Things To Do In Dublin Ireland has the best of both a small town and cosmopolitan city: It has the great easy going people you can only find in small towns, but the variety of nightlife you only find in big cosmopolitan cities. You can easily spend a week here strolling around, talking to people and enjoying the ‘happenings’ in town – which seems to be every day. There are heaps of things to do in Dublin, both for those who enjoy pub culture as well as literature and history.
Checkout our Dublin Ireland Travel Video
Getting Around Dublin Ireland
Dublin is a fairly small city, which makes it perfect for sightseeing. You rarely need to take the bus or “luas” (tram), but they do run frequently and are cheap if you’re lazy 😉
Things To Do In Dublin Ireland
- Visit The Medieval Part of The City:
The medieval part of Dublin dates back to 11th century, and is a nice part of town.
Bring a picnic or buy some takeaway food, join the locals down in St Patricks park and watch time fly by on the clock of the beautiful St Patricks church.
Christchurch cathedral is also located in the medieval part of Dublin, it’s a really old cathedral, founded in 1030 it is one of the oldest buildings in Dublin. It costs 7 Euro to go inside, but there are free concerts quite often which are worth a visit.
- Walk The Golden Mile
Pub crawl is very popular in Dublin, but you don’t have to do it with an organised tourist group. Locals do it every weekend along the Golden Mile.
The real name of the street is “Victoria Street”, but it has been nicknamed “The Golden Mile” because there are countless of bars along the street, and it has become somewhat of a local tradition to try to drink at every pub in one night.
Few people have ever made it to the end of the Golden Mile: will you?
- Get To the Bottom Of The Stout and Whiskey History:
Alcohol is an important part of Irish culture, and the tour of the Guinness Storehouse is the most popular thing to do in Dublin. If you’re a big fan of beer or Guinness this is definitely worth a visit, and for the 15 Euro entry you get a free Guinness to enjoy with the best view of Dublin.
Jamesons Distillery which produces the Irish Whiskey also has tours for visitors, and they cost around 13 Euro.
However, those who aren’t very interested in beer and Guinness often don’t think it’s worth the entry fee. We didn’t go there ourselves for that reason, but thought it would be good to mention it since it’s so popular.
- Visit Trinity College
50% of the population in Dublin are under 25 years, in other words, there are a lot of students in this city, and Trinity College is the most sought after place to study.
This is for a good reason, as this college educated some of the most famous Irish people ever – Samuel Beckett (winner of the Nobel Prize) and Jonathan Swift for example.
It’s a beautiful college with amazing buildings, and the old library (where you’ll find the book of Kells) and a sports arena where they often have games.
Because there are so many young people living here many of the things to do in Dublin are perfect for a younger crowd.
Places to Eat:
– Leo Burdock Fish and Chips – oldest place in dublin. They serve big portions with the thickest french fries. Outside their door is a long list of hundreds of celebrities who have all bought fish n chips from there – be one of them!
– Eddies Rocket – This restaurant have a really cool interior designs a la 50’s style, with a juke box and everything – who doesn’t want to have their burger in the 50’s?!
– Gallagher’s Boxty House – This place sells Irish traditional food. Their Irish style pancakes with filling are awesome, around 16 Euro.
– Lolly and Cooks – A visit to George’s Arcade is a fun thing in itself. You’ll find stalls selling lots of fun things like hand painted converse shoes, and, best of all – the best cupcakes ever. Lolly and Cooks is a little stall there which specializes in cupcakes. They cost about 2,5 pounds each (box of 6 for 12 pounds) and come in all colors and flavors.
– Walk Inn Noodle Bar – Many pubs and restaurants will blow your food budget, but this little take away show sells noodles for 4.50 and spring rolls for 2.50.
Places to Drink:
- Fitzsimmons Sport Bar – The Irish are as crazy about sport as the British, this place gets packed with sports fanatics and a great atmosphere whenever there is a game on.
