Dublin’s top sights: 20 irresistable reasons to visit Ireland’s capital

If you love culture, history, drool-worthy eateries, and plenty of good craic, Dublin is the place to be! 🍀

But if you’re not yet convinced, we’ve put together 20 irresistible reasons to visit, giving you a peek into some of the most incredible things to do in the city.

1. St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick's CathedralOver 1500 years ago, St. Patrick’s Cathedral saw locals baptised by St. Patrick himself. Since then, the site has remained a place of spiritual encounter. A free guided tour is one of the best ways to learn all about its history, whilst getting a glimpse of the spectacular architecture inside.

Throughout the year, there are even several fantastic concerts and events scheduled at the venue, offering endless fun for all ages. So, if you really want to see the cathedral come to life, booking tickets for the entire family is a must!

2. Abbey Theatre

Abbey TheatreKnown as the National Theatre of Ireland, Abbey Theatre has been a cultural hub since 1904. Throughout the decades, it’s seen many actors grow from amateurs to recognised names. The aim has always been to showcase “the deeper emotions of Ireland” through unmissable performances.

Now, you can see a wide range of plays from some of the most enthralling classics to brand-new material. If you fancy paying a visit, you’ll be in for a real treat as there are so many fantastic plays on show all year round.

3. Guinness Storehouse

Guinness StorehouseThose who enjoy an occasional pint of Guinness will have a blast at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. This iconic brewery experience allows visitors to learn all about the history of Ireland’s most raved-about beer. Take it all in with a self-guided tour and enjoy a taste of the good stuff in the tasting room.

If you’re hungry, it would be rude to visit the storehouse and not tuck in at one of the onsite eateries. With plenty of options ranging from a light bite and a coffee to three-course meals inspired by Guinness, you can really get the full Guinness Storehouse experience.

4. Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College DublinTrinity College Dublin, also known as The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth, is Ireland’s leading university. The campus was created back in 1592 and is therefore riddled with incredible architecture from throughout the centuries.

If you fancy a visit, you can walk around the stunning grounds, taking in the wonderful sights of the university. But you can also see The Book of Kells and the famous Long Room on a guided tour. When you’ve got an afternoon to spare, Trinity College Dublin is the perfect place to be.

5. Dublin Castle

Dublin CastleBuilt on a Viking settlement in Dublin back in the early thirteenth century, Dublin Castle was the headquarters for English administration in Ireland. But in 1922, after Ireland’s Independence, it came under the ownership of the Irish government.

Visitors can experience the castle via a self-guided tour, or immerse in a guided tour with some of the venue’s most knowledgeable staff. They’ll take you around the state apartments, the Medieval section, or the Chapel Royal, helping you learn more about the history of this iconic venue. Take your loved ones and your camera, you’ll certainly want to capture the trip!

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6. Kilmainham Gaol

Intrigued to learn more about Ireland’s criminals? Kilmainham Gaol was once a prison but has been preserved as a national monument. The venue operates by guided tours only and aims to give fascinated visitors a peek into life at the prison where thousands, children included, were held for over a century.

Some of the country’s most prominent events even have links to the prison, such as the 1798 rebellion and the Anglo-Irish War, helping you understand more about Ireland’s past. Once the tour is complete, you must head to the on-site museum for a deeper look at the prison’s history. Consider Kilmainham Gaol a brilliant day out for history lovers!

7. Phoenix Park

When you’re craving an escape from city life, Phoenix Park is our go-to spot. This enclosed public park is one of the most expansive in any European capital city, spanning over 1,700 acres. Once named the Royal Hunting Park during the 17th century, you may be lucky enough to see herds of fallow deer on your strolls. But there’s much more to do than appreciate the wildlife.

Why not take a guided tour around the regal Farmleigh Estate? If you’re with the kids, Dublin Zoo is a must. Or, you can play dot-to-dot with all the incredible monuments. Whatever you get up to, Phoenix Park will not disappoint.

8. Christ Church Cathedral

Got an appreciation for spectacular architecture? The Christ Church Cathedral displays breathtaking arches, intriguing floor tiles, and plenty of ornate details. The best way to make the most of this nearly 1,000-year-old construction is to immerse in a self-guided tour.

This way, you can explore the depths of the cathedral at your own pace, taking in the many stories hidden inside. However, sticking around to enjoy a service, recital, or listen to the hair-raising music is certainly another fabulous way to experience the Christ Church Cathedral in all its glory.

9. National Gallery of Ireland

If you regularly find yourself wandering around prestigious art galleries, the National Gallery of Ireland will be right up your street. Inside, you’ll find jaw-dropping works from the likes of Hughie O’Donoghue, James Coleman, and other inspiring artists.

Many of the artwork inside the gallery features as a permanent fixture, however, you can also see incredible temporary exhibitions. Take the entire family along – there are drawing materials for both kids and adults, as well as a cosy cafe for a bite to eat.

10. Croke Park

Stamford Bridge StadiumLove sports? Croke Park is a top-tier stadium, known for being the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). For over 100 years, locals and visitors have flocked to the venue to watch an array of sports, from football to rugby and even soccer. Many concerts have also taken place on the grounds.

