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Travel Guide: Best Things to do in Dublin, Ireland

The capital of Ireland, Dublin is a vibrant city with lively pubs, musicians on almost every street corner, and an abundance of color.

Dublin is known for its flare for life. Vibrant, cultural, and often unpredictable, this is a fun city to explore for a weekend of bar hopping, concert-going, or long walks perusing the city’s history.

To help us write about Dublin and capture the must-see destinations, we enlisted travel author and blogger, Brooke Saward. You can find her at World of Wanderlust

What are the best things to do in Dublin, Ireland?

Brooke Seward wearing Baggallini's Take Two Bryant Crossbody in Dublin, Ireland
Brooke Seward wearing Baggallini’s Take Two Bryant Crossbody in Dublin, Ireland

Summer is the perfect time to visit Dublin to make the most of the warm weather and summer sun. Begin your adventures at Dublin Castle for a look back at the history of the city.

Brooke

Best tourist activities in Dublin, Ireland

Dublin Castle located in Dublin, Ireland. The castle dates back to 1204 and is now a living museum with cafes, gardens and staterooms to explore.
Dublin Castle located in Dublin, Ireland
  • Begin your adventures at Dublin Castle for a look back at the history of the city. The castle dates back to 1204 and is now a living museum with cafes, gardens and staterooms to explore. 
  • Talk a walk over Ha’penny Bridge. Its name was derived from the price pedestrians had to pay (a “halfpenny”) to cross the bridge back when it was built in 1816. Today, it has become one of the primary monuments identified with Dublin.
  • Visit Ireland’s largest church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This cathedral was built in 1191 and is the resting place of Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels. 
  • Have a picnic in Phoenix Park. This park is 1700 acres and is home to the Dublin Zoo, Presidential residences, the Wellington Monument , and so much more. 
  • Take a break and read at book at Trinity College Library. This library was built in 1592 and, to this day, is the oldest library in Ireland. For book lovers – this is a dream. 
  • Take a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher. These natural wonders have been used for various film shoots, such as Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and The Princess Bride, and are an absolute breathtaking experience. There are numerous tour companies that organize day trips to the cliffs from Dublin. 
  • Wander through the graveyards at Glasnevin Cemetery Museum. Take a tour and visit the resting place of famous Irish political figures, poets, writers, and more. 
  • Experience Dublin’s history at the Little Museum of Dublin. Take a guided tour, which start every hour, or explore the museum on your own. There are more than 5000 exhibits in this space, which feature The 1916 Rising, Bono, and John F. Kennedy’s tour of the city, and more.
  • Tour the Jameson distillery. You cannot miss touring a distillery while you’re in Ireland – it’s the birthplace of Irish Whiskey dating back to 1870. 
  • St. Stephen’s Green is a favorite park. Set out in Victorian style, the park makes for an idyllic spot to grab lunch on-the-go. 
  • Take a break from your serious tourist sight-seeing and visit the National Leprechaun Museum. Book a tour during the day for family fun or take on more twisted tales with their Friday and Saturday nighttime tours. 

Best restaurants and pubs in Dublin, Ireland

If you know one thing about Ireland you know it’s infamous for its pubs and restaurants – and Dublin certainly has its fair share of them. Below are just a few restaurants and pubs we recommend you visit while in Dublin.

If you’re looking for more of a festive night out then make your way over to Temple Bar.
Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland
  • If you’re looking for more of a festive night out then make your way over to Temple Bar. Temple Bar is not just a bar, but a neighborhood full of vibrant pubs with overcrowded DJ sets, folk music, and sometimes stand up comedy acts. This is a really fun part of town if you’re looking to mingle with locals and visitors alike. Just don’t make the mistake of staying here because you’ll never get a good night’s sleep. 
  • Stop into O’Donoghues. This pub has been a staple in Dublin since 1934 and continues to be a must-see bar. 
  • Dine in U2’s restaurant. The Edge, band member of U2, bought The Clarence restaurant in 1992 and has continued to help revitalize the Temple Bar area. 
  • Go to The Church. The Church is not necessarily what you think it is. It’s actually a historic church that has been turned into a restaurant and bar. The food is good, but it’s worth it to stop in just for the history – for example Arthur Guinness was married here in 1761.
  • Looking for fish and chips? Look no further than Leo Burdock. This restaurant is a Dublin icon with a storied history dating back to 1913.