Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, is a destination that offers a blend of historical landmarks, modern attractions, and vibrant culture. The city boasts a rich history that dates back to the 9th century, and visitors can explore its cobbled streets, Georgian architecture, and medieval castles. At the same time, Dublin is a modern and lively city with a buzzing nightlife, top-rated restaurants, and trendy shops. The city also serves as a gateway to the stunning Irish countryside and coastal areas, making it an ideal base for day trips. Whether you are interested in history, culture, food, or just want to experience the famous Irish hospitality, Dublin has something for everyone.
Table of Contents
Top Tourist Attractions in Dublin
Enjoying the Great Outdoors: Parks and Gardens in Dublin
Where to Eat in Dublin: Restaurants and Cafes
Pubs and Nightlife: Best Places to Grab a Drink in Dublin
Unique Shopping Experiences: Markets and Boutiques in Dublin
Annual Festivals and Events in Dublin
Finding the Best Accommodations in Dublin: Hotels, Hostels, and More
Getting Around Dublin: Transportation Options
Money-Saving Tips for Traveling in Dublin
Essential Travel Information for Dublin: Visa, Currency, and More
How Long to Stay in Dublin
Dublin is a vibrant city with a rich history and culture. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s literary heritage, enjoying its lively pub scene, or taking in its many museums and galleries, there’s something for everyone in Dublin. Here are the top tourist attractions in the city:
The Guinness Storehouse is a must-visit for beer lovers. This seven-story building is dedicated to the history and production of Ireland’s most famous beer, and includes a tasting room and rooftop bar with stunning views of the city.
Dublin Castle is a historic fortress that has played an important role in Irish history for over 800 years. Today, the castle is used for state ceremonies and events, but visitors can explore its impressive State Apartments and medieval undercroft.
Trinity College Dublin
Trinity College is one of the oldest universities in the world, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. The college is home to many historic buildings and monuments, including the Campanile, the Examination Hall, and the Book of Kells.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the most famous landmarks in Dublin, and has been a place of worship for over 800 years. The cathedral is famous for its beautiful stained glass windows and impressive Gothic architecture.
National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland is dedicated to the country’s rich history and culture, and includes exhibitions on everything from prehistoric Ireland to modern art. Highlights include the Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch, and the bog bodies of Clonycavan and Oldcroghan.
Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison that played a significant role in Irish history, particularly during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, the prison is a museum that offers guided tours of its cells, exercise yards, and other historic areas.
Phoenix Park is one of the largest urban parks in Europe, and is home to many beautiful gardens, monuments, and sporting facilities. Visitors can also see the residence of the Irish President, Áras an Uachtaráin, and the Dublin Zoo.
Temple Bar is a lively neighborhood in the heart of Dublin, known for its vibrant nightlife and cultural events. Visitors can enjoy live music and theater, visit art galleries and craft shops, or simply soak up the atmosphere in one of the area’s many pubs and restaurants.
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in Dublin, and is famous for its beautiful architecture and stunning stained glass windows. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city.
Dublinia is a museum dedicated to the city’s Viking and medieval past. Visitors can explore reconstructed Viking homes and learn about life in medieval Dublin, as well as see artifacts from the period.
Dublin may be a bustling city, but it also offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature and the outdoors. From beautiful gardens to sprawling parks, here are some of the best places to explore nature in and around Dublin:
Phoenix Park is one of the largest urban parks in Europe, and is home to many beautiful gardens, monuments, and sporting facilities. Visitors can also see the residence of the Irish President, Áras an Uachtaráin, and the Dublin Zoo.
St. Stephen’s Green
St. Stephen’s Green is a beautiful park in the heart of Dublin, with tree-lined paths, a lake, and many beautiful flowerbeds. Visitors can also see a statue of James Joyce, one of Ireland’s most famous writers.