Why not book tickets for a game or head to the GAA Museum? The on-site tours are the best way to immerse in the park’s history and culture. And with 3 tours to choose from, including the stadium, skyline tour, and the museum, it’s completely up to you how you spend your day!

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11. The Little Museum of Dublin

Want to hear all about the story of Dublin? The Little Museum of Dublin is set in a delightful Georgian townhouse in the city centre. With several fantastic tour guides, you’ll be walked around the house as you discover unique facts and memorable stories about the city. There’s a chance to learn all about Ireland’s rock icons, U2, and you’ll even hear the tales of Queen Victoria’s visit.

Plus, you can immerse in a one-of-a-kind treasure hunt – great for history-loving kids to get involved. Any visit to Dublin would not be complete without a trip to this glorious museum.

12. Ha’penny Bridge

If you’re exploring Dublin on foot, make sure to stop by the Ha’penny Bridge near O’Connell Street. This eye-catching iron bridge was the first of its kind when built back in 1816, and was designed as a footbridge over the River Liffey. Back in the day, pedestrians were charged a ha’penny simply to get from one side to the other, making it Ireland’s first toll bridge.

Consider it a great slice of history to see before heading to several iconic attractions nearby, such as the ever-famous Temple Bar Pub.

13. National Botanic Gardens

For avid gardeners, the National Botanic Gardens certainly deserve a spot on your packed- out itinerary. Located in Glasnevin, just outside the hustle and bustle of Dublin’s city centre, be prepared to enter a world of pure relaxation. Around every corner, you’ll find over 15,000 mesmerising plant species from all over the globe. There are also several restored iron glasshouses, filled with an array of plants from attractive succulents to sun-loving palms and pretty orchids. Grab a cuppa in the Garden Tearoom before you leave – there’s no better place to enjoy panoramic views of the gardens.

14. Malahide Castle & Gardens

Heading out of the city? Malahide Castle and Gardens offer all-day enjoyment for the entire family. Built over 800 years ago in 1185, this medieval heritage site gives visitors a real taste of Irish history. With help from the venue’s fantastic tour guides, you can discover intriguing stories of the place where the Talbot family has lived for generations.

Explore the interior, including the furniture and artwork collection, walk around the 260 acres of perfectly kept gardens, and learn all about the ghosts inside the castle. If you adore history, Malahide Castle and Gardens are sure to be one of your favourite spots in Dublin.

15. Molly Malone Statue

Ever heard the song ‘Cockles and Mussels’? Molly Malone is the iconic subject of this traditional Irish folk song. Back in the 17th century, she worked as a fishmonger by day, but she was also known as a lady of the night.

The Molly Malone statue on Suffolk Street was created to celebrate her as a working-class hero in the city. Why not make a visit and take a photo with the Irish icon?

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16. Irish Whiskey Museum

Ireland is famous for countless things, but their whiskey is just one of many that have generated international intrigue. The Irish Whiskey Museum is a chance to experience the best-of-the-best whiskeys thanks to their well-loved guided tours, complete with tastings.

You’ll also learn all about the history of the drink as the knowledgeable guides walk you through the decades. When the tour is complete, why not stop by at the bar? There’s no better place to enjoy a glass of the famous tipple.

17. Jameson Bow St. Distillery

Jameson is, without a doubt, one of the most recognisable Irish whiskey producers on the market. If you’re partial to a glass or two, then a trip to the Distillery on Bow Street in Dublin is essential. Aside from offering one of the world’s leading distillery tours, there’s a myriad of experiences to enjoy inside.

You can immerse in a cocktail-making class, enjoy a premium tasting session, or bottle your own whiskey. If you’re searching for a whiskey experience with a difference, the incredible team at Jameson Bow St. Distillery delivers exactly that!

18. Temple Bar

A minibreak in Dublin would not be complete without a trip to Temple Bar, a vibrant district brimming with culture, museums, vintage shops, and trendy eateries.

Adore Irish music? Love trying out one-of-a-kind beers and whiskeys? The Temple Bar Pub is a family-owned pub in the heart of the area, known for serving drinks and food with a side of good craic. In fact, they have Ireland’s largest collection of whiskeys, with over 350 bottles. Live music starts at 10.30am, so anytime is a great time to enjoy a drink with friends and family!

19. The Brazen Head

Want to immerse in an abundance of history whilst tucking into good grub and a cheeky tipple? The Brazen Head on Bridge Street is the oldest pub in Ireland, dating back to 1198. Inside, the building has been refurbished to bring a modern feel whilst giving you a peek into its history.

Get comfortable in a cosy corner or enjoy the beating sunshine in summer in the courtyard. With traditional Irish music playing in the background, this famous pub will help you embrace the best of Ireland’s rich history.

20. Glasnevin National Cemetery

If you fancy a stroll whilst taking in a slice of Dublin’s history, you have to visit Glasnevin National Cemetery. Established over 190 years ago in 1832, this burial site spans an incredible 124 acres and is the resting place for over 1.5 million Irish citizens.

Many iconic figures in Irish history are also buried in this famous graveyard, giving visitors a chance to pay their respects. Why not immerse in the peacefulness of the tree-lined walkways before grabbing a bite to eat in the cafe?

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