Dublin is a fantastic city known for its lovely streets, colorful doors, live music, and old buildings.
This article will discuss some of the best things to do in Dublin when you visit.
Even though Dublin is a smaller capital city, it has much to offer, and everyone who visits falls in love with it.
1. Visit the Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is the most popular thing to do in Dublin, with 1.1 million visitors per year.
Entry is about 40 euros, which is quite steep but worth every penny.
Our tip would be to pay for the entry that allows you to pour your own pint and then have another full pint up in the Gravity bar. You get great city views here, and there's no better place to drink a pint.
The good news is that they now serve the 0% on draft in the bar, so you can enjoy a drink even if you aren't drinking.
The gift shop at the end is also superb, with plenty of gifts you can take back home.
2. Walk Through Trinity College
Trinity College is undoubtedly one of the best things to see in Dublin.
Many people come mainly to see the Book of Kells, Ireland's most treasured illuminated manuscript, and find it well worth the cost. You will, however, have to book in to see these, so make sure you plan it in advance.
The college campus is stunning, and we recommend exploring it without the audio tour ad. Just take your time. The gift store at the college is also popular, offering a variety of unique gifts.
The Library of Trinity College is particularly awe-inspiring, with its grand architecture and two-story high bookshelves. It looks like something you would expect to see in a film like Harry Potter.
Founded by Queen Elizabeth I in the late 16th century, Trinity College has become one of the most popular attractions in Dublin. It is known for its architectural styles and beautiful squares. We recommend bringing your camera and spending an hour here to appreciate its beauty and historical importance fully.
3. Explore Dublin Castle
Visiting Dublin Castle is one of the must-do things to do in Dublin.
This historic site, the seat of British power in Ireland for 700 years, now stands as a significant Irish Government venue for state events, including the inauguration of the Irish President and state banquets.
Today's visitors can still see the remains of the 13th-century structure and explore the current castle, which dates back to the mid-1700s.
Dublin Castle impresses with its gorgeous interior and a great collection of art. Visitors can explore the rooms independently and enjoy the large courtyard surrounded by several buildings. However, we recommend the guided tour, which offers access to several highlights, including the Ladies Drawing Room, the Throne Room, and St. Patrick's Hall.
4. Walk Along the River Liffey
Walking along the River Liffey is one of the most enjoyable outdoor things to do in Dublin.
The Liffer flows through the city's center, dividing Dublin's North and South sides.
Walking along either side of the Liffey offers a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the local atmosphere, with plenty of pubs, cafes, restaurants, and shops lining the riverbanks.
Walking around the River Liffey is a free activity that we like at the Frugal Expat and an excellent way to see and experience Dublin truly. It offers a chance to discover many sights and attractions that might be missed when driving.
5. Enjoy Live Music in Temple Bar
We may have mentioned the Guinness factory as the best place to have a pint, but Temple Bar is right up there. It is a tourist trap, as there are cheaper bars down the road, but we still think if you are passing, you should call in.
It looks like a small place from the front, but when you go inside, there are many rooms. This place can get very busy, and the pints are not cheap.
There is live music on nearly all the time, and the atmosphere here is great.
6. Tour the Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol is one of the most unique things to do in Dublin, and it comes highly recommended on all review sites.
This old jail, known for its harsh treatment of prisoners in the 19th century, now serves as a reminder of Ireland's history, particularly its struggle for independence It offers a profoundly moving experience, especially for those interested in Irish history.
The jail offers guided tours, which are highly sought after, so planning is essential. The guides are praised for their knowledge and ability to bring the site's history to life.
7. Phoenix Park
Phoenix Park is a fantastic destination for families looking for things to do with kids in Dublin and can be found just 20 minutes away from the city center.
The park is massive, about twice the size of Central Park in New York City, but the size of it often never gets mentioned.
There are loads to do here, and you'll find cricket fields, polo practice fields, large ponds, and even the city zoo within its expanse. This makes it a perfect place for families to explore and enjoy the outdoors away from the city center.
Our tip would be to rent some bikes so you can try and cover as much of this park as possible. See if you can find the tea room which is highly recommended.
8. National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology
The National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology is a fantastic option for things to do in Dublin when it's raining.
As Ireland's national repository for archaeological objects, the museum houses over two million artifacts that history enthusiasts will love.
Permanent exhibitions at the museum include a stunning collection of prehistoric gold artifacts, the finest in Western Europe, and remarkable examples of metalwork from the Celtic Iron Age.
The museum is also renowned for its medieval ecclesiastical objects and jewelry. The Treasury, featuring exhibitions like Ireland's Gold and Viking Ireland, is really interesting as well.
The museum's location within the city and free admission make it a great choice, especially on a rainy day in Dublin.
