Welcome to Dublin! Dublin is Ireland’s capital and one of Ireland’s highlights to visit. Many travelers visit Dublin during a city trip. Dublin is known for its charming streets, historic buildings, artists playing live music, pubs, and kind people. In this article, you read what are the best things to do in Dublin for a city trip. Also, we tell you which places you can really good food and which two hotels we recommend staying in.
Table of Contents
How many days do you need for Dublin?
If you want to see all the highlights in Dublin, you want to experience the atmosphere like a local and you want to do a day trip outside Dublin, we recommend a stay of 3 nights in Dublin. If you only want to discover the city, 2 nights are enough.
How to get to Dublin?
If you going to visit Dublin as a city trip, you should use a plane. You can easily buy a cheap ticket via Skyscanner. If you are doing a road trip through the UK you can also take the boat from various places towards Dublin.
What to do in Dublin?
Dublin is one of the smallest cities in Europe, but it is one of the best cities in Europe to visit. We love Dublin and Ireland, we hope you will too after reading this article and travel to Dublin. Dublin is known for its cathedrals, pubs, live music, and beautiful museums. Read all 14 things to do in Dublin in this article.
Tip: in addition to our tips, there are a lot of other things to do in Dublin. However, if you want to do this, you need to extend your stay by several days.
#1 Trinity college
The Trinity college grounds are a joy to walk around. It is one of the best places to visit in Dublin. Pay attention to the buildings and the details, it is so beautiful! It is also a very nice place to watch people passing by. On one hand, you have people who are in a rush to get on time for their work, students who are late, and the typical tourist who takes pictures of everything.
If you have seen the site you should visit “the book of Kells”. The Book of Kells is considered one of Ireland’s best national treasures. The book takes its name from the Abbey of Kells, where it has been located for centuries. The decoration and illustrations in this book are magnificent.
However, the highlight of your visit isn’t in our opinion the book of Kells itself but the long room. Here are towering bookcases that are truly beautiful. It seems like you are in a scene from Harry Potter.
#2 St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Founded in 1191, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest cathedral in Ireland. In addition to this cathedral, Dublin has a second cathedral called “Christ Church Cathedral”, which is just a few minutes walk from each other. When you stand in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral you can see how beautiful it is. However, when you go in its only gets better. St. Patrick’s Cathedral’s opening hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily. A visit to the St. Patrick’s Cathedral should definitely be added to your Dublin itinerary / Ireland itinerary.
#3 Enjoy in a pub in the evening
The most famous area to go to a pub is the temple bar. However, many locals don’t think this is the best place to experience real pub life. This is because most people (tourists) come here to drink instead of enjoying the Celtic music and atmospheric evenings. Nevertheless, there are still nice pubs in this area where you will not be immediately ripped off. We recommend visiting Aul Dub, at this places they play live music and serve good drinks😉.
The best tip we can give you is to walk around the neighborhood and enter some pubs yourself, when you enter the pub you feel directly if this is the place for you to stay. There are plenty of choices, as there are hundreds of pubs in Dublin.
#4 Guinness Storehouse
Besides Guinness being a very tasty drink, you can also take a tour of how Guinness is made. The Guinness Storehouse is Dublin’s most visited attraction and for good reason. It is a lot of fun to learn the history of Ireland and the drink Guinness during a tour. Buy your ticket via the below link.
Guinness Storehouse entrance ticket | $23 per person
Tip: when the tour is over you can visit the Gravity Bar, where you can order a delicious drink with a panorama view over the city.
#5 Get out of Dublin for some awesome hikes
In Dublin, you can do many great things, but outside the city, there are also some awesome hikes. The biggest advantage is that you can discover the Irish countryside. Nature here is unspoiled and truly beautiful. In terms of walks, there are several options. We have done the Howth Cliff Walk and really recommend it. It is a 12 km walk and takes about 3 hours. From the center of Dublin, you can easily reach Howth in 25 minutes by taking the DART. Once you arrive in Howth, signs are depicting the walk, it’s that simple!
If you want to visit Howth via a tour we highly recommend the below tour. More information can be found via the link. Also, you can book your ticket easily via the link.
Howth Day Trip from Dublin | $47 per person
Beside Howth there are other walks / day excursions that we recommend, see below:
- Cliffs of Moher, Burren & Galway Full-Day Tour
- Wild Wicklow Tour including Glendalough from Dublin
- Game of Thrones™ filming locations and Giant’s Causeway from Dublin
#6 Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol is a prison and is one of the highlights to visit in Dublin. With the tour, you visit the gardens, the cells and get to know the history of the prison in 1 hour. It isn’t the most enjoyable place to be, but one that clearly indicates how it was like to live in a cell until 1924. Above all, it is an instructive tour, because the guide tells the history and fun facts in an interesting way. A must if you want to do something different than usual.
