44 BEST Things to Do in Dublin, Ireland

Updated on: March 9, 2024 by Mick

Looking for the best things to do in Dublin, Ireland and wondering what's worth your time the most? Of course, you have to see the most famous places in Dublin, such as Trinity College, Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Jail, and the Guinness Storehouse! But there's so much more to do in Dublin than that, and the choice of what to visit and what to skip can get overwhelming.

So to help you figure out where to go and what to do when in Dublin, in this guide I share the VERY BEST experiences, TOP sights, and MOST POPULAR tourist attractions in Dublin that you really shouldn't miss. In addition, we also created a map of Dublin attractions that should help you plan your sightseeing itinerary.

Dublin, the vibrant capital of Ireland, stands out as a city steeped in history, culture, and an unmistakable sense of joy. From its ancient streets echoing with stories of yore to its lively pubs where the spirit of the city truly comes alive, Dublin offers an endless array of experiences. Whether you're a history buff, art aficionado, foodie, or simply in search of a good time, Dublin promises an adventure at every turn. In this comprehensive guide, I will explore the 44 best things to do in Dublin, each offering a unique glimpse into the heart and soul of the Irish capital.

Dublin Weather and When to Go

Dublin's weather is characterized by its mildness and, like much of Ireland, is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in moderate temperatures year-round. However, the city is known for its unpredictable weather, where you can experience several seasons in a single day. Here's a guide on what to expect weather-wise and the best times to visit Dublin.

Dublin Weather Overview

  • Spring (March to May): Spring sees Dublin gradually warming up, with average temperatures ranging from 8°C to 15°C (46°F to 59°F). This season experiences a mix of rain and sunshine, with the city beginning to bloom beautifully. It's a great time to visit if you prefer milder weather and fewer crowds.
  • Summer (June to August): Summers are mild and considered the best time to visit Dublin. Temperatures average between 15°C and 20°C (59°F to 68°F), with the longest days offering up to 18 hours of daylight. However, this is also peak tourist season, so expect more crowds and higher prices.
  • Autumn (September to November): Autumn brings cooler temperatures, ranging from 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F), and the city's parks are adorned with beautiful autumn colours. Rain is frequent, so packing a waterproof jacket is advisable. The tourist crowds start to thin out, making it a good time to explore the city more comfortably.
  • Winter (December to February): Winters are cold but rarely freezing, with temperatures hovering around 3°C to 8°C (37°F to 46°F). Days are short, and there's a high chance of rain, though snow is rare. Christmas markets and festive decorations make it a charming time to visit, despite the cold.

Best Time to Visit

  • For Good Weather: The best months for weather are May through August when the city enjoys the warmest temperatures and the most prolonged daylight hours. July and August are the warmest months, ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the countryside.
  • For Sightseeing: May, June, and September are excellent for sightseeing, offering a pleasant balance of good weather and smaller crowds. Visiting Dublin in these months provides the opportunity to enjoy Dublin's attractions without the peak season's hustle and bustle.
  • For Cultural Experiences: If you're interested in experiencing Dublin's vibrant cultural scene and don't mind the cooler weather, consider visiting in March to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the locals. The city comes alive with festivals, parades, and lots of green.

Remember, Dublin's weather can be unpredictable, so whatever time of year you choose to visit, it's wise to prepare for rain and bring layers to adjust to changing temperatures throughout the day.

Map of the Best Things to Do in Dublin

Map of the Top Things to Do in Dublin

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: First click on the map and it will open in a new window. Then click the icons on the map to see the names of places I mention in this guide. There are 3 layers to the map one for Must-See Attractions, one for all other attractions and one for off-the-Beaten Track sights.

The Go City Dublin Pass

If you intend to visit many attractions during your stay in Dublin, I recommend that you buy The Go City Dublin Pass. The gives you free entry to many of Dublin's most well-known tourist sites such as the Guinness Storehouse, The Irish Immigration Museum (EPIC), Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin Castle. You can buy a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5-day Pass.

Must-See Things to Do in Dublin

The first 10 attractions in the guide are must-see attractions and nearly all of these can be reached on foot if you are staying in the centre of Dublin. To get to Kilmainham Gaol, you will either need to take a bus or a taxi.

1. Visit Trinity College and The Book of Kells

Best Things To Do in Dublin - Trinity College Dublin Ireland
Entrance to Trinity College from Dame Street.

Trinity College Dublin, officially known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, is Ireland's oldest and most prestigious university. Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, the college is nestled in the heart of Dublin's city centre, offering a blend of historic charm and vibrant academic life. Its iconic campus is home to beautiful architecture, lush green spaces, and a lively community of students, faculty, and visitors from around the world.

The university is renowned for its rigorous academic programs, distinguished faculty, and contributions to research, innovation, and scholarship across a wide range of disciplines. Trinity College has educated many of Ireland's most notable figures in areas such as literature, science, politics, and the arts. Among its alumni are esteemed writers like Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, and Jonathan Swift, demonstrating the university's significant impact on Irish and global culture.

One of the most famous attractions on campus is the Old Library, an architectural masterpiece housing the Book of Kells, a 9th-century illuminated manuscript that is considered one of Ireland's greatest cultural treasures. The Long Room in the Old Library, with its vaulted ceilings and rows of ancient books, is often cited as one of the most beautiful library spaces in the world. It holds around 200,000 of the library’s oldest volumes and is adorned with marble busts of philosophers, writers, and Trinity College's own scholars.

