18 Fantastic Things to Do in Dublin

This post was inspired by my first real trip to Dublin back in August 2023. I’d flown into the airport many, many times since 2017, but I hadn’t gotten the chance to see the city itself. In hindsight, I don’t think I’d make a repeat visit during the August bank holiday in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) because the Enterprise train and other attractions were so crowded. Nevertheless, when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it! I’ll update this post every time I go back and try more things to do and see in Dublin.

My main motivation for visiting Dublin when I did was twofold.

1) I wanted to finally see the city instead of always going through the area via the airport and 2) I found a very good rate for a room at the Point-A-Hotel Dublin across the river on Parnell Street.
*Side note: I’m just linking to the hotel to share where I stayed, but if you book directly – not through an app like I did – you get free breakfast added on. (This post is not sponsored in any way).

As an American who is married to a Northern Irish man, our intercultural relationship pushes me to have new solo experiences on my husband’s island to help me understand more about where he comes from. I wanted to have my own experience in the Republic of Ireland without any outside influences or local shortcuts. I just hope that one day he can have similar experiences on himself in the US.

Anyway, let’s get to all of the things I managed to do or briefly see in Dublin in about 36 hours. I would recommend a lot more time but, for someone who lives in Europe full time, this visit was an observation trip. It was short, yes, but it was a good amount of time for me to get a real feel for the city.

So…are you ready to come along and explore Dublin’s fair city with me? Let’s get started!

1. Stroll around Trinity College

I had one of those experiences where I was walking all around the outside of where Trinity College is located, and I probably saw the Front Gate leading into the college, but I never came to the realization that what I was looking at was Trinity College! If you’re a fan of P.S. I Love You, you might remember the part where they show you Holly and Gerry meeting for the first time. Holly is walking around in one of Ireland’s largest national parks, but she’s completely unaware to the fact that what she’s been looking at for a couple of hours is actually a national park…until Gerry comes along and points it out to her.

Because I didn’t have the benefit of someone else pointing it out to me, I didn’t get to see the inside of the Trinity College campus. I’ve heard lots about it over the years, but I did not make it there, not even to walk among the buildings. Famous students included Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and Bram Stoker, among many others. Surely you can plan better than I did. On the website you can see their tour guides and book your own tour of the campus here.

College Green
Dublin 2
D02 PN40
(The Trinity Trails tour meets at Front Square at the Bell Tower)
Tour schedule: From the website, mornings from 10:30am -1:30pm, lasting from 45 mins to 120 mins long
Cost: from €16 (for €33.50/person you can do the Trinity Trails group walking tour + see the Book of Kells and the Old Library as well as Gaia and the new immersive experience; total time: 2 hours)
Languages available: English and now German
Best time of year to visit: Winter and fall are “quieter,” rainier times while spring and summer mean more tourists (with rainy days). If you want to get a more relaxed feel for the university, go in the off-season, but if you want to see what student life is like, plan a visit in around the university’s class schedules.

2. Take a peek at the Book of Kells

You might recognize this famous hallway shot inside the Dublin Trinity College Library from many other travel blogs.

Photo taken from Pixabay.
This is not the Book of Kells but, it’s actually part of the “First Fragments: Biblical Papyrus from Roman Egypt” exhibition at the Chester Beatty Library. I saw it just before it closed for good after having been on since October 2022.

While I was researching things to do in Dublin, I saw that just last year you could only visit the room in the Trinity College Library for 30 minutes and you had to book a ticket. Now, in 2024, there are a few ways to see the famous, illuminated, 1200-year-old manuscript in the Long Room. The Book of Kells Experience is a fully immersive experience that takes you inside the pages of the book to help you not only learn about them, but to feel as if you are intertwined with the words themselves.

Full of the college’s rich history and with a room capacity of only 200 people at a time, this may explain why the Long Room is heavily guarded and access is restricted. Also, if you’re an avid reader like me, the Library is absolutely stunning and has been on my list of things to do in Dublin for years.

