Forest Trail, visitors can embark on a global wildlife adventure, watching animals like giraffes, lions, tigers, and elephants in habitats closely mimicking their natural surroundings. The zoo’s commitment to education and conservation ensures a fulfilling experience for visitors of all ages.

Entry Fee: IEP 22.50; Location: Check Map
Address: Saint James’ (part of Phoenix Park), Dublin 8, Ireland.

14. Grafton Street

Grafton Street
Photo: Google Maps/Paul Jeffrey Ang

Buzzing with energy, Grafton Street is Dublin’s premier shopping and entertainment thoroughfare. Lined with historic buildings, high-end boutiques, and lively street performers, it provides a delightful blend of the city’s past and present. Whether you’re on the hunt for the latest fashion, indulging in a bit of window shopping, or simply enjoying the myriad of musical talents on display, Grafton Street is the place to be.

The street also leads to the picturesque St. Stephen’s Green, providing a green respite after a day of shopping. Numerous cafes and restaurants dot the area, offering a taste of Dublin’s vibrant culinary scene.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Dublin, Ireland.

15. Merrion Square

Merrion Square
Photo: Google Maps/John Ledwidge

A Georgian garden square par excellence, Merrion Square is a beautiful testament to Dublin’s 18th-century architectural and urban planning. The square is surrounded by well-preserved Georgian houses, with colorful doors that have become emblematic of Dublin’s streetscape. Notably, the west side of the square is home to the National Gallery of Ireland and the Natural History Museum.

The central public garden, adorned with sculptures, flowerbeds, and winding pathways, is a peaceful retreat. A notable feature is the statue of Oscar Wilde, the famed Irish writer, reclining on a rock and looking towards his childhood home on the north side of the square.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Dublin, Ireland.

16. GPO Witness History Museum

GPO Witness History Museum
Photo: Google Maps/Oksana Osiniene

Located in the iconic General Post Office (GPO) on O’Connell Street, the GPO Witness History Museum offers a deep dive into the dramatic events of the 1916 Easter Rising – a pivotal episode in Irish history. Through interactive exhibits, first-hand accounts, and immersive multimedia displays, visitors get a comprehensive understanding of the events leading up to the uprising, the week of the rebellion, and its aftermath.

The GPO, which served as the rebel headquarters during the Easter Rising, bears scars from the conflict, making the experience all the more poignant. The museum offers a balanced perspective, ensuring visitors get a holistic view of this critical chapter in Irish history.

Entry Fee: IEP 15.00; Location: Check Map
Address: O’Connell Street Lower, North City, Dublin 1, D01 F5P2, Ireland.

17. Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol
Photo: Google Maps/Luc S

Once the largest unoccupied prison in Europe, Kilmainham Gaol stands as a somber reminder of Ireland’s tumultuous past. Opened in 1796 and closed in 1924, the gaol has held some of the most notable figures in Irish history, particularly those involved in the struggle for independence.

A guided tour of the facility brings to life its chilling history, from the harsh conditions faced by inmates to the many political prisoners executed within its walls. Its restored interiors, including the Victorian wing and the Stonebreakers’ Yard, evoke powerful emotions, providing a stark insight into the challenges faced during Ireland’s quest for sovereignty.

Entry Fee: IEP 8.00; Location: Check Map
Address: Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 RK28, Ireland.

18. Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)

Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
Photo: Google Maps/Marian Maher

Housed in the 17th-century Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the Irish Museum of Modern Art is a leading institution for contemporary and modern art in Ireland. IMMA’s vast collection, which includes works from the likes of Sean Scully, Louis le Brocquy, and Kathy Prendergast, reflects the vibrant art scene both locally and globally.

The museum’s grounds are equally captivating, with formal gardens, meadows, and a medieval burial ground. IMMA also hosts a dynamic array of temporary exhibitions, artist residencies, and public programs, fostering creativity and dialogue in the arts.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland.

19. Irish Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum

Irish Rock 'n' Roll Museum
Photo: Google Maps/Kyle Lybeck

For music aficionados, the Irish Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum is an electrifying journey through Ireland’s contributions to global rock music. Located in Temple Bar, Dublin’s cultural heart, this museum celebrates the lives, works, and legacies of Ireland’s musical heroes, from Thin Lizzy and U2 to Van Morrison and Sinead O’Connor.

Interactive exhibits allow visitors to immerse themselves in a recording studio, understand the intricacies of music production, and even jam out in the rehearsal room. The museum pays homage to the spirit of Irish rock and its influential role in the global music scene.

