10 Best Tourist Spots to Visit in Dublin
So, you’ve finally done it: you’ve booked your dream vacation, staycation or weekend breakaway to Dublin.
Ireland is a fantastic tourist location known for its rolling, green landscapes and highly recognisable culture. From its traditional music to Irish dancing, its superb seasonal cuisine to its art and history. There’s no wonder the Emerald Isle is high on travel bucket lists worldwide.
But planning your trip can feel quite overwhelming when you try to coordinate all of your days and determine which sites you must see.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top 10 best tourist spots to visit in Dublin.
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10 Best Tourist Spots to Visit in Dublin
Howth is a small, seaside village in Dublin that sits right on the edge of the sea, offering an amazing view and an unforgettable experience. As one of the city’s oldest working harbours, this village is simply overflowing with history, culture, and the great outdoors.
This busy fishing port is definitely a visit you don’t want to skip. It delivers fresh seafood to tourists and other fine food and lots of entertainment like shopping, hiking, and bike tours.
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2. Kilmainham Jail
Kilmainham Jail, also known as Kilmainham Goal, is one of the most infamous prisons in Ireland. This historical prison was built in 1787 and housed everyone – including women and children – especially those who fought for Ireland’s independence as a nation.
While the prison was decommissioned in 1924, it has since been restored and is open to public visitors. It’s a huge tourist attraction, and you can take tours of the estate. It now includes more modern additions, like a museum, exhibitions, and a tearoom.
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3. Dublin Castle
If you’re going to visit Dublin, you can’t leave without stopping by the famous Dublin Castle. This castle was built on the site of an early Viking settlement in the thirteenth century. It was home to British rulers in Ireland but became government property once the country was liberated.
Today, it’s a key tourist attraction, but it also still houses government offices such as the Revenue Commissioners and a Stamping Office.
Many agree that Dublin Castle is the heart of Dublin’s history. You can visit the castle and explore the open areas on your own or book a tour.
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4. Guinness Storehouse
When most people think of Ireland, they think of black stout. The Guinness Storehouse lets visitors experience the most iconic beer in the country. Located in Dublin, the Storehouse is a very famous tourist attraction at St. James’s Gate Brewery.
This seven-floor attraction has seen over 20 million visitors in its time and features a glass atrium that’s actually shaped like a pint of beer. Here, you can learn about Guinness, how it’s made, and all about its founder.
5. Phoenix Park & Dublin Zoo
Phoenix Park is a gorgeous urban park in Dublin full of beautiful landscapes, friendly deer, and plenty of walking trails. The park also boasts a cafe and sporting grounds for lots of outdoor activities.
Within Phoenix Park is also the Dublin Zoo. While the park is free, there is an entrance fee to get into the zoo, but it’s well worth it. The zoo is one of the most popular attractions in Dublin and has been in operation for a whopping 190 years.
The zoo is home to many animals, from giraffes and hippos to penguins and crocodiles. It encompasses both animal education and history, given the zoo’s long life in the city.
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6. The Hugh Lane Gallery (Dublin City Gallery)
The Hugh Lane Gallery, officially The Dublin City Gallery, on Parnell Street is the leading public gallery of contemporary art in Ireland. Operated by Dublin City Council, admission is free.
From permanent artworks and collections that include the Sean Scully Room and the Stained Glass Room that displays the renowned Harry Clarke piece The Eve of St. Agnes – to exhibitions and the wonderfully reconstructed Francis Bacon Studio. There are even art classes for children in the Kids Club! Keep an eye on their what’s on page for events.
7. St. Stephen’s Green
Located right in the center of Dublin, St. Stephen’s Green is a lovely garden square and public park that’s been open to the public since the late 1800s. This park sits right next to one of Dublin’s most popular shopping streets, so it’s never far from food or souvenirs.
The park also sits right near one of the luas line stops, giving you access to all sorts of other activities in the city.
St. Stephen’s is beautifully maintained with a pond in the middle, plenty of green trees, places to sit, and impressive architecture. It’s very picturesque and truly gives tourists the European feel they’re looking for.
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8. The National Botanic Gardens
The National Botanic Gardens offer an oasis of beauty – for free. This scientific institution offers some of the most important plant species from both Ireland and around the world.
The gardens feature historic glasshouses and hold regular tours and events. You can book a guided tour of the grounds, visit exhibitions, and discuss your questions with the highly qualified team members.
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9. Trinity College
Trinity College is the top university in Ireland, and it’s also one of the oldest. This college, also called the University of Ireland, was established in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I herself. The prestigious school was modeled after Oxford and Cambridge and is considered one of the most elite universities in Europe today.
The grounds feature an impressive chapel, library, and business school. Its architecture is rich with history, and its campus is beyond captivating.
Tourists can book tours to see the remarkable campus including the ‘Book of Kells’, and there’s plenty of places to eat and drink nearby afterward.
10. Dún Laoghaire
Dún Laoghaire is chock full of attractions and activities itself. In fact, if you plan on visiting this harbour, you should probably plan to spend the whole day there.
The harbour itself is just one stop along the way. Dún Laoghaire harbour has piers and boardwalks to explore, with plenty of shops and food – including ice cream.
It’s also home to many beautiful and historic churches and cathedrals, along with the National Maritime Museum of Ireland and the People’s Park Farmer’s Market. Stop by the Pavilion Theater for some nighttime entertainment, or take your family to the Harbour Splash Water Park to cool off.
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