National Botanic Gardens
The National Botanic Gardens are located just a few kilometers from the city center, and are home to many beautiful plants and flowers from all over the world. Visitors can also explore the historic glasshouses and see the famous Great Palm House.
Iveagh Gardens is a hidden gem in the heart of Dublin, with beautiful fountains, sunken lawns, and a maze. Visitors can also see the ruins of a 700-year-old castle that once stood on the site.
The Dublin Mountains are located just a short drive from the city center, and offer many opportunities for hiking and outdoor recreation. Visitors can explore the Wicklow Way, visit the Hellfire Club, or take in the stunning views from the top of the mountains.
The Burren is a unique landscape in County Clare that is famous for its limestone formations, wildflowers, and archaeological sites. Visitors can hike the many trails in the area, explore ancient stone forts, and see the famous Poulnabrone Dolmen.
Howth Head is a beautiful peninsula just north of Dublin that offers stunning views of the Irish Sea and the surrounding countryside. Visitors can hike the many trails in the area, explore the fishing village of Howth, or take a boat tour to see the seals and other marine life.
Killiney Hill is a beautiful park just south of Dublin that offers stunning views of the city and the sea. Visitors can hike the many trails in the area, explore the nearby village of Dalkey, or take in the beautiful gardens and wildflowers.
Dublin has a thriving food scene that reflects the city’s diverse cultural influences. From traditional Irish pubs to Michelin-starred restaurants, there’s something for everyone in Dublin. Here are some of the best places to eat in the city:
- The Winding Stair: a charming bookstore and restaurant located in the heart of Dublin. The menu features classic Irish dishes made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, and the views of the River Liffey are stunning.
- Chapter One: one of Dublin’s most famous restaurants, and has been awarded a Michelin star for its creative and innovative cuisine. The menu features modern Irish dishes with a focus on seasonal ingredients.
- The Fumbally: a popular café and bakery that serves up delicious, healthy food in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The menu changes daily, but always features fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and creative flavor combinations.
- The Pig’s Ear: a cozy, traditional Irish pub that also happens to serve some of the best food in Dublin. The menu features classic Irish dishes with a modern twist, and the beer and whiskey selections are top-notch.
- Brother Hubbard: a trendy café that serves up Middle Eastern-inspired dishes with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. The coffee is also excellent, and the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming.
- Fish Shop: a casual seafood restaurant that serves up some of the freshest and most delicious fish and chips in Dublin. The menu changes regularly depending on what’s in season, but there are always plenty of options for seafood lovers.
- Mulligan Grocer: a charming gastropub that serves up delicious, hearty meals with a focus on Irish ingredients and traditions. The beer selection is also impressive, with many craft beers and ciders on tap.
- Bunsen: a popular burger joint that has quickly become a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The burgers are made with high-quality beef and served with simple, delicious toppings, and the fries are crispy and flavorful.
- Jo’Burger: another popular burger joint that serves up delicious burgers with creative toppings and sides. The atmosphere is casual and laid-back, and the beer and cocktail selections are excellent.
- Fallon & Byrne: a gourmet food emporium that also includes a café and restaurant. The menu features classic Irish dishes made with high-quality ingredients, and the wine selection is impressive.
Dublin is famous for its lively pub scene, with many historic and charming pubs scattered throughout the city. From traditional Irish pubs to trendy cocktail bars, there’s something for everyone in Dublin. Here are some of the best places to grab a drink in the city:
- The Long Hall: one of Dublin’s oldest and most iconic pubs and has been serving up pints since 1766. The pub features stunning Victorian decor and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, and is a must-visit for anyone interested in traditional Irish pubs.
- The Stag’s Head: another historic pub that has been serving up pints since the 18th century. The pub features beautiful wood-panelled interiors and a cosy atmosphere and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
- The Temple Bar: a vibrant and lively pub located in the heart of Dublin’s famous Temple Bar district. The pub features live music, a large outdoor seating area, and a wide selection of drinks, including many traditional Irish beers and whiskeys.
