Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is a great place to visit. This world class city offers great sights, exciting attractions, historic buildings, delicious food and drinks in famous pubs and restaurants, great entertainment in theatres and good shopping in shops and markets.
In this article you will get an overview of the best attractions in Dublin.
Dublin Castle is situated in the center of the city behind the city hall. It was built in the 13th century and has since then functioned as a fortress, a prison, treasury, courts of law and the seat of English Administration in Ireland for over 700 years. During the past centuries it has been rebuilt various times and nowadays the castle is being used for state receptions and presidential inaugurations.
The Heritage Centre, restaurant, shop, Chapel Royal, Undercroft and State Apartments are all open to tourists, but visitors need to be aware that Dublin Castle can be closed at short notice for various types of government activities.
Dublin Castle is open on Monday to Saturday from 10:00 until 16:45. On Sunday the castle opens it doors at 14:00 until 16:45.
Dublin Zoo was founded in 1830 and is after the zoos of London and Paris, the third oldest zoo in the world. You can find the Dublin Zoo in the Phoenix Park, which is situated 2 miles west of the city center. With over 250 species of animals and birds there is something for every visitor at the Dublin Zoo. Kids will especially like the train ride around the zoo and the Pets’ Corner.
From March until September the Zoo opens at 09:30 and closes at 18:00. During the other months, the Dublin Zoo opens at the same time, but will close earlier.
The Guiness Storehouse
The Guiness Storehouse is the number one visitor attraction in Ireland. It is located in a historic and beautifully designed building at the heart of St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin.
The Guiness Experience takes the visitor on a journey through the history of this famous beer brand. You will hear how the ‘black stuff’ is brewed; see promotional activities through the years, exhibitions and the tour finishes with a complementary pint of Guiness in the Gravity Bar, which is located above the roof and is the highest bar in Dublin and offering a great 360 degrees panoramic view across the capital of Ireland.
The Guiness Storehouse is open seven days a week from 09:30 until 17:00. In July and August this number one Dublin attraction is open until 20:00, while you can stay in the building until 22:00.
Phoenix Park is located 2 miles west of the Dublin city center and is the largest urban park in Europe. This park offers beautiful ornamental gardens, large areas of grasslands where you can see livestock graze, avenues of trees, nature trails and lakes. Phoenix Park is also home to the Dublin Zoo and the home of the president of Ireland. Active visitors can do walking, running, cricket, hurling, polo and other sportive activities.
Phoenix Park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is no admission fee required to enter the park.
The Old Jameson Distillery
The Irish call whiskey uisce beatha, the water of life. The Old Jameson Distillery is situated in the heart of the capital and takes the visitor on a journey through the production process of this famous Irish whiskey. The tour finishes in the Jameson Bar, where you will enjoy a whiskey tasting experience. Selected volunteers have a chance to become a "Qualified Irish Whiskey Taster".
The Old Jameson Distillery is open seven days a week from 09:00 until 18:30.
Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland and famous names like Jonathan Swift, Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde were former students. The university was founded in 1592 and is home to the Book of Kells. This book dates from the 8th century and is considered to be one of the oldest books in the world.
The Trinity College complex has beautiful historic buildings, manicured lawns and cobbled squares, which offer a nice, pleasant haven in the middle of the Irish capital.
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral was built in honor of Ireland’s patron saint. The building dates from 1220 and is still a working church. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is open to all visitors, but during services visiting is restricted. It is possible to buy tickets for the Cathedral in advance via the internet.
During July, August and September there will be guided tours at 14.30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. There is no extra fee required to join these tours.
Dublin Writers Museum
Dublin is famous for its authors and literature and was in 2010 named as a UNESCO City of Literature. The Irish capital was only the fourth city of literature in the world and joined the cities of Melbourne, Iowa City and Edinburgh. The literary tradition of Dublin dates from the Middle Ages and the best preserved heritage of this is, 'The Book of Kells.
In the Writers Museum, which is located in a beautiful mansion, you will see the history of Dublin's literary celebrities over the past three hundred years. These celebrities include famous Irish authors like Swift, Sheridan, Shaw, Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett.
The Dublin Writers Museum is open daily from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 until 17:00. On Sundays and public holidays the museum opens its doors at 11:00.
For tourists who want to see a lot of the capital, the Dublin Pass is a good option. This pass gives you free entry to over 30 of Dublin’s top visitor attractions, transport from Dublin airport to the city and access to over 25 special offers. Furthermore this pass gives you discounts in various shops, restaurants, leisure pursuits and tours.
With the Dublin Pass you are also able to benefit from Fast-Track entry. This allows you to skip long queues at busy tourist attractions.
Other Dublin articles
If you’re interested in Dublin, then please refer to my other articles about the capital of Ireland:
- Best Attractions in Dublin - The Guiness Storehouse
- Shopping in Dublin
- Pubs in Dublin
- Dublin - UNESCO City of Literature