Dublin tours recommended
Before talking to you in more detail about what to see in Dublin, I would like to recommend the tours managed by two important portals related to guided tours: Civitatis and GetyourGuide.
DUBLIN PASS: Dublin is quite expensive, if you want to enjoy it to the fullest I suggest you to buy the DUBLIN PASS that will allow you to save. You have included almost all of Dublin's attractions, including the Guinness Storehouse (which alone would cost € 25) and more skip the line in all places covered by the Dublin Pass. If that link doesn't work, I suggest you this other link where you can buy the same service.
Walking tour: if you want to be "accompanied" by someone who tells you the best of Dublin, then you can evaluate a Walking Tour , 3 hours to discover the city.
Guinness Storehouse Tickets: a must buy first. The classic ticket can be found at € 25 and includes a pint of Guinness -> or there is another really interesting and more particular experience. It is the tasting of various types and declinations of Guinness, a unique experience that you can buy ONLY HERE and you will do it directly in the Guinness factory.
When to visit Dublin?
Well, if you can find affordable airline tickets… al 17 March, or rather, during that week, when the city changes its appearance and is filled with people for the feast of the patron saint, Saint Patrick. If, on the other hand, you want to see Dublin more calmly, you can choose any other season / period, perhaps avoiding only the winter ones.
How to get from Dublin airport to city center?
AIRLINK: Simple! Service Airlink it's really comfortable. They are double-decker buses that depart and arrive at bus shelters just outside Dublin Airport. They pass both of the Terminal 1 that the Terminal 2. Airlinks are the number 747 and the 757. The difference is the path they take.
Caution: only 747 passes through O'Connel Street.
tickets: they cost 7€ for an adult traveler and can be bought directly at the shelters. I recommend, however, to buy them DIRECTLY HERE because there are often many people waiting and you risk having to wait for the next one.
If you want to see the route, there is a handy map you can find: HERE for 747, HERE for 757.
DIRECT TRANSPORT: nothing more comfortable than being accompanied at any time directly to your hotel. Highly recommended, especially for evening arrivals. CLICK HERE to see the types of transfers.
CAB: as soon as you leave Dublin airport, you will find on your right some people in a queue that is disposed of little by little. This is the queue to take the taxi. Obviously, for those traveling alone or as a couple, the cost is quite prohibitive compared to the airlink. For those who travel with their family or prefer more comfort, then it becomes the ideal solution. It's great if, like me, you arrive at Dublin Airport on an evening flight.
What to see in Dublin?
From my point of view I think you see Dublin in three days is the right compromise; two days would be fine, but the risk would be not to enjoy the atmosphere well. Personally I was in Dublin for two days, but I would have gladly added another.
I want to suggest you a hypothetical itinerary on foot through the central districts of Dublin, assuming starting from O'Connel Street, the main street of the city.
1 - O'Connel Street: Dublin's main street
This is the large avenue that divides the city in half. To the right and left, big brands, department stores, cafes that offer every good thing and above all a lot of those shops that sell the classic Irish souvenirs. It is a kind of franchise that will accompany you everywhere in your wanderings in the city of Dublin. Try to count them, there are so many that you will lose count!
Walking south, and then towards the River Liffey which cuts Dublin in two, you will encounter two city symbols: The spire, a steel monument in the shape of a needle 120 meters high and, at the end of the street, right near the watercourse, the statue of Daniel O'Connel to which the entire avenue is dedicated.
2 - Trinity College: one of the most important universities in the world
It is useless to introduce you. I guess you've already heard of the Trinity College of Dublin. Just across the river, you will find this prestigious university which holds a huge cultural treasure of immeasurable charm.
Founded in 1592 it is still one of the most famous universities in the world where people of the caliber of Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett studied. Walking among tourists and possible new faces of the future world landscape, I recommend heading towards what turns out to be absolutely one of the things to see in Dublin: The Old Library.
If you like libraries, if you like books, you will feel in heaven here. 64 meters of oak arches containing infinite quantities of books. It would probably take 100 lifetimes to read all the 200.000 volumes it contains. You will be amazed. Inside the Trinity College library, you can also admire the famous Book of Kells, manuscript containing the four gospels written in Latin.
