There are plenty of things to do in Dublin. Located in Ireland’s East Coast, Dublin is a lively city full of amazing things to see and spectacular places to visit. The city’s impressive collection of museums, galleries, and books gives you a glimpse of the city’s rich history and culture. You can spend the day sightseeing, roaming or just relaxing in the city’s parks, gardens, castle, and cathedrals.
The Phoenix Park
You can have a picnic at this massive city park located just 2 miles from downtown. Phoenix Park is a walled urban park with a large stretch of greenery sprawling over 1,700 acres. It is the largest city park in Europe and the second in the world. It is home to the Dublin Zoo, and you can spend the day in the company of a herd of fallow deer. You will also find the Wellington Monument here and the Presidential and US Ambassador Residences within the Park’s walls.
St Patrick’s Cathedral
St Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest church in all of Ireland. This spectacular cathedral was built in 1220. It sits beside a well where the Irish patron saint baptized converts. This popular tourist haunt is home to numerous monuments and a 19th century stained glass. The grounds are beautiful, and you can easily spend the whole day wandering the cathedral.
If you love history, then the Kilmainham Gaol is a must see. It is one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe and offers a glimpse into some of the most tragic events in Irish history. This 18th-century Panopticon-style building was home to thousands of prisoners before it was closed in 1924. It’s thick, cold walls, hold the tales of these prisoners who had to endure unimaginable hardships, overcrowding, and brutal conditions.
Many of Ireland’s most notable leaders were incarcerated in this prison. They include Charles Stewart Parnell, Robert Emmett, and President Eamon de Valera. The leaders of 1916 Irish Rising, were also prisoners in Kilmainham Gaol and 14 of them were executed in the Stonebreakers Yard in the same year. The jail is also a famous movie location.
To get a sense of Ireland’s history, visit Trinity College, which is Ireland’s most prestigious colleges, was founded in 1952. Dublin’s literary pioneers including Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and Jonathan Swift attended the college. Trinity College signature campanile and the surrounding grounds is a glorious place to wander. However, this is not the only attraction of the college the Book of Kells takes the crown.
The Book of Kells is a 9th century Christian manuscript with a tempestuous history involving Vikings, monks and the remote Scottish Islands. It is one of Ireland’s cultural treasures and if you want to see more treasures, head on over to The Old Library.
The Old Library is a spectacular 18th-century room, with oak bookshelves and barrel-vaulted roof. The Library is filled with treasures such as a 15th-century harp that inspired the Emblem of Ireland and a rare copy of the 1916 Proclamation. The College also has another magnificent library, The Long Room Library, which has over 200,000 old books.
If you want to see something more contemporary, you can visit the Science Gallery and the Douglas Hyde Gallery housed in Trinity College.
The Guinness Storehouse
This iconic landmark is one of Dublin’s most popular tourist attractions. Located at St. James’ Gate Brewery, the Guinness Storehouse offers a multi-media exhibition on everything Guinness. The building’s interior is even designed to look like a pint of Guinness and is known as the largest pint in the world.
The tour will answer any question you may have about Guinness, from advertising, Irish brewing history. You will learn how the ‘black stuff’ is crafted and how Guinness’ adverts have evolved over the years. Afterward, a complimentary pint of Guinness will be waiting for you at the Gravity Bar located on the 7th floor. Here, you can enjoy your drink while enjoying the 360-degree panoramic view of Dublin. You can even pull a pint and get a certificate as proof.
A tour of Dublin city won’t be complete without a visit to the city’s most iconic castles. Dublin Castle was built in 1230 with King John of England laying the first stone. It remained as the main center of English and British rule in Ireland for the next 800 hundred years. Due to its long history, Dublin Castle has borne witness to some of the country’s pivotal events. It has been a fortress, a court, and even an execution site.
Sitting on over 1,100 acres, this rambling castle houses free museums, such as the Garda and Revenue museums. It is also home to the Chapel Royal, the Chester Beatty Library, and the State Apartments. The tour will also take you through the castle’s numerous rooms, Dubh Linn Gardens, and the medieval undercroft. Every big state events including presidential inaugurations are held in Dublin Castle.