- The Cobblestone: a traditional Irish pub that specializes in traditional Irish music. The pub features live music sessions every night, as well as a cosy atmosphere and a wide selection of drinks.
- The Bernard Shaw: a trendy bar and outdoor space that features a rotating selection of street food vendors and DJs. The atmosphere is laid-back and welcoming, and the beer and cocktail selections are excellent.
- The Porterhouse: a popular brewpub that serves up a wide selection of beers, including many house-brewed varieties. The pub also features live music and a lively atmosphere and is a great spot for beer lovers.
- The Blackbird: a cosy and intimate pub that features a wide selection of drinks and live music. The pub also has a small outdoor seating area and is a popular spot for locals looking for a quiet night out.
- Vintage Cocktail Club: a trendy and upscale cocktail bar located in a hidden location in the city centre. The bar features a speakeasy-style atmosphere and a wide selection of creative and delicious cocktails.
- The Liquor Rooms: another trendy cocktail bar that features creative and inventive cocktails, as well as a lively and stylish atmosphere. The bar also hosts regular events and DJ sets.
- The Brazen Head: one of Dublin’s oldest and most historic pubs, dating back to 1198. The pub features traditional Irish decor and a cozy atmosphere, as well as a wide selection of drinks and live music.
Dublin is home to many charming and unique shops, from traditional markets to trendy boutiques. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, gifts, or just some retail therapy, these shops offer a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in the heart of the city. Here are some of the best markets and boutiques in Dublin:
The Temple Bar Market: a vibrant outdoor market located in the heart of Dublin’s famous Temple Bar district. The market features a wide selection of stalls selling everything from fresh produce to artisan crafts and jewellery.
George’s Street Arcade: a historic indoor market that features a wide selection of shops and stalls selling clothing, jewellery, antiques, and much more. The atmosphere is lively and eclectic, and the architecture is beautiful.
Powerscourt Centre: a historic mansion that has been converted into a shopping centre. The centre features many boutique shops and restaurants, as well as a beautiful courtyard and glass dome.
The Design Tower: a unique shopping centre that features a wide selection of shops and studios selling handmade crafts and designs. Visitors can watch the artists at work and purchase one-of-a-kind items to take home.
The Loft Market: a trendy indoor market located in the heart of the city. The market features a wide selection of boutique shops and stalls selling clothing, accessories, and home decor items.
The Mart Collective: a unique shop that features a curated selection of vintage and antique items, including clothing, furniture, and home decor. The atmosphere is eclectic and inviting, and the items are truly one-of-a-kind.
Om Diva: a trendy boutique that features a selection of clothing and accessories by local designers. The atmosphere is fun and funky, and the items are perfect for fashion-forward shoppers.
Industry & Co: a beautiful boutique that features a selection of home goods, furniture, and accessories. The shop focuses on minimalist, Scandinavian-inspired designs, and the items are both beautiful and functional.
Jam Art Factory: a unique shop that features a selection of prints, posters, and other artwork by local artists. The items are affordable and make great souvenirs or gifts.
Article: a beautiful boutique that features a selection of clothing and accessories from independent designers. The shop has a minimalist, Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic, and the items are both stylish and sustainable.
Dublin is a city that loves to celebrate, and there are many annual festivals and events that take place throughout the year. From St. Patrick’s Day to the Dublin Fringe Festival, there’s always something exciting happening in the city. Here are some of the best annual festivals and events in Dublin:
- The St. Patrick’s Day Festival
This is one of the most famous and popular events in Dublin, and is a celebration of Ireland’s patron saint. The festival includes parades, music, dance, and fireworks, and attracts visitors from all over the world.
- The Dublin Fringe Festival
This vibrant and exciting arts festival takes place in September and showcases the best in contemporary theater, dance, music, and visual art. The festival features performances in venues throughout the city and is a must-see for anyone interested in the arts.
