Helen and I recently took a trip to Dublin, Ireland and all I can say is what a fantastic place. If you’ve not visited in the past then I seriously recommend adding this place to your travel to-do list. Whether you’re staying for the week or the weekend I thought I’d share my top 7 things to do in Dublin, Ireland.
Before we get started it’s worth mentioning that Dublin has a fantastic range of offers on admission to various tourist hotspots for students. Be sure to read my article on student discount hacks to ensure you have one, and save yourself some serious cash – whether you’re a student, or not
1. Hop On Hop Off Tour
I absolutely loved the green official Dublin hop on, hop off tour around the city. They’ve been providing quality tours since 1988 and are filled with Live entertaining commentary, Multilingual recorded commentary. The bus stops at over 30 historic and cultural highlights across Dublin over two routes (both of which are included with your one ticket) The two routes include the original purple route that runs from 9am until 5pm and lasts 1 hour 45 minutes from start to finish.
In addition there is also the Docklands, pink route. This route runs from 9.20am until 4.35pm and lasts for 45 minutes. The ticket for the tour comes with the following; Free Walking Tour, Free entrance to the Little Museum Dublin, Free Kids, Free Map and Discount Guide. Which makes it absolutely fantastic value for money!
What I personally loved about the tour was the ability to see a little bit of everything Dublin has to offer from the comfort of a clean bus and with the commentary of a friendly driver. We discovered new things to do in Dublin that we other wise wouldn’t have found and after taking the tour in full, we went on to use our ticket to get around the city with ease. The tickets are valid for 48 hours and if booked online feature a 15% discount making it €22 for adults, €20 for students and senior citizens and children between the ages of 5 – 14 €10. However, two children under the age of 14 travel for free with every paying adult.
2. City Hall
Dublin City Hall probably isn’t somewhere at the top of your list of things to do in Dublin. However, I believe that it should be. Especially if you’re travelling on a budget.
The recently refurbished space is a fantastic place to visit. Filled with history and heritage it’s as grand as the Dublin Castle (but without the price tag) It features a lovely café, making it the perfect spot to grab a coffee or lunch. However, in my opinion none of that’s the start of the show when it comes to Dublin City Hall.
That’s because Dublin City Council have funded a fantastic, historical and informative exhibition on the ground floor of the city hall that is completely free to visit. Three rooms filled with interactive exhibits, such as a throne, mace and swords makes this the perfect place to learn more about the history of Dublin and Ireland in general.
3. Jameson Distillery
If you’re looking for things to do in Dublin that contain alcohol. You’re in luck, because there are plenty. One of which being a tour around the Jameson Distillery. I knew nothing about whiskey before venturing on this fabulous tour. The building which is more than 200 year old has recently undergone a huge refurbishment, which has left it looking absolutely breathtaking.
The 40-minute tour provides you with the opportunity to discover how John Jameson’s focus on the highest quality ingredients, rigorous triple distillation process and constant innovation has propelled his whiskey to the finest in all of Ireland, enjoyed around the globe. The tour was very hands on, interactive and used technology to it’s advantage. Despite my lack of knowledge when it comes to both whiskey I was able to learn a lot and had a fantastic time.
Tours are available Monday to Sunday from 10.00am (10.30am on a Sunday) with the last tour taking place at 5.15pm.
The price of the tour remains the same whether you book in advance or on the day. It’s €18 for adults, €15 for students and seniors and €9 for under 18’s. All those over the age of €18 are given a voucher to redeem a drink in the bar after the tour. Helen and I opted for a cocktail that would usually retail for €13.
4. Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle is without a doubt the heart of history in Dublin. Making it the primary thing to do in Dublin if you’re up for learning about this places great and extensive history. We decided to opt for the guided tour of the castle that lasted a little over an hour.
However, you can also have a self-guided tour. During your guided tour you’ll gain access to; The State Apartments, Medieval Undercroft and Chapel Royal. However, if you opt for the self-guided tour you’ll only be able to access The State Apartments. That’s not to say they aren’t super impressive.
The castle is open from 9.45am until 4.35pm Monday to Saturday and 12 midday until 4.35pm on Sunday. This is correct at the time of publishing however I would always recommend to check before you travel.
Guided tours are priced at;
Adult: €10 Senior (60+) & Student: €8 Child (6-17): €4 Family (max. 2 adults & 5 children): €24
Self-Guided tours are priced at;
Adult: €7 Senior (60+) & Student: €6 Child (6-17): €3 Family (max. 2 adults & 5 children): €17
If you do choose to opt for the self-guided tour then be sure to download the Dublin Castle app which is available for both Apple and Android. Available in both English and Irish it will help guide you through the castle, providing you with detailed historical descriptions. Complete with an audio tour, images, events listing, a user gallery and GPS-enabled maps.
5. The Irish Emigration Museum (EPIC)
This interactive experience takes you through 20 highly interactive rooms on a journey to discover the story of the Irish emigration around the world, from early times to the modern day. EPIC tells the story of 10 million journeys, rich and poor, allowing you to retrace the journeys directly of 300. Relive some of their greatest achievements and accomplishments in the world of art, design, sport, music and politics. We spent over two hours wondering the highly interactive rooms in the Irish emigration museum, and were highly impressed. So, if you’re looking for things to do in Dublin when it’s raining or the weather isn’t so great, look no further.
Entry into EPIC is €14 for adults and €7 for children aged between 6 and 15 with children under the age of 6 going free.
A family pack for two adults and two children is available for €35 and students and seniors get a discounted entry of just €12.
The museum is open 7 days a week from 10am until 6.45pm with the last entry being 5pm.
6. Guinness Store House
Located in the heart of St. James Gate Brewery, Guinness Store House is Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction. Immerse yourself in seven floors of interactive experiences, sharing the long brewing heritage of the black stuff. Once you make it to the seventh floor you’ll be rewarded with a complimentary pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar. The bar provides you with a 360 degree view of Dublin, making it the perfect place to take in the sights of this fantastic city.
Booking in advance for the Guinness Storehouse will save you up to 30% on your admission.
The admission for adults can vary between €14 and €20 depending on the time slot you choose. Admission for students and seniors is a fixed price of €18
A family ticket for 2 adults and up to 4 children is available for €48.50.
The Guinness Storehouse is open from 9.30am until 7pm, 7 days a week with the last admission being 5pm.
7. Little Museum of Dublin
The Little Museum of Dublin is without a doubt one of my favourite things to do in Dublin. The absolutely amazing, and very well presented collection was created entirely by public donation.
All entries around the museum are by guided tours which last 30 minutes. Once completed you’re welcome to wonder around the museum on your own exploring many more rooms that aren’t covered by the guided tour itself. What’s better than a great museum than a great price and this one is no different. You can save 10% on admission by booking online. Admission is €8 except for students and seniors who pay €6.
The museum is open seven days a week from 9.30am until 5pm with the last tour starting at 4pm. The museum also hosts a late night opening on Thursday where entry is available until 7pm with the museum closing at 8pm.
I hope you’ve found my list of top 7 things to do in Dublin, Ireland insightful. Be sure to let me know in the comments if you visit (or have visited Dublin) and what you’re favourite things to do in Dublin are.
In the meantime feel free to use this embedded interactive map to help plan your trip. I’ve highlighted everywhere I’ve spoken about in this post.