Address: College Green, Dublin 2

2. Explore the Guinness Storehouse

Best Things To Do in Dublin - Guinness Storehouse Dublin

The Guinness Storehouse, located in the heart of Dublin at St. James's Gate, is an iconic attraction that celebrates the rich history and enduring legacy of Ireland's most famous beer, Guinness. Housed in a former fermentation plant, the Storehouse has been transformed into a seven-story visitor experience, dedicated to the brewing process, the history of the Guinness family, and the global phenomenon that Guinness has become since its founding by Arthur Guinness in 1759.

As visitors ascend through the levels of the Storehouse, they are taken on a journey through the history of Guinness, from its origins in the 18th century to its growth into a global brand. Interactive exhibits and multimedia displays delve into the craft of brewing, the importance of ingredients, and the science behind the distinctive taste of Guinness. One of the highlights is the Tasting Rooms, where visitors can learn how to discern the different elements that make up the beer's complex flavour profile.

The Storehouse is not just about the past; it also offers insights into the brand's pioneering advertising campaigns, featuring the iconic Guinness harp, toucans, and memorable slogans that have contributed to its worldwide recognition. The Art of Guinness exhibition showcases the creativity and innovation behind these campaigns, highlighting the brand's significant impact on advertising and popular culture.

At the top of the Storehouse is the Gravity Bar, offering breathtaking 360-degree views of Dublin city. Here, visitors can enjoy a complimentary pint of Guinness while taking in the panoramic sights, making it a memorable end to the Guinness experience. The Gravity Bar's unique location and stunning views make it a must-visit spot for anyone coming to Dublin.

Address: St. James's Gate, Dublin 8, D08 VF8H

3. Stroll Through St. Stephen's Green

Best Things To Do in Dublin - St Stephens Green Dublin

St. Stephen's Green, a verdant oasis nestled in the heart of Dublin, offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling city streets. Spanning over 22 acres, this historic park, which dates back to 1664, has evolved into one of Dublin's most beloved and picturesque public spaces. The Green was enclosed in 1664 and redesigned in the Victorian era to the layout we see today, with beautifully landscaped lawns, ornate flowerbeds, and a series of winding pathways that invite leisurely strolls.

The park is not only a haven for nature lovers but also a living museum, showcasing statues and memorials of Irish literary figures, historical personalities, and events. Among these are the memorials to W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, and the famine sculpture commemorating the Great Famine of the 19th century. Each monument tells a part of Ireland's rich history and cultural heritage, making a walk through the park an educational journey.

Central to St. Stephen's Green is a picturesque lake, home to ducks and swans, which provides a serene focal point within the park. The Victorian-era bandstand, still used for concerts during the summer months, adds a touch of historical charm and is a popular gathering spot for both locals and tourists.

4. Walk across the infamous Ha’penny Bridge

Best Things To Do in Dublin - Hapenny Bridge Dublin
Crossing the Hapenny Bridge to Temple Bar Passage.

Walking across the infamous Ha'penny Bridge is a quintessential Dublin experience, connecting the north and south sides of the city over the River Liffey. Officially named the Liffey Bridge, it acquired its nickname due to the half-penny toll initially charged to cross it when it opened in 1816. This cast-iron pedestrian bridge, with its charming white railings and lamp posts, offers picturesque views of the river and the cityscape, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists. The bridge's unique design and historical significance have made it an iconic symbol of Dublin. Crossing the Ha'penny Bridge is not just about traversing from one side of the city to the other; it's about stepping through a piece of Dublin's rich history and enjoying a moment of connection with the heart of the Irish capital.

5. Discover Dublin Castle

Best Things To Do in Dublin - Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle, with its deep historical roots stretching back to the Viking settlement in the 10th century, stands as a symbol of the complexity and continuity of Irish history. Located in the heart of Dublin, the castle has evolved from a medieval fortress into a major governmental complex, reflecting the changing political landscape of Ireland over the centuries.

Originally built in the early 13th century on the orders of King John of England, the castle served as the seat of English, and later British, administration in Ireland until 1922. Throughout its history, Dublin Castle has been a key site for ceremonial functions, including the inaugurations of the Presidents of Ireland and state receptions. Its architecture is a patchwork of styles, from the medieval Record Tower, the oldest surviving structure, to the neoclassical Chapel Royal, and the Victorian-era State Apartments, showcasing the castle's adaptation and transformation through time.

Today, Dublin Castle is open to the public, offering guided tours that explore its rich history, from the Viking excavations beneath the castle to the opulent State Apartments that hosted kings, queens, and presidents. The castle's rooms, including St. Patrick's Hall, the Throne Room, and the State Drawing Room, are filled with art and furnishings that tell the story of Ireland's political and social evolution.

The castle also hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events, making it a vibrant centre of Irish heritage and contemporary culture. The Chester Beatty Library, located within the castle grounds, is a must-visit for its extensive collection of manuscripts, rare books, and other artefacts from Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, offering a global perspective on the art of the book.

Dublin Castle's significance goes beyond its historical and architectural value; it's a symbol of Irish sovereignty and independence, especially marked by the handover ceremony in 1922 that marked the end of British rule in most of Ireland. For visitors, the castle offers a journey through Ireland's complex past, showcasing the layers of history that have shaped the nation and its capital. Whether interested in medieval history, political heritage, or simply looking to explore one of Dublin's most iconic landmarks, Dublin Castle provides a unique and enriching experience.