- Stags Head – this is the oldest pub in Dublin, which is worth a visit for that reason only. It was featured in Guinness 250th anniversary ad
- Shebeen Chic – quirky pub with live music, great people and fun interior and things hanging on the wall to look at.
With all its pubs Dublin can easily blow your budget, so it’s good to know where to get the cheaper things in the city.
- Cheap Clothing: If you need some cheap clothes Penny’s is where you should be headed. It has really nice clothes for a good deal.
- Cheap Beer: If you want to bring some beer to the hostel, Londis is the place which has the cheapest beers.
- Various Things (hygiene, umbrellas, food): Camden Casket is a shop selling everything you need and don’t need. Toiletries, drinks, candy, underwear, can food etc. It’s all found here, and often for a quarter of the price.
Where to Sleep:
Times Hostel at Camden Place offers some great accommodation in a perfect location.
The rooms are cosy and clean with private bathrooms, and there is a big kitchen with all tools you need to cook your own food.
The staff are very friendly and easy going, you can ask them about anything and they’ll try their best to help you out (plus free calls!).
The best thing about the hostel however, are all the events they have during the week; pancake mondays, pub crawls, pool competitions, ice cream days etc.
Here is a brief guide on how to do Dublin on a budget
There are many destinations that will burn a hole in your wallet and make you cringe just from the thought of what you just paid for your dinner. Fortunately, there are also heaps of budget friendly destinations, even in Europe – and Ireland is one of them. We found Dublin to be easy to get around on a budget, as there is a lot of everything there: bars, restaurants, attractions, hotels etc. which means that there will always be some great budget choices. There are also a lot of budget airlines that fly there so getting a cheap ticket won’t be much of a problem either – we got a flight there for just €10 each..!
There are quite a few free or very cheap attractions in Dublin that are worth seeing.
Trinity College – First, you must visit the Trinity College, a beautiful University dating back to 1592. Walking around the temple grounds is free, and you can step inside the beautiful main entrance for a closer look. If you do feel like you can afford to pay a bit extra, for €9 you can visit the famous Book of Kells at the university’s incredible library.
General Post Office – Not that you’ve ever been interested in post offices, trust us when we say this is different. The general post office is one of the most significant places in Irish history. It was used as a fort by Irish rebel troops when fighting the British for independence, and stands as an icon for the failed 1916 Easter Rising. The building has since been restored, but you can still see bullet holes in the walls.
Other free attractions: St Patrick’s Cathedral, North Bull Island.
Eat Cheap Like a Celebrity
There are a lot of cheap lunch deals to be found in Dublin, but our favorite stop was the famous Fish n Chip shop “Leo Burdock”. While you’re munching on the huge portion of Fish n Chips, check out their “Hall of Fame” hanging on the wall with the names of all celebrities who have passed through their doors; U2, Naomi Campbell, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Cruise and Snoop Dogg (or now Snoop Lion) to name but a few..! A tip is to visit one of the many markets, like the “Crashes Into” farmers market which has turned into a food vendor market with lots of cheap eats, perfect for lunch. Other cheap eats: Gallagher’s Boxty House (huge Irish pancakes), Eddie’s Rocket (burgers in 50’s inspired restaurant)
Beers and Bars
Bars are an important part of Irish culture, and while today there is an Irish bar in just about every city on earth, there is nothing that comes even close to the real deal. But before you sing along and dance to traditional Irish live music with a Guinness beer in one hand – get a better understanding of the favorite beer at the Guinness Storehouse. For €16, it’s not a cheap attraction, but it’s not difficult to see why it’s the most popular one of all. At the brewery you will learn the history and cooking secrets to the beer, and get a free tasting by the end of the tour. Finish the evening with a bar crawl. You don’t need to join a group, just head out with your friends and go from bar to bar, pub quiz to live band to poem competition.
Bars: Brogan’s Bar, Stag’s Head, Brazen Head are three of hundreds of good bars.
Hope you have a great time visiting Dublin!