Best Things to Do in Dublin

37 Things to Do in Dublin

This article contains our picks for the top things to do in Dublin, including free, nighttime, as well as family-friendly activities. 

 

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO

This is our top 10 list of the best things to do in Dublin, Ireland.

It ranges from cruises and bus tours to popular attractions, cultural activities, music, food, and things to do with the kids.

Many of the items listed below are included for free or at a discount with the purchase of a Dublin tourist attraction discount pass.


1) Go on a Sightseeing Tour

The tours that always seem to draw a crowd are hop on hop off bus tours. They’re great ways to get around a new city with a knowledgeable guide.

But why not take a free walking tour?

Dublin Walking Tour

If you have kids with you, boat tours down Dublin’s main river are always fun! This Viking Splash Tour in an amphibious vehicle is especially entertaining for the younger ones in your family.

If you don’t want to be on a schedule, self-guided tours you can complete at any time of day or night are perfect options. And best of all, they’re completely free.


2) Visit the Guinness Storehouse

Guinness is one of the most famous brand names in all of Ireland, and its home storehouse and factory is in Dublin. They’re also one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city!

It is easy to grab a ticket for a self-guided tour to walk through the storehouse and learn how the beer is made.

Once you’ve made it to the end, their Gravity Bar has beautiful views of Dublin in all directions, and enjoy a free pint of Guinness (or a soft drink).

If whiskey is what you prefer, though, don’t forget you can also take a Jameson Distillery tour (with a tasting)!

Note: This attraction is listed on multiple Dublin city passes.


3) Enjoy the Food Scene

Who hasn’t seen an Irish Pub? Irish food is famous around the world. So while you’re here, you should check it out!

From hearty stews (with plenty of potatoes) to delicious seafood, they have comfort food down to an art.

And don’t forget about breakfast! Make sure you try a full plate with beans and black pudding for the full experience.

If you want some help finding the best food in this city, consider taking the Dublin Secret Food Tour. This outing includes 6 stops and a variety of great dishes including Irish stew, whiskey, cheese, ice cream and more!

We have plenty of delicious dining suggestions in our Things to Do at Night in Dublin post here.


4) Dollymount Strand Beach

Dublin’s coast is beautiful and has plenty of space for running and exploring. Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city for a few hours or a full day, depending on the weather.

Kids can explore and climb on the sand dunes. And the whole family can explore the pier and find the old lighthouse.

On warmer days you’ll find locals and visitors alike sunbathing or participating in water sports or a game of football.

For more family-friendly ideas, check out the full list of suggestions below.

TIP: There are plenty of beautiful, nature-filled day trips available to take from Dublin. The Cliffs of Moher are always a popular destination. Giants Causeway with its rock formation and the adrenaline-fueled walk across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge are both unforgettable sights in nearby Northern Ireland.


5) Explore Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle is a fun historic building to visit. It was originally built right next to the “dark pool” that, in Irish Gaelic, gives Dublin its name.

Dublin Castle

Now, of course, that pool has been turned into a lovely garden. And there’s plenty more to see, from fully-furnished staterooms to architecture and artwork.

If you’d like to see inside some of the state apartments and the chapel, you’ll need to purchase a guided tour ticket.

If you’re also interested in seeing Ireland’s beloved Book of Kells, there is a fast-track ticket available that includes a Castle tour.

Note: The paid sections of Dublin Castle are included for free with the purchase of multiple tourist discount passes.


6) Watch Dublin Sports

If you love sports, Dublin is a great city to visit! They’re serious about their football and rugby. The games make great family outings, as well!

If you’re looking for an interesting spectator sport to see for the first time, head out to Shelbourne Park Stadium for greyhound racing. You don’t have to bet on the dogs, but many of the locals do.

Football (Soccer)

Rugby

Greyhound Racing

You can find sporting event tickets here, including for tournaments and niche events.

Many sports fans are also interested in seeing behind the scenes of their favorite stadiums and parks! There is a Croke Park Tour available to show you where the local football and rugby teams spend their time.

For more family-friendly activities, check out the kids’ section below.


7) Listen to Traditional Sessions

Ireland is well-known for its traditional music.

You can easily recognize the folk music from the upbeat combination of the fiddles, flutes, and other stringed instruments.