- The Dublin Theatre Festival
Ireland’s oldest and largest theater festival, taking place every October. The festival features performances by both Irish and international companies and showcases a wide range of theatrical styles and genres.
- Dublin Pride
An annual celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and rights, taking place every June. The festival includes a colorful parade through the city, as well as parties, concerts, and cultural events.
An annual celebration of James Joyce’s famous novel, Ulysses, taking place every June 16th. The festival includes readings, performances, and walking tours through the city, and is a must-see for fans of Joyce’s work.
- The Dublin Horse Show
An annual event that takes place in August and features some of the best show jumping and equestrian events in the world. The event also includes food and drink stalls, entertainment, and shopping opportunities.
- The Bram Stoker Festival
A Halloween celebration that pays tribute to the famous Irish writer who created the character of Dracula. The festival includes performances, readings, and other events that explore the spooky and supernatural side of Dublin.
- The Dublin International Film Festival
A celebration of the best in Irish and international cinema, taking place every February. The festival features screenings, talks, and events in venues throughout the city, and is a must-see for film fans.
- The Dublin Marathon
An annual event that takes place in October and attracts runners from all over the world. The course takes runners through some of Dublin’s most iconic landmarks, including Phoenix Park, St. Stephen’s Green, and Trinity College.
- The New Year’s Festival
A celebration of the new year that takes place in Dublin’s city center. The festival includes live music, fireworks, and other events and is a great way to ring in the new year in style.
Dublin has a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and style, from luxury hotels to cosy hostels. Whether you’re looking for a comfortable place to stay in the heart of the city or a quiet retreat on the outskirts of town, there’s an option for everyone in Dublin. Here are some of the best types of accommodation in the city:
Dublin has a wide variety of hotels to suit every budget and style. From luxurious five-star hotels to budget-friendly options, there’s something for everyone. Some of the best hotels in the city include The Merrion, The Shelbourne, and The Westbury.
Hostels are a great option for budget-conscious travellers who want to meet other travellers and have a more social experience. Dublin has a wide range of hostels to choose from, including Generator Hostel, Isaacs Hostel, and Barnacles Temple Bar.
- Bed and Breakfasts
Bed and breakfasts are a great option for travellers who want a more personal and intimate experience. Dublin has many charming bed and breakfasts, including Number 31, Ariel House, and The Wilder.
- Apartments and Vacation Rentals
If you’re looking for a more independent and private experience, apartments and vacation rentals can be a great option. Many companies offer short-term rentals in Dublin, including Airbnb, Staycity, and Premier Suites.
Guesthouses are similar to bed and breakfasts but typically offer a more traditional hotel-style experience. Dublin has many great guesthouses, including The Leeson Bridge Guesthouse, The Maples House Hotel, and The Belvedere Hotel.
- University Accommodation
During the summer months, many universities in Dublin offer affordable accommodation options for travellers. Some of the best options include Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin.
- Camping and Glamping
If you’re looking for a more adventurous and unique experience, camping and glamping can be a great option. Dublin has several camping and glamping sites, including Camac Valley Tourist Caravan and Camping Park and Teapot Lane Glamping.
Dublin is a relatively small city and most of its major attractions are within walking distance of each other. However, if you need to travel further afield, there are a number of transportation options available to you. Here are some of the best ways to get around Dublin:
- Dublin Bus is the main public transport provider in the city, with an extensive network of routes that cover all areas of the city and beyond. Buses run frequently throughout the day and night, and fares are generally affordable.
- Luas is Dublin’s light rail system, consisting of two lines that serve the city center and its suburbs. The Green Line runs from Brides Glen in the south to Broombridge in the north, while the Red Line runs from Tallaght in the west to The Point in the east. Fares are similar to Dublin Bus.
- The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) is a suburban rail network that serves the coastal areas around Dublin. The DART runs from Malahide and Howth in the north to Greystones in the south, and is a great way to explore the coast and beaches outside of the city. Fares are more expensive than Dublin Bus or Luas, but the views are worth it.
