12 must-do things to do in Dublin

Trinity College Dublin

Visiting Dublin: what are the best things to see and do in Ireland’s capital?

Dublin is a very pleasant place to visit, not least because it’s a city on a human scale: you can do everything in a weekend, as long as you’re active. If you’re going to Dublin to party, it’s also a dream destination: with its Temple Bar district, the city is packed with pubs that are typical of the country, where pints of Guinness flow freely.

Another great incentive to visit Dublin is the fact that the city is very well served in terms of low-cost flights. This is boosted by Ryanair and Aer Lingus, two airlines based in Dublin itself. The euros you save on cheaper flights can be reinvested in sightseeing or a few pints!

To help you plan your stay, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Dublin!

1. Trinity College

Old Library au Trinity College de Dublin

Photo credit: STLJB / Shutterstock

Ireland’s oldest university (founded in 1592) is well worth a visit. Admission to the interior is free, so you can admire the buildings, courtyard and statues that lie here. However, you’ll have to pay to visit the library and see the 1,200-year-old Book of Kells, and that’s well worth it too. Nearly 4.5 million books are housed here, and the 65 m Long Room inside is sublime!

2. St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Cathédrale Saint-Patrick, Dublin

Photo credit: Flickr – Canadian Pacific

St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of Dublin’s most popular attractions. Built between 1220 and 1260, it is one of the few remaining buildings from the medieval city of Dublin. Today, it is the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland and is still the largest cathedral in Ireland.

3. St Stephen’s Green

Stephen Green Dublin

Photo credit: Flickr – Joe Anderson

Located just off Grafton Street, St Stephen Green Park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city, or to take a leisurely stroll. There are plenty of monuments to see, starting with the entrance, the Rifle Arch, and inside, statues, fountains and more…

4. Grafton Street

Grafton Street is well known for its many boutiques, and is a great place if shopping is your thing. It’s also a popular place to watch talented street artists. There are also bars and restaurants.

5. Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse Dublin

Photo credit: Wikimedia – Jamt9000

Visit the famous Guinness brewery to find out a little more about how Ireland’s favorite beverage is made (1 out of every 2 pints consumed in Ireland is a Guinness). On the program: the history of Guinness and the brand, the techniques used and, of course, a tasting session in the Gravity Bar, offering a 360° view of Dublin!

6. Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)

The Museum of Modern Irish Art opened in May 1991 and has rapidly established itself as an important presence on the international art scene. It offers dynamic exhibitions and educational programs designed to create fun and stimulating experiences of modern art for you. Admission is free.

7. Dublin Castle

Since its creation in 1204, Dublin Castle has played a leading role in Irish history. It has been the site of every presidential inauguration since the founding of the state, and has witnessed some of the most momentous events in the country’s history. The complex covers 4.5 hectares and contains two museums, two cafés, an international conference center, 2 gardens, government buildings and theViceregal Apartments. Part of the complex is free to visit. Guided tours of the Viceroy’s Apartments and other parts of the castle require the purchase of a ticket.

8. Kilmainham Prison

Kilmainham Gaol Dublin

Flickr – Corey Leopold

Find out what it would have been like to be imprisoned in this Irish « bastion of punishment and correction » between 1796, when it opened, and 1924, when it closed. A guided tour of Kilmainham Prison(Kilmainham Gaol, in Irish), one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe, provides an insight into recent Irish political history and the Irish rebellion. The prison reveals much. This is a popular excursion: you can’t buy tickets in advance, they’re sold on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s a good idea to get there early.

9. Temple Bar

Temple Bar tattoo Dublin

Photo credit: Flickr – William Murphy

This charming neighborhood has cobblestone streets and lots of character. It’s packed with bars, cafés and art galleries, and has incredible architecture everywhere you go. It’s one of Dublin’s best nightlife spots.

10. National Museum of Ireland

The National Museum of Ireland opened its doors in 1890 and has been transporting visitors as far back as 7000 BC ever since. The museum features important archaeological collections from Ireland’s Viking, Celtic and medieval eras, as well as decorative arts, the Irish way of life since 1850 and natural history exhibits that show the true diversity of Ireland.

11. Chester Beatty Library

Located at the foot of Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty Library is an award-winning art museum and library housing a large collection of rare books and manuscripts. Given the quality of the collection, it’s almost surprising that admission is free. We also appreciate the fact that the visit is short, as the museum is not huge. Once inside, you can admire one of the most important collections of Islamic and Far Eastern objects.

12. Hurling match at Croke Park

Croke Park Dublin

Photo credit: Flickr – Kman999

With its 82,000 seats, Croke Park stadium is home to Gaelic sports such as hurling and Gaelic soccer, and it could be an excellent opportunity to take a closer look at this « religion » if you’re staying in Dublin on a match day, preferably in summer through to autumn.

How to get to Dublin

Getting to Dublin couldn’t be easier… The Irish capital is well served by direct low-cost flights from major cities in France, Belgium and Europe in general. You can easily find a cheap flight to Dublin on the website of our partner Ulysse.

Where to stay in Dublin?

When it comes to accommodation in Dublin, the Irish capital is a little more expensive than most. While you may be able to find a cheap night’s stay in a youth hostel, any decent hotel is immediately a little more expensive. To find a cheap hotel in Dublin, use this hotel comparison tool.

Have you visited Dublin? What did you like best?

Map of hotels and accommodation – Dublin,ie