When I come back for my first proper visit, I found it helpful to know that the Trinity app is free to download from the App or Google Play Stores. It tells you everything you need to know about visiting, their tours, maps and they give you a discount at their restaurant and shops, just for trying it out. Playing around with an interactive app will help you prepare for your trip and let you see where things are on campus – a win-win, for sure!

Trinity Long Room
The University of Dublin Trinity College, College Green,
South-East Inner City
Tour schedule:
Cost: check the website for a varied price range but starting from €20/person
Best time of year to visit: Since this is an indoor attraction, any time of year would be good and my best bet is that it’s always full of visitors due to its popularity and intrigue.

3. Walk around St. Stephen’s Green

Superintendent's Lodge (St. Stephen's Green Park) with a row of hedges in its front garden
If you walk the length of the park, you’ll find this charming little cottage which was used as the Superintendent’s Lodge at the very back.

I went over to St. Stephen’s Green twice during my short visit and really think it’s a place you could come back to again and again with all the things you can do here. You can easily find a map of the park online or on apps with The Little Museum of Dublin across the street from the one of the entrances.

If you like taking self-guided tours, the park has a free audio guide that you can download. There are a total of 10 stops on it and it is estimated to last for 1 hour. You’ll learn about the famous arch, its sculptures, its history and the Victorian landscape within St. Stephen’s Green. There is also a shopping district around the area of the same name, but I’ll get to that later on in this post.

St. Stephen’s Green Park
Dublin 2
D02 N6P5
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 7:30 am -(closing times vary); Sunday and Bank Holidays 9:30 am -(check website for all closing times based on month and year)
Cost: Free; but they do offer guided tours in association with the nearby Little Museum of Dublin called the Green Mile
Best time of year to visit: August and September are quite lovely, but if you want to see everything in full bloom, spring might be your best bet. Like anywhere on the island, check the weather forecast for rain before you head out.

4. Pose with the Molly Malone Statue

I was not able to cross this item off my list because there were too many people hanging around trying to do the very same thing! The statue is of the mysterious Molly Malone with her wheelbarrow full of baskets. She led a double life, dabbling in two different professions. One by day and the other by night.

Designed by Jeanne Rayhart, this is a popular piece of art! With over 10K reviews on Google Maps, it’s a sculpture that people love to go see and admire in person. I’d say get here early before the crowds get thick and the tour groups come out for the day. Don’t get impatient if you have to get in line to be able to take a picture if you really want to (or have enough time to wait).

Suffolk St
Dublin 2
D02 KX03

5. Explore Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle gardens

Last year, my cousin and her new husband visited Dublin from the US the same month I did. They packed in a lot more than I would personally recommend for just one week, but that was because they didn’t have too much vacation time to begin with. Since they visited a few weeks before my trip, I was able to hear about what they saw and learn about the things they recommended I do. However, I chose not to visit some of the more expensive attractions because I want to save some places for when my husband and I go to Dublin proper together.

You can book self-guided tickets up to 14 days in advance, but since my visit was more spontaneous, I wasn’t able to snag a ticket. It was probably a good thing because by the time I had eaten lunch, checked into my hotel, dropped off my bag, relaxed for a little bit and headed back out…the castle was just about to close for the day. It was also during the August bank holiday in the UK (Northern Ireland), so the time slots filled up faster than usual.

Dame St
Dublin 2
Opening hours: Year round from Monday-Sunday (includes holidays but not December 25-27th and January 1st) 9:45 am -5:45 pm; last admission 5:15 pm
Cost: The grounds are free to explore, but a general admission ticket to do a self-guided tour is €8.
Best time of year to visit: This attraction is mostly indoors so it ultimately comes down to whether you want to go in the high or low season. Also a rainy day can mean two things: crowded or empty. While I found late August to be warmer, it was overcast and not very sunny for most of my visit – until the following afternoon, of course, when I was back on the train.

