Ireland Travel Guide – 10 Best Things to Do in Dublin 1

Things to Do in Dublin 1

What is the chance that you stick to just one postal district on your next visit to Dublin?  Probably slim to none! Because although Dublin City is big enough to keep you entertained for days it’s also small enough to explore on foot, with each district blending effortlessly into each other.

However with saying that, there are many scenarios that can leave you strapped for time, or restricted with travel options where this travel guide of ‘Things to Do in Dublin 1’ will benefit you and your travel companions. So be sure to add it to your notes or pin it for later.

Ireland Travel Guide - 10 Best Things to Do in Dublin 1 - O'Connell Bridge

Liberty Hall and Dublin Convention Centre from O’Connell Bridge photo by Gabriel Ramos

Things to Do in Dublin 1 – BUT Where is Dublin 1?

Dublin 1 is the historic postal district located north side of the River Liffey in the heart of Dublin, Ireland. It’s a vibrant area with plenty of things to do and see, including plenty of family-friendly activities and attractions that cater to visitors of all ages.

The district includes O’Connell Street, Henry Street, Abbey Street, Parnell Square, Mountjoy Square, Talbot Street, Amiens Street, Capel Street, Dorset Street, Mary Street, Marlborough Street, and the North Wall.

Ireland Travel Guide – 10 Best Things to Do in Dublin 1

Here are some popular activities and attractions you can enjoy in Dublin 1.

Ireland Travel Guide - 10 Best Things to Do in Dublin 1 - GPO O'Connell Street

GPO photo by Bobby Allen

Things to Do in Dublin 1 –

1. Visit the General Post Office (GPO)

Address: O’Connell Street Lower, North City, Dublin 1

Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 8.30am-6.00pm

The GPO, or General Post Office, is one of the most iconic buildings in Dublin, Ireland. It holds immense historical significance and has been at the center of pivotal events in Irish history. Here are some key points about the GPO:

1. Historical Significance: The GPO was originally built in the early 19th century and has been the main post office in Dublin since then. However, its most significant role came during the Easter Rising of 1916.

2. Easter Rising: In 1916, a group of Irish rebels staged an armed rebellion against British rule, seeking independence for Ireland. The GPO became the headquarters and command center of the rebels during the week-long uprising.

3. Proclamation of the Irish Republic: On Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, rebel leaders, including Patrick Pearse, stood outside the GPO and read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, declaring Ireland’s independence from Britain.

4. Damage and Restoration: During the Easter Rising, the GPO was severely damaged by British forces. After the rebellion, it was rebuilt and restored to its former glory.

5. Symbol of Irish Independence: The GPO’s role in the Easter Rising made it a symbol of Irish independence and a site of great historical significance for the Irish people.

6. Public Services: Apart from its historical significance, the GPO continues to function as a fully operational post office, providing various postal and financial services to the public.

7. The Witness History Exhibition: Inside the GPO, visitors can explore the “GPO Witness History” exhibition, which provides a multimedia and immersive experience that tells the story of the Easter Rising and its aftermath.

8. Location: The GPO is located on O’Connell Street, one of the main thoroughfares in Dublin, making it easily accessible to visitors.

The GPO stands as a symbol of Ireland’s struggle for independence and a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought for Irish freedom. It remains an essential part of Irish heritage and an important landmark for both locals and tourists visiting Dublin.

While you’re there, keep an eye out for the Dublin Spire (Monument of Light). Located on O’Connell Street, the Spire is a contemporary landmark and offers a unique perspective on the city.

Further Reading: Cultural, Educational, Fun Things to Do for Toddlers in Dublin

Ireland Travel Guide - 10 Best Things to Do in Dublin 1 - EPIC Museum

EPIC Museum photo by The Life of Stuff

Things to Do in Dublin 1 –

2. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

  • Address: The Chq Building, Custom House Quay, North Dock, Dublin 1
  • Opening Hours: Mon – Sun: 8.45am – 6.00pm

The EPIC – The Irish Emigration Museum is a world-class interactive museum located in Dublin, Ireland. It is dedicated to showcasing the history and impact of the Irish diaspora around the globe. The museum provides visitors with an immersive and informative experience, exploring the stories of Irish emigrants and their contributions to various countries and cultures.