Address: Dame St, Dublin 2

6. Explore the Kilmainham Gaol (Jail)

Best Things To Do in Dublin - Kilmainham Gaol Museum Dublin

Kilmainham Gaol, stands as a monumental site in Irish history, encapsulating the turbulent journey towards Irish independence. Opened in 1796 and operational until 1924, this former prison played a pivotal role in the story of Ireland's struggle for freedom, housing many of the most prominent figures in Irish nationalism and republicanism.

The architecture of Kilmainham Gaol is stark and imposing, with its cold, stone walls and cramped cells offering a visceral glimpse into the harsh conditions faced by its inmates. The prison complex includes the older, Georgian section with its small, dark cells and the newer Victorian wing, notable for its panopticon layout designed to maximize surveillance of prisoners.

One of the most significant events associated with Kilmainham Gaol is the execution of leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. The executions took place in the stonebreaker's yard within the prison grounds, marking a turning point in Irish history that galvanized support for independence. The leaders, including Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, and Joseph Plunkett, are commemorated at the site, and their stories are a central part of the gaol's narrative.

Today, Kilmainham Gaol operates as a museum, managed by the Office of Public Works. It offers guided tours that provide insights into not only the political significance of the site but also the social history of the time, including the conditions of poverty and crime that led many to its doors. The museum displays an extensive collection of memorabilia, letters, and artefacts that tell the personal stories of the men, women, and children who were imprisoned here.

The restoration of Kilmainham Gaol in the 1960s, led by volunteers, transformed the once derelict site into a place of national remembrance and reflection. The museum now serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made in the pursuit of Irish freedom and the complex history of the country's path to independence.

Address: Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8

7. Christ Church Cathedral - Marvel at Medieval Architecture

Best Things To Do in Dublin - Christ Church Cathedral Dublin

Founded c.1028, Christ Church Cathedral is one of Dublin's oldest and most significant buildings. With its magnificent nave, crypt, and treasury, the cathedral offers a journey through over 1,000 years of history, art, and architecture. Visitors can explore the medieval crypt, the oldest in Britain and Ireland, and view its treasures, including sacred relics and historical manuscripts. The cathedral's awe-inspiring beauty and historical depth make it a key attraction for those exploring Dublin's past.

Address: Christchurch Pl, Wood Quay, Dublin 8

8. Stop by the General Post Office (GPO)

Best Things To Do in Dublin - General Post Office (GPO) Dublin

The General Post Office (GPO) is more than just a functioning mail facility; it embodies Irish nationalism and stands as a crucial historical site. Situated on the lively O'Connell Street, the GPO captivates with its imposing façade, a masterpiece of Greek Revival architecture designed by Francis Johnston and completed in 1818. The structure is distinguished by its grand portico, featuring six fluted Ionic columns and adorned with statues and reliefs, establishing it as one of Dublin’s architectural treasures.

The GPO occupies a revered spot in Irish history due to its central role in the Easter Rising of 1916. It was the command post for the leaders of the uprising, marking the location where Patrick Pearse proclaimed the independence of the Irish Republic from British rule. This act ignited a series of events that would eventually lead to the creation of the Irish Free State. Evidence of the Rising, including bullet marks from the conflict, remains visible on the building’s exterior, serving as a stark reminder of its historical significance.

Beyond its postal duties, the interior of the GPO hosts the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre, an engaging exhibition that vividly recounts the Easter Rising. Through interactive exhibits, original artefacts, and compelling narratives, visitors gain insight into the importance of the uprising and its effect on Ireland’s path to independence. The exhibition offers a poignant look at the individual and collective stories of those involved, set against the backdrop of Ireland’s fight for sovereignty.

Address: O'Connell Street Lower, North City, Dublin 1, D01 F5P2

9. Visit the National Museum of Ireland (Archaeology)

Best Things To Do in Dublin - The National Museum of Ireland Archaeology Dublin

Delve into Ireland's ancient past with a trip to the National Museum (Archaeology). Home to an extensive collection of Irish artefacts, the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology offers a deep dive into the country's history. From prehistoric gold to Viking artefacts and the exquisite Tara Brooch, the museum's exhibits showcase the richness of Ireland's archaeological heritage, making it an enlightening visit for history buffs and curious travellers alike.

Address: Kildare Street, Dublin 2

10. Admire the Art at the National Gallery of Ireland

Best Things To Do in Dublin - National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland, located in the heart of Dublin, is a treasure trove of European and Irish art, spanning the early thirteenth century to the present day. Established in 1854, the gallery is home to over 16,300 artworks, offering a comprehensive overview of European art history alongside a significant collection of Irish paintings, making it an essential visit for art lovers and cultural explorers alike.

Housed in an elegant, historically significant building that combines classical and modern architectural elements, the gallery provides a serene and inspiring environment for visitors to immerse themselves in the world of art. The collections encompass masterpieces by renowned artists such as Caravaggio, Vermeer, Monet, Picasso, and Jack B. Yeats, presenting an opportunity to experience the breadth and depth of artistic achievement across centuries and styles.