Entry Fee: IEP 24.00; Location: Check Map
Address: Curved St, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 RD26, Ireland.

20. Killiney & Dalkey Hills

Killiney & Dalkey Hills
Photo: Google Maps/Oisin Joyce

For those seeking breathtaking panoramic views of Dublin and its coastline, a trip to Killiney and Dalkey Hills is a must. These scenic spots provide a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, with lush landscapes, walking trails, and historical landmarks.

Dalkey, with its medieval castles and rich history, is a charming town that’s worth exploring. Meanwhile, atop Killiney Hill, a short climb rewards visitors with vistas of Dublin Bay, the Wicklow Mountains, and the charming neighborhoods below. Both spots are favorite haunts for nature lovers, photographers, and those seeking inspiration in the serene beauty of Ireland.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Dalkey Commons, Dublin, Ireland.

21. Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher
Photo: Google Maps/Ethan

While not located in Dublin itself, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most iconic natural attractions, and a must-visit for those venturing beyond the capital. Rising dramatically from the Atlantic Ocean, these majestic cliffs stretch for approximately 14 kilometers along the coast of County Clare.

Standing 214 meters at their highest point, they offer unparalleled views of the wild ocean, the Aran Islands, and the rugged western coastline. The visitor center, built into the hillside, provides insightful exhibits about the cliffs’ geology, birdlife, and history. Whether you’re capturing a stunning sunset or braving the winds on a stormy day, the Cliffs of Moher promise an unforgettable experience.

Entry Fee: IEP 7.00; Location: Check Map
Address: Co. Clare, Ireland.

22. O’Connell Street

O'Connell Street
Photo: Google Maps/Jesus Hermida

Dublin’s main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street, is a bustling mix of history, commerce, and culture. Dominated by the towering Spire of Dublin – a 120-meter tall monument replacing the former Nelson’s Pillar – the street is also home to other notable landmarks like the General Post Office (GPO), a key site during the 1916 Easter Rising.

With its wide sidewalks, historical statues, and array of shops, cinemas, and cafes, O’Connell Street is an ideal starting point for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Dublin’s vibrant urban life.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Dublin, Ireland.

23. Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle
Photo: Google Maps/Stephen Heeney

Set on 260 acres of lush parkland, Malahide Castle is a beautifully preserved medieval castle just north of Dublin. With parts of the castle dating back to the 12th century, it boasts a rich history, having been home to the Talbot family for over 800 years.

Today, visitors can explore the castle’s opulent interiors, from the grand drawing room and dining room to the oldest parts of the castle, like the Great Hall. The surrounding gardens are a haven for botany enthusiasts, featuring a walled garden, butterfly house, and over 5,000 different plant species.

Entry Fee: IEP 8.50; Location: Check Map
Address: Back Rd, Malahide Demesne, Malahide, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

24. The Howth Cliff Walk

The Howth Cliff Walk
Photo: Google Maps/Giles Wozniak

A stone’s throw from Dublin, the Howth Cliff Walk offers a perfect blend of coastal scenery, wildlife spotting, and historical landmarks. This moderate looped walk provides panoramic views of Dublin Bay, Lambay Island, and Bray Head.

As you traverse the cliff paths, you might spot seabirds, seals, and even dolphins in the waters below. The trail also passes the 15th-century Baily Lighthouse and remnants of ancient settlements, making it a scenic and historical journey.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Howth, Dublin, Ireland.

25. Dublinia

Dublinia
Photo: Google Maps/Vanda Macková

Situated adjacent to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublinia offers a journey through Dublin’s Viking and medieval past. This interactive museum allows visitors to step back in time: from walking the streets of Viking Dublin to exploring life in the medieval city.

Engaging exhibits offer insights into trade, warfare, daily life, and even disease (with a particularly intriguing section on the Black Death!). For those with a head for heights, the St. Michael’s Tower provides splendid views of the city. Combining education with entertainment, Dublinia is a treat for history buffs and families alike.

Entry Fee: IEP 15.00; Location: Check Map
Address: St Michaels Hill Christ Church, Dublin 8, Ireland.

Conclusion

Dublin is a city that seamlessly blends the ancient and the modern. From the historic charm of Trinity College, the ancient stones of Dublin Castle, the somber halls of Kilmainham Gaol to the rugged beauty of the Howth Cliff Walk, there’s no shortage of things to do in Dublin. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply someone looking to soak in some Irish culture, Dublin has you covered. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable Irish adventure!

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Hannah J

Hannah specializes in travel and lifestyle content. She has an innate ability to capture the essence of a place, from bustling city streets to serene mountain landscapes.

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