BUY HERE the entrance ticket skip the line for the library!
3 - Ha 'Penny Bridge: Dublin's iconic bridge
If there is one widely photographed place of interest in the city, it is theIt has' Penny Bridge, the third stop of this guide for visit Dublin. It is only a few hundred meters from Trinity College. In this way you will also pass in what turns out to be the most famous district of Dublin: Temple Bar.
Built in 1816 the Ha 'Penny Bridge connects the two banks of the River Liffey. You may wonder why the name "Penny" ... when it was built, those who wanted to cross the bridge had to pay "half a penny", simpler than that ... (imposed until 1919).
4 - Temple Bar: where to spend at least one evening
Who has never heard of the Temple Bar district from Dublin, raise your hand… well even if you raise it I don't believe you. Temple Bar is very famous. Do you know the classic atmosphere of Irish pubs and the sound of guitars alternating with the placing of large mugs of beer? Well, here it reaches the nth degree. If you want to visit Dublin at its best, you will have to explore the neighborhood, full of small streets, galleries and exhibition spaces. But most importantly, you will have to pass at least one night in a pub of Temple Bar.
Here, compared to other Irish pubs I've visited, you don't feel the genuine warmth of the Irish people alone. Dublin is a capital, full of tourists, it is very different from being a stone's throw from the sea in a remote pub Doolin, a few steps from the stunning Cliffs of Moher. Despite this, Temple Bar is a certainty, not only in the evening but also during the day. Why not enjoy a beer at 11 am with some guitar strumming in the background !?
Temple Bar is a real neighborhood and is said to be named after Mr. William Temple who settled in this part of Dublin during his tenure as rector of Trinity College.
If you want to try something special, it exists this evening tour discovering the 5 pubs in Dublin.
5 - Dublin Castle: or rather a palace?
Forget the classic idea of a medieval castle. I was a little disappointed with Dublin Castle. Take the concept of a castle out of your mind and replace it with the idea of a palace, a stronghold that has held British power for 700 years. The building can be visited for € 10. Personally, I think there are more interesting places to see in Dublin. However, if the cultural / museum part has a decisive weight for you, you cannot miss a visit.
For further information on Dublin Castle, you can use this Wikipedia link.
6 - The Cathedral of Christ Church
Even now, I remember well when I entered this cathedral. There was a choir of boys and girls intent on preparing songs, perhaps in preparation for the next day which was Sunday. We sat listening to them for about ten minutes, living a bit like a Dublin Docg, beautiful.
Later I found out that this cathedral comes often used for concerts, given the atmosphere that can be created inside.
The building is quite interesting, both outside and inside and in the underground part of the medieval crypt, where very precious goods and finds are kept.
This cathedral of undoubted charm è the oldest in Dublin and was built on the structure of a Viking church founded in 1037. Whether due to changes in historical times (and therefore architectural styles), or for accommodation due to prolonged dilapidation, Christ Church Cathedral has undergone numerous renovations. What we can now see is a very distant ancestor of the original cathedral, of which some reference can only be found in the crypt.
This cathedral is a must-see in Dublin. Do not miss. HERE find the entrance ticket at € 6,5.
7 - St. Patrick's Cathedral
Just walk a few hundred meters from Christ Church Cathedral to reach another Dublin icon: the St. Patrick Park and St. Patrick's Cathedral, the patron saint of Dublin.
This cathedral was also built between 1191 and 1270 on top of an existing one. It is said that St. Patrick here baptized the Celtic chieftains (click here for further information) and for this reason it is one of the most iconic Christian places in Dublin.
There are numerous legends about the Cathedral of St. Patrick, such as that of a dispute between the supporters of the Earl of Kildare and that of Ormond, during which the Cathedral becomes the refuge of the latter's nephew. The episode is also linked to the Irish proverb "to chance your arm"Because of the vicissitudes that led the Earl of Kildare to end the conflict in a completely peaceful way, although risky for his arm ...
You will understand better when you visit the cathedral and you will find this anecdote in the information booklet, which will also point out that the building "houses" over 500 relics of famous Irish people.
