What to visit in Dublin
Updated: Jun 2
Dublin is the capital city of Ireland, and it is located on the eastern coast of the island. It is the biggest city in the country, with a population of over 1.3 million people in the Greater Dublin Area. Dublin’s history dates back to the early Middle Ages, when it was founded by the Vikings. Over the centuries, Dublin turned into an important center for trade, culture, and education and played a key role in Ireland's struggle for independence from Britain. Nowadays, Dublin is known as a cosmopolitan city known for its friendly people, lively pubs, and rich cultural heritage. A thriving tech sector is also present in the city, and several international corporations have chosen Dublin as the location of their European headquarters. There are a variety of landmarks that are must-sees during your stay. Give yourself a chance to feel the energy of the city and enjoy the incredible culture.
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What not to miss?
In the heart of Dublin, there is an ancient stronghold called Dublin Castle. The castle has a rich heritage that dates to the 13th century and has been important to Irish history. The original castle was built in 1204 by King John of England, and it served as the center of English power in Ireland for many centuries. Over the centuries, the castle has been renovated and expanded many times. Nowadays, Dublin Castle is a remarkable landmark for every tourist and a popular venue for state events and ceremonies. It is open to the public, and visitors can explore the State Apartments, which are lavishly decorated rooms used by the British monarchy when they visited Ireland. A variety of architectural styles, including medieval, Georgian, and Victorian, are present throughout the castle.
What else to visit?
St. Patrick's Cathedral
It is Ireland's biggest cathedral and is dedicated to Ireland's patron saint, St. Patrick. Over the years, many important events in Irish history have taken place in the cathedral. It was the site of the coronation of the Kings of Ireland and was also the site of the first performance of Handel's "Messiah" in Ireland. Today, the cathedral is open for public events, and you can visit it; however, you should definitely check their schedule first. There is also the option to take guided tours of the cathedral, attend choral performances, and explore the crypt, which contains the tombs of many notable figures from Irish history.
The Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse, a well-known tourist destination in Dublin, Ireland, is dedicated to the background and creation of the renowned Guinness beer. It is housed in the St. James's Gate Brewery, where Guinness has been produced ever since its debut in 1759. The Guinness Storehouse has a very interesting design, which is attractive to many tourists. Each of the seven floors of The Storehouse, which is shaped like a massive pint glass, represents a separate step in the brewing process. The tour starts on the ground floor, where visitors can learn about the ingredients used to make Guinness and see the original 9,000-year lease that Arthur Guinness signed for the brewery site. The tours continue on the next floors, where the brewing process, history of Guinness advertising, and global reach of the Guinness brand are explained to the visitors. One of the tour's highlights is the Gravity Bar on the top floor, where guests may enjoy a free pint of Guinness and 360-degree views of Dublin (over 18 years old). Overall, the Guinness Storehouse is a must-visit attraction not only for beer lovers but for everyone who is interested in the history and culture of Ireland.
What else to visit?
The next place on our list is Grafton Street. It is a famous shopping street located in the heart of Dublin, Ireland. A wide range of shops, cafes, restaurants, and street performers attract many tourists and locals. Moreover, the name of the street comes from its owner in the 18th century. It has a rich history and has been a famous shopping location for over two centuries. Currently, it is the location of numerous upscale boutiques, department stores, and trendy clothing businesses. However, Grafton Street is also popular among tourists for its historic architecture and landmarks. If you want to feel the atmosphere of the city, then you should visit St. Stephen's Green, which is a beautiful public park that is a popular spot for picnics and outdoor activities. It is located at the end of Grafton Street.
Kilmainham Gaol, which was a former prison and nowadays is a museum and historic landmark, It was a location of significant political and social significance during Ireland's battle for independence from Britain, making it one of the most significant structures in Irish history. Many of the most notable figures in Irish history have been in this jail since its construction in 1796, including members of the Young Ireland movement, rebellion leaders, and Easter Rising participants. Many of these people endured harsh treatment frequently while being confined in horrible conditions. In the 1960s, the prison was opened to the public as a museum. Nowadays, you can visit the place, take a guided tour of the prison, and learn about its history and the stories of the prisoners who were held there. On the other hand, the Stonebreaker's Yard is one of the most significant parts of the jail because many of the leaders of the Easter Rising were executed by firing squad. However, the place is now a memorial to the men who were executed, and visitors can see the original stone wall and plaque that mark the spot where the executions took place. Overall, the prison is an interesting place to visit where you can learn a lot about the past.
Trinity College is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and is located in the heart of Dublin. It is a leading research university and is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the world. Many famous buildings and landmarks can be found there, including the Campanile, a 30-meter bell tower that is one of the campus' most distinctive features. An extremely significant part of the university is the Old Library, which houses the famous Book of Kells. One of the greatest treasures of medieval Europe is the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript from the ninth century. The manuscript is presented to the visitors in the Old Library's Long Room, which also houses more than 200,000 other rare books and manuscripts.
