Dublin is a wonderful Irish city and offers many great sights and activities for anyone visiting. One of the best parts about the city is that you can get almost anywhere on foot. Believe me, we walked the whole thing searching for pigs for our post Pigs on Parade. The city is jam packed with fun, friends, and activities all within a few steps from wherever you’re staying. Here are our seven favorite things to see and do during your time in this energizing place.
1. Pub And A Pint
The very first thing you’ll want to do (if you’re me anyway) when you get off that plane or boat is to go grab a drink. Fortunately, Ireland is just the place to fill this need. The best way to experience the food and culture of Dublin is to go find a pub. Any pub, it doesn’t matter. Walk in and start making friends. Be sure to order a beef and Guinness pie, you won’t regret it.
2. Trinity College
The campus of this famous college in the center of the city is filled with wonderful architecture and monuments. Spend some time wandering around the public areas and feel the energy of the students running around to classes or relaxing at the cafe. If you’re interested in a bit of history (you should be) check out the library where you can learn the history behind the Book of Kells and see The Long Room. The latter two parts of the college were pay to enter (about 9 euro each), but the Long Room at the end is stunning and the museum makes it worth the cost.
3. Tour the Guinness Brewery
Admittedly, the brewery is one of those “touristy” things to do and it almost feels like a tourist trap for all of us non-locals. Let me set the record straight: it is a tourist trap. But, it’s one that you can wholeheartedly embrace.
Once inside the brewery Chris and I felt like we walked into some sort of Willy Wonka factory of beer. There was a water fall and a tunnel of lights. We kept waiting for a river of Guinness to appear (we were only slightly sad when we never found one, but they did give us a free pint!). Actually, the free pint is one of the main attractions here. You have two options:
- Go up to the 7th floor sky bar and they’ll pour you out a pint of the best stout while you take in the views of the city
- Learn how to pour your own “perfect pint” on the 4th floor. Here you gather around some taps while an employee teaches you how to make the perfect concoction. When you’re done you get to enjoy your handiwork.
- The secret third option! Do both (kinda). You can learn how to pour your own Guinness on the 4th floor and then take the elevator up to the 7th. This is the best option and gives you the most of your tour.
So, go learn how Guinness is made and how the brewing tradition is still alive today. They even use the same strain of yeast from the original recipe. After each batch some yeast is pulled out and used in the next batch of beer for consistency! A trip to Dublin just isn’t complete without a tour of the the Storehouse.
4. Dublin Castle
When visiting Dublin the Dublin Castle should be on your list of places to visit. As with any surviving piece of history this complex of towers and walls is filled with great history. The grounds are a pleasure to walk around and it’s only a short walk from Trinity College. We recommend doing the two in the same trip.
5. Visit Some Of The City’s Many Galleries
There are no shortage of galleries in
Dublin and all of the ones we encountered were free. The art and creativity will astound you. We were surprised at how in touch Dublin was with its artsy side. In addition to all of the locally owned shops the city hosts The National Gallery of Ireland. Entry to the national gallery is also free so you have no reason to keep away from this trove of antiquities.
6. Temple Bar
Temple Bar is a weird name and it took us a few tries to figure out what everyone was talking about. What is ‘Temple Bar’? Is it a pub? Is it a new club? How about a restaurant? Temple Bar is not the name of one place in particular, but a region of the city. The ‘Temple Bar area’ is just south of the River Liffey and spans a few streets. It’s a bit like saying the soho region of London or New York (but smaller). Temple Bar is filled with shops and pubs. The area really comes alive at night (hint, this would be a good place to go knock off #1 on the list).
7. Samuel Beckett Bridge
The Samuel Beckett Bridge is one that should be seen in person. While you’re there walk across the bridge and take in the views of the River Liffey. Get pictures from one side of the river and then cross. Walk west while taking pictures of the bridge until you come to a footbridge that also spans the river. Cross that bridge (keep taking those pictures!) and head back to the Samuel Beckett Bridge. This way you’ve just walked a nice square and get plenty of shots of a wonderful piece of architecture in the city. Fun fact, the bridge is meant to evoke the symbol of the harp (also the Guinness logo) which is the coat of arms of Ireland. There you have it; our top 7 things to do when visiting Dublin. What are yours? Be sure to share in the comments below!