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  • jlentz24

Dublin Top Attractions

Updated: Jul 7

Having spent a couple of weeks in Dublin, there is so much to undercover in this beautiful city. This compact city center is an ideal getaway along the River Laffey, filled with live music, great food and unique attractions. Dublin's weather is pretty temperate, which makes it easy to explore any time of year.

To that end, I've compiled a list of Dublin’s top attractions, including many free things to do while in the city. Be sure to check out these tourist spots on your next trip to the Irish capital!

1. Walking Tour

Whenever I arrive at a new city, I always love taking a walking tour. They help orient me in the city and usually provide great stories and historical facts about wherever I have just landed. Dublin offers many different kinds of walking tours, including those with whiskey tours or pub crawls. There are also several free walking tours available through Guru Walk (just remember to tip your guide!). Sign up for a walking tour early to ensure you get a spot and a great start to your explorations.

2. Free Museums

In Ireland, the chance of rain at some point on your trip is almost 100%, so why not come prepared? When it was cold, rainy and windy out, I could happily spend a couple of hours exploring one of Dublin’s free museums. My favorite is the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology. They have several bog bodies that have been well preserved from the Iron Age. Incredible!

There are several others, such as the Natural History or National Gallery that are nearby and offer free admission as well.

3. Butler’s Chocolate Cafe

A local chain, Butler’s Chocolate has (IMO) the best hot chocolate in town! Each drink order comes with a free chocolate (your choice) so don’t be shy when they ask if you would like one. The chocolate is melted and hand mixed, making it super thick and creamy. There are several different types of hot chocolate and coffees available. My favorite location is on Dawson Street, but you will spot them all around Dublin, so be sure to stop in to warm up!

4. Day Trip to Howth

If you have an extra day (or even a half day) in Dublin, I suggest taking the Dart out to Howth, about 40 mins from central Dublin. There is a wonderful cliff walk loop (~7 km) that takes you along the peninsula’s edge, with magnificent views of Ireland’s Eye island, the lighthouse and the Irish Sea. The Dart station is surrounded by many restaurants, including the famous Leo Burdock for fish’n chips. The Harbor is nearby, along with a swimming bay if you dare.

5. Cross the Ha’Penny Bridge

The pedestrian bridge built in 1816 over the River Liffey used to be a half penny to cross, thus the “ha’penny” bridge. An estimated 30,000 people cross it every day. Head over to the Northside and get lost in another part of the city.

6. Visit Guinness Storehouse

Guinness originally started just outside the city in Leixlip, but Arthur signed a 9,000-year lease at St. James’s Gate in 1759, along River Liffey. Today, it is the largest brewery in the world and Guinness has become synonymous with Ireland. No trip to Dublin is complete without a stop at the Storehouse. You can take a self-guided tour of the 7-story building which details the history of the craft beer and ends with a pint at the rooftop bar. There is a café onsite, and you can even upgrade your ticket to include a Stoutie – a selfie printed on the head of your own smooth Guinness. I gotta say, Guinness just taste better in Dublin! Even if you aren’t a stout drinker, give it a try.

7. Wander through Trinity College & Old Library (Book of Kells)

If you’ve done any research on Dublin, then it’s likely the Book of Kells has showed up on your search. But what is that and is it worth seeing? The Book of Kells was beautifully crafted by Irish monks dating back to 800 AD. It is manuscript of the Gospels with ornate illustrations. I think it’s important to manage your expectations. It’s held in a small, dark room in the Old Library of Trinity College. In the summer, it’s a bit like herded cattle to view the small book behind thick glass. They turn one page a day, so you can only see one illustration. Tickets also include a self-guided tour of the history of the Book, as well as the Old Library. Currently books are being removed for conservation and restoration, so many of the shelves are empty.

8. Explore Temple Bar district

There is a bit of a misnomer – many people think Temple Bar, the bar, is the famous spot in Dublin. But in fact, it’s the name of a whole district of pubs, restaurants and shops. Take the time to explore the whole Temple Bar district. You can stop in for a drink at THE Temple Bar, but warning: as the day goes on, a pint gets more expensive. I’d suggest stopping in earlier for a spot of live music and then head elsewhere to enjoy another pint.

Pro Tips:

The Cobblestone is a local’s favorite spot for Irish trad music. It is definitely a pub meant for friendly chat and live music, so put your phone away and soak up the local culture.

Word on the street – not all Guinness is created equal. The nitrogen and fresh keg lines matter, so if you are looking for the “best pint of Guinness” head to Kehoe’s or The Duke.

9. Murphy’s Irish Ice Cream

Murphy’s is handmade in Dingle using milk from the indigenous breed of Kerry cow that makes the creamiest ice cream. They offer some unique flavors like Irish Brown Bread and Dingle Sea Salt. I loved that they weigh the ice cream, so even a “single scoop” could have three different flavors for small, yummy bites of different tastes! The Irish Cream comes from Micil Distillery --- definitely give it a try!

10. George’s Street Arcade

I love this shopping centre in the heart of the old town. The enclosed Victorian market has boutique stalls ranging from trendy jewelry, funky music, local artists, as well as souvenirs. There are several restaurants as well, so be sure to stop by for a browse of local, independent artisans at George’s Street Arcade.

Look for other activities on Get Your Guide, my favorite source for booking travel attractions! You can easily spend several days checking off top attractions in Dublin. There are almost endless things to see and explore, but make sure to leave time for a relaxing pint at a local pub. If beer isn’t your thing, head to Peruke & Periwig on Dawson Street for a craft cocktail.


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Jul 07
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

So much to see in Dublin, good suggestions


Apr 11, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I missed half of these so will need to make another trip to Dublin

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