Taking a vacation to the capital of the Emerald Isle? In this travel guide I share an itinerary of things to do, places to stay and eat in Dublin so you can make the most of your vacation to Ireland.
Ireland is a popular destinations for all kinds of travelers. Solo backpackers and families alike flock to this small island every year to experience the culture, drink a pint and enjoy everything it has to offer.
The capital city of Dublin is easily accessible by major airlines and there are some great deals from many US cities.
Getting around Dublin by foot is very easy. Just don’t forget to pack a raincoat, umbrella and waterproof shoes, as it rains most of the year all over Ireland.
Things to Do in Dublin, Ireland
St. Stephen’s Green
This city park is a green respite next to Grafton street -one of the busiest shopping streets in Dublin. The park is not very big, but if you are looking to take a stroll after dinner or a quiet open space to read a book, this is where you want to go.
The college offers paid tours given by students at set times. Tours cost around 15 euros per person and do not include the fee for the Book of Kells and Library.
If you opt to not take the tour, you can wander around campus freely and go directly to the Book of Kells Exhibition.
The Book of Kells and Trinity College Library
The book of Kells is a very ornate gospel book dating back to 800AD in exhibition at the Trinity College. No photography is allowed inside and there is usually a line to get in. Once inside, you are funneled into different rooms until you form a single file line into the main room where the book is held and you can rotate around the glass viewing table to see it.
After that, you exit through the Long Room in the Trinity College Library, which houses the oldest books in the college.
It’s a spectacular room with busts of famous Greek scholars. A fun fact is that you won’t find the letter J on the shelves as the library is organized based on the Greek alphabet which does not have a J.
St Patrick’s Cathedral
The largest and tallest church in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a Dublin institution. You can marvel at the architecture from ceiling to floor or attend services.
For the kiddos, there is a learning area where puzzles, blocks and art activities are offered free of charge for visitors. These activities are related to the construction of the cathedral – the arches for blocks, stained window puzzles and different Saints for art.
If you are only visiting Dublin in Ireland and want to visit a Castle, the Dublin Castle is right in town and does not require transportation.
There are other several other castles in the greater Dublin area, but these require travel outside the city center.
The Ha’Penny Bridge has an important part in the history of Dublin. It was built in 1816 to replace the ferries that took people across the river Liffey and it’s called Ha’Penny Bridge (although the official name is Liffey Bridge), because the guy who built it charged a toll for pedestrians to cross it. The price of the crossing was 1 1/2 pence so the bridge was known as Penny Ha’Penny bridge.
There is virtually a pub in every corner of the country and for the Irish the local pub is a gathering place, where neighbors socialize and keep tabs on each other.
The Temple Bar however is where the party scene starts in Dublin and the striking red facade is popular with visitors.
Distilleries and Breweries
Some people recognize whiskey and dark beer as staples in Ireland.
Here are three distilleries or breweries that are popular with visitors to Dublin.
Super famous, this complex hosts tours and has several restaurants in house. At the end of the tour you are awarded a nice pint of Guinness.
Jameson Irish Whiskey
If you are not visiting Cork, where the main Jameson distillery is, you can visit the one in Dublin to learn how this whiskey is made.
A smaller, more intimate tour, this is a shorter visit, but worth the trip if you are a fan of whiskey.
Where to Eat in Dublin
We were only in Dublin for a couple days, but here are some of our favorites.
A casual Asian fusion chain with fast service and nice portions. This is a very kid-friendly option for a casual and delicious meal.
The Rustic Stone
For foodies and a more upscale meal, try the Rustic Stone. The food was delicious and the ambience perfect for a cozy meal.
Hanley’s Cornish Pasty
If you are looking for a quick bite that is both affordable and filling, try Hanley’s Cornish Pasty. These hand pies are an ample meal for one and only cost 5 euros! I ate the traditional which had steak, potatoes and onions. Delish!
Grain and Grill
For a brasserie type of restaurant, try the Grain and Grill. I had a Piri-Piri chicken with sweet potato fries that was delicious!
Scoop Dessert Parlour
For those sweet cravings, head over to Scoop. You will find a variety of flavors and traditional offerings.
Where to Stay in Dublin
There are amazing hotels in Dublin and here are just a few options that you have. My recommendation is that you stay close to the city center so that you can walk to the majority of these attractions.
We stayed at the Maldron Hotel and this location was right across the St. Patrick’s Cathedral and within walking distance to almost everything.
We also had a rental car, so affordable parking was important to us and we didn’t have to pay anything at the Maldron Hotel for parking.
These are other options that were also favorites of our family and friends.
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