8 - Guinness Storehouse: another Dublin institution
Let's talk about Ireland, let's talk about legends, talk about pubs and we haven't talked about beer yet, Guinness?
Impossible to visit and see Dublin without passing by at least 2/3 hours in the Guinness factory. Even if you don't like beer, it's a Dublin institution. Certainly a tourist attraction, and as such quite an artifact. This shouldn't stop you from having an interesting experience and drinking one, or rather more than one, glass of Guinness on the top floor of the Guinness Storehouse.
7 floors of an ode to beer. Dark, please!
Famous all over the world, here Guinness reaches the otherworldly state, it is praised… in hindsight I would say. Guinness has a particular production process which is widely explained within the 7 floors of the factory. This place is the first, dated establishment 1759, In which Arthur Guinnes began producing the most famous of the many Irish beers.
From the ingredients, to the production process, to the production of the barrels complete with an explanatory video, up to the advertisements that made Guinness famous, all in 7 floors minus 1. In fact, the top floor is dedicated to a nice drink of beer with a great view over Dublin, not bad I would say.
Included in the visit: there is also the possibility of becoming "taps for a beer". To tell the truth, it almost looks more like an assembly line for tourists, but, even if done in a decidedly hasty way, the tapping experience with attached certificate is a nice thing to do.
Caution: A pint of Guiness is also included in the price of the visit. The advice is therefore to visit Dublin with someone who doesn't like beer, so the second free pint is guaranteed. Obviously I am joking.
Visiting hours: every day from 9.30 to 19.00 (with last admission at 17), while in July and August the closing passes from 19.00 to 21.00 / with last admission at 19).
TICKETS: To avoid queues or various problems, I recommend you and buy the entrance tickets directly.
How to get to the Guinness Storehouse?
It is true, at the beginning of the article I told you that it would be a walking itinerary. Indeed it is, but to achieve the Guinness factory from the Cathedral of San Patrizio, the walk will not be short. Alternatively you could take thebus 123 (if you don't have the Dublin Card Pass you can buy the ticket directly on the bus) and possibly ask the driver to kindly indicate the correct stop.
More things to visit in Dublin
As I told you, in Dublin you could easily spend three days without any problem and taking the necessary beer breaks.
To the itinerary I have suggested you could add:
- Grafton Street: once you're done visiting Dublin, you can immerse yourself in this shopping street.
- Old Jameson Distillery: ten years have passed since my trip to Scotland and from the visit to the Whiskey distillery. Unfortunately I was unable to visit the Dublin distillery, but if you are a whiskey enthusiast, don't miss it visit the Old Jameson , present since 1780.
- Molly Malone statue: another Dublin icon. A statue dedicated to Molly (or Mary) Malone. Legend has it that she was a girl with a double life. Fishwife during the day, prostitute at night. Although for some inhabitants of the city she is defined as “the whore”, for tourists she has become a lucky charm. You can find it at the intersection of Suffolk Street and St. Andrew's Street.
- The National Gallery: museum lovers? You shouldn't miss the National Gallery and the 13.000 works housed inside. It is located within walking distance of Trinity College.
See Dublin in two days?
1 day: O'Connel Street, Trinity College, Ha 'Penny Bridge, Dublin Castle and Christ Church Cathedral and a must-see evening in Temple Bar.
2 day: St. Patrick's Cathedral, Guinness Storehouse and Grafton Street.
See Dublin Dublin in three days?
1 day: O'Connel Street, Trinity College, Ha 'Penny Bridge, Dublin Castle, Grafton Street and a must-see Temple Bar evening.
2 day: and Christ Church Cathedral, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Guinness Storehouse towards closing.
3 day: National Gallery, Merrion Square, relax at St Stephen Green and Old Jamerson Distillery.
Excursions (in Spanish) from Dublin
There could be countless excursions from the capital Dublin to all other Irish destinations. But there is one that you cannot forget to do: the excursion at Cliffs Of Moher, directly from Dublin and thanks to this organized tour that I propose. CLICK HERE to find out and buy it.
Another excursion interesting it might be the one in Belfast and the fantastic Giant's Causeway (read also: discover the Giant's Causeway) or the one in Connemara I told you about in the post on like visiting Connemara.