Ever wondered why the Irish have made such an influence on the world? How did such a small country make such a big impact on the world? Over the centuries more than 10 million people emigrated from Ireland – at EPIC you can find out why they left, where they went and how they shaped the world.

Reasons to visit the EPIC Museum include:

1. Interactive Exhibits: The museum offers state-of-the-art interactive exhibits, touchscreens, and multimedia displays that engage visitors of all ages.

2. Family-Friendly: EPIC is family-friendly and suitable for children, with interactive elements that keep them engaged and entertained throughout the visit.

3. Genealogy and Family History: EPIC Museum offers visitors the opportunity to explore their own Irish ancestry through its genealogy center, helping them discover their roots and connections to Ireland.

4. Themes of Emigration: The museum covers various themes related to Irish emigration, including the reasons for leaving Ireland, the experiences of immigrants, and the impact they had on their adopted countries.

5. Famous Irish Emigrants: EPIC highlights the achievements and stories of famous Irish emigrants, including writers, artists, politicians, scientists, and more.

6. Cultural Experience: Visitors can immerse themselves in Irish culture through the museum’s exhibits on Irish music, dance, literature, and sports.

7. Convenient Location: EPIC is located in the lively Docklands area of Dublin, making it easily accessible for tourists and locals alike.

The EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum offers a unique and enlightening experience for visitors, giving them a deeper understanding of the significant role played by Irish emigrants in shaping the world’s history and culture. It’s a must-visit destination for those interested in Irish heritage and the stories of migration.

Further Reading: 70 Things to do in Dublin this Summer

Ireland Travel Guide - 10 Best Things to Do in Dublin 1 - Francis Bacon Studio at Hugh Lane Gallery

Francis Bacon Studio at Hugh Lane Gallery photo by The Life of Stuff

Things to Do in Dublin 1 –

3. Hugh Lane Gallery

  • Address: Charlemont House, Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin 1
  • Opening Hours:

The Hugh Lane Gallery, also known as Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, is a prominent art museum located in Dublin, Ireland. It houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art and is a significant cultural institution in the city. Here are just some of the reasons to visit the Hugh Lane Gallery:

1. Founder and History: The gallery is named after its founder, Sir Hugh Lane, an Irish art dealer and philanthropist. It was established in 1908 and opened to the public in 1909.

2. Art Collection: The gallery’s collection features works by Irish and international artists from the late 19th century to the present day. It includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, and installations.

3. Francis Bacon Studio: One of the highlights of the gallery is the Francis Bacon Studio, which was donated by the artist’s estate and reconstructed in the museum. It offers visitors a unique insight into the creative process of the renowned painter.

4. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art: The gallery holds a notable collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including works by Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

5. Contemporary Art Exhibitions: In addition to the permanent collection, the Hugh Lane Gallery hosts temporary exhibitions featuring contemporary artists and various art forms.

6. Education and Community Programs: The gallery offers educational programs, workshops, and events for children, families, and the local community to engage with the arts.

7. Hugh Lane Gallery Café: The gallery has a café where visitors can relax and enjoy refreshments amidst a beautiful setting.

8. Free Admission: The Hugh Lane Gallery offers free admission to the public, making it an accessible destination for art enthusiasts and the general public alike.

9. Location: The Hugh Lane Gallery is located on Parnell Square North, near the heart of Dublin city.

The Hugh Lane Gallery is a cultural gem in Dublin, attracting both art aficionados and casual visitors. Its diverse collection, temporary exhibitions, and educational initiatives make it a vibrant center for art appreciation and cultural enrichment in the city.

Further Reading: The 5 Best Romantic Walks and Strolls in Dublin City

Things to Do in Dublin 1 –

4. The James Joyce Centre

  • Address: 35 N Great George’s St, Rotunda, Dublin 1
  • Opening Hours: Tue –  Sat: 10.30am – 4.30pm

The James Joyce Centre is a museum and cultural center dedicated to the life and works of the renowned Irish writer, James Joyce. It is located in Dublin, Ireland, and serves as a hub for Joyce enthusiasts and anyone interested in exploring his literary legacy. Here are some key details about the James Joyce Centre:

1. History: The Centre was established in 1996 with the aim of promoting an appreciation of James Joyce’s works and exploring the historical and cultural context in which he wrote.

