Dublin is a vibrant fun city with so much to see, do and enjoy. So much so that it might be difficult to decide where to start when you’re only there for a short time. Well if you are heading to the Emerald Isle for a short trip then take a look at these top things to do on a Dublin city break.
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Visit Temple Bar
This Iconic strip of bars at the heart of the city is on any drinkers list when visiting Dublin. Even if you don’t drink you can enjoy the music and atmosphere (early on before it gets too rowdy). You must visit the bar of the same name, even if it is just for one drink and a look around. It’s expensive, full of tourists and can get very busy but it’s worth it. For some visitors, a Dublin city break starts and finishes on this street!
Taste and learn at the Irish Whiskey Museum
Visit this modern museum and enjoy exciting interactive exhibits and a lesson in the history behind the famous Irish whiskey. This beverage may have had its ups and downs and this museum showcases this as well as the new wave of whiskey from Ireland. A guided tour of the museum includes a whiskey tasting too. Special tours also include a personalised bottled blend to take home with you.
The intriguing Little Museum of Dublin
Telling the story of the Irish capital through donations made by the public. You can only enter the museum by guided tour and it’s a good idea to book ahead as the tours are small and fill up fast. You will learn all about the city through your guide and a number of interactive exhibits. Kids will love sitting at the old school desk and adults will enjoy learning about the old Dublin pubs. You’ll find the little museum of Dublin on the edge of St Stephens Green.
Take A Tour Of The Guinness Factory
A Dublin city break is not complete without visiting the home of its native drink Guinness. Make your way through seven floors filled with interactive experiences and learn about the history of brewing in Ireland. Once you get to the top you can have your very own pint of Guinness and look out onto the city from the rooftop Gravity Bar.
Explore Kilmainham Gaol
Although it’s about 3km from the city centre, Kilmainham Gaol is a popular attraction for visitors to Dublin. This former jail holds so much history and spans the ages between the 1780s to the 1920s. A tour can be booked in advance which will take you around the prison and an exhibition showing the political and penal history of the prison and its restoration.
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
Discover and explore the spread of Irish descendants across the world as this museum explains the journey of Irish emigration. Over the past few hundred years, over 10 million people have left Ireland in search for a new life. 20 themed galleries at EPIC show why people left and how they have influenced the new world they called home. Stories will leave you happy, sad shocked and contented as you see and hear tales of sacrifice, endurance and adventure.
Explore International books at the Chester Beatty Library
This library is the only museum in Ireland to have won the European Museum of the Year and is a must on a Dublin city break if you are a book lover. Browse collections from countries from around the world including Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. You are sure to be amazed by the variety of treasures, different cultures and religions that are showcased within the walls.
If you have had a little too much to drink the night before or if you just want to spend some time outdoors, the National Botanic Gardens are a lovely place to clear your head. Wander around the gardens on your own or take advantage of one of the free guided tours, the guides have exceptional knowledge of the gardens and plants. The rose garden is particularly pretty.
Tour Croke Park Stadium and GAA Museum
Want to know more about Gaelic sports? A stadium tour will leave you with more than just a great view of the grounds. Your tour guide will school you in the history of both Gaelic football and Hurling plus other facts about Ireland in general. The museum includes some interactive exhibits and is a good addition to the overall tour. You must book and purchase tickets in advance and you’ll need cash once you are there for any concession purchases.
Marvel at ancient architecture at the Trinity College
Visit as part of a tour or take a wander around to explore the architecture on your own. The old building is fascinating and the highlight, of course, is the spectacular old library. The old wooden expansive library is a very popular spot in the college and there can be a long queue to enter. It’s worth the wait! You don’t even need to love books to enjoy this amazing room. Arriving early might help you to avoid the large crowds in the later parts of the day.
Have you been on a Dublin City Break?
Depending on what you want to get out of your trip will depend on the best time to visit. A weekend or holiday break will see the streets and attractions busy and bustling, whilst during the week you’ll find it a bit quieter. Check the opening days of the museums you plan to visit too to make sure they are open during your visit.
Have you ever visited the wider country or across the border in northern Ireland? Let me know what you think are the top things to do in Dublin and the rest of Ireland too. What tips would you have for a traveller who is new to Ireland? Leave a comment below and share your tips with fellow travellers.