15 Essential Things to Do in Dublin

Dublin is a city bursting with interesting things to do. Its historical, cultural and artistic sides are all worthy of exploration, but how do you decide what’s essential? Whether you have five days or just 24-hours to discover all that Ireland’s capital has to offer, we’ve compiled a list of some standout activities to choose from and a note on why they deserve a spot in your itinerary.

1. Guinness Storehouse

Visitor enjoying pint of Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse Gravity BarThe Guinness Storehouse tells the story of Ireland’s beloved export over seven floors, in an immersive and interactive experience. Discover old brewing and storage techniques, storied advertising and the brand’s enduring legacy before enjoying an expertly poured pint for yourself in the Gravity Bar overlooking Dublin.

Why is it essential?

Voted The World’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2023, this is a Dublin experience not to be missed.

2. Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin libraryTrinity College Dublin is not only Ireland’s leading university, but home to the Book of Kells, an intricately illuminated manuscript dating back to the 9th century. Be sure to visit the atmospheric Long Room, a part of the Old Library, which is regularly listed as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

Why is it essential?

A visit to Trinity gives visitors a necessary picture of Ireland's cultural and literary heritage.


Explore Ireland's complex emigrant history through interactive exhibits that center on personal stories and bring them to vivid life before your eyes. This moving and informative experience features cutting-edge technology and immersive displays offering a comprehensive perspective on the global impact of Irish emigration.

Why is it essential?

EPIC takes visitors on a journey that connects them with Ireland's far-reaching cultural heritage.

4. Guinness Open Gate Brewery

Guinness Open Gate Brewery beer gardenFor the chance to enjoy experimental brews and innovative flavors in a lively setting, look no further. Offering an innovative twist on Dublin's famous brewing tradition, the Guinness Open Gate Brewery’s relaxed, communal atmosphere provides an excellent opportunity to sample new and exclusive beers that change regularly on rotation.

Why is it essential?

This is a must-visit for beer enthusiasts seeking innovation and excitement. 

5. National Gallery of Ireland

Home to an impressive collection of European and Irish art, the National Gallery of Ireland is a cultural gem where visitors will find a rewarding art experience featuring both classic masterpieces and contemporary works. Within the halls of the curated gallery you’ll find works by Caravaggio, Vermeer, and Yeats among many others.

Why is it essential?

Ireland’s art scene is often overlooked in the wake of its literary shadow, but here you’ll discover why it's more than worthy of your exploration.

6. Dublin Castle

The historic Dublin Castle presents a fascinating blend of medieval, Georgian, and Viking influences - a mirror into Dublin’s rich and varied history. Visitors can explore the State Apartments, the medieval undercroft, and the stunning gardens, each revealing a layer of the castle through time.

Why is it essential?

The castle's central - and turbulent - role in Irish history makes it a fascinating place to delve deeper into the country’s past.

7. Marsh's Library

One of the oldest public libraries in Ireland, Marsh’s Library affords visitors a rare opportunity to discover ancient books and manuscripts in a delicately preserved 18th-century setting. As you enjoy the library's serene atmosphere look out for the bullet holes still visible in the shelves which date back to the Easter Rising in Dublin.

Why is it essential?

The library’s charm and historical significance make it a treasure trove for book lovers and history buffs.

8. Roe & Co Distillery

Flavours Experience at Roe & Co DistilleryExplore the art that is Dublin whiskey with tours, tastings and cocktail masterclasses in this recently revitalized distillery. The experiences fuse traditional craftsmanship with an innovative approach, offering unrivaled insights into the whiskey-making process.

Why is it essential?

Roe & Co Distillery serves up a unique cocktail of tradition and contemporary flair, perfect for both whiskey aficionados and complete novices.

9. Phoenix Park

One of the largest enclosed parks in Europe, Phoenix Park is home to wildlife, historic monuments, and the residence of the President of Ireland. Enjoy a scenic stroll, a picnic, or stop by the Dublin Zoo or Victorian flower gardens and soak in a breath of fresh air.

Why is it essential?

This is the perfect space for a reprieve from the noise of the city.

10. Glasnevin Cemetery

Glasnevin Cemetery is the final resting place of many of Ireland’s notable figures. A tour offers an insightful look into the nation’s history, struggles and triumphs through the lives of those resting here.

Why is it essential?

A visit to the Glasnevin Cemetery offers a deep insight into Ireland's past. Remember to pay a respectful visit to the graveyard and be mindful of those in quiet reflection.

11. Christ Church Cathedral

For beautiful architecture, a rich history, and a fascinating crypt, head to Christ Church Cathedral. The impressive nave, intricate stone carvings, and medieval manuscripts continue to captivate visitors to Dublin.

Why is it essential?

Christ Church Cathedral is a religious, spiritual and historical landmark in Dublin not to be overlooked.

12. Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship

The harrowing journeys of Irish emigrants during the time of the Great Famine are recorded in this replica ship. You can take a guided tour for a vivid, emotional narrative of the ship's voyages and what it would have felt like to have been a passenger onboard.

Why is it essential?

A tour of the Jeanie Johnston Famine ship is at once poignant and educational, highlighting a crucial chapter in Irish history.

13. GAA Museum

The fascinating GAA Museum in Croke Park Stadium celebrates Ireland’s unique Gaelic games with interactive exhibits and many historical artifacts. The museum offers an in-depth look at the history and cultural significance of Gaelic football and hurling.

Why is it essential?

The GAA museum takes an in-depth look at Ireland’s vibrant sporting culture.

14. Kilmainham Gaol

This former prison is now a powerful museum that tells the story of some of the chief advocates in Ireland's struggle for independence. The preserved cells and many exhibits offer a stark, emotional journey through Irish history in one of the largest unoccupied goals in Europe.

Why is it essential?

The historical importance of these walls and the executions that took place here make it vital to understanding Ireland's past.

15. 14 Henrietta Street

The tenement museum at 14 Henrietta Street is a slice of Dublin’s social history. Take a tour of the Georgian townhouse, which reveals the city’s transformation from days of grandeur to tenement living. You’ll hear some touching personal stories of the residents who called these walls home, reflecting the broader social changes in Dublin over the centuries.

Why is it essential?

This is a rarely seen look at Dublin’s past and its people, giving visitors a touchingly personal perspective.



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