Dublin is a city with a rich and colorful history. Built at the mouth of the River Liffey, this vibrant city has something that will interest everyone. Whether you want to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral or sample a pint of Guinness at the original factory, you’ll find it here in Dublin.
Here are some of the things everyone should do when they’re in the Irish capital city.
1. Trinity College
Acclaimed authors Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift are graduates of the prestigious college which was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592. The beautiful manicured lawns and gardens are open to the public and are worth the stroll. However, it is the library that brings visitors to the college. Inside visitors can line up to see the 800 A.D. Book of Kells manuscript.
2. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
There is no shortage of churches in Dublin, but none stand out like St. Patrick’s. It is the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland, and it’s one of the few buildings standing from the Irish medieval period. Completed in 1259, it is a beautifully imposing example of the period’s architectural style.
Inside, visitors can gaze at the vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows. The delicate stone carvings and details are awe-inspiring, and make this a must-see stop when you’re in Dublin. You can also visit the grave of Gulliver’s Travels author Jonathan Swift.
3. Visit a Pub
It is estimated that there are more than a thousand bars and pubs in Dublin, so you’ve got plenty of options to choose from for some liquid refreshment. Some of the most popular stops for a pint include the John Kavanagh pub (nicknamed the Gravediggers pub), the Brazen Head, and Toners pub. Last but not least, a pub tour of Dublin wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Guinness Storehouse for a tour and tasting.
4. Kilmainham Gaol
This prison is an example of the dark side of history in Ireland. Operated from 1792 to the mid-1920s, it is infamous for its deplorable conditions and famous prisoners. Some of the leaders in the fight for Irish independence were held here, including James Connolly and Thomas Francis Meagher.
Executions, including hangings, were held here. Some that weren’t executed were sent to the penal colonies in Australia. All this information and more can be found at the on-site museum. There is also a café where visitors can relax and get a bite to eat.
5. Dublin Castle
Situated in the middle of the city stands Dublin Castle. The land that it’s built on has a long history dating back to the Vikings in A.D. 930. Since that first fortress was built, Dublin Castle has played a role in the country’s history. Visitors can learn all about its many roles by taking one of the guided tours. You can also stroll through the castle at your leisure, but you might miss out on some things that only the tour guides know.
6. Grafton Street
The museums, cathedrals, and other historical sights are fascinating, but they’re not all that Dublin has to offer. Grafton Street is a shoppers paradise. Running from St. Stephen’s Green to Trinity College there are two distinct shopping centers, along with the independent shops and stalls along the street.
Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre is full of familiar brands and unique treasures that can only be found in Ireland while Powerscourt Centre is best suited to those looking for luxury brands and goods. When you’re taking a break from shopping you can relax and watch the street performers. If you love people watching, this is the perfect place for it.
7. Abbey Theatre
The theatre might have a contemporary look but it was first opened in 1904 by Irish writers W. B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory. It has been rebuilt since it’s opening and now seats 628. It still hosts the most promising playwrights in Ireland and has managed to keep ticket and tour prices surprisingly low. It is recommended that you take the tour before seeing that evening’s performance.
Looking for a multi-stop city break? London is the ideal added stop with plenty to do that will make the visit worthwhile.