Greater Dublin has a population of just under two million, yet the bustling city center is compact enough to explore on foot or a rented bicycle. Its rebellious and joyous Celtic traditions are alive in the music spilling out from the pubs, while the historic buildings and monuments tell the stories of the country’s rich religious and cultural heritage. Take part in Bloomsday festivities on June 16 each year when locals celebrate the life of author James Joyce, one of Dublin’s most famous residents.
Along the city’s grand thoroughfare, O’Connell Street, you can’t miss the Spire of Dublin. It’s visible for miles around, so use it as a landmark to regain your bearings in Dublin’s winding medieval streets.
Just across the River Liffey stands Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity College, which offers highly educational two-hour tours conducted by the school’s history graduates. Or explore on your own, and be sure to visit the Old Library to see the Book of Kells, a priceless illustrated manuscript created by monks in the year 800. Nearby is the National Gallery of Ireland.
Wander down stately Dame Street and past the City Hall to Dublin’s religious heart, Christ Church Cathedral. From the awe-inspiring medieval crypt to the mummified cat and rat, there is plenty here to enthrall even non-believers.
A 15-minute walk away is the spiritual home for the world’s stout drinkers, the Guinness Storehouse. Take the interactive tour, which finishes at the Perfect Pint Bar where you can pour your own pint of “black gold.” If you prefer whiskey, head to the Old Jameson Distillery to learn the secrets of turning grain into the water of life.
A little further to the west stands one of the most important and sobering monuments in Ireland, the museum at Kilmainham Gaol. The grim walls and stone-breakers’ yard in this former prison built in 1796 now keep history alive. Expert and passionate tour guides bring the story of Irish independence to life.
After the somber confines of the gaol, unwind with locals in Dublin’s largest park, St. Stephen’s Green. Once the site of public floggings and hangings, this peaceful 22-acre (nine-hectare) collection of gardens, playgrounds, fountains and walking paths is now filled with memorials to Ireland’s patriots and writers.
When evening falls, follow the merry bands of locals and visitors to the popular Temple Bar district. It’s known as the arts quarter of Dublin. By night, however, the area’s nightlife fires up, turning the narrow, cobbled streets into one big party.
Museums, Tours and Bars
A tour of this pint-shaped hall in a historic brewery provides an intoxicating journey through the making of Ireland’s signature drink.
Walk the cobbled lanes of Ireland’s oldest university, alma mater to literary greats and home of the precious Book of Kells.
Discover medieval excavations from a Viking ruin and appreciate the majesty of the state apartments, the chapel and the landscape gardens.
Watch a game of rugby or soccer and take a tour of the changing rooms and players’ tunnel to peek behind the curtain.
Get your ticket for a night at Ireland’s largest theater, which was built to attract the world’s biggest shows to the nation’s capital.
Explore this historic Gothic cathedral that stands beside the traditional well where legend says St. Patrick baptized converts.
Smell the toasted barley in the air and soak up the sense of history as you step into the story of Ireland's most celebrated stout at the Guinness Storehouse. Skip the line and learn about the brewing process, hear about the history of the brewery, and take in a view over Dublin as you sip an ice-cold pint straight from the source.
Venture out of Dublin for a day spent soaking in the history and scenery of Ireland among the emerald hills of the south. Visit medieval Blarney Castle, explore cosmopolitan, riverside Cork at your leisure, and stop to see the centuries-old structures atop one of Ireland's wonders—the Rock of Cashel.
Explore Dublin your way with Big Bus tours Dublin hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tours. Let our live tour guides (guides or driver guides) show you around the share their wealth of local knowledge and infamous Irish humour.
Discover the age-old distilling process that produces each carefully crafted drop of Jameson Irish Whiskey. Walk through the exacting process with a guide answering questions as you go, enjoy a glass of Jameson in the bar, and get an official tasting e certificate.
Discover the very best of Dublin, with a highly enjoyable 24 or 48 hour unlimited hop-on hop-off bus tour. On your journey you’ll learn all about the history of Dublin, with the assistance of a multilingual audio tour commentary.
Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Stop At: Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, 59 South William Street, Dublin 2 Ireland We start the tour in this beautiful town house.