#7 Wander the many beautiful streets
One of the best things to do in Dublin is simply to walk through the streets and visit small boutique shops. The best street for shopping is Grafton street, where you will find the big brand to small boutique shops. Also, it is very nice to walk through, because artists often play beautiful music here.
#8 Relax in St. Stephen Green
Right in the center is St. Stephen Green park, this is a beautiful park to walk through. If you walk through the park you will see the beautiful history of Ireland. There is something magical and enchanting about the park, well worth a visit. Buy a drink in Grafton street and sit on a bench in the park.
#9 Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle was a Viking castle in the 13th century, later it was the headquarters of the English and the British. In 1922, with Irish independence, the castle “went back” to the Irish. The castle is worth a visit, especially if you consider what history has taken place here. Besides, the great surprise is that there is a museum in the castle, which makes it extra unique.
#10 live music
One of the best things about Dublin is that there are many pubs and public places to play live music. The music is very different which makes it a lot of fun. You will hear all kinds of music, enjoy! We always enjoyed our Irish food in the evening in a pub with live Celtic music in the background.
Tip: a rule of thumb that we always use is when you stop and listen to an artist is to give them a small fee. After all, this stimulates them to do what they do😊.
#11 Phoenix Park
The Phoenix park is the largest city park in all of Europe. You can see deer in this park which is great fun. The park has been open for 350 years and is a nice piece of Dublin history. You can visit the park by walking or you can rent and bike. A very nice activity is to have a picnic in the afternoon. Be warned because the deer’s are very curious.
In addition to Ireland’s most famous drink Guinness, Ireland has another well-known drink, Irish whiskey. If you are a whiskey lover and want to do a tour you need to follow the Jameson Whiskey Distillery Tour, because during this tour you also taste the whiskey. A very nice tour in which you get all the explanation from the process to making the Whiskey in less than an hour. You can easily book a ticket via the below link.
Jameson Distillery Guided Tour with Whiskey Tasting | $31 per person
#13 Walking tour: the dark side
If you want to do a tour that is slightly different from all other tours, then the “the dark side” tour is something for you. During this tour, you will go with the guide in the evening to a couple of places in Dublin that contain special stories, or creepy. A very nice 2-hour tour that covers a different aspect of Dublin’s history. Ask at your accommodation about the possibilities.
#14 Swords Castle
Do you like to visit castles then Swords Castle is a must. This castle is more than 800 years old and has a rich history. It is very easy to get here, as it is only a 10-minute drive from the center. The strange thing is that this castle is often not recommended by other travelers on their list: “best things to do in Dublin”, but it is definitely worth a visit if you like castles and history.
Where to stay in Dublin?
Due to the popularity, it is difficult to find a suitable place to stay in Dublin. Also, you have to take into account that Dublin is not a cheap city to stay. Keep in mind that you properly will pay $60 to $130 per night for a double room. We stayed in Harcourt Hotel and recommend it. If you want a little more luxury, Clayton Hotel Charlemont is recommended. Both hotels are located on the same street. The advantage of both hotels is that the price-quality is very good.
Tip: you must reserve your room on time because both hotels are very popular. If you book via our link you can adjust your reservation up to 24 hours in advance.
The location of Harcourt Hotel is perfect, as you are only a few minutes walk from the center. The breakfast is very good, you have many choices. Also, the staff is very nice. A special place for a very competitive price!
Price per night from:
$ 70 double room
Clayton Hotel Charlemont
The rooms at Clayton Hotel Charlemont are beautiful, especially the amenities you have are very good. The hotel is only a 5-minute walk from the center. The hotel scores an average of 9 on Booking.com, which is incredibly good. If you are looking for a luxury room with all facilities, close to the center, then this hotel is for you.
Price per night from:
$ 110 double room
Where to eat in Dublin?
You can eat very well in Dublin. One dish that you really should try is the classic dish: fish n ‘chips. One of the best places to try this in Dublin is Leo Burdocks. This place is so good that they even have a wall of fame wall that shows which celebrities already visited this place. The store is very small so after you received your food walk to St. Patrick’s Cathedral park to have a seat. Enjoy.
Another special place to eat in Dublin is dining in a church called “The Church”. They have a special menu, for example, you can order dishes prepared in Guinness.
We also recommend “The Fumbally”, this is a restaurant that focuses on healthy dishes. It is above all a nice hip place to sit. In addition to these specific recommendations, you can eat well in many places in Dublin. In the evening it is also nice to have a drink with typical Irish food in a pub. We loved it because you sit with the locals listing to beautiful Celtic music.
Conclusion why is Dublin the perfect city trip?
The answer to why Dublin is a perfect destination for a city trip is very simple, it has a lot to offer. During your days, properly the weekend, you will see many beautiful buildings, undertake unforgettable activities, enjoy delicious food and evenings, hear beautiful music, experience a beautiful culture and much more. We hope you will enjoy Dublin as we did. Sláinte!
Hopefully our article helped you to explore the best things to do in Dublin!
Tip: If you want to read more articles, you can easily go to our destination page and continue reading.