Address: Merrion Square W, Dublin 2, D02 K303

More of the Best Things to do in Dublin

11. Visit St Patrick’s Cathedral

Best Things To Do in Dublin - St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin

St Patrick's Cathedral stands as a monumental piece of Ireland's religious and architectural heritage. Founded in 1191, it is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland and the largest cathedral in the country. Built on the site where St. Patrick, Ireland's patron saint, is said to have baptized converts in the 5th century, this stunning Gothic structure is steeped in history and spiritual significance.

The cathedral's spire, rising to over 43 meters, dominates the surrounding skyline, offering a striking landmark in Dublin's historic landscape. Inside, visitors are greeted by an awe-inspiring interior that houses magnificent stained glass windows, intricate stone carvings, and an impressive array of historical flags. The cathedral also contains the tomb of Jonathan Swift, author of "Gulliver's Travels" and Dean of St Patrick's in the 18th century, among other notable figures.

Address: St Patrick's Close, Dublin, D08 H6X3

12. Catch a Live Music Session in Temple Bar

Best Things To Do in Dublin - Irish Music Session Oliver St John Gogartys
Tradition Irish Music Session at Oliver St John Gogartys Pub in Temple Bar.

Immerse yourself in Dublin's vibrant music scene. Temple Bar is synonymous with Dublin's lively nightlife and music scene. This bustling area is filled with pubs and venues hosting live music sessions nightly, offering a mix of traditional Irish folk music and contemporary tunes. A night spent in Temple Bar, with its energetic atmosphere and foot-tapping melodies, is an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of Dublin's social life, making it a must-visit for music lovers and night owls alike. Many Pubs mentioned in my guide to the best pubs in Dublin hold Live Music sessions.

13. Take a Literary Pub Crawl

Best Things To Do in Dublin - Literary Pub Crawl Mulligans Pub Dublin
Mulligan's Pub was a hangout for great Irish writers such as James Joyce and Seamus Heaney.

Experience Dublin's famed literary tradition in a unique way. This guided tour is a must for literature lovers, combining the joy of Irish pub culture with the city's rich literary heritage. As you visit the favourite haunts of famous writers like James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, actors perform scenes and recite lines from their works, offering a lively and entertaining way to explore Dublin's literary landmarks and enjoy a pint or two along the way.

14. Discover the secrets of Irish whiskey at the Jameson Distillery

Best Things To Do in Dublin - Jameson Distillery Bow St Dublin

A visit to the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street offers an immersive experience of the world of Irish whiskey. Through guided tours, guests learn about the history of Jameson, the whiskey-making process, and even partake in whiskey-tasting sessions. The distillery blends rich historical narrative with interactive experiences, making it a favourite for both whiskey aficionados and curious newcomers eager to explore the spirit of Ireland.

Address: Bow St, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 N9VH

15. The Jeanie Johnston: An Irish Famine Story

Things To Do in Dublin - Jeanie Johnston Ship Dublin

The Jeanie Johnston is a replica of a 19th-century famine ship that transported thousands of Irish emigrants to North America. The ship, moored along the River Liffey, offers guided tours that tell the stories of those who fled the Great Famine. Visitors gain insights into the harsh conditions aboard famine ships and the hopes of emigrants seeking a new life. It's a moving tribute to resilience and survival, offering a profound historical perspective.

Address: Custom House Quay, North Dock, Dublin 1, D01 KF84

16. The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)

Best Things To Do in Dublin - The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)

The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), located in the historic Royal Hospital Kilmainham, is Ireland's leading national institution for the collection and presentation of modern and contemporary art. Renowned for its dynamic and diverse exhibitions, IMMA offers visitors an unparalleled exploration of art from the 20th and 21st centuries, showcasing works by both Irish and international artists.

Housed in a magnificent 17th-century building, which is an architectural masterpiece in its own right, IMMA stands on extensive grounds that include formal gardens and a medieval burial site, providing a serene backdrop to the museum's cutting-edge artistic offerings. The juxtaposition of contemporary art within the classical architecture of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham makes a visit to IMMA a visually stunning experience.

Address: Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8

17. Glasnevin Cemetery

Best Things To Do in Dublin - Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin

Glasnevin Cemetery, sprawling across Dublin's northside, is far more than a burial ground; it's a profound historical and cultural landmark. Founded in 1832, it encompasses over 1.5 million stories of Ireland's past, including those of political figures, poets, and revolutionaries who shaped the nation's history. Esteemed names like Daniel O’Connell, Michael Collins, and Éamon de Valera were laid to rest here, making it a pilgrimage site for those wishing to connect with Ireland's turbulent yet inspiring history. The cemetery offers guided tours that weave through the intricately carved Celtic crosses and Victorian mausoleums, telling tales of heroism, tragedy, and the quest for independence. Glasnevin is also home to the fascinating National Botanic Gardens, providing a serene escape amidst the historical narratives etched into its landscape. This site is not just about remembrance; it's a celebration of the Irish spirit and resilience.

Address: Finglas Rd, Glasnevin, Dublin, D11 H2TH

18. Dublinia: Experience Viking and Medieval Dublin

Things To Do in Dublin - Dublinia Museum

Step back in time to explore Dublin's Viking and Medieval past. Dublinia is an interactive museum located at the historic crossroads of the medieval city of Christchurch. It brings to life the era of the Vikings and the Middle Ages in Dublin through engaging exhibitions and recreated historical scenes. Visitors can learn about life in the city during these times, from the Viking raids to the daily grind of medieval Dubliners. It's a fascinating, family-friendly attraction that makes history fun and accessible.