Some traditional groups throw in a bagpipe for good measure.

One of the most popular pubs for a Trad Session is the Cobblestone.

However, if you walk past a few pubs in the evenings it should be simple to find a good performance or jam session with traditional musicians happening.

And most of this music is completely free!

Note: Even though it isn’t required, we encourage you to tip performers or purchase drinks when listening to free music.

For more entertainment options, check out the free things to do section below, or our things to do at night section.


8) Save Money and Time with a Discount Pass

Utilizing a tourist pass, such as the Dublin Pass, is one of the best ways to see as much as possible on your trip to Dublin.

For one price, you’ll get entry into many of the most popular attractions and activities, transportation, and discounts on other attractions up to 20% off!

  • Hop-On-Hop-Off
  • Dublin Castle
  • Jameson Distillery
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Dublin Zoo
  • Jeanie Johnston Ship
  • Irish Emigration Museum

Use our Dublin city pass comparison guide to decide which pass can save you the most money based on your plans!


9) Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship

The Jeanie Johnston ship made 16 trips to North America during the great famine of Ireland.

Getting aboard this replica of that ship will allow you to see what it was like for the Irish people who were fleeing the country at that time.

Emigrating away from their home was a difficult journey, but this hands-on museum will give you a taste of the times and be an interesting way to learn about history.

Note: Entry to this museum is on some tourist passes.


10) See Dublin Theatre

Dublin is home to excellent theatre productions that are both modern and traditional, depending on where you look.

A play, musical, or dance being performed somewhere in the city on a weekly basis.

Gate Theatre was established in 1928, and they showed what, at the time, were very experimental plays.

Michael Gambon (of Harry Potter, Gosford Park, and Amazing Grace) got his start on this stage. And now, after a few renovations through the years, they are still putting on productions.

One of the most well-known modern theatres in the city is the Abbey Theatre. They put on modern plays written by both Irish and international playwrights.

And if you’re in Dublin between late September and mid-October, you can catch the Dublin Theatre Festival.


Bonus: Self-Guided Exploration Game

If you’re looking for an alternative to the traditional walking tour, these games will allow you to explore the city at your own pace as you attempt to solve a puzzle or a mystery.

There are currently two different games available in Dublin: one which covers some of the most historic sites, and another that is focused on the haunted history of the city.

 


FREE THINGS TO DO

Here is our list of the top 10 free things to do in the city of Dublin, Ireland.

Our free things to do in Dublin post has even more detail about this top 10 list and other ideas for the budget-conscious traveler.

  1. Take yourself on a self-guided tour of the city.
  2. Find some free music at the Cobblestone.
  3. Visit the National Museum of Ireland.
  4. Explore Dublin’s various neighborhoods.
  5. Find the Temple Bar Food Market.
  6. Let the kids make some art at the National Gallery of Ireland.
  7. Take a stroll down the River Liffey at night.
  8. Have a beach day at Dollymount Strand.
  9. Find the city’s famous, and sometimes strange, monuments.
  10. Walk through the Dublin Castle grounds and Chester Beatty Library.

For more inspiration, check out our free things to do post.

 


THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT

Dublin comes alive at night! Here is our top 10 list of things to do after dark in Dublin.

For more things to do after dark in Dublin, take a look at our Things to Do at Night post.

  1. Ride the Ghostbus through Dublin.
  2. Attend the famous Abbey Theatre.
  3. Watch the Greyhound races at Shelbourne Park Stadium.
  4. Enjoy traditional music sessions at Cobblestone.
  5. Check out Dublin’s food scene.
  6. Go to Thursday Lates at the National Gallery of Ireland.
  7. Enjoy Dublin’s Viking roots at Dublinia with the kids.   
  8. Kayak down the River Liffey for a different perspective.
  9. Go on a self-guided pub crawl of Dublin.
  10. Take a tour of the Jameson Distillery.

To see everything there is to do at night, check out our full post.

 


FAMILY-FRIENDLY THINGS TO DO

Dublin is an excellent location to have your family vacation! Here are our top 10 suggestions for kid-friendly activities.

For a more detailed version of this family-friendly top 10 list, and even more ideas, check out our full post.

