Dublin is one of Europe’s oldest and greatest cities, one that retains its historical and cultural charms. But it is also a wonderfully cosmopolitan city that offers trendy bars, elegant restaurants and stylish shops and hotels. One of the top city break destinations in Europe steeped in history and buzzing with youthful energy, the Irish Capital is at the very heart of Irish culture.
So, why not eat in a castle, enjoy a night at the dogs, sip a pint of world-famous Guinness or play a round of golf? The options are endless: there are themed pub crawls around the city, boat trips on the River Liffey and traditional Irish music sessions in Dublin’s famous Irish pubs. And, of course, the welcome is always warm. This is Ireland after all…
Throughout Dublin City and County there is an abundance of wonderful visitor attractions to discover and explore – from majestic museums and galleries to breweries and distilleries. Whether your interest is sport, history, art or literature, whether you want to follow a heritage trail, visit a zoo, eat in a castle or step back in time and visit a heritage town, Dublin is packed with interesting things to do.
Beyond the City
Just 20 minutes from the city centre, you can experience the fabulous coastline of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, the wildness of the Dublin Mountains – and so much more. Explore the medieval streets of Dalkey and visit the Joyce Tower where Ulysses begins. Walk the pier in Dun Laoghaire, shop ‘till you drop in the Dundrum Town Centre or peruse the CoCo Markets at the weekend.
Some of the country’s most charming coastal villages lie just north of the city. Browse Malahide’s boutiques and gift shops before heading to Howth to enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch overlooking the harbor.
With 38km of walking trails for the dedicated walker, 7 golf courses for the avid golfer and coarse and fly fishing for the enthusiastic angler, South Dublin County is a paradise for people who love the outdoors.
Festivals in Dublin encompass a huge range of activities including sports, music of all types, Irish language and culture, food and drink, visual arts, dance, literature, theatre and multiculturalism.
Top Ten Dublin Visitor Attractions
By Golden Ireland
1. Guinness Storehouse
Located in the heart of the St James’s Gate Brewery, which has been home to the black stuff since 1759. A visit to the Guinness Storehouse will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about this world famous beer.
2. The National Gallery of Ireland
Today the collection includes over 2,500 paintings and some 10,000 other works in different media including watercolours, drawings, prints and sculpture. It also houses a renowned collection of Irish paintings.
3. Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol is one of the largest unoccupied gaols in Europe, covering some of the most heroic and tragic events in Ireland's emergence as a modern nation from 1780s to the 1920s.
4 Dublin Zoo
Wander through the African Savannah and gaze at the giraffes, zebras, scimitar oryx and ostrich, then head to the Kaziranga Forest to see the magnificent herd of Asian elephants that call this beautiful place home.
5. Book of Kells
The Book of Kells was written around the year 800 AD and is one of the most beautifully illuminated manuscripts in the world. Its 680 pages of vellum contain the Latin texts of the Four Gospels.
6. National Botanic Gardens
The Gardens, 19.5 hectares on the south bank of the Tolka River, contain many attractive features like an arboretum, sensory garden, rock garden and burren area, and an annual display of decorative plants including a rare example of Victorian carpet bedding.
7. Chester Beatty Library
With free admission and described by the Lonely Planet as not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe, the Chester Beatty Library is a must-see on any Dublin visitor's itinerary.
8. Farmeligh House
Built in the late 18th century, Farmleigh was purchased by Edward Cecil Guinness, a great-grandson of Arthur Guinness, in 1873. The house contains many beautiful features including the Main House area, the Sunken Garden, the Walled Garden, the famous Clock Tower and The Benjamin Iveagh Library.
9. St. Patrick's Cathedral
Built between 1220 and 1260, the Cathedral is one of the few buildings left from the medieval city of Dublin. Visitors can learn about the building’s fascinating history, including its most famous Dean (head) Jonathan Swift, who is one of around 700 burials on site.
10. National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology
See examples of Celtic and Medieval art, such as the famous Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch and the Derrynaflan Hoard.
For more information on Dublin, see www.visitdublin.com