Address: St Michaels Hill Christ Church, Dublin 8

19. The Little Museum of Dublin

Things To Do in Dublin - The Little Museum of Dublin

The Little Museum of Dublin, situated in a Georgian townhouse on St. Stephen's Green, offers a charming and intimate exploration of Dublin's 20th-century history. This museum, which has quickly become one of the city's most beloved cultural attractions since its opening in 2011, tells the story of the Irish capital through a vast collection of over 5,000 artefacts, all donated by the public. It's a museum that truly belongs to the people of Dublin, reflecting the city's spirit, struggles, and triumphs over the last century.

Each room in the museum is meticulously curated to showcase different aspects of Dublin life, from the rise of U2 to the visit of John F. Kennedy, capturing the essence of the city's social, cultural, and political landscape. The museum's collection includes photographs, letters, postcards, and personal items that bring personal stories and historical events to life in a way that is both engaging and informative.

Address: 15 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, D02 Y066

20. Go Shopping on Grafton Street

Things To Do in Dublin - Grafton Street Dublin

Experience Dublin's premier shopping destination with a stroll down Grafton Street. This street is not just a shopping street; it's a vibrant hub of activity, street performers, and historic charm. Lined with a mix of high-end retailers, quaint boutiques, and traditional Irish shops, it offers a diverse shopping experience. As you wander down the pedestrianized street, enjoy the lively atmosphere, street musicians, and the chance to pick up everything from luxury goods to unique Irish crafts, making it a must-visit for shopping enthusiasts.

21. The National Leprechaun Museum

Things To Do in Dublin - The National Leprechaun Museum Dublin

The National Leprechaun Museum takes visitors on a magical journey through the folklore and fairy tales of Ireland. Through captivating storytelling and interactive exhibits, this unique museum explores the origins and stories of the leprechaun and other Irish myths. It's a whimsical and entertaining experience that shines a light on the rich tapestry of Irish culture and its belief in the supernatural, making it a delightful visit for those curious about Ireland's mythical past.

Address: 2-3, Mary's Abbey, North City, Dublin, D07 X6R6

22. The EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

Things To Do in Dublin - EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is an award-winning, state-of-the-art interactive experience located in Dublin's Docklands. It tells the powerful and inspiring story of the 10 million Irish people who have emigrated across the globe. Through 20 themed galleries, visitors explore the profound impact of Irish emigrants on the world, in areas such as arts, science, politics, and sports. It's a modern, engaging way to understand the global dimension of Irish history and culture.

Address: The Chq Building, Custom House Quay, North Dock, Dublin 1

23. Samuel Beckett Bridge

Things To Do in Dublin - Samuel Beckett Bridge Dublin

The Samuel Beckett Bridge, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, is a striking feature of Dublin's skyline. Resembling a harp lying on its edge, the bridge symbolizes Ireland's cultural emblem and offers a modern contrast to the city's historic landscape. It's not only a functional pedestrian and vehicle bridge over the River Liffey but also a piece of public art that reflects Dublin's forward-looking spirit. A walk across provides beautiful views of the city and the river, especially at night.

24. The Iveagh Gardens

Things To Do in Dublin - The Iveagh Gardens Dublin

Tucked away behind the busy streets, the Iveagh Gardens are one of Dublin's best-kept secrets. This tranquil park offers a quiet escape with its cascading waterfalls, maze of pathways, and beautifully maintained lawns and flowerbeds. Originally designed in the 19th century for the Earls of Iveagh, the gardens' unique blend of landscape styles makes it a picturesque retreat in the heart of the city, perfect for a peaceful stroll or a leisurely picnic.

Address: St Stephen's Green, Park, Dublin 2, D02 HX65

25. Teeling Whiskey Distillery

Things To Do in Dublin - Teeling Whiskey Distillery

As the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years, Teeling Whiskey Distillery marks the revival of the city's storied whiskey tradition. Visitors can take a tour to learn about the distillation process, discover the family's whiskey-making heritage, and sample some of the award-winning spirits. The distillery's modern approach to an ancient craft, combined with its warm, welcoming atmosphere, makes it a standout destination for those interested in the art of whiskey production.

Address: 13-17 Newmarket, The Liberties, Dublin 8, D08 KD91

26. The Spire of Dublin

Things To Do in Dublin - The Spire of Dublin
The Spire is in the centre of Connell Street at the intersections of Henry Sreet and North Earl Street.

The Spire of Dublin, officially titled the Monument of Light, is a striking stainless steel monument that pierces the city's skyline. Standing 120 meters tall on O'Connell Street, it's one of the world's tallest sculptures and symbolizes Dublin's place in the 21st century. Visible from various parts of the city, the Spire is a modern landmark that contrasts with the historic architecture surrounding it, offering a unique photo opportunity and a reference point for exploring the city centre.

27. The Royal Canal Way

Things To Do in Dublin - The Royal Canal Way

The Royal Canal Way is a picturesque walking and cycling route that follows the towpath of the Royal Canal through Dublin and into the Irish countryside. Offering a peaceful and green escape from the urban environment, the trail is perfect for leisurely strolls, jogs, or bike rides. Along the way, you'll encounter historic bridges, locks, and restored canal buildings, providing a glimpse into Ireland's industrial heritage while enjoying the canal's serene beauty.

