There are a few places in Dublin that tend to make most people’s itinerary the first time around. There are a lot of famous sites like the Guinness Storehouse you’ll be recommended to visit, required to pay a few Euro for, and all the while be unsure of whether your time is worth each one. I was in Dublin for the 2010 Hoscars and arrived a few days early to do some research for a few upcoming posts and put all of these places on my to-do list.
These are my impressions and if you have limited time in Dublin, this post might help you trim down or add a few items to your travel itinerary.
The Guinness Storehouse
This isn’t the building where they brew the Guinness but it is Ireland’s most popular tourist destination. You won’t actually get to see the process of Guinness being made but if you love the drink you’ll enjoy learning about the history and culture of Guinness. Those who aren’t as enthusiastic about Guinness or beer in general might not find it as interesting for the 15 Euro admission. Buy your tickets online in advance and you’ll save 10% off the price (and cut to the head of the lines).
Dublinia and The Viking World
Dublin has a Viking heritage you can learn about in Dublinia. It costs about 6 Euro to get in and you’ll get to wander around on your own through the museum. It’s not visually impressive but there is a lot of interesting historical information along the walls and exhibits if you’re wiling to take the time to read them. Perhaps the most interesting part is the archeological artifacts, bones, and interactive exhibit on the top floor – great for children and archeology fans.
Christ Church Cathedral
Next to Dublinia, entrance to the Cathedral costs another 3-6 Euro, depending whether or not you can get a student discount. (Looking like a student seemed to be good enough in most cases.) The church is over 1,000 years old but isn’t worth the price of admission. There are plenty of other old churhces that are visually stunning in Dublin and most you can just walk in for free. You might actually get to see the church in action and get a few pictures before you leave.
The Temple Bar
There is no cover charge to get into this famous Dublin pub, located at the corner of Temple Lane. There is live music from 2pm until late and the beer prices aren’t too much more than in other parts of town (6 Euro). It’s not a place to drink the night away as it’s crowded and there are plenty of other nice bars in the area and all over town (a ratio of 1:495) but if you’re strolling around The Temple Bar is a nice place to stop by for a pint. Andrew The Brooklyn Nomad also suggested the Brazen Head Pub which is a good alternative.
College campuses can make for good, free, travel opportunities in many cities and Trinity College is in the middle of Dublin a good location to stop by. While you’re walking around taking pictures, stop by the Science Gallery (free), the Douglas Hyde Gallery (free), and the Old Library (about 8 Euro). The campus is also right next to St. Stephens Green park, a nice walk to add to your day.
A large unoccupied prison (now museum) that costs 6 Euro to get in but is a fascinating historical experience. The price of admission comes with a guided tour and you’ll to learn that the prison wasn’t segregated, it was built in 1796, or that prisoners were sent here to die at Kilmainham Gaol for their nationalist ideals among other crimes.
Dublin is a nice city to wander around and has its fair share of touristic destinations. I don’t think any of these places will disappoint particularly if you’ve got a slight inclination toward any of them. There’s also the Old Jamison Distillery and a host of other museums and national buildings to visit in addition to the over 1,000 pubs in the city.
[photos by: (2nd photo) Shadowgate, * mario *, ZaNiaC, Sean Munson]
Nice work mate. I hope to get over to Dublin after I settle in London later this year. Will definitely be checking out these places.
A unique character in Europe and pretty low fares from London although a ferry from the west would be nice as well.
It’s funny, I was in Dublin for a long weekend and I barely made it to any of these attractions. Just the outside of Christchurch Cathedral and Temple Bar (it WAS St. Patrick’s Day). We waited in line to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College but it was too long. Instead of the Guinness Brewery we went to the Jameson Whiskey factory which is slightly cheaper and less of a spectacle. You can also visit the church where Bram Stoker created Dracula, and there is a great statue of Oscar Wilde I know about…
haha, I won’t forget that statue and the picture I associate with it 🙂 I think as Edna mentions, it was much easier to get to each place because of the time of year. There were hardly crowds and school being back in session not many students on holiday.
I tried to make it over to the Jamison factory on your suggestion but unfortunately didn’t have enough time. In another trip I’ll definitely try to make it.
Good points! I was there last month and due to the cold weather, nearly all of these places were empty. It’s really something to get the entire Book of Kells and Trinity College to yourself!
It *was* completely empty, hardly anyone around!
Great photos Anil. Because we are traveling with both dogs, our trips are limited to US and Canada for now. Happy to live in Europe vicariously thru you in the mean time. Please reach out when you get back to US – would love to meet up some where.
Bringing pets in from the US to the EU is probably one of the easiest in terms of paperwork and customs, but of course only if you’ll be here for a while. The plane ride I’m sure is also quite scary for them I’d imagine.