6. Marvel at the Chester Beatty Library exhibitions

I thoroughly enjoyed the”First Fragments: Biblical Papyrus from Roman Egypt” exhibition at the Chester Beatty Library. It had been on from 28 October 2022 until 3 September 2023, but I got to see it before closed up.
Chester Beatty Library First Fragments book on display
Antique calligraphy and writing tools

One of the hidden gems I found on my first visit to Dublin City was the Chester Beatty Library, located just across from the Dubh Linn Garden and behind the Castle. Little did I know that it is not only considered the best museum in Dublin, but it has been voted the best museum in Europe. I loved my all-too-brief visit and am still thinking about what I saw in the temporary exhibit that I got to see just before it closed. There were some truly beautiful books with exquisite writing in them.

The Chester Beatty mainly focuses on religious and artistic exhibitions. Their collections change throughout the year so keep up-to-date on the latest news and plan your visit accordingly. You can even get a sneak peek at some of the 3D Collections to help you get excited about the works before you go.

Dublin Castle
Dublin 2
D02 AD92
Opening hours:
Monday-Sat 9:45am – 5:30pm
Wednesday: 9:45am – 8pm
Sunday 12 pm -5:30 pm
Cost: Free
Suggested donation: €10
Best time of year to visit: Indoor activities are great year-round, but as I explained above, check out their temporary exhibitions and see when you’d like to go. I recommend combining it with a visit to Dublin Castle so plan accordingly to fit both places into your trip itinerary.

7. Take a pic with the really overrun Temple Bar

The Temple Bar, Dublin Ireland

Don’t listen to or believe all the influencers – this famous bar is rarely quiet and there is always a crowd outside. I am now fairly certain that the photos you see on the Internet are photoshopped or taken at the crack of dawn (and then edited with software or an app).

However, the Temple Bar district (which I only learned the difference from last year) is a great place to catch live music. It might be a bit overpriced to enjoy it at this particular venue but, it is the only pub in Temple Bar that has a licensed beer garden. So if you’re visiting in the summer or early fall and it’s not raining – it might not be a bad idea! Just be forewarned that you’ll be paying quite a bit for something you could get at a local bar and you’ll be surrounded by tourists instead of Irish locals.

If you’re coming from the United States and live in a major city, the prices I’ve listed below may not give you a huge sticker shock, but they are quite high when compared to drink prices in Spain, Portugal, Italy and France. Ironically, most of their wine selection is actually from both Spain and Italy. Their menu and price lists seem to be updated every year so keep in mind that this information is subject to change. After a quick browse, it’s easy to see The Temple Bar‘s main draw: their extensive list of international alcoholic drinks and spirits. With “gourmet” pizzas and sandwiches starting at €20, my recommendation is to get your food elsewhere, but grabbing a drink and listening to their live musical guests (no cover charge) seems to be the main thing to do at this pub. In fact, they have won the Irish Music Pub Award every year since 2002.

47-48 Temple Bar
Dublin 2
D02 N725
Opening hours: Monday-Wednesday 10:30 am-1:30 am; Thursday-Saturday 10:30 am-2:30 am;
Sunday 12:30 pm-2:30 am. Kitchen closes at 7pm on Fridays, otherwise it’s 8pm every other day.
Estimated food and drink costs: Wine from €10.50/glass; cocktails from €15.50; stouts and lagers from €8.95/pint; whiskey (no prices are listed but the menu suggests that you scan the QR to access their mobile ordering platform)
Best time of day to visit: The Temple Bar has a no reservations policy, so private functions are not allowed. Be aware of when the kitchen closes (7-8pm each day, depending on the day) if you want to go for a meal and not just a drink. The fact that many bars and pubs in Europe either don’t serve food or stop serving food after a certain hour is something that irritates my husband, who is not much of a drinker. If you just want to stop in for a pint or a cocktail later in the evening, my best advice is to eat something substantial first!

8. Walk across Ha’penny Bridge (for free)

Officially known as the Liffey Bridge (the River Liffey runs underneath it), this famous footbridge was finished in May 1816. It is made of cast-iron and, if you can believe it, was first built in Shropshire, England and then shipped over to Dublin. It’s called the Ha’penny Bridge, because up until 1919, it cost half a penny to cross it.

