From beautiful gardens in bloom in springtime to Halloween festivities in autumn, Dublin is a fantastic place to visit all year round. There are festivals & sports events, concerts, markets and everything in between; we promise you’ll never be bored! It would take a month to get through all of the best things to do here but here is our pick of the top visitor attractions in Dublin to keep you going. Many of the best places to see are a short walk from our 4-star hotel on the edge of the city centre – the ideal accommodation for families, groups, couples and business travellers to Dublin.
1. The Guinness Storehouse
It takes a lot to become iconic, luckily, Guinness has been practising since 1759 and have well and truly succeeded as the most famous Irish export of all time. A trip to the home of the black stuff should be at the top of everyone’s ‘Things to do in Dublin’ list. Officially Ireland’s top visitor attraction, Guinness Storehouse is a brilliant, interactive exhibition/museum with everything from retro advertising to hands-on examples of the craft of brewing. Top your visit off with a trip to the 360-degree Gravity Bar where you can enjoy a literal bird’s eye view of Dublin city. Raise a glass to Arthur Guinness and the delicious drink & legacy he has created!
2. The Book of Kells & Trinity College
Trinity College is a great spot to start your exploration of Dublin being in the heart of the city. Founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592, it’s one of the oldest and most impressive campuses’ in Dublin. It’s packed with treasures and priceless artefacts. Here you can walk in the footsteps of some of their most famous alumni including Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift. The highlight of any visit is the trip to the Long Room which houses more than 200,000 of Trinity’s oldest books, the oldest and most impressive of which is the magnificent Book of Kells. With a backstory that includes monks, Vikings and remote Scottish islands, the Book of Kells this glorious Early Christian illuminated manuscript is quite simply a masterpiece.
3. EPIC – The Irish Emigration Museum
Ireland has long been an exporter of people. You’ll see Irish influence across the globe from the streets of America’s east coast to the world’s highest Irish pub in Namche Bazar, the gateway to Mount Everest. EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum is a celebration of all things Irish, all around the world. Located in the vaults of the CHQ Building at Custom House Quay, the two-time winner of Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction is a must-do for lovers of Irish history and diaspora. It’s an interactive experience with something for young and old. If you’re interested in your own Irish ancestry the Irish Family History Centre for tips, advice and resources to track your family history.
4. Kilmainham Gaol
Yes, you read that correctly – one of Dublin’s top visitor attractions is an empty prison. The beautiful yet foreboding Kilmainham Gaol (jail) dates from 1789 and has seen tens of thousands of visitors, both permanent and temporary over the years. It was here that the leaders of the 1916 rising rebels were first incarcerated and then executed for what was seen as an act of high treason. You’ll get a unique insight into the residents & the conditions they lived in, and it gives history lovers an outline of the struggle for Irish independence. You’ll hear stories of some of the most famous (or infamous!) characters that called the jail home. It’s a must-do on every Dublin bucket list.
5. Phoenix Park & Dublin Zoo
A five minute walk from the 4-star Ashling Hotel in Dublin is Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed urban park in Europe. Contained within the 1750 acres, visitors will find expansive grassland and forest, playgrounds, flower gardens and more. Watch the herds of wild deer (don’t get too close!), visit Áras an Uachtaráin- the residence of the Irish President, or the stately home Farmleigh House dating from the 1800s. The main attraction of the park is Dublin Zoo, Ireland’s best family attraction and Europe’s oldest zoo. Among other rare and exotic animals, there are Asian lions, Asian elephants, a Reptile House, an orangutan enclosure, sea lions, tigers, hippos, bats, and penguins. It’s a great day out for all of the family.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a travel and lifestyle writer. Aside from taking vibrant street photos, you can find her writing articles about travel, food, and lifestyle. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit Ashling Hotel Dublin.