  1. Go on a Viking Splash tour of the river.
  2. Visit the Natural History Museum.
  3. Check out The Ark, a children’s theatre and music complex.
  4. Go to a sporting event.
  5. Try some of Dublin’s local comfort food.
  6. Explore the city’s free parks and playgrounds.
  7. Take a ride on the spooky Ghostbus.
  8. Learn about Dublin’s medieval and Viking past in a hands-on way.
  9. Decorate your own chocolates at the Chocolate Warehouse.
  10. See the animals and the ecosystems they belong to at the Dublin Zoo.

Find even more fun things to do with your kids in Dublin on our full family-friendly post.

 


THINGS TO DO BY MONTH

Below are annual events that occur during the 12 months of the year, and if you click on the link you will be taken to our detailed posts of these events and more.

 


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Dublin Audio Tours

We are proud to offer our newest, affordable sightseeing option – AUDIO TOURS. Can’t make one of the guided Dublin walking tours? No problem. 

We have partnered with Atlantis Audio Tours to provide you with a convenient way to experience our tours.

Each tour offers an offline option to view the map and hear the audio of each walk so that you don’t need to have GPS maps running with the app.


Here is how it works:

  1. Purchase an audio tour from our Booking Page.
  2. You’ll receive a confirmation email with a .pdf, Google Map link, and audio tour.
  3. Enjoy the tour(s).

 


Available Tours:

  • Dublin Southside

Check out our audio tours in all our cities:

New York | Boston | Washington DC | Charleston | New Orleans | San Francisco | Chicago | Nashville | Miami | Los Angeles 

London | ParisEdinburgh | Dublin | Rome | Lisbon | Dubai | PragueAmsterdam 

Dublin Audio Map

This map shows the stops on our Dublin audio tour which you can purchase here.

If you’d like to add this map to your Google Maps app so you can follow along using GPS, just click the square bracket in the upper right hand corner.

Helpful hint: If you want to use Google Maps without using data, you can download the area as an offline map when you’re on WiFi.

Dublin Self-Guided Walk

Self-Guided Dublin Tour

This post is a self-guided tour of Dublin that covers all the iconic sites on the city’s south bank as well as some lesser-known haunts.

The tour should take approximately 1.5 hours or just a bit less than that. The walk is approximately 1.5 km (just over 1/2 a mile).

This walk is an abridged version of our Dublin audio tour. Read more »

Which Dublin City Pass Should You Choose?

This post compares the different tourist attraction discount passes available in Dublin, including costs and how to use them. There is also a section devoted to bus tour combo packages.

Let’s dive in!

 

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.

Before You Buy

The following section will break down the differences between each Dublin tourist pass.

If you’re confused about how to use the pass or what it does, make sure to take a close look at our definitions for each pass type below.

All-Inclusive

This tourist pass will allow you to visit dozens of popular attractions for one flat price. Rather than paying for individual tickets, you will pay to use the pass for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days.

All-Inclusive passes offer the biggest opportunity for saving money on tours and attractions, but it also means you have to keep really busy to see those savings.  

Travel Pass

Technically speaking, this isn’t a tourist pass. With that said, this service will save you a lot of money if you want to get around Dublin with ease.

Although it does include a few free activities, the main feature of this pass is access to multiple forms of both public transit and hop-on-hop-off bus tours.

Bus Tour Combos

Even though it’s not a tourist pass, bus tour combo packages act like one and are a pretty good way to save money on popular activities in Dublin.

Each combo deal includes a hop-on-hop-off bus tour and admission to at least one additional attraction.

If you’re only interested in visiting specific locations in the city, this could be a great way to get a discount without purchasing an actual city pass.

 


All-Inclusive Pass

In this section, we will give you details about how to use this pass, which attractions are included, and how much you will save.

We will also include a comparison between the all-inclusive pass and other discount options. 


The Dublin Pass

This is the main tourist pass offered in Dublin, and it includes more than 30 different tours and attractions for one low price.

Passes can be purchased for 1, 2, 3, or 5 consecutive days in a row.

There’s no need to purchase tickets in advance, so you can skip the ticket lines wherever you go. All you need to do is show your Dublin Pass at the door!

