With history and architecture that go back all the way to the Viking era, Dublin is a city that offers plenty of outdoor activities and features a number of unique museums, art galleries, and medieval castles. Today, we will take a look at all of those cool things you can do while staying in Dublin.
- Go on a tour of the Kilmainham Gaol
Located near Phoenix Park and west of central Dublin, Kilmainham Gaol used to be a notorious prison that housed many famous Irish Independence freedom fighters such as James Connolly and Thomas Francis Meagher. Today, it is a preserved museum with guided tours and one of the most popular sightseeing attractions in Dublin. Check out the Stonebreaker’s Yard where some of the prisoners were executed and see the museum exhibits that tell the story of the history of the prison. Kilmainham Gaol is open to visitors throughout the year and the admission costs around $10 for adults and $5 for children.
- Visit the Trinity College
Founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592, Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland. Visitors will have a chance to see a great collection of treasures including permanent exhibitions, an ancient harp, an illuminated manuscript from the 9th century, and the Book of Kells. Don’t forget to check out the famous Long Room from the 18th century that houses over 200,000 Trinity’s books. Also, make sure to check when the building is open to the public.
- Check out the Little Museum of Dublin
Located at the top of Dawson Street and just a short walk from Fusilier’s Arch, The Little Museum of Dublin takes its visitors on a journey through the history of Ireland and its people. Opened in 2011, the museum hosts a number of temporary exhibitions and several events throughout the year. See the lectern that was used by John F. Kennedy when he spoke at the house of the Irish Parliament. There is also a permanent installation from the popular band U2 with exhibits donated from members of the band.
- Have a picnic at St. Stephen’s Green
St. Stephen’s Green is definitely the most beautiful park in Dublin and a great place to have a picnic or to take a short stroll. An interesting fact is that until the 17 century this park was a place for public punishment. Luckily, bad times have passed and in 1880 Sir Arthur Guinness purchased the park and created an area where residents of Dublin would come to relax and enjoy themselves. Today, St. Stephen’s Green includes a big garden and a playground, as well as 18 monuments of important people from Ireland. The good news is that the entrance to the park is free of charge.
- Visit the National Gallery of Ireland
Located minutes from the Kildare Street, the National Gallery of Ireland houses a spectacular collection of Irish Art and the finest collection of European art. There are seven rooms that only focus on Irish, while the Shaw Room and Baroque Room are reserved for Italian painters. The large gallery is spread over 4 levels and hosts temporary exhibitions. You can have a drink or a snack at the café which is quite popular with both tourists and locals.
- Go to the Dublin Castle and Chester Beatty Library
Dublin Castle is mostly used for temporary exhibitions, social gatherings, ceremonies, and sometimes even for concerts. There are several museums at the Dublin Castle worth visiting and one of them is the Chester Beatty Library. Home to an extensive collection of drawings and manuscripts, Chester Beatty Library includes artistic collections from all over the world. There is a gift shop, garden, and a restaurant where visitors can sit down after all the sightseeing. Admission to the library is free of charge with guided tours every Wednesday and Sunday afternoon.
- Have a Pint of Beer at the Guinness Storehouse
Most of the tourists will tell you that this is the number one attraction in the city, and they are probably right. Located in the St James’s Gate Brewery, Guinness Storehouse is a massive building with 7 floors where you can hear everything you ever wanted to know about the famous Guinness beer. One of the highlights here is definitely the Gravity Bar where each visitor receives a complimentary glass of Guinness and can enjoy the amazing view of the city. If you wish to learn about the history of this brand and how it’s made, you should definitely put Guinness Storehouse on your list of places to visit in Dublin.
- Head out to the Phoenix Park and Dublin Zoo
Just a short walk from Collins Barracks, Phoenix Park is one of the largest parks in Europe with over 1750 acres of land. There are so many things to see here including a magnificent 18th-century building that is home to the American Ambassador to Ireland, a visitor’s center, and the famous Ashtown Castle. Of course, the most popular part of the Phoenix Park is the legendary Dublin Zoo that attracts more than one million visitors each year. It is the second oldest zoo in Europe and home to animals such as sea lions, tigers, bats, penguins, Asian lions, and orangutans.
- Shop at Graffon Street
Located just minutes from Trinity College, Graffon Street is a top tourist attraction for those who are into shopping. You will also see the statue of Molly Malone when you enter the street, so it’s quite impossible to get lost here. Besides high-end stores, jewelry shops, and boutiques where you can spend hours shopping, you can also see a concert at Graffon Street. Bono from U2 performed here on numerous occasions, as well as other Irish musicians and artists. Also, don’t forget to go to one of the most historical cafes in the city, Bewley’s Oriental Café.
- Explore the Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
Located just a short drive from Dublin center, Glasnevin Cemetery Museum was awarded Best Cultural Experience in Ireland at the famous Irish Tourism Awards. Visitors will have a chance to check out the interactive exhibitions and go on daily walking tours. Some of the must-see things at the Glasnevin Cemetery Museum include Daniel O’Connell’s Crypt, City of the Dead museum, Michael Collins grave, the Tower Café, and the craft shop.