I’ll definitely be in touch when I get around to the east coast, I’ll be in the States for a few weeks May/June time frame 🙂
Out of all of these, the prison really captures my interest! The architecture of it looks amazing. I have a weakness towards the history of prisons and this one looks like it won’t disappoint! After – I’ll of course enjoy my freedom with a stop for a Guinness!
haha, Dublin is the place to celebrate that’s for sure! I’m too fascinated by prisons and other historical buildings where terrible things happened – for the reason that it’s surreal they are now museums. I bet when they were active nobody thought there would be any peace associated with them.
I agree. Prisons hold this ghoulish lure. I felt this presence when visiting Alcatraz. Love how you angled all these attractions towards the budget minded. So many assume Europe is skyhigh, but if you’re smart and read this site, it’s not!
Always! I travel on a tight budget so have to look carefully at prices, especially in Europe where the exchange rate isn’t as kind 🙂
Europe is skyhigh. Generally over here in Europe we pay a lot more for pretty much everything. So even if the exchange rate is more favourable than it was a couple of months or a year back, odds are people coming over from across the pond will still feel that it’s expensive. Sure you may save a hundred or two but taking into account the total cost of the visit (probably a couple of grand) that is not really a significant amount. Sure it’s something but not really worth celebrating over. If you can afford a trip to Europe (or in my case the US) a couple of hundred saved is merely a drop in your financial ocean. I find the whole “weak euro, wohoo, great deals to be had on travel”-argument kind of silly.
It depends on how you travel as well and how long you stay. Maybe somebody really wants to visit Dublin, Paris, or Hamburg for some personal reason – then that several hundred saved might be the difference in them taking the trip.
A week in Europe can be done for less than $1,000. It’s not cheap, but if you’re working in the US can save up for a few months not impossible.
tight budget = uncomfortable
Not necessarily but I suppose it depends on your definition of comfort 🙂
There are a couple of these places that I didn’t get to! Love that shot of the Cathedral, so dramatic. Dublin has such a fun energy and I really like to visit these places and then hunt down the smaller pubs and indulge 🙂 Ah Ireland, between your posts on it and mine…I wanna go back.
I’ve been enjoying your posts on Ireland, especially the last one. It was a great place for inspiration personally.
Oh I just love Dublin. I could move there in a heartbeat. You have a lot of great places on this list. I never even heard of the jail I would definitely check that out when I go back. I loved the sky bar at the storehouse and I really loved Trinity College. I think my favorite thing there was the Book of Kells which was just really cool.
I stumbled upon the school after getting lost again and I’m glad I did when I did. The Storehouse was a favorite of mine too…I love Guinness and rarely drink any other beer so was nice to head to the source 🙂
They do say it’s very difficult to enjoy Europe on a budget. I believe that.
I came across this:
You may find it interesting.
Sound like just a bad day in the link. Can’t like every place all the time.
I enjoyed wandering around Dublin, I got a lot of work done in various cafes and hostels. It was good for me creatively and I loved how comfortable I was there. Too bad it’s not as close to the rest of Europe by road, would be a great place to bunker down for a few months next time I’m in Europe.
Do you ever get a homesick feeling, that drop in your stomach when you see photos or remember a place you love, but didn’t necessarily live? I got that while reading this post. Great photos! I need to get back there.
I have, I’m especially drawn to Istanbul, although I never lived there. The Philippines do that to me to.
instanbul? that’s curious..
anyway dublin is great, so little but enough to keep you entertain ‘n charmed for a weekend. we visited while we were leaving in london, took the train and then the overnight ferry so couldn’t say it was a pleasant journey, i think from london anyone would be better off by plane
I am a bit biased I suppose 🙂 Seems the weather can completely ruin a good ferry ride. Weather in general isn’t one of Ireland’s (or the UK’s) strong suits.
Thanks for this post. I’ve been wanting to do a dark and craggy Ireland trip for some time.
A little more sun and a bit less expensive and it would be perfect. I loved it nonetheless though 🙂
I love that shot of the Kilmainham Gaol. That place wasn’t even on my radar. (Maybe I should be reading that Lonely Planet more closely.)
…or a good Googling!
That’s funny, me and nathan were just talking about taking a trip to dublin, this couldn’t have come at a better time 😉 thanks for the tips!
That’s awesome 🙂 where are you guys now?
Guiness always seems to feature pretty heavily in Dublin!
It really is everywhere. Great marketing by the company, it’s now and integral part of the landscape.
Have I mentioned how much I heart Ireland? This post makes me want to go back. Again and again. Slainte!
Hopefully you’ll get a small taste of it tomorrow St. Patty’s day 🙂
Lovely photos and some great suggestions. The Guinness tour is always popular so I’m sure lots of people like the black drink.
Good tips! The cathedral and the Viking museum look quite interesting. Dublin is on my list, so I will definitely visit these places. 🙂