So, you want to explore Ireland’s capital but don’t have all the time in the world? Have no fear! This list covers a lot of the “must-see” spots.
1. Tour the Guinness Storehouse
Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction, the Guinness Storehouse is home to the iconic “Black Stuff”. This isn’t your average brewery tour by a long shot. Visitors begin their journey at the bottom of the world’s largest pint glass. From there, they make their way through seven floors containing state-of-the-art interactive experiences; discovering how this treasured drink came to be. They take in the scent, sight and, of course, taste of Ireland’s beloved Guinness along the way. The pint tastes even better (if that’s possible) when served in the storehouse’s world-famous rooftop Gravity Bar. Even those who aren’t big fans of Guinness won’t want to miss the bar’s breathtaking views of Ireland’s capital. It’s just about unthinkable to set foot in Dublin and not take a tour in the building that creates this beloved Irish drink.
2. Discover Trinity College and the Book of Kells
There’s nothing quite like the campus of Ireland’s top ranked university. Located in the heart of Dublin’s city centre, Trinity College is a lovely destination combining the perfect mix of old meets new. Visitors can take official guided tours of its four major squares and gain insight into the school’s 500-year history. The Old Library is a reading-lover’s haven that dates back to the 18th century. A walk through its long hall feels like a stroll through time as you pass rows upon rows of old books.
Another key thing visitors won’t want to miss at Trinity is the Book of Kells. This exhibition showcases the illuminated manuscript Gospel book completed in 384 A.D. Its manuscript is stunning in detail and artistry with portraits and symbols found throughout its ancient pages. This Irish treasure is truly something that must be seen in person.
3. Feel like a royal at Dublin Castle
Spanning over 44,000 square meters, Dublin Castle has played a key role in the history and evolution of Ireland’s capital. Its existence has lasted from the first Celtic settlement in the 1st century A.D. all the way through every Irish presidential inauguration. A tour depicts all the beauty and legend behind its corridors. Visitors can immerse themselves in places like The Chapel Royal, The Garda Museum, The Chester Beatty Library and The Revenue Museum.
4. Enter a world of myth and legend at the National Leprechaun Museum
Visitors are invited to step into a world of magic, myth and legend at the National Leprechaun Museum in Dublin. The cultural journey of the Leprechaun and its transformation throughout history is showcased at this popular destination. Visitors will find interactive experiences taking them back to the 8th century all the way to the present. A leprechaun-sized world is also featured and makes for great photo opportunities. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow during your visit.
5. Catch a rugby game at Croke Park
Named in honor of Archbishop Thomas Croke, Croke Park is home to Dublin’s iconic stadium. Sporting events held here are second to none and host an audience of more than 82,000 fans. The Gaelic Athletic Association Museum also offers tours of the stadium featuring an inside look at the history behind Ireland’s largest sporting organization.
6. Have a pint at the Temple Bar
They say if you can only go to one pub in Dublin, make it The Temple Bar. Take one step inside, and it’s not hard to see why that is. This iconic destination is thought of as the friendliest watering hole in Dublin. Tourists and locals alike venture here for a pint and great banter. The Temple Bar boasts delicious craft beer and whiskey, fresh food, a beer garden and bragging rights as Irish Music Pub of the year for 10 straight years.
7. Take in the Emerald Isle’s history at the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology
Established in 1890, this exhibition features the best of the best in archaeological collections. The Treasury section brings visitors an up close view of Celtic and Medieval art and shares the stories of how so much of it came to be. Other stunning works of art on display are a collection of prehistoric gold artefacts and Viking paraphernalia. The best part? Admission is free.
8. Stroll along the Ha’Penny Bridge
Built over the River Liffey, the Ha’Penny Bridge serves as an iconic link for getting around Dublin on foot. As Ireland’s capital is a great walking city, it’s difficult to visit Dublin and not use this bridge. When it first opened in 1816, the cost to cross was half of a penny, and, thus, the name stuck. Back then, a mere 450 people crossed the Ha’Penny Bridge daily. Today, that number has increased to an average of 30,000. With sights of some of Dublin’s best shops and the lovely river below, this is a bridge worth far more than half of a penny to all who cross it.
9. Tour St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Beautiful, historic and tranquil – this holy site is near the area where Saint Patrick baptized Christian converts more than 1500 years ago. It’s a place of worship that also welcomes many visitors to Dublin each year. One of the most important pilgrimage sites of Ireland, it contains a rich history that can be learned through fascinating guided tours. A visit leaves many feeling moved and at peace.
10. Attend the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Celebrate March 17 properly and spend the morning at the parade before visiting the pub. Deck out in your very best green attire and let the fun commence. With the parade’s traditional music, step-dancing, giant floats and green everywhere you turn, you’ll realize there’s no better place than Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day.