This is the bridge that you see on all the Dublin-themed postcards with either the skyline or views with the city center framed in the background. The city has several bridges and while I kept my eyes peeled for this one, I did so much running around the first day I was there, that I only made it here both after sunset and a later dinner. I tried to show my brother the view from it on a FaceTime call, but I had terrible data coverage all across Dublin (only 3G – remember when that was good? haha) so our call paused and failed multiple times. He will have to come over here and see the sights with me on a future visit to make up for that lackluster virtual view.

Bachelors Walk
North City (Dublin)
Directions: Take Merchant’s Arch from the city center in Temple Bar to cross the bridge
Best time of day to visit:
During the day would be ideal, but if you’re traveling in a group, try not to take up too much space on it when taking pictures. Dublin residents do need to cross it to get to run their daily errands and other things.

9. Grab a pint at the Guinness Storehouse Experience

This Guinness stout is actually a half pint (and available to enjoy at the airport) so be prepared for the full-size to look a whole lot bigger when you order one.

Dublin Airport, January 2023.

As they say, Guinness tastes the best on the Isle of Ireland. It is the only thing you can do in Dublin that I would honestly feel comfortable skipping. I’m in my mid-30s now and I have just don’t like beer, with the rare exception of a few Spanish, Portuguese and Belgian beers. I say few, but we’re talking like 1 beer from each country.

I’m not the best person to give recommendations for this type of activity and even though I haven’t acquired a taste for a beer some 14 years later, I still get told that I just need to try different types of beer. I’m all for trying new things, but you cannot convince me that I can enjoy beer or that it quenches my thirst – two things I can’t believe people actually do. When I do have a caña somewhere in Spain, I usually order a clara de limón, which is the closest thing to the beer Radler, to add some flavor to it. That said, I didn’t hate the taste of Guinness when I took a couple of sips from my husband’s half pint at the airport.

You can see for yourself what it tastes like on the very popular Guinness Storehouse tour. It has been brewed at this very storehouse since 1759. From what I’ve read, you go through about 7 floors learning the history and exploring the storehouse and at the end, you get to drink a pint (with optional decorations) that’s included in the price of your ticket. Choose the experience that best fits your budget and book tickets ahead of time. Because of Guinness’ worldwide fame, it’s safe to say that this attraction is busy all year round.

St. James’s Gate
Dublin 8
D08 VF8H
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday 10am – 5pm; Friday-Sunday 9:30 am – 6:30 pm (hours may vary)
Cost: starting from €20/person
Best time of year to visit: As I’ve said before with indoor activities and attractions, they’re great options year round. Keep in mind that the summer months, June to September, and in sunny weather, distilleries and storehouses will be busier, so choose when to go based on your preferences and how well you deal with crowds.

10. Eat at the Brazen Head (Ireland’s oldest pub)

Dating back to 1198, it’s no wonder why so many Ireland lovers want to visit such a carefully preserved historic landmark. You can browse the menu ahead of time and read the reviews for recommendations what to order. I only had enough time for a quick stop to briefly admire the exterior and a patron was kind enough to snap a quick photo but, I will be back soon to try something from their simple yet classic menu sometime soon!

20 Lower Bridge St
Usher’s Quay
Dublin, D08 WC64
Opening hours: 12pm to late
Cost: around €30 per person (food and drink)
Best time of year to visit: Spring and summer are likely the best times to visit because if you are looking for live entertainment or music, you won’t find it during the fall and winter months. If you do dine outside in the back beer garden in warmer weather, watch out for bees and wasps!

11. See St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Built between the years of 1191 and 1270, it’s no secret why this Gothic cathedral is on a ‘things to do in Dublin’ list. The Patron Saint of Ireland, Patrick, is well-known worldwide and you can book a slot and do a self-guided tour to see the inside of the church that’s dedicated to his legacy. You may not know this but St. Patrick wasn’t originally from Ireland. He was born in what is now considered to be modern day Wales. He was kidnapped by pirates and sold as a slave in Ireland. He is said to have worked as shepherd on Mt. Slemish (near Ballymena) before he escaped to go back to his family. He later returned to the island to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity and, as legend has it, drove the snakes out of Ireland for good. The symbolism could also represent the “devils of paganism.”