Attractions Included

  • Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Jameson Distillery
  • Teelings Distillery
  • EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum
  • Dublin Zoo
  • Irish Rock n Roll Museum
  • Aquazone Aquatic Centre
  • National Wax Museum
  • Little Museum of Dublin
  • And More!

Prices (as of March 2019):

  • 1-Day Pass: €62/Adults | €33/Children
  • 2-Day Pass: €83/Adults | €43/Children
  • 3-Day Pass: €102/Adults | €55/Children
  • 5-Day Pass: €128/Adults | €74/Children

Purchase or learn more about The Dublin Pass

This tourist pass includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to receive a full refund if your plans change at any time during the first month after purchase.

In addition, you will have one year to activate the pass, giving you plenty of time to take advantage of the benefits.

If you’re looking for a discount on several different attractions, this is one of the best ways to save money while visiting Dublin.

That said, you can get discounts and even free admission to specific locations with both the Travel Pass and Bus Tour Combos.

Although the hop-on-hop-off bus tour offered by the Dublin Pass can be used to get around the city, anyone looking for more transportation options should definitely consider the alternatives.

 


DoDublin Travel Card

This section will explain the important details about the Travel Pass.

In addition to covering how much it will cost and how to use it, we will also include a comparison to give you a sense of how this pass stacks up to similar services in Dublin.


The DoDublin Travel Card

Offered by the DoDublin bus tour company, this travel card includes access to their main hop-on-hop-off bus tours in addition to public buses and Airlink Express for a total of 72 hours.

All you need to do is show your card to the driver before getting on the bus and you’ll be ready to go.

Additionally, you will also receive free admission for a few additional activities. There is also free cancellation with at least 24 hours’ notice.

Services Included

  • 3-Day DoDublin Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • 3-Day Airlink Express Transportation
  • 3-Day Public Dublin Bus Service
  • Little Museum of Dublin Admission
  • Free Dublin Walking Tour

Price: €35/Adults | €10/Children

Purchase or learn more about the DoDublin Travel Card

If your main concern is getting around the city and seeing all of the most significant landmarks, this is a great deal.

It’s also nice that they offer both a walking tour and admission to the Little Museum of Dublin for free.

That said, there are a lot of places (like the Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery) that many visitors will probably want to see.

While the DoDublin hop-on-hop-off bus tour will take you to each location, you’ll have to pay separately for tickets to get inside.

Alternatively, you could use the hop-on-hop-off bus tour included with the Dublin Pass to get around the city and enjoy free admission to 30+ attractions.

The DoDublin Travel Card costs much less, but it doesn’t include as many services. Keep this in mind before deciding which pass to purchase.

 


Bus Tour Combos

When it comes to combo packages offered by bus tour companies, there’s really only one service to mention: DoDublin.

They provide a few different combination deals which include both their hop-on-hop-off bus tour and admission to one of four popular attractions:

  • The Guinness Storehouse
  • The Jameson Distillery
  • The EPIC Museum
  • The GPO Witness History Exhibition.

For more details on each opportunity, please click here.

NOTE: Some hop-on-hop-off bus tour tickets include walking tours and other additional benefits. If you’re looking for alternatives to a city pass, make sure to check our post about finding the best Dublin Bus Tour for more information.

 

Dublin in July

Things to Do in Dublin in July

In this post, you’ll find all the best events and things to see and do in Dublin this July. We have a Top 10 list of things to do that is updated for 2020. 

 

 


TOP 11 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN JULY IN DUBLIN

Below are our favorite events and activities to do this July. For more ideas, take a look at our post about things to do in Dublin at any time of year! Read more »

Dublin in June

Things to Do in Dublin in June

In this post, you’ll find all the best events and things to see and do this June in Dublin. We have a Top 10 list of things to do that is updated for 2020. 

 

 

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.

TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN JUNE IN DUBLIN

Below are our favorite 10 events, tours, festivals, and activities to do this June. For more ideas, take a look at our post about things to do in Dublin at any time of year! Read more »

Dublin in May

Things to Do in Dublin in May

In this post, you’ll find all the best events and things to see and do in May. We have a Top 10 list of things to do that is updated for 2020. 

 


TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN MAY IN DUBLIN

Below are our favorite 10 events and activities to do this May. For more ideas, take a look at our post about things to do in Dublin at any time of year! Read more »