2. Exhibitions: The museum offers exhibitions related to James Joyce’s life, his famous literary works such as “Ulysses” and “Dubliners,” as well as his lesser-known works and personal letters.

3. Memorabilia: Visitors can view various memorabilia, personal belongings, and artifacts related to James Joyce, providing insights into his life and writing process.

4. Education and Events: The James Joyce Centre organizes educational programs, lectures, and events related to Joyce’s works and Irish literature, attracting scholars, students, and literature enthusiasts.

5. Walking Tours: The Centre offers guided walking tours through Dublin, taking visitors to places that inspired Joyce’s writing and settings mentioned in his books.

6. Joyce Bookshop: The Centre houses a bookshop where visitors can purchase works by James Joyce, books on Joyce’s literature, and other related materials.

7. The Dead Museum: The Centre features a recreation of the famous Morkan’s Hotel from James Joyce’s short story “The Dead,” offering visitors an immersive experience of the literary setting.

8. Interactive Displays: The museum incorporates interactive displays and multimedia elements to engage visitors and enhance their understanding of Joyce’s literary world.

9. Location: The James Joyce Centre is situated on North Great George’s Street, close to the heart of Dublin city.

The James Joyce Centre is a must-visit destination for literature enthusiasts, especially those interested in the life and writings of James Joyce. It provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the literary heritage of Ireland and gain a greater appreciation for one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.

Further Reading: 9 Dublin City Pubs with Open Fires You’ll Want to Visit this Winter

Things to Do in Dublin 1 –

5. 14 Henrietta Street

  • Address: 14 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1
  • Opening Hours: Wed-Sun: 10.00am – 4.00pm

14 Henrietta Street is an award-winning museum located on Henrietta Street in Dublin. It is a historic Georgian townhouse that has been transformed into a museum, allowing visitors to explore the building’s past as a tenement dwelling and learn about the social history of Dublin’s tenement life during the 18th and 19th centuries.

14 Henrietta Street is a social history museum of Dublin life, from one building’s Georgian beginnings to its tenement times. We connect the history of urban life over 300 years to the stories of the people who called this place home.

The museum at 14 Henrietta Street provides a unique and immersive experience, offering insights into the lives of the families who once lived there, the living conditions they faced, and the societal changes that occurred during that period. The museum’s exhibits and guided tours provide a captivating journey into Dublin’s urban history and offer visitors a chance to step back in time and experience a significant part of the city’s past.

Further Reading: Five of the Best Afternoon Tea in Dublin City

Ireland Travel Guide - 10 Best Things to Do in Dublin 1 - Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship

Jeanie Johnston photo by Jordan Harrison

Things to Do in Dublin 1 –

6. The Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship

  • Address: Custom House Quay, North Dock, Dublin 1
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 10.00am – 4.30pm

The Jeanie Johnston is a replica tall ship located in Dublin, Ireland. It is a historically accurate replica of the original Jeanie Johnston, which was a 19th-century three-masted barque that sailed between Ireland and North America, primarily during the years of the Irish Famine.

About the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship:

1. History: The original Jeanie Johnston made 16 voyages between 1847 and 1855, carrying Irish emigrants fleeing the Great Famine to North America. Remarkably, no lives were lost on these voyages, which contributed to the ship’s reputation as the “Famine Ship.”

2. Replica and Museum: The modern-day Jeanie Johnston is a faithful replica of the original ship and serves as a floating museum. It is docked at Custom House Quay in Dublin’s Docklands and is open to visitors who can tour the ship and learn about the harrowing experiences of the emigrants who sought a better life abroad.

3. Guided Tours: Visitors can take guided tours of the Jeanie Johnston, where knowledgeable guides share stories and insights into the lives of the emigrants who traveled on the ship and the conditions they endured during their journey.

4. Cultural Significance: The Jeanie Johnston is a poignant symbol of Irish emigration during the Famine era, reflecting the resilience and courage of those who sought hope and opportunity in distant lands.

5. Educational Experience: The ship’s museum and exhibits offer an educational experience that provides a deeper understanding of the Famine period, Irish history, and the impact of emigration on Ireland’s population.

