Best Things to See and Do in Dublin, Ireland

st patricks cathedral, largest church in ireland, dublin, ireland, things to see in dublin
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest church in Ireland. Photo © Nancy D. Brown


We recently visited Ireland for the first time. We flew from San Francisco to Dublin for several reasons; flights were affordable, there was cheap and easy transportation available from Dublin International Airport to downtown and we had heard many wonderful things about this compact and colorful city. Are you visiting Dublin for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in Dublin’s Fair City.

When I have a visitor from out of town, the first place they want to see is Guinness Storehouse, but I also take them to the Creative Quarter for a more local, authentic experience bursting with wonderful restaurants.


Things to See and Do in Dublin

Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth the First of England, Trinity College is a must stop in Dublin. It has the largest single chambered library in the world. You’ll want to buy your tickets in advance online. I highly recommend you reserve a guide to have the Book of Kells explained. It’s a magnificent manuscript dating from 800 A.D. We used Josephine Rice, featured in the above video. She is a professional tour guide who made Dublin come alive with her history and knowledge of the city.



oscar wilde, oscar wilde memorial statue, merrion square, dublin, ireland
Visit the Oscar Wilde statue in Merrion Square. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

When I want to escape the crowds and tourists, my favorite place to visit is St. Stephen’s Green first thing in the morning.

If this is a romantic trip, I recommend the President’s Bar in the Davenport Hotel for afternoon tea. The Hotel is located on the corner of Merrion Square in Dublin.

The best place to walk the dog in Dublin, Ireland is Phoenix Park. At 1,752 acres, it is the largest urban park in Europe.

Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids, you’ll want to visit the Dublin Zoo.



afternoon tea, davenport hotel, presidents bar, merrion square, dublin, ireland
Afternoon Tea at Davenport Hotel. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Irish Food in Dublin, Ireland

If you are looking for typical Irish cuisine, I recommend The Old Storehouse in Temple Bar. For excellent quality cheese in Dublin, go to Sheridans Cheesemongers. The staff is very knowledgeable and they’ll let you sample before you purchase. The best part, many of the cheeses are able to be vacuum-sealed on site so you can take them home with you.

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My favorite shop for handmade Irish chocolates in Dublin is Cocoa Atelier. By the way, I found a lovely chocolate shop, Hazel Mountain Chocolate, in the Burren in County Clare and Glaslough Chocolate makes creamy truffles in County Monaghan.


long hall, victorian heritage pub, dublin heritage pub, long hall bar, dublin, ireland
Bruce Springsteein’s favorite watering hole in Dublin. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Best place for Guinness in Dublin

The best place to go for a pint of Guinness is Long Hall. Did you know that this Victorian Heritage Pub is a personal favorite of Bruce Springsteen?

“At the Long Hall I had the best pint in Dublin,” said Timothy Cojocnean, a law school student from San Francisco.”The barkeeps here are trained for up to four years before being promoted to full barkeep. More interesting than that, The Long Hall is Bruce Springsteen’s favorite watering hole when in Dublin. In fact, when I asked the barkeep about it, he told me that he was sitting in the same seat that I was!”

Looking for cheap food near the river in Dublin? Go to Dublin Woolen Mills and Brother Hubbards. For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to Chapter One or Bang.


irish pub, oliver st john gogarty pub, gogarty pub, gogarty bar, temple bar district, dublin, ireland
Live Irish music at Oliver St. John Gogarty Pub. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

For authentic Irish music, stop at Oliver St. John Gogarty’s Bar, an Irish pub in the heart of Dublin’s Temple Bar district.


Iconic Molly Malone in Dublin, Ireland

When you come to Dublin, get your picture taken at Molly Malone’s statue.  If you happen to be in the city of Dublin in March, take a seat on the Grandstand to watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

In Dublin, outdoor lovers will want to walk along the River Liffey. Looking for a little exercise? Walk along the Boardwalk. Just outside of Dublin, Ireland is Howth Head; try the Cliff Path Loop.

After a day of adventure, The Shelbourne is the best place to go for a spa treatment in Dublin.



molly malone, fishmonger, jean rynhart statue, tart with the cart, dublin, ireland
Molly Malone selling fish by St. Andrews Church. Photo © Nancy D. Brown


Dublin, Ireland’s museums 

If you are a museum lover, Dublin’s best museums are The National Museum, The National Gallery and The Chester Beatty Library, and all of them are free!

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Looking for the best things to see and do in Dublin, Ireland? The Irish Times will keep you posted on what’s happening in this Fair City.

You can tell a lot about Dublin from visiting and watching a Gaelic Football match at Croke Park.

In the spring you should attend the Saint Patrick’s Day Festival. In the early summer you should attend Bloom Garden Festival in Phoenix Park.

Did you know that Dublin is known for theater? Plan a visit to Dublin’s Theatre Festival in the fall. While it’s no secret that Ireland gets a lot of rain, come to Dublin in the winter to experience the cozy pubs and traditional Irish music.

Dublin Insider Tip: Check out the often over-looked National Museum at Collins Barracks.


harp, 14th century harp, trinity college, dublin, ireland
The harp is the symbol of Ireland. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

I’ll bet you didn’t know that the harp is the symbol of Ireland. It’s believed that Ireland is the only country to have a musical instrument as the emblem of the country. The picture of the 14th century harp, on display in Trinity College, is made of willow and brass strings. The harp on the Euro coinage is unique to Ireland.

Just outside of Dublin you can visit Barberstown Castle, an authentic Irish castle in Straffan, County Kildare. For additional Insider Tips follow luxury travel writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter or Instagram @Nancydbrown.

Insider tips to the Best Things to See and Do in Dublin, Ireland, YouTube videos and all photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. Thanks to Tourism Ireland for assistance in arranging my tour with Josephine Rice. For additional information visit Dublin’s Official Travel and Tourism Guide.