Top Attractions in Dublin
Dublin is a city with history to explore and quintessentially Irish activities to keep you busy. No trip to Dublin would be complete without a stop at the Guinness Storehouse. It’s located in the center of St. James’s Gate and has been home to the brewery since 1759. A trip to the storehouse will teach you about the history of Guinness, how it’s made, and of course, finish off with a tasting. The bar area also has one of the best views in the city of the Dublin skyline.
Visitors interested in the history and culture of Dublin should make a trip to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It was built between 1220 and 1260 and is one of the few remaining buildings from medieval times. St. Patrick’s is the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland. You can take tours of the church to learn more about its history, which cost about $7.50 per person.
Dublin Castle is a site of immense history and is now also the seat of the Irish government. In addition to being able to take a walk around the inside of the castle and castle grounds, visitors can explore the many art exhibits that call the castle home. Guided tours, which cost about $10, take you through the State Apartments, Chapel Royal, and Viking excavation.
Getting Outdoors in Dublin
There are so many wonderful parks and gardens around Dublin to enjoy. Phoenix Park is one of the biggest urban parks in Ireland and is home to the Dublin Zoo. It was originally established as a royal deer park in the 17th century and still remains a safe haven for these animals. Take a walk on one of the many paths or explore Magazine Fort in the southeast side of the park.
St. Stephen’s Green is a favorite spot for local Dubliners. Located right in the center of the city, there are paths to walk, benches to relax on, and a kid’s playground. The National Botanic Gardens is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Entry is free to this large park, where you could easily spend the whole day exploring different gardens and learning about the over 300 species of endangered plants being nurtured here.
Eating Out in Dublin
There are tons of great restaurants where you can enjoy classic Irish fare. Classic Irish food is hearty and filling. Look for dishes such as soda bread, Irish stew (which is traditionally made with mutton), and boxty (which is a type of potato dumpling or pancake). Another popular Irish dish is Colcannon, a mash of potatoes, cabbage or kale, and butter or cream, topped with spring onions.
If you want to try traditional Irish cuisine in an upscale setting, head to the Pig’s Ear. Chef Stephen McAllister is taking Irish classics and giving them a modern twist. Some of the most popular dishes include Dingle Gin and beetroot-cured salmon and slow-cooked pig belly with maple, toasted oats, turnips, and tea-soaked prunes.
For less pretense and good old-fashioned Irish home-cooking, head to the Winding Stair. This restaurant sits above an old bookshop and prides itself on sourcing Irish produce from small, local farmers. The cider-braised pork cheeks served with a black pudding scotch egg, grilled baby leeks, and crushed swede is one of the most popular dishes on the menu.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Dublin is a city with a bustling nightlife and plenty of places to keep yourself entertained. The Octagon Bar, inside the U2-owned Clarence Hotel, is the place to head to rub shoulders with Dublin’s elite. People flock to the Octagon Bar for its extensive cocktail list.
Head to Market Bar on Fade Street to see where the young urban professionals of Dublin spend their evenings. They have a large beer and wine selection as well as excellent coffees. Pair your drinks with some tapas for the full Market Bar experience. Be sure to pop into the Brazen Head for a proper Guinness during your stay in Dublin. This pub claims the title of oldest pub in Ireland and has a long history that is detailed in photos and memorabilia all around the pub. They also serve cider, wine, and sodas and have excellent live music every night.
Dublin has a large network of public transportation that helps visitors and locals get around the city easily and at an affordable price. Visitors should purchase a LEAP Card that works on all public transportation including rail, bus, and bicycle rentals. Travelers can also travel to other cities around Ireland by bus or train.
If you choose to rent a car, it is important to remember that vehicles drive on the left side of the road and drivers sit on the right side of the car.
Dublin has warm summers and cool winters. It doesn’t experience extreme heat or cold throughout the year. The hottest month is July where visitors can experience average temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest month is January when average temperatures are about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It rains regularly throughout the year, but August is the wettest month.
When to Go
Summer is one of the best times to visit Dublin. The weather is warmest, and there are a lot of festivals happening throughout the city during this time. It is also the busiest and most expensive time to visit the city, so be sure to book your hotel well in advance. If you are happy to explore when it’s slightly cooler, spring and fall are quieter and cheaper.
Flying to Dublin
Dublin Airport is the largest airport in Ireland and offers direct flights to and from the U.K., the United States, and continental Europe. Dublin Airport is 10 miles north of Dublin and is well-connected to the downtown area by the Dublin Bus company and Irish Rail.