Visiting the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship offers a moving and informative experience, shedding light on a significant chapter in Ireland’s past and the enduring legacy of the Irish diaspora.

Ireland Travel Guide - 10 Best Things to Do in Dublin 1 - Custom House

Custom House photo by Mark Dalton

Custom House Visitor Centre

  • Address: Custom House Quay, Dublin 1
  • Opening Hours: Daily 10.00am – 5.30pm

Whilst visiting The Jeanie Johnson, consider booking a visit to Custom House Visitor Centre.

The Custom House Visitor Centre offers guided tours and exhibitions that showcase the history and architecture of the Custom House, one of Dublin’s most significant Georgian buildings. Visitors can learn about the building’s design, its importance in Irish history, and its role in the city’s development. Please note that the operating hours and offerings may be subject to change, so it’s always a good idea to check for the latest information before planning a visit.

Ireland Travel Guide - 10 Best Things to Do in Dublin 1 - Convention Centre Dubli

The Convention Centre Dublin photo by Ola Dybul

Things to Do in Dublin 1 –

7. Theatre & The Arts

Dublin is a city rich in cultural offerings, and it boasts several excellent theaters that host a diverse range of performances. Here are some of the best theaters in Dublin 1 – known for their top-notch productions:

1. Abbey Theatre

  • Address: 26/27 Abbey Street Lower, North City, Dublin 1

As Ireland’s national theater, the Abbey Theatre holds a special place in Dublin’s cultural landscape. It showcases both classic and contemporary Irish plays and has been the launching pad for many renowned playwrights.

2. Gate Theatre

  • Address: Cavendish Row, Parnell Square E, Rotunda, Dublin 1

The Gate Theatre is celebrated for its high-quality productions of classic plays, including works by Samuel Beckett and other renowned playwrights. It is known for its innovative and artistic interpretations.

4. Liberty Hall Theatre

  • Address: 1 Eden Quay, North City, Dublin 1

Liberty Hall Theatre is a performing arts venue located in Dublin’s city center, near the River Liffey. It is part of the Liberty Hall complex and hosts a diverse range of events, including theater productions, concerts, comedy shows, and community performances.

5. Ambassador Theatre

  • Address: Parnell Square South, Upper O’Connell Street, Rotunda, Dublin 1

The Ambassador Theatre is a historic venue located on O’Connell Street in Dublin. It has a rich history of hosting various entertainment events, including theater productions, musicals, comedy shows, and live performances by local and international artists.

6. The Convention Centre Dublin

  • Address: Spencer Dock, N Wall Quay, North Dock, Dublin 1

The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) is a state-of-the-art conference and event venue located in Dublin’s Docklands. It boasts a stunning architectural design and offers versatile spaces suitable for a wide range of events, from international conferences and corporate gatherings to concerts and exhibitions. The CCD is equipped with the latest technology and facilities, and its waterfront location provides beautiful views of the River Liffey and the city skyline.

7. The Pump House

  • Address: Alexandra Terminal, Alexandra Rd, Dublin Port, Dublin 1

The Pump House at Alexandra Terminal is a historical building located in Dublin’s Docklands, close to the city center. It was originally built in the 19th century as a water-pumping station to service the docks, but it has since been restored and repurposed as a popular venue for events, conferences, and weddings. The Pump House at Alexandra Terminal retains its original charm and character and is a unique location to host special occasions while appreciating its historical significance.

These theaters contribute significantly to Dublin’s vibrant cultural scene, offering a wide range of theatrical experiences for both locals and visitors. Whether you’re interested in classic plays, cutting-edge performances, or musical extravaganzas, Dublin’s theaters have something to offer for every theater enthusiast.

Ireland Travel Guide - 10 Best Things to Do in Dublin 1 - 3Arena

3Arena photo by Nick Kane

Things to Do in Dublin 1 –

8. Love Live Music

Dublin 1, being a vibrant area in the heart of Dublin, offers several music venues where you can enjoy live performances, concerts, and gigs. Here are some popular music venues to consider:

1. The Academy

  • Address: 57 Abbey Street Middle, Dublin 1

Located on Middle Abbey Street, The Academy music venue hosts a wide range of concerts, featuring both local and international artists across various music genres.

