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  • Writer's pictureTrey Tracy

Top 7 Things That You Should Actually See and Do in Dublin

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

Visiting Dublin and looking for things to see and do?

The capital is a vibrant place to explore and filled with museums and interesting landmarks. However, time is short for most tourists and there’s only so many places that you can actually visit. In this article, we take a look at the most interesting places and attractions that you should see and do in Dublin...

Top 7 Things That You Should Actually See and Do in Dublin

1. Uncover Some Irish History at Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol is just a few kilometers from the city center and home to arguably the most interesting guided tour in Dublin. This old prison is spectacular to see but the history behind the jail is emotional to say the least. Lasting for one hour, a guided walking tour takes a look at the infamous revolutionaries and prisoners that once sat between these walls. Many heroic prisoners were also executed here and the guide will explain the importance of Kilmainham and these events for Irish history. Just so you know, Kilmainham is often used as a filming location and even featured in the “Italian Job”.

2. Visit the Greenery of Stephens Green and Merrion Square

Merrion Square

The green spaces in Dublin are sometimes overlooked but they offer a very different experience in the city. For instance, both Stephens Green and Merrion Square are so quiet that you can feel a million miles from the city and the landscaping is outstanding. But these parks are also dotted with beautiful statues and some of these are dedicated to very famous Irish writers, poets and playwrights. Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square is the most obvious of these landmarks and his statue offers a very intimate encounter in a lush and silent corner of the park on Merrion Square.

3. Spend an Hour in the Little Museum of Dublin

As with any city, Dublin has multiple museums and most of these are worth the visit. However, for something different, the Little Museum of Dublin is filled with some fascinating photos and artifacts from 20th Century Dublin. This includes intimate photos of Bono and U2 and items from JFK’s tour of the city. But there’s over 5,000 exhibits so while the museum is indeed quite small, it will still take a couple of hours to explore.

4. Make Sure to Step Inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick Cathedral

St Patrick’s Cathedral was built way back in 1191 which should be a first reason why you might want to visit this iconic landmark. However, this is also where St.Patrick baptized thousands of converts more than 1,500 years ago. And then there’s the magnificent interior and facade outside; the Cathedral is spectacular in every way. For a stroll around the Cathedral with less people, try getting there when it opens at 9am.

5. Enjoy an Irish Breakfast in O’Neills and Leo Burdocks on Werburgh Street

To be honest, most pubs and restaurants know how to make a decent Irish breakfast in Dublin. It’s true, this Irish staple is pretty reliable and common wherever you go but for a worthy shout - check out O’Neills Pub on Suffolk Street. As for the fish and chips, Leo Burdock’s has been there since 1913 and was serving food during both World Wars. What to get? Fish n’ Chips of course but also ask for some “crispy bits”. By the way, there are now many Leo Burdock’s in town but Werburgh Street is where you will find the original and a “Wall of Fame” that features all the famous people that ate there!

6. Take a Walk Down Memory Lane on Moore Street

It’s no secret to the locals that “old Dublin” is fast disappearing. This relates to an era in which the city felt a lot more local and markets were frequented more than the shops. Although most of these markets have disappeared, you can still find a taste of the past in certain places such as Meath Street or Moore Street. The latter is located next to Henry Street in Dublin City Centre and this is where lots of locals sell their fruit and vegetables like they did in the old days. It’s worth checking out on a stroll!

7. Enjoy Temple Bar But Make Sure to Mix with the Locals

Temple Bar

The pubs in Temple Bar are fantastic and always a hive of activity with rowdy tourists enjoying the traditional live music. The truth is, most locals don’t frequent Temple Bar and the higher prices mean you will rarely find any Irish people in this area. Instead, make sure to spend time checking out bars on Georges Street, South William Street and Baggot Street so that you can mix with the locals and find a more authentic experience in general.

Final Thoughts

Aside from the city center, you might want to check out some local attractions in greater Dublin. The Howth cliff walk is easy to reach and offers stunning views of Dublin Bay, while the Hellfire Club is a haunted house in the Dublin mountains that you can actually reach on foot after a short bus trip out of the city center. Either way, enjoy your time in the city and make sure to check out the above things to do in Dublin!

And that’s my top seven things you should see and do in Dublin. Maybe I missed something? Let me know in the comments.

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