28. Explore Dublin's Docklands

Things To Do in Dublin - Dublin's Docklands

The Docklands area, once a bustling industrial port, has been transformed into a vibrant cultural and business district. With modern architecture, riverside walkways, and an array of cafes, restaurants, and tech company headquarters, it's a testament to Dublin's dynamic evolution. The area also hosts several art installations and the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship, making it a fascinating blend of old and new. The Docklands is perfect for those looking to experience the contemporary pulse of the city.

29. The Irish Rock 'n' Roll Museum Experience

Things To Do in Dublin - The Irish Rock 'n' Roll Museum Experience

This museum is a must-visit for music enthusiasts, offering an immersive journey through Ireland's rock and roll history. Located in the Temple Bar music complex, it celebrates the achievements of Irish music icons like U2, Thin Lizzy, Van Morrison and Rory Gallagher. Through memorabilia, instruments, and interactive exhibits, visitors can dive deep into the stories of these artists and even record their own music. It's a vibrant tribute to the country's rich musical heritage.

Address: Curved St, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 RD26

30. Merrion Square - Stroll through Georgian Dublin

Things To Do in Dublin - The Davenport Dublin Merrion Square Dublin
The beautiful facade of The Davenport Dublin on Merrion Square.

Merrion Square, surrounded by Georgian townhouses and the former homes of notable figures like Oscar Wilde, is one of Dublin's most elegant parks. Its central location makes it a perfect spot for a leisurely walk, with colourful flower beds, a statue of Wilde, and an array of historical plaques. On weekends, the park hosts an art market where local artists display their work, adding a cultural dimension to this picturesque square.

31. O'Connell Street

Things To Do in Dublin - O'Connell Street Dublin

O'Connell Street, stretching through the heart of Dublin, is one of the city's most famous and historic thoroughfares. As Dublin's main street, it has played a central role in Ireland's social, political, and cultural history, witnessing many of the nation's key historical moments. Named after Daniel O'Connell, a prominent 19th-century nationalist leader whose statue stands at its lower end near O'Connell Bridge, the street embodies the spirit of Irish independence and resilience.

The street is renowned for its mix of architectural styles, ranging from the Georgian period to the modern day, and is lined with significant monuments and buildings. Among these are the General Post Office (GPO), Spire of Dublin and the statue of James Larkin, a famous Irish trade union leader and social activist, commemorating his contribution to Irish labour history.

The street's wide pavements are bustling with life, hosting a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists. It's a place where you can experience the vibrancy of Dublin city life, from street performers to public demonstrations, showcasing the dynamic and evolving nature of the city.

32. Irish Whiskey Museum

Things To Do in Dublin - Irish Whiskey Museum Dublin

The Irish Whiskey Museum offers a captivating journey through the history and resurgence of Ireland's beloved spirit. Uniquely independent from distilleries, the museum provides an unbiased exploration of Irish whiskey's rich heritage, its rise to global prominence, its dramatic fall, and its recent revival as a cornerstone of Irish culture. Situated in the heart of Dublin, just across from the iconic Trinity College, the museum is perfectly located to begin or end a day of exploring the city.

Visitors to the museum are treated to a guided tour that delves into the origins of whiskey-making in Ireland, featuring stories that date back to the 12th century. The museum's expert guides bring the history of Irish whiskey to life, from its earliest days through to its golden age in the 19th century, its near extinction in the 20th century, and its current global renaissance. Along the way, guests can admire the museum's extensive collection of whiskey memorabilia, including vintage bottles, advertising posters, and distilling equipment.

One of the highlights of the Irish Whiskey Museum experience is the tasting session. Depending on the ticket option, visitors can sample several premium Irish whiskeys, learning to appreciate the subtleties of flavour, aroma, and colour that distinguish each variety. For enthusiasts eager to deepen their knowledge, the museum offers a blending experience where participants can create their own unique blend of whiskey to take home.

Address: 119 Grafton Street, Dublin, D02 E620

33. Visit The National Wax Museum Plus

Things To Do in Dublin - The National Wax Museum Plus

The National Wax Museum offers a unique and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages, blending history, culture, and fun in an interactive setting. Located in the heart of the city, this engaging attraction takes you on a journey through various themed sections, showcasing life-like wax figures of famous personalities from Irish history, entertainment, science, and even fictional characters.

As you wander through the museum, you'll encounter sections dedicated to Ireland's rich literary heritage, featuring celebrated writers like James Joyce and W.B. Yeats, standing side by side with contemporary figures from the worlds of music, cinema, and sport. The museum's historical section provides a tangible connection to Ireland's past, with figures of key individuals who have shaped the nation's story, from ancient Celtic leaders to modern political figures.

One of the highlights is the Chamber of Horrors, offering a spine-tingling experience with its depiction of gruesome figures and scenes from horror stories. For those looking for a more light-hearted adventure, the museum also includes a fantasy section filled with beloved characters from fairy tales and popular culture, making it a hit with younger visitors.

Address: 22-25 Westmoreland St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

34. Take in a Concert at the 3Olympia Theatre

Things To Do in Dublin - 3Olympia Theatre Dublin

The Olympia Theatre, nestled in the heart of Dublin on Dame Street, is one of the city's most cherished and iconic performance venues. With a history dating back to 1879, when it opened as the "Star of Erin Music Hall," the theatre has undergone several transformations, evolving into the prestigious venue it is today. Known for its stunning Victorian architecture and intimate atmosphere, the Olympia Theatre provides a unique setting for a wide range of performances, from live music concerts and theatrical productions to comedy shows and pantomimes.

