The Ultimate Dublin Ireland Guide
Updated: Jul 21, 2022
A trip to the Emerald Isle is high up on many travelers' bucket lists. Known for being a friendly and fun country to explore, Ireland attracts a wide range of visitors. From budget backpackers on their gap year to older explorers looking for a relaxing holiday, Ireland has something for everyone. While many visitors eagerly plan their visits to famous Irish sites like the Cliffs of Moher and Giants Causeway, a stay in Dublin city should not be forgotten! So whether you are visiting on a weekend city escape or a weeklong excursion, make sure to stop at the following sites in Dublin, Ireland.
How To Get Into Dublin City?
Most visitors arriving in Ireland will enter the country at Dublin Airport. Getting into Dublin City from the airport is quick and easy. From Dublin Airport, hop on the Dublin Express that departs from Zone 1 at Terminal 1 and Zone 21 at Terminal 2 every thirty minutes. The Dublin Express takes you straight into the heart of Dublin city and drops you off at the doorstep of Temple Bar for a welcome pint.
Is Dublin Walkable?
Dublin is considered to be one of the most walkable cities in Europe. With mostly flat streets and nearby attractions, most visitors to Dublin will not need to worry about relying on public transport or renting a car. Of course, if you are planning on doing any day trips from Dublin, renting a car offers flexibility to explore. However, it is not necessary for days spent just in the city. Additionally, most guided tours will meet at one of the easy to navigate to sites, such as the Molly Malone statue or St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
➡️ Pro Tip: Escape Dublin and head out on an epic adventure to these 10 Amazing Places In Ireland You Must See.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Dublin?
As with many travel destinations around the world, the best time to visit Dublin is during shoulder seasons. A visit in May or September will provide lesser crowds and pleasant weather. For those looking to let their inner Irishman out and enjoy a pint or ten and party about the city, a visit on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) is sure to be a travel experience like no other. Of course, no matter what month you are traveling in Ireland, the Irish weather can be a fickle trickster. Pack for all types of weather and layer up. It is easier to remove layers if you get hot than to walk around cold and wet.
Where To Stay In Dublin
You’ll need somewhere to rest up from all of your exciting daily adventures. Luckily, Dublin offers a wide range of budget-friendly and boujie hostel and hotel options.
Staying at a hostel is a great way to save money while exploring Dublin. On one of my visits to Dublin, I stayed at Abbey Court Hostel, which was just steps away from all the important Dublin sites. For budget backpackers, this hostel is a great way to save some cash, but still enjoy the lively atmosphere of Dublin. The hostel puts on a wide range of events and day trip adventures for those staying at the hostel.
The Schoolhouse Hotel is a perfect green escape right in the heart of Dublin. Relax in the green outdoor patio area or dine at the onsight gastro-bar that has delicious food and drinks. The rooms at this luxurious hotel are billed as bespoke, boutique rooms that will leave you feeling like royalty and sleeping soundly.
Stay in the heart of the action of Temple Bar at the Temple Bar Hotel. This four-star boutique hotel will have you staying just steps away from all the best Dublin sites. Take a cocktail mixing class or enjoy a multi-course meal in the onsite restaurant.
➡️ Pro Tip: Dublin makes for the perfect European weekend escape. Need more inspiration for a 48 hour adventure? Check out these 10 European Cities Perfect For a Weekend Escape.
What To Do In Dublin
There is tons to do in Dublin and narrowing down what to see and do first can be challenging. The following spots are must-see stops while in the city.
Learn How To Pour A Pint At The Guinness Storehouse
What is a visit to Dublin without a pint of Guinness? Learn the ins and outs of how this world-famous beer is made in the interactive museum. Find out how to pour the perfect pint that’s not too foamy, but still has a good head. Finally, finish your visit by enjoying a cold glass of Guinness at the top of the storehouse with 360-degree views.
Catch A Riverdance And Dinner Show
Enjoy a night you are sure to not soon forget by going to a dinner theatre experience at Celtic Nights. Similar to tap dancing, but arguably much more difficult to perfect, Riverdance is an electrifying performance that is sure to thrill. Add a delicious Irish meal to the experience and you have the perfect combo. I was unsure whether or not I wanted to splurge on this experience for fear it would be a bit pandering to tourists, but I am glad I did. Yes, it was a bit of a tourist trap, but singing and clapping the night away made for quite the enjoyable experience I often reflect on.
Listen To Live Music Along Temple Bar Street
For those traveling to Dublin to drink and party, a trip to Temple Bar Street is a must. Still, if the party scene isn’t your vibe, this famous street is full of pubs that will have live music every night. Pull up a chair, order a pint and get ready to sing and dance the night away.
Check Out The Impressive Dublin Castle
A tour of Dublin Castle is a must while in Dublin to learn all about the history of Ireland. For art lovers, within the castle, you will find various exhibitions and art collections.
Explore The Kilmainham Gaol
This famous jail is over a century old and was used to hold prisoners involved in momentous historical events in Ireland. During your tour, walk through the sobering jail cells while you learn about the years of conflict that occurred throughout Dublin and Ireland.
Relax In St. Stephen’s Green Park
While in the Emerald Isle, you’ll want to spend as much time in greenery as possible. Whether you’re looking for a place to stroll while you enjoy your morning coffee or to sit and read a book, this green palace is the best city escape.
Cross Over Ha’penny Bridge
This pedestrian bridge is one of the most popular river crossing spots in Dublin. It also happens to be the oldest iron bridge in Ireland. While exploring the city cross over the bridge and snap a photo under the white archway.
Check Out St. Patrick’s Cathedral
A stop by St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a must when strolling through the stunning streets of Dublin. Religious or not, the cathedral is truly a magnificent sight worth seeing. Take some time to tour the interior or merely walk around the perimeter of the building.
Let Your Inner Bookworm Marvel At Trinity College Library
Just because the good ole college days are done does not mean you shouldn’t stop by Trinity College, or at least the library. Pre-book your tickets online to enter and see the famous Book of Kells exhibit. Visits are available seven days a week.
Grab Lunch Along The Grand Canal Dock
The Grand Canal Dock is brimming with stunning street art, perfect Instagram spots, and amazing coffee shops and restaurants. If you’re looking for a neighborhood to leisurely stroll around and grab a bite to eat, this is the perfect spot for you. While lively, this location is lesser known to tourists making it the perfect spot to escape the crowds.
Get Spendy On Grafton Street
I still have a sparkly blazer from my first visit to Dublin. And while it definitely is not on trend anymore and will likely sit in my closet until it is old enough to be considered vintage and unique, I will continue to hold onto it for the fond memories I have from shopping on Grafton Street. Whether you’re looking to just window shop or want to find a souvenir or two to take home with you, a shopping spree on Grafton Street won’t disappoint!
Indulge In Some Whiskey At The Jameson Distillery
Nothing feels more Irish than whiskey and there is no better place to learn about it than at the Jameson Distillery. From whiskey tastings to cocktail mixing classes, the Jameson Distillery offers multiple tour experiences. The tours are interactive and engaging, but also educational. So when your mom raises concern about your whiskey intake on your trip, you can just say you must drink to learn.
Meet Molly Malone
We’ve all heard the song Molly Malone, and if you haven’t, you are sure to hear it played at pubs while in Dublin. Along Grafton Street, you can find the iconic statue of Molly Malone wheeling her wheelbarrow through the street. Legend has it that if you rub her breast, you will be blessed with the good ole luck of the Irish.
Dublin is a lively city and is perfect for both short weekend adventures and longer travel stays. With endless sites to see, food to eat, and pints to drink, a visit to Dublin is sure to leave you with lifelong memories. Sláinte!