On the other hand, a large number of museums and galleries can be found at Trinity College, such as the Science Museum and the Douglas Hyde Gallery, which display contemporary art. Moreover, the university has produced many notable alumni, including writers Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, and Bram Stoker, as well as scientists such as Ernest Walton, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1951. Definitely, you should visit some of the places that are part of the university and enjoy the amazing architecture as well.
Have you ever heard about the Ha’Penny Bridge?
The Ha’Penny Bridge is a well-known pedestrian bridge that crosses Dublin's River Liffey, and because of that, it is commonly referred to as the Liffey Bridge. The bridge is a very popular tourist attraction, and it is a symbol of Dublin's history and culture. However, the original name of the bridge was the Wellington Bridge when it was first constructed in 1816 in honor of the Duke of Wellington. In 1919, the bridge's name was changed to the Ha'Penny Bridge to reflect the fee that pedestrians had to pay to cross it. The fee was one half penny, or "ha'penny," as it was formerly known. Nowadays, you can cross the bridge without paying a fee and enjoy the beautiful view of the river and the city skyline that the bridge provides. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a longtime resident, the Ha'penny Bridge is a must-see destination in Dublin.
How to travel there?
Traveling by plane to Dublin is one of the most convenient ways. The closest airport to fly into when visiting Dublin is Dublin Airport. The majority of major airlines fly there, and after you land, you can take a metered cab or an Aircoach or 747 bus to get into town. Another option to travel to Dublin is by ferry. Between Dublin and Holyhead in Wales, Liverpool in England, and Douglas on the Isle of Man, there are ferry services. It is a very comfortable and easy way to go to the capital of Ireland. However, there are a number of ferry alternatives for transportation between the United Kingdom and the island of Ireland. You can take a quick or slow ferry, travel on foot or as a passenger in a car to Dublin, Cork, and Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland or Larne and Belfast in Northern Ireland.
When to travel there?
If you are still not sure when is the best time to visit Dublin, then we can help you choose.
The best time to visit the city is during the summer, from June through August. Most of the activities and festivals are taking place during the summer, which could be a reason for the big crowds and higher prices in the city. However, you are probably aware that Ireland is known for its rainy climate. The good thing is that during the summer, there’s significantly less rain in the country as a whole. The temperature usually reaches around the high 40s to mid-60s. Due to the lovely weather, summer is a fantastic time to visit Dublin and take advantage of its outdoor activities. In the summer, consider visiting Dublin's parks, neighboring walks, and thrilling street fairs. The weather is also ideal for walks around the city, whether you want to shop or visit different bars. In case you want to avoid crowds but want to avoid the cold of winter, consider visiting in late spring or early fall. On the other hand, winter is the least expensive season to travel to Dublin because it is a less busy season. The winter in Ireland, which typically lasts from December through February, may be freezing, so there are fewer outdoor activities to attend and the costs are higher. Consider all the options and make sure it is more convenient for you to visit the city.
If you are still wondering what your budget should be for the trip, then you can find the most important information here. You should plan to budget around €43 ($46) per day on your vacation in Dublin. The average price that you could spend per day for a meal is €14 ($16) and €5.65 ($6.05) on local transportation.
If you are planning a trip with your partner, then the average hotel price in Dublin for a couple could be around €40 ($43). So, the average cost of a one-week trip for two people to Dublin is €597 ($640). However, if you are planning a solo trip, then a vacation to Dublin for one week usually costs around €299 for one person.
Where to eat?
The Hairy Lemon
A traditional Irish pub where you may drink and even eat is one of the best recognized locations to give in to a wonderful Guinness pie, traditional bacon and cabbage, or just an Irish breakfast. It's located in the city's center. It is essential to serve beer with the meal.
The Brazen Head
This is one of the pubs, which offers live music, an outside area, traditional food, and a reputation for being Ireland's oldest bar. It is literally being assaulted by tourists and is recommended by all tour guides. Despite this, the food and prices are excellent.
St. Patrick’s Festival
The four-day St. Patrick's Festival program includes live music, pageantry, family entertainment, storytelling, street theater, dance, and Irish language activities. It takes place in Ireland's capital city. This is the festival, which can help you dive into the real Irish atmosphere.
Dublin International Literature Festival
The International Literary Festival Dublin is Ireland's leading literary festival. Since 1998, this festival has gathered the best writers from around the world to captivate, enthrall, and thrill audiences. This festival is a way to honor the very finest Irish and foreign fiction and non-fiction authors, poets, lyricists, playwrights, screenwriters, and broadcasters.
We've reached the end of the article about Dublin. This city has a historic atmosphere, and we believe you will love it as much as we did! In the meantime, you can read other articles on our blog. How about planning a trip to Venice or Szeged? Remember to follow us@thewalkingparrot to be continuously updated on the new releases. We will be back soon with a new article!