The theatre's interior exudes charm and character, with ornate plasterwork, a grand proscenium arch, and a classic red and gold colour scheme that transports audiences back in time. Despite its historic ambience, the Olympia Theatre has kept pace with modern technology, offering state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems that enhance the viewing experience.

Over the years, the Olympia Theatre has played host to a diverse array of talent, including both international stars and local performers, making it a pivotal platform for the arts in Dublin. Legends such as David Bowie, Adele, and REM have graced its stage, alongside a multitude of Irish artists who regard performing at the Olympia as a milestone in their careers.

Address: 72 Dame St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 K135

35. Museum of Literature Ireland

Things To Do in Dublin - Museum of Literature Ireland

The Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI), a relatively recent addition to Dublin's cultural landscape, is a celebration of the country's rich literary tradition and its renowned writers. Located in the historic Newman House on St. Stephen's Green, the museum opened its doors in 2019 as a collaboration between University College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland. MoLI is dedicated to exploring the lives and works of Irish writers, with a particular emphasis on James Joyce, one of Ireland's most celebrated literary figures.

MoLI is not just a museum; it's an immersive experience that invites visitors to delve into the world of Irish literature through interactive exhibits, original manuscripts, personal letters, and rare editions. The museum's exhibitions are designed to inspire and educate, offering insights into the social and historical contexts that shaped the works of Ireland's literary giants.

One of the museum's highlights is the original copy of James Joyce's "Ulysses," considered one of the most important works of modernist literature. Alongside this, the museum features a variety of temporary and permanent exhibitions that showcase the breadth of Irish literary talent, from early writers to contemporary voices.

Address: 86 St Stephen's Green, Saint Kevin's, Dublin, D02 XY43

Best Things to do in Dublin off the Beaten Track

To visit any of these attractions you will either have to use public transport or take a taxi. Although the buses are the most popular mode of public transport in Dublin, the Luas trams are far more reliable but the Luas only covers a very limited area in Dublin.

36. Phoenix Park - Europe's largest enclosed public park

Best Things to do in Dublin off the Beaten Track - Phoenix Park Aras an Uachtarain Dublin
Aras an Uachtarain (the President of Ireland's residence) is located in Phoenix Park.

Phoenix Park is a sprawling green oasis in the city, offering visitors a multitude of activities and attractions. Home to the Dublin Zoo, the President of Ireland's residence, and numerous monuments, the park is perfect for cycling, picnicking, and wildlife watching. Its vast open spaces and herds of wild deer create a sense of wilderness in the heart of Dublin, making it an ideal spot for relaxation and recreation.

37. Wander Through the Dublin Zoo

Best Things to do in Dublin off the Beaten Track - Dublin Zoo

A fun-filled day for families and animal lovers. Located in the expansive Phoenix Park, Dublin Zoo is one of the oldest and most respected zoos in the world. It offers a fantastic opportunity to see a diverse range of animals in habitats designed to replicate their natural environments. From the African Savannah to the Indian Rainforest, visitors can learn about wildlife conservation and enjoy close encounters with species from across the globe, making it an enjoyable and educational experience for all ages.

Address: Saint James, Dublin 8

38. Take a Day Trip to Malahide Castle and Gardens

Best Things to do in Dublin off the Beaten Track - Malahide Castle and Gardens

Malahide Castle and Gardens, located just north of Dublin in the picturesque seaside town of Malahide, is a magnificent historical estate that offers visitors a glimpse into Ireland's rich past alongside the beauty of one of the country's most spectacular botanical collections. The castle, with origins dating back to the 12th century, was the home of the Talbot family for nearly 800 years, making it not only a site of immense historical significance but also a testament to the endurance of Irish heritage through the centuries.

The castle itself is a stunning example of medieval architecture, with additions and renovations reflecting various styles throughout its long history. Inside, visitors are treated to beautifully furnished rooms and an extensive collection of Irish portraiture, providing insights into the lives of the castle's inhabitants over the ages. Guided tours of Malahide Castle reveal fascinating stories of family history, local lore, and the political intrigue that has shaped Ireland.

Surrounding the castle, the gardens are a true horticultural wonderland, spanning over 260 acres of parkland. They feature a remarkable variety of plant species, including several rare specimens, in beautifully designed landscapes such as the Victorian Walled Garden, the Butterfly House, and the extensive greenhouse collections. The gardens are renowned for their seasonal displays, which provide a colourful and ever-changing backdrop to the estate.

Address: Back Rd, Malahide Demesne, Malahide

39. National Botanic Gardens

Best Things to do in Dublin off the Beaten Track - National Botanic Gardens Dublin

The National Botanic Gardens, nestled in the suburb of Glasnevin, offers a serene and verdant escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Established in 1795, these gardens serve not only as a tranquil haven for visitors but also as a centre of scientific research and conservation, housing over 15,000 plant species from around the globe in both outdoor and greenhouse settings.

Spanning 19.5 hectares, the gardens are renowned for their exquisite plant collections, including rare and endangered species, meticulously arranged in beautifully landscaped settings. The Victorian-era glasshouses, such as the Turner Curvilinear Range and the Great Palm House, are architectural marvels in their own right, housing exotic plants from the world's tropical and subtropical regions.

