Dublin city is rich in many aspects; culture, food, drink and obviously the ‘craic’. One of the most vibrant cities in Europe, Dublin has seen a tourism boom in recent years.
Dublin offers a unique experience to any visitor and it is the ideal city for tourism, with the majority of its attraction’s within walking distance of each other.
It is difficult to narrow down the ‘essential’ when discussing Dublin attraction’s, however, with the help of this guide you will get to experience some of Dublin’s most iconic and popular attractions.
Trinity College (Trinity College/College Green)
Established in 1592, Trinity College is Ireland’s oldest university and is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland. Its most famous attraction is the Book of Kells, a Latin text containing the four gospels which dates back to 800AD. Guided tours are available during certain months of the year and include the Douglas Hyde Gallery and other aspects on the history of Trinity College.
Kilmainham Gaol (Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham)
If you are willing to travel slightly outside the city, the former prison of Kilmainham Gaol is steeped in Irish history. Children as young as five have been known to be sent here for such things as petty theft. It has been the home to many an Irish rebel from 1798 as far as 1916 with many being executed for their beliefs. Booking in advance is advised.
Guinness Storehouse (St. James Gate Brewery)
Possibly the most iconic attraction Dublin has to offer. Ever since it opened its doors in late 2000 there has seen a tremendous response with well over four million visitors. The attraction itself is located within the old fermentation plant built in 1902. At the end of your tour you can enter the Gravity Bar – located on the top of the storehouse, which offers a 3600 view towering over Dublin city. Even better, after you have experienced everything the storehouse has to offer, you get to relax with a free pint of the black stuff! Purchasing your tickets online can see you save 10% on the entrance fee.
If you intend to shop ’til you drop then Dublin’s illustrious Grafton Street is the ideal place for you. Offering such high street delights as Brown Thomas, HMV, Weirs jewellers and Gavronski amongst others. It is also a popular haven for buskers that has played host to such famous comedians and musicians such as David McSavage, Paddy Casey and Glen Hansard.
National Museum of Ireland
Established in 1877, the cultural institution and home of Ireland’s greatest material heritage and natural history. It is the home of such rich Irish artifacts such as the Ardagh Chalice and Tara Brooch as well as two ancient bodies recovered from bogs. Admission to the museum is free, although donations are welcome.
The Church (Jervis Street)
Possibly the most unique pub in Dublin city has to offer; steeped in history, it was once St. Mary’s Church of Ireland built during the 18th century. It eventually closed its doors during the 1960′s before eventually being refurbished into a wondrous pub experience in 1997. Its long history has seen Arthur Guinness married here in 1761 and United Irishmen founder Theobold Wolfe Tone baptised here in 1763. Buried within the confines is Lord Norbury, otherwise known as “The Hanging Judge”.
Georgian Dublin (Baggot St. Bridge, Grand Canal, Lower Fitzwilliam St.)
If architecture is more your taste, Dublin has a wealth of Georgian delights to offer you. Spread throughout the city, many can be viewed for free or with the use of a walking tour guide. Number 29 on Lower Fitzwilliam St. is a museum which re-creates the Georgian house experience.
Dublin Zoo (Phoenix Park)
One of Dublin’s largest and most popular tourist attractions, Dublin Zoo opened its gates to the public in 1831. It offers such delight’s as The Reptile House, Fringes of the Arctic and The African Plains amongst others. It is recommended that if you plan on visiting the zoo, that you get there as early as possible due to the large queues that tend to develop later in the day.
St. Michan’s Church Crypts (Church Street)
Named after a Danish bishop, the crypts of St. Michan’s Church are one of Dublin’s most unusual tourist attractions and may not be for the faint of heart. The crypts offer grisly contents such as the body of a man known as ‘The Crusader’, a mummy believed to have been a soldier during the Crusades – although that is not verified. His body has been cut in half in order to fit the coffin. Others are the Shear brothers who were executed by the British during the 1798 Rising.
Temple Bar (Temple Bar)
Dublin’s most famous area for stag and hen nights, Temple Bar offers a varied drinking experience for those wanting to let down their hair and celebrate in the best way Dublin has to offer.
St. Stephens Green
If you fancy a relaxing stroll or simply want to sit down and let Dublin culture envelop you then St. Stephens Green is for you. Opened to the public in 1880, it too is steeped in Dublin’s varied history. Walking through the park you will find yourself coming across several busts and statues of Dublin’s greatest minds such as James Joyce, Theobold Wolfe Tone as well as a statue in remembrance of the Great Famine. The park’s most unusual feature is a garden for the blind, which features scented plants that can withstand handling labelled in braille.
O’ Connell Street
A stroll down O’ Connell St. is to stroll through the history of Dublin. O’ Connell St. played a pivotal role in the 1916 Easter Rising. With such historical attractions on display such the GPO, the iconic Clerys department store and various statues on offer – O’ Connell St. is a must see for any tourist to the city.
There we have it, some of Dublin’s greatest and most iconic attractions the majority of which don’t just tell the history of the great city, but also that of Ireland itself. However, on your way around these places, don’t be surprised if you stumble upon hidden gems that Dublin has to offer.
No matter where you decide to go or the order in which you decide to go, all attractions will meet you with a smile and a tale of what makes Dublin such a popular city amongst tourists.