Today, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland. The site which it stands on is holy ground. St. Patrick is reported to have baptised the Celtic leaders in the 5th century there, although this may be fiction. Dublin’s cathedral is not as flashy as the one in New York, which was built in a neo-Gothic style with thousands of stained glass windows, but it is a special place. The church often hosts special concerts, choirs and other events throughout the year so be sure to check out what’s going on via their website, which is available in English as well as 8 other languages. Entrance to this attraction and over 40 others is included when you purchase the Go City Dublin Pass.

St Patrick’s Close (at the intersection of Patrick Street and Upper Kevin Street)
Dublin, D08 H6X3
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 9:30am – 5pm; Saturday 9am – 6pm; Sunday 9am – 6pm (with additional closures for mass, see website)
Cost: Adults €10; Students/Seniors €9; Child (6-12) €4.50
Best time of year to visit: Easter or Christmas might offer more special events and masses if you want to take advantage of attending a service at the Cathedral. Ask yourself what you want to get out this visit and then go from there when deciding what time of day or season to visit it in.

12. Sample the international food scene

After I compared several menus and restaurants around the city center, I came back to a place I had lingered over at the very beginning of my quest: Kopitiam Dublin, a fantastic and delicious Malaysian restaurant. Even though it was late August, I ordered a rich, flavorful King Prawn, chicken and beef noodle soup with peppers and mint leaves to take the spicy edge off. It was such a good meal that I am still thinking about it and all its flavors now, some six months later.

I was quickly reminded that I was not in Spain that evening and this was indeed a spicy dish, however, I was pleasantly surprised how well the mint calmed my mouth, even though my nose thought otherwise. I realize now at the time of writing this post just how hydrated I was that evening with the large pot of Chinese (green) tea I had ordered and a large glass of water.

This is just a snapshot of the international food scene that you’ll encounter in Dublin. You can find anything from Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Nepalese, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, American (specifically New Orleans and more)…the list is long. I will update this post as time goes on and I try more places.

Average main entrée prices: €16-22+ per dish; drinks from €4-5+ (double these prices if they’re alcoholic)
Best time of year to enjoy this: Any time is a good time to check out Dublin’s food scene if you’re craving a particular type of cuisine!

13. Go to a bar with live music

If a loud and crowded atmosphere at The Temple Bar is not your cup of tea, take time to explore other areas of Dublin and keep your eye out for Live Music chalkboard signs at pubs. Visitors (and locals sometimes) to Ireland love to go listen to live traditional Irish music at a local pub. Plenty of them advertise whether they offer it or not on chalkboards or a pre-made sign that sits or hangs in the window.

I skipped this activity during my first visit for a few reasons: 1) I was alone and didn’t want to go into a crowded pub and have to shout my order at someone for an overpriced drink; 2) I went away to be able to chill in a hotel room by myself -which doesn’t happen too often and 3) although I felt safe in Dublin, I don’t know the city that well and didn’t want to walk back at night and possibly in the rain. You might be wondering why I have this picture, though. The only reason why I even snapped it was because I would’ve shook my head and ignored all those “nos” if someone at this place had been putting on a Live Smooth Jazz performance – which is much more up my alley.

Anyway, from the information I’ve gathered online in terms of where to go to see any type of live music -not just traditional Irish music – Temple Bar is the most touristy and most expensive. While it is known for its bubbly atmosphere, colorful buildings and vibrant nightlife, there are more pubs here in this concentrated area than anywhere else in the city. If you want to avoid the crowds of middle-aged tourists, go in the mid-to-late afternoon to get a better seat and possibly get some food to go with your pints. The Western part of Temple Bar also has highly rated bars, but do a quick scan of their websites or Google Maps/Trip Advisor to see when they offer live music.