2. The Grand Social

  • Address: 35 Liffey St. Lower, North City, Dublin 1

Located on Liffey Street Lower, The Grand Social is a multi-level venue with live music performances, club nights, and DJ sets.

3. The Soundhouse @ The Wiley Fox

  • Address: 1st Floor, 28 Eden Quay, North City, Dublin 1

Situated on Eden Quay, The Wiley Fox is a cozy bar with live music nights, especially focused on rock and alternative music. The Soundhouse venue hosts live music events, club nights, and a variety of music-related activities.

4. Fibber Magees

  • Address: 80-81 Parnell St, Rotunda, Dublin 1

Fibber Magees is a well-known and popular rock and metal music venue and pub located in Dublin’s city center. It is a favorite spot for both locals and visitors looking to enjoy live music, DJ sets, and a lively atmosphere.

5. 3Arena

  • Address: N Wall Quay, North Dock, Dublin 1

The 3Arena is a large indoor amphitheater and concert venue located in Dublin’s Docklands. It has a seating capacity of up to 13,000 people and hosts a wide range of concerts, live music events, comedy shows, and entertainment performances throughout the year.

Ireland Travel Guide - 10 Best Things to Do in Dublin 1 - Garden of Remembrance

Garden of Remembrance photo by OPW Dublin

Things to Do in Dublin 1 –

9. City Oasis – Parks and Gardens

Dublin 1 is a bustling area in the city center, and while it doesn’t have large parks within its boundaries, there are some beautiful parks and gardens located nearby that are easily accessible for residents and visitors. Here are some parks and gardens near Dublin 1:

1. Garden of Remembrance

  • Address: Parnell Square E, Rotunda, Dublin 1

The Garden of Remembrance is a memorial garden located on Parnell Square in Dublin, Ireland. It is dedicated to the memory of all those who lost their lives in the struggle for Irish independence, particularly those who fought during the 1916 Easter Rising.

2. Mountjoy Square

  • Address: Mountjoy Square, Mountjoy, Dublin 1

To the northeast of Dublin 1, Mountjoy Square is a well-maintained Georgian garden square that provides a pleasant green space for relaxation.

3. Parnell Square

  • Address: Parnell Square, Rotunda, Dublin 1

Close to the northern edge of Dublin 1, Parnell Square features beautiful gardens and the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.

While Dublin 1 itself may not have large parks, these nearby green spaces provide ample opportunities to enjoy nature, have picnics, or take leisurely walks in the heart of Dublin.

Further Reading: The Blooming Best – Five Gorgeous Gardens to Walk in Dublin City

Ireland Travel Guide - 10 Best Things to Do in Dublin 1 - Henry Street

Henry Street photo by Frank Huang

Things to Do in Dublin 1 –

10. Let’s Go Shopping!

Dublin 1 offers a diverse shopping experience with a mix of well-known retail stores, boutique shops, and bustling markets. Here are some popular shopping areas in Dublin 1:

1. O’Connell Street: This major thoroughfare features various shops, including souvenir stores, fashion retailers, and electronics outlets.

2. Henry Street: One of Dublin’s primary shopping streets, Henry Street is known for its large department stores like Arnotts and Penneys (Primark), as well as a wide range of fashion and retail outlets.

3. Ilac Shopping Centre: Close to Henry Street, the Ilac Shopping Centre has a variety of stores, cafes, and services.

4. Jervis Shopping Centre: Located on Jervis Street, this modern shopping center houses numerous stores, a food court, and a cinema.

5. Mary Street: Another shopping street in Dublin 1, Mary Street has retail stores and eateries to explore.

6. Moore Street Market: Moore Street is known for its traditional market, which is one of Dublin’s oldest and most famous street markets, offering fresh produce, flowers, and various goods. The Moore Street Market is popular among locals and visitors alike for its lively atmosphere and the opportunity to find bargain deals.

7. North Earl Street: Located just off O’Connell Street, this street offers a range of shops and department stores.

8. Talbot Street and Parnell Street: These streets have a mix of shops, including ethnic food stores, electronics shops, and various retail outlets.

These are just a few examples of the shopping opportunities available in Dublin 1. Whether you’re looking for well-known brands, unique finds, or local specialties, you’ll find something to suit your shopping preferences in this vibrant area of Dublin.

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