- Dublin Bikes is a public bike sharing scheme that allows you to rent a bike from one of the many bike stations around the city. You can sign up for a day, week, or year-long subscription, and the first 30 minutes of each journey are free.
- Taxis are plentiful in Dublin, and are a convenient way to get around if you don’t feel like walking or taking public transport. Taxis are metered and fares can vary depending on traffic and time of day.
- Car hire is available in Dublin, but it’s worth noting that traffic can be heavy and parking can be expensive. If you’re planning on exploring outside of the city, a car can be a good option, but within the city, it’s often easier to use public transport or walk.
As mentioned earlier, many of Dublin’s major attractions are within walking distance of each other. Walking is a great way to explore the city and get a feel for its vibrant neighborhoods and bustling streets.
Use public transport
Dublin has an extensive public transport network that includes buses, trams, and trains. Using public transport can be a great way to save money, especially if you purchase a Leap Card, which offers discounted fares.
- Walk or cycle
Dublin is a small and walkable city, with many of its major attractions located within a short distance of each other. Walking or cycling can be a great way to explore the city and save money on transport costs.
- Visit free attractions
Dublin has many free attractions, including St. Stephen’s Green, Phoenix Park, and the National Museum of Ireland. Visiting these attractions can be a great way to save money and still experience the city’s culture and history.
- Eat and drink like a local
Dublin has a vibrant food and drink scene, with many local pubs and restaurants offering affordable and delicious meals. Avoid eating in touristy areas and instead seek out local cafes, bars, and markets to save money.
- Take advantage of free events
Dublin has many free events throughout the year, including festivals, concerts, and cultural events. Check local listings to see what’s on during your visit and take advantage of these free events.
- Stay in budget accommodation
Dublin has many budget-friendly accommodation options, including hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels. Staying in budget accommodation can help you save money on your trip.
- Purchase a Dublin Pass
The Dublin Pass offers free entry to many of the city’s top attractions, as well as discounts on tours, restaurants, and other activities. If you plan on visiting multiple attractions, purchasing a Dublin Pass can help you save money.
Visitors from the European Union, European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland do not need a visa to enter Ireland. Visitors from other countries may require a visa, which can be obtained from the Irish embassy or consulate in their home country.
The currency in Ireland is the Euro (EUR). Currency exchange is available at banks and exchange offices throughout the city. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, but it’s a good idea to carry some cash for small purchases.
The official languages of Ireland are Irish and English. English is widely spoken throughout the country, including in Dublin.
Dublin is in the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) time zone, which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the United States.
Dublin has a temperate maritime climate, with mild winters and cool summers. Rain is common throughout the year, so it’s a good idea to pack a raincoat or umbrella.
The voltage in Ireland is 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are three-pronged, with flat blades in a triangular pattern. Visitors from countries with different electrical systems will need a plug adapter and may also need a voltage converter.
In case of an emergency in Dublin, dial 112 or 999 for police, fire, or ambulance services.
Tipping in Dublin is generally expected for good service in restaurants, bars, and taxis. A 10-15% tip is typical in restaurants and bars, while rounding up to the nearest euro is common in taxis.
The length of time to stay in Dublin largely depends on your interests and travel goals. Dublin is a small city and many of its major attractions can be seen in a few days. However, if you want to explore the city in-depth and take your time experiencing its many neighbourhoods, museums, and cultural offerings, you may want to plan a longer stay.
A typical visit to Dublin lasts around 3-5 days, which should give you enough time to see the main sights and explore the city’s vibrant culture. However, if you’re interested in day trips or want to see more of the surrounding countryside, you may want to plan a longer stay.
Ultimately, how long you stay in Dublin depends on your travel style and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a short city break or a longer stay to really immerse yourself in the local culture, Dublin has something to offer every type of traveller.