9. Take a Literary Pub Crawl
The Dublin Literary Pub Crawl is one of the best things to do in Dublin for couples.
It is perfect for those who love literature, and a good pint with a team of professional actors leads this two-hour walking tour. They take you on a journey through the city, following in the footsteps of famed writers like James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde, and Brendan Behan.
Guests will enjoy prose, verse, drama, and song performances from Dublin's literary elite. The evening is not just about listening to great stories; it also includes an interactive quiz with prizes, adding to the fun. One critic described it as ‘a highly enjoyable evening that gives you the pleasant notion of replacing brain cells as you drown them.'
10. The Little Museum of Dublin
The Little Museum of Dublin offers one of the most fun things to do in Dublin, especially for those who love something a bit different and quirky.
Located on St Stephen's Green, which is mentioned below, this museum might be small, but it's packed with character and brilliantly tells the story of Dublin through its 29-minute (we are not quite sure why it is 29 and not 30 minutes) guided tours, which are a true celebration of Irish storytelling.
Despite its size (only two rooms), the museum is designed so ingeniously that each room feels like an entire museum on its own.
The real highlight is the tour guides, who are often described as brilliant, entertaining, engaging, and funny. Their charisma and charm make the tour an incredibly enjoyable experience.
11. Relax in St. Stephen's Green
St Stephen's Green is an excellent choice for things to do in Dublin with families.
This beautiful park in the city center is the perfect place to spend a few hours walking, relaxing, or having a picnic. The park isn't as big as Phoenix Park, and there isn't as much to do, but it's easier to get to due to its city center location.
The park's lively atmosphere, especially on weekends, is perfect for families, but it can get very busy on the weekends, especially if it's a hot day. Our tip would be to visit the park in the morning.
12. Explore the Dublin Mountains
Exploring the Dublin Mountains is one of the best free things to do in Dublin for those who love the outdoors.
While there are more hills than mountains, they offer a range of enjoyable walks and hikes, and many people don't realize these exist. Most people are sitting inside the pubs enjoying a few pints.
It's a great way to experience the city's natural beauty and get some fresh air as they always say some fresh air helps cure a hangover.
It's important to note that, while the hills are quite small, the weather can change quickly, so we recommend wearing suitable footwear and a waterproof coat.
13. Go Shopping on Grafton Street.
Grafton Street is the main shopping street in Dublin, making it perfect for those wondering where to go shopping in Dublin.
Many visitors are drawn to Grafton Street for its lively atmosphere as much as for the shopping. Some popular shops here are Brown Thomas, Weir & Sons, River Island, Disney, and Levi's.
What we like about this street is that it is pedestrian-only, making it a safe and enjoyable place to walk, though you might need to watch out for the occasional cyclist.
14. Visit the Jameson Distillery
Visiting the Jameson Distillery Bow St. is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Dublin for those interested in whiskey and immersive experiences.
Since John Jameson first stepped into this building in 1780, the distillery has been dedicated to creating unforgettable experiences and crafting great whiskey.
The distillery now offers five fully guided experiences: the Bow St. Experience Distillery Tour, Premium Whiskey Tasting, Whiskey Blending Class, Whiskey Cocktail Making Class, and the unique Cask Draw Experience in Dublin's only Live Maturation Warehouse. Each experience is designed with immersive storytelling, allowing visitors to touch, smell, and, most importantly, taste Jameson in the original distillery buildings.
15. The Irish Rock' N' Roll Museum Experience
The Irish Rock ‘N' Roll Museum Experience is a fantastic thing to do in Dublin's city center, especially for music enthusiasts.
This unique museum tells the story of the Irish music scene and offers a tour of a working music venue and recording facilities in the famous Temple Bar area.
Visitors often rave about the incredible tours, where guides are known for being funny, engaging, and extremely knowledgeable about the museum, studios, and the Irish rock scene. It's highly recommended for everyone visiting Dublin, and particularly for fans of bands like Thin Lizzy.
The tours are described as brilliant and a must-do for all music fans, and at the end, there is a chance to have a jam session in the recording studio.
16. Croke Park Stadium Tour & GAA Museum
Visiting Croke Park Stadium and the GAA Museum is one of the best things to do in Dublin, especially for those wanting to learn more about Irish culture.
Croke Park is much more than just a stadium; it's the home of Gaelic sports, which is massive in Ireland and holds a special place in the hearts of the Irish people.
At Croke Park, you'll find an atmosphere filled with passion and history. Every corner of the stadium tells a story, and the pride in this cultural landmark is evident. The tour guides at the stadium are renowned for their captivating storytelling, ensuring that visitors are thoroughly engaged and informed.
That's a wrap on the 16 best things to do in Dublin, one of Europe's best cities. There's always something going on and something to suit everyone.
Is there anything we have missed off the list? Let us know in the comments below.
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.