Here’s a short list I found of recommended pubs:
-O Donohue’s Pub (Dublin 2)
-Darkey Kelly’s (Christchurch)
-The Lord Edward (Christchurch; Dublin’s oldest fish restaurant, too)
-The Cobblestone (Temple Bar)
-Bad Bob’s (Temple Bar)

Best districts: Temple Bar (but go in the afternoons); Dublin 2, Christchurch, Dublin 4
Average drink cost: €7 and up, unless there is a promotion going on

14. Kilmainham Gaol

Another popular thing to do in Dublin. Of all the things on this list, this attraction is located on the other side of town, so you need to plan your arrival time carefully. Latecomers are not admitted which means you must choose your time slot wisely (not first thing in the morning if you’ve just flown transatlantic). I’d recommend visiting after a good night’s sleep and after breakfast, once you’ve got your bearings if you plan to pay this attraction a visit early on during your Ireland trip.

Tickets can be purchased up to 28 days in advance of your desired date. The tour lasts 2 hours and you’ll need to arrive 15 minutes early, so plan out your transportation (Luas, Dublin Bus, taxi, Uber, etc) correctly and be punctual. The reason you should be early for your tour is likely to accommodate tour guide shift changes, occupancy limits and to prevent any possible delays.

Inchicore Rd
Dublin 8
D08 RK28
Opening hours: Open year round (except for December 24th-27th) Monday – Sunday from 9:30am – 5:15pm; last tour starts at 4:15pm.
Cost: Adult €8; Senior €6; Student €4; Family €20 (2 adults and 2-3 kids); Children under 12 free (but you still need to book a ticket for them, listed as “Under 12 Complimentary Ticket.”
Best time of year to visit: Since they’re open all year (except for Christmastime), this attraction is an interesting add-on to any itinerary, rain or shine. You might not want to trek all the way over to this side of the city if it’s pouring outside first thing in the morning, but I’ll let you make your own decision.

15. Visit some Irish-centric museums

Last summer, we spent part of the day visiting the Ulster American Folk Park together. Later on in the month, we went to the Ulster Transport Museum with some friends and ended up signing up for their museum card, which we can still one more time before it expires at the end of July 2024. You can’t just sign up for a month like we thought but, at £6/month for two people, we are happy to be able to support the museum group and directly contribute to reducing their maintenance costs.

While our visits here have piqued my interest in Irish immigration and its connections around the world, I wasn’t able to squeeze in time to visit even just one immigration or national museum in Dublin. My honest opinion is that I feel they close much earlier than many of the museums located in continental Europe do (Spain and Italy, for example). Besides, I think I’d enjoy a visit a whole lot more with my Masters in History degree-holding husband even more, so we’ll definitely choose one of the museums on the list below and learn even more about immigration and Ireland’s unique history.

List of Irish-centric museums

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum (the most popular and prolific search result on lists and blogs)
The Jeanie Johnston: An Irish Famine Story (set on a ship and the one I want to go back and visit the most)
The Famine Memorial (a set of outdoor sculptures that tell the story of the 19th-century Irish Famine)
Custom House Visitor Centre
The Little Museum of Dublin
National Museum of Ireland (Archeology, Natural History)*
National Gallery of Ireland*
National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland
Dublinia (a Viking-themed interactive experience)
Museum of Literature of Ireland (MoLI)

Several along Custom House Quay, North City, Dublin 2 and St. Stephen’s Green
Opening hours: generally from 9:45 am/10am – 4:30/5pm
Cost: average cost for the EPIC Museum (€21 Adult; €18.50 Student; €14.50 Teenager, €10.50 Child); check each of the museum’s websites for the exact cost of their entrance fees.
Best time of year to visit: Again, if it’s a rainy day, the museums might be packed, but it’s a great way to spend your time in either the high or low season.
*Government funded museums are free for everyone

16. Check out the shopping streets

Grafton Street is one of a few shopping streets where you’ll find lots of US, Irish, UK and International brand names on.

A memory that sticks out in my mind when I flew home after teaching in Spain for one whole school year via London (and British Airways) was being in line at the US border. My final flight landed at JFK and after several months away, my ears were getting re-adjusted to hearing the American accent everywhere. Even though this was almost 9 years ago, I remember hearing a particular conversation between the agent and a woman and her two kids as if it were yesterday.

“Ma’am, what is the purpose of your visit to the United States?”

Her reply? “Shopping.” She may have elaborated more, but this is all I remember hearing.

