Best attractions in Dublin: Top 30

Dublin’s fascinating and significant attractions are so numerous that it pays to find out useful information about them in advance. Study this review carefully. We will tell you what every tourist should see in Dublin.

What to see in Dublin first?

Whatever period of the year your trip is scheduled for, Dublin guides will advise you to visit the following sites:

1. Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle in Dublin

The beautiful ancient palace was erected at the behest of King J. Unearthly in the 13th century. In that ancient era, the castle was the most modern building in the whole country. Nowadays, meetings of diplomats of international level are held here, and conferences are organized. Reviews of Dublin Castle indicate that it is not often seen from the inside - on those infrequent days when it is not in use for business purposes.

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2. Kilmainham

Kilmainham Prison (Victorian Wing) in Dublin

In earlier times (18th and 20th centuries), the facility served as a prison for political criminals in Ireland. Many executions were carried out in the prison, so the atmosphere is rather grim and oppressive. What might attract you to a trip to Kilmanham? Our recommendations to visit it have to do with the fact that the prison has now been converted into a curious museum - it’s a huge maze with cells for particularly dangerous prisoners.

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3. National Gallery of Ireland

National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin dahon

Where to go in Dublin for art lovers? To the 19th-century National Gallery (the new building was erected in the 20th century). In the exhibition halls you can enjoy the artworks of famous masters of Ireland, Holland, Italy and other European countries. Initially, the museum had about 120 paintings. But later, also thanks to donations, this number has increased significantly.

4. National Botanical Garden

National Botanic Garden Corner

Dublin’s natural attractions are just as interesting as the man-made ones. The garden, which covers 25 hectares, has over 20,000 unique plantings from around the world. The area is divided into themed zones, separated from each other by ponds and colorful canals. Locals and visitors love to stroll the manicured walkways, look at the chic greenhouses, the original alpine slides, and the lush flower beds. Such interesting places in Dublin can be visited at any time of the year.

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5. Irish Museum of Modern Art

Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin

Over 25 years ago, the former 17th century Royal Hospital inaugurated a museum complex dedicated to contemporary art. All the rooms for the accommodation of the sick and the work of the doctors were rearranged for the exhibition of exhibitions. In the cultural center you can look at the paintings of both Irish and foreign artists. There are also regular concerts and theatrical performances.

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Check out Dublin's beautiful places in this great video!

6. Guinness Beer Museum

The Guinness Beer Museum in Dublin Doug Kerr

Even if you’re not a beer lover, these attractions in Ireland are must-visits. You’ll learn about the three-century history of the legendary Guinness brand. Including how a small family brewery became one of the most expensive brands in the world. The museum has a beer restaurant with a great vantage point that allows you to exchange admission tickets for a glass of the drink. If you don’t know what to visit in Dublin but want to have a fun and leisurely time, this is just right for you.

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7. St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin

The largest temple in the state, created in the 12th century. The cathedral complex includes the main building, a beautiful garden, the archbishop’s palace and several other unique objects, such as the statue of D. Swift. Of particular interest is the architecture of the cathedral itself, built in the neo-Gothic style: high arches, artistic carvings on wooden decoration, giant windows. There is an organ inside the temple.

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8. Powerscourt Manor

Powerscourt Estate south of Dublin William Murphy

This famous mansion has never been used as a residential home. Even today it’s still rented out as a company office, an Avoca Village store, and a toy museum. Once a week, tourists are allowed to tour the ballroom. On all other days you can just stroll around the building.

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9. Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park - City Park in Dublin

Speaking of the best sights in Dublin, mention must be made of this extensive green space. In the middle of the 17th century, the hunting grounds of the ruler of the state, the Duke of Ormonde, were located here. Later, beginning in 1745, the park complex was opened to all comers.

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10. Church of Christ

Cathedral of Christ in Dublin

The date of construction of the cathedral is the 11th century. The pristine façade of the church has managed to remain unchanged to this day. As for the interiors, they came down to us as they were restored in the 19th century. One of the sacred treasures kept inside the cathedral is a piece of relics of Archbishop L. O’Toole, who is considered the patron saint of the city.

Dublin sights: what else to visit in Dublin?