Address: Glasnevin, Dublin 9, D09 VY63

40. Aviva Stadium Tour

Best Things to do in Dublin off the Beaten Track - Aviva Stadium Dublin

Sports fans will relish the opportunity to tour the Aviva Stadium, home to Ireland's national rugby and soccer teams. The stadium's cutting-edge design and state-of-the-art facilities are on full display during the tour, which includes access to the players' tunnel, dressing rooms, and VIP areas. Learning about the stadium's architectural marvels and its role in hosting major international sporting events makes this experience a highlight for those interested in the world of sports.

41. Rathfarnham Castle - Discover a hidden historical gem

Best Things to do in Dublin off the Beaten Track - Rathfarnham Castle

Rathfarnham Castle, nestled in the suburbs of Dublin, is a beautifully restored 16th-century castle with a fascinating history. Originally built as a defensive fortress, it has been transformed over the centuries into an elegant family home. Today, visitors can explore its ornate interiors, period furniture, and art collections, as well as enjoy the peaceful gardens surrounding the castle. It offers a quieter, off-the-beaten-path experience for those interested in architecture and Irish history.

Address: Rathfarnham Rd, Rathfarnham, Dublin, D14 K3T6

42. Howth Cliff Walk

Best Things to do in Dublin off the Beaten Track - Howth Cliff Walk

Just a short train ride on the DART from Dublin, the Howth Cliff Walk offers stunning coastal scenery, wildlife spotting opportunities, and panoramic views of Dublin Bay. This looped walk around the Howth Peninsula is suitable for all fitness levels and provides a tranquil escape from the city. Along the way, you'll encounter lighthouses, golf courses, and perhaps even seals lounging on the rocks below. It's the perfect outdoor activity for nature lovers and those seeking a scenic adventure.

43. Go to a match at Croke Park

Best Things to do in Dublin off the Beaten Track - Croke Park Dublin

Croke Park is not just an iconic sports stadium; it's a cultural institution and the heart of Gaelic games in Ireland. With a capacity of over 87,500, it ranks among the largest stadiums in Europe, serving as the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Croke Park hosts the annual All-Ireland finals in Gaelic football and hurling, drawing fans from across the country and beyond, uniting them in their passion for these traditional sports. Beyond its role in sports, Croke Park is steeped in history, notably the tragic events of Bloody Sunday in 1920. The stadium also features the GAA Museum, offering insights into the games' heritage and the stadium's unique place in Irish society.

Address: Jones' Rd, Drumcondra, Dublin 3

44. Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre

Best Things to do in Dublin off the Beaten Track - Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre

Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre, located in the picturesque coastal town of Dalkey, just south of Dublin, is a multi-faceted attraction that offers visitors a unique glimpse into medieval Ireland. This historic site, which dates back to the 14th century, seamlessly combines the rich history of Dalkey with interactive and engaging experiences, making it a must-visit for history buffs, families, and anyone interested in Ireland's past.

The centrepiece of the attraction is Dalkey Castle itself, one of the seven fortified townhouses/castles built along the coast to store goods brought into Dublin by ship. The castle has been excellently preserved and restored, allowing visitors to explore its ancient walls, climb the battlements for stunning views of the sea and surrounding landscape, and even witness live demonstrations of medieval cooking, archery, and weaponry by actors in period costume, bringing the history of the place vividly to life.

The Heritage Centre also delves into the local history and culture with exhibits on the town's importance as a bustling port during the Middle Ages. It features information on the lives of the merchants, the significance of the local quarrying industry, and the literary figures who have called Dalkey home.

Guided tours of Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre are available, led by knowledgeable guides who share fascinating stories and insights into the historical significance of the site and the broader region. These tours are highly recommended, as they offer an in-depth exploration of the castle's architecture, historical uses, and the daily life of its inhabitants during medieval times.

Address: Castle St, Dalkey, Dublin, A96 DE61

Final Thoughts on the Best Things to Do in Dublin

Dublin, with its blend of historical depth, cultural richness, and natural beauty, offers something for everyone. Whether you're exploring ancient castles, enjoying the lively streets, or taking in the serene beauty of its parks and gardens, Dublin invites you to discover its many treasures. Each of these 44 best things to do in Dublin provides a unique way to experience the city, ensuring that your visit is full of memorable moments and insights into the vibrant heart of Ireland.

Book Your Trip to Dublin

Book Your Accommodation

To book a hostel in Dublin, always use HostelWorld to get the best possible price. Below is a selection of my favourite hostels in Dublin.

  • Gardiner House - located in a historic Georgian building in Dublin's city centre, is close to key attractions like O'Connell Street and Croke Park. Its vibrant and welcoming atmosphere makes it a favourite among travellers seeking comfort and a social environment.
  • The Times Hostel - situated in Dublin's lively College Street area, is steps away from Trinity College and Temple Bar. It boasts a friendly, energetic vibe, making it ideal for backpackers eager to explore Dublin's cultural and nightlife scenes.
  • Generator Hostel is nestled in the trendy Smithfield area, is adjacent to the Jameson Distillery and near the Guinness Storehouse. Known for its chic, industrial design and sociable atmosphere, it's a hub for creative and adventurous travellers.

Recommended Tours in Dublin

I recommend GetYourGuide for Tours. They offer highly unique tours mainly with Local Dublin Guides.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps to keep the site running. Thanks For The Support!