My reaction as I stood behind them?

“Who would come all the way from the UK to go shopping in NYC?” (It didn’t make sense to me at that moment in time).

Later on, I thought back to how a few years earlier, one of the main motivations a Spanish friend from college had was to buy a new Macbook in NYC during his visit. The exchange rate between euros and dollars was much better between 2010 and 2015 so he made a smart decision.

After spending a day and a half in Dublin, I realized that you honestly could go there to shop and make a whole weekend out of the activity. I must admit that being so used to several stores in the UK with prices listed in GBP, it was strange for me to see places like M&S, TESCO and Boots with price tags in euros. I wandered around the Jervis Shopping Centre (which houses 70 different stores) to get a couple of beauty products I needed refills of. On my way back to the hotel, I came across an open-air, farmer’s market with stalls all along nearby Mary Street.

My best advice is to decide where you want to go and what type of shopping experience you’re after: high-end luxury, shopping the sales (Summer and Christmas sales), open-air markets, shopping centres and arcades (not with games, but where all the shops are under one roof) or farmer’s markets.

Best locations for shopping: Grafton Street, Henry Street, George’s Street Arcade, Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Jervis Shopping Centre, Boulevard Gallery, Dundrum Town Centre and Powerscourt Townhouse Centre (which used to be the former Dublin townhouse of Viscount Powerscourt) located on South William Street.

17. Go on a food tour

Pub crawls and food tours are a couple of travel pastimes that can be hard for Americans to wrap our minds around due to how distinct European cities are set up compared to their “across the pond” counterparts. Nonetheless, they are really popular things to do when traveling around the European continent mainly because you can try several different dishes and drinks from different places all in one evening.

While I have not tried more than a small handful of places in Dublin itself, I can recommend a partner of a food tour company I know well. That company is Devour Tours, which blends the food, drinks and history of the city you’re visiting all together for one amazing day or evening. Their partner Take Walks offers a decently priced Dublin food tour (€79/person) as well as a historic landmark tour (€135/person, with entrance to the Guinness Storehouse and a distillery) if you’re looking for a multi-stop tour around the city in addition to food.

The two major benefits of going on a food tour are: 1) you get to sample different dishes from pre-approved and highly-rated restaurants, bars and pubs and 2) you can also meet new people from your group. I love the combination of food, storytelling and history and have enjoyed each tour I’ve done with Devour Tours (one was a market stall tour and the other one was a market/cooking class tour).

The Cheeky Piglet was a place I found via a website that’s similar to this list of breakfast places on LovinDublin when I was looking for cheaper meals under €10-20. I got there around 12pm so I opted for a brunch item to hold me over for a while until I caught my train back later that afternoon. The name is adorable and while it was closer to places like The Brazen Head, it was totally worth the visit, even just to get served specially selected loose leaf tea inside a glass-shaped teapot.

Popular food tour locations: The Palace Bar, The Brazen Head, Capitol Lounge, The Stags Head, Mulligans, Bowes Fleet, Slattery’s (get more ideas on Reddit and other websites)
Average length of tour: 2-4 hours (more if you want to combine landmarks with food stops)
Cost: anywhere from €20/person on up, but it really will depend on what you want to do
Best time of year to visit: Consider coming at a time when you can try some of the country’s seasonal dishes (Irish stew, Irish pancakes, soda bread, shepherd’s pie, vol-au-vents, etc) while they’re being eaten and enjoyed by the locals.

18. Experience Dublin’s tech and creative scenes

Another type of Dublin trip you could take is a creative tour of the city. I’d especially recommend checking out the power boxes (electricity generators) all around the city that seemed to have a mural or street art painted on them. If you are big into music, the Irish Music Wall of Fame (as well as the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame) is another must-see. I’ll expand on this section once I go for a proper tour of the arts, music and tech scenes of Dublin so stay tuned!

That’s all I’ve got when it comes to things to do in Dublin! Is there anything I should check out the next time I visit the city or anything you love to do? Be sure to share this with someone who is planning a trip to Ireland. Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to my ever-growing list.

Scroll to Top