Now you know which excursions in Dublin you should book without fail. We have told you about the main attractions of Dublin in brief. In addition to them, the following sites are worthy of our rating:

11. The Irish National Museum of Archaeology

Archaeology Section of the National Museum of Ireland William Murphy

The date of creation is the 19th century. The specimens on display are from the Celtic period - items with forging, crosses, and items on a religious theme. However, there are exhibits from different eras - jewelry, national clothing, ceramics and weapons. As you have already guessed, all things in the collections are related to the history and traditions of Ireland.

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12. St. Stephen’s Green

St. Stephen Green Public Park in Dublin

A 3.5-kilometer park area located in the central part of the city. There are: playgrounds for children, a specially arranged garden for the visually impaired, a beautiful artificial lake, the inhabitants of which are birds. In the warm season, outdoor concerts and holiday festivities are organized. Even the best hotels in Dublin can’t offer as good a time as this one.

13. Croke Park

Croke Park Sports Stadium in Dublin William Murphy

The date of construction of the city’s largest sports arena is 1884. Today it is Dublin’s main stadium, capable of accommodating approximately 82,500 guests. Initially Croke Park was only allowed to host competitions in traditional Irish sports. That strict rule has now been abolished.

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14. Malahide Castle

Medieval Irish Malahide Castle in Dublin

The palace was erected approximately eight centuries ago. Throughout this long period of time it was owned by the Talbot aristocrats. There are several ancient buildings on the grounds at once. It is believed that ghosts live inside the castle, each with its own tragic story. See such attractions is best with a guide. The guide will tell a fascinating history of these places.

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15. Old Jameson Whiskey Distillery

Old Jameson Whiskey Distillery in Dublin borshop

It’s not hard to guess that the legendary Irish drink is made just at this distillery. Tours include tastings. The exhibits are equipment and different gadgets for making and pouring whiskey - tanks, ancient distillers, cubes for distillation. Guests are also invited to look at the brand bottles used by Jameson’s over the years. Almost year-round, the distillery organizes themed gatherings with folk music and quality aged whiskey being poured. If you don’t know what you can see in Dublin in 1 day, come here: it’s a splendid time.

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16. Dublinia Medieval Museum

Dublinia - Medieval Museum in Dublin Henri Sivonen

An archaeological museum complex that tells in a playful format how and what Ireland lived in former times. Exhibit collections with specimens - themed installations (recreated trading ports, streets with buildings, etc.). Any item can be picked up and outfits can even be put on.

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17. The Irish Whiskey Museum

Irish Whiskey Museum in Dublin Steve Moses

The opening date was 2014. The museum, set up in a three-story building, also includes a bar, gift store, and café. Currently, the largest collection of whiskey is stored here, including the most valuable bottles. Some of the samples are interactive (you can use them to see the process of making whisky).

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18. Trinity College

Trinity College is an ancient Dublin college founded by Elizabeth I in downtown Dublin Jowaria

Today Dublin is a picturesque European capital, and Ireland’s best attractions are concentrated here. One of its symbols is Trinity College - the old Dublin University, which is still considered one of the most prestigious universities in Europe, along with Cambridge and Oxford. It was founded at the end of the 16th century, and today its campus in the center of the capital has excellent infrastructure: here there are scientific laboratories, sports facilities, and a huge library - the largest book depository in Ireland, the funds of which are placed in 8 buildings and count more than 4 million volumes. The college has a unique atmosphere: on the one hand it respects centuries-old traditions, and on the other hand it uses the latest teaching methods. This college offers its students more than 400 programs, from art to natural sciences.

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19. National Maritime Museum of Ireland

Exhibits of the National Maritime Museum of Ireland in the former Seamen's Church on High Terrace Miguel Mendez

The maritime element has always fascinated the Irish; the sea was the main breadwinner for them and opened up trade routes to other countries. Therefore, the people of Ireland have been in great awe of the sea and have even devoted a separate exhibition to the maritime theme. The National Maritime Museum of Ireland draws on a fascinating collection of Irish seafaring history. It came into existence in the 1940s, but for many decades its walls hid artifacts from outside view. During that time over 4,000 books on navigation and shipbuilding alone were accumulated here. 40 years later the museum opened its doors to the general public and surprisingly quickly gained recognition. The exposition is located in the historic building of St. Michael’s Church with spires, massive doors, small windows. Here you can see models and blueprints of the sailing ships that once brought food supplies to Ireland, as well as everyday items of sailors - compasses, maps, underwater tubes, and more.

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20. Temple Bar

Many pubs and stores in the iconic Temple Bar area of Dublin

Temple Bar is one of the oldest historic neighborhoods in Dublin, dating back to the 14th century. In 80s of the last century in its old buildings set up entrepreneurs and people of art, but in 90s the city authorities have raised the question about the rehabilitation of the area. So began the active restoration of historic buildings, after which the area has become a popular tourist spot of the capital - most visitors flock to the local restaurants and pubs, bars and nightclubs. It’s streets are transformed in the evening with more animation, music, illuminations and live street performers. But do not forget that the Temple Bar was originally conceived as a cultural center, so next to the drinking establishments can be found the Film Institute, Photography Center, a number of galleries, and on weekends there is a book market.

21. Grafton Street

The lively pedestrian street of Grafton Street in the Irish capital dahon

One of Dublin’s top tourist spots is Dublin’s main street, Grafton Street, named after the first Duke - it was once the site of his estates. It used to be the place of wealthy citizens but today it has become a pedestrian artery of the city. Grafton Street is considered the most expensive shopping street in the world - during the Victorian era it was a mecca of commerce and today you can find luxurious mansions with high-end boutiques and gourmet restaurants here. Another indispensable attribute of Grafton Street - street performances of musicians, poets, jugglers and other artists. By the way, many of them later became real pop stars. The real symbol of Grafton Street is the monument to Molly Malone, the heroine of a folk song. Locals are very fond of the monument, and today local shops offer a variety of souvenirs depicting Molly.

22. National Museum of Ireland

The 19th century National Museum of Ireland on Kildare Street in Dublin Mike Peel

In the city center, near the Irish Parliament, stands the National Museum of Ireland, a modern exhibition space where you can plunge into the history of Ireland and comprehend its culture. This institution opened back in 1877, and originally its exposition consisted of coins, medals, archaeological artifacts, ethnographic and geological evidence. By the end of the last century, the growing collection was no longer housed in one building, and a complex of historic buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, the so-called Collins Barracks, was added to the museum. Today the funds of the National Museum have accumulated about 4 million items, almost half of which belongs to the archeological section - finds from the Celtic and early Viking periods and exhibits from the early Middle Ages are demonstrated here. The true symbols of Celtic art were the Arda chalices, the silver vessels of Derrinaflan, and the jewelry masterpiece, the Tara brooch.

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23. National leprechaun museum

The National Leprechaun Museum is dedicated to the characters of Irish folklore YvonneM

Mysticism, wonders, myths and legends have attracted the Irish since time immemorial, and this has produced many interesting characters. One of them is the Irish Leprechaun, a vivid representative of Irish culture, representing a midget magician with a long beard and a pot of gold. It is hard to find a better place to meet this character than the National Leprechaun Museum. According to the idea of the creators, the museum visitor should not just get acquainted with leprechauns, but also feel himself one of them. To this end, the tour begins with an introduction to leprechauns, then guests are taken to a room describing how the theme of leprechauns has spread in popular culture. Finally, in the experimental room, visitors can imagine themselves as leprechauns and sit on a giant armchair or at a huge table, find themselves in a leprechaun forest, or jump into a magic well and search for the cherished treasure.

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24. Abbey Theatre

Facade of the national Irish Abbey Theatre in Dublin bjaglin

The Abbey Abbey Theatre is Ireland’s first national theater, and its history is inextricably linked to the history of Ireland’s struggle for independence. In the 1920s, a national flag was even planted over the theater’s signboard as a sign of independence, and it was a major event for the townspeople. The theater originally staged local plays about middle-class life, but in the 1950s the building was almost completely destroyed by fire, and it wasn’t until 15 years of endless wandering by the troupe that the theater was rebuilt. After the reconstruction Abbey returned to its original mission, which it adheres to today - the preservation and promotion of the national tradition of Irish drama. Every production here is imbued with love for Ireland, patriotism, and for visitors to the city, visiting this place is a unique chance to get a closer look at the art of this country.

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25. Chester Beatty Library

The building of Ireland's famous Chester Beatty Library and Museum in Dublin William Murphy

The Chester Beatty Exhibit Space has a collection once donated to the state by a famous American businessman. There is a huge collection of medieval manuscripts, ancient scrolls, old books and ancient documents. All in all, it’s not even a library, but a real museum with the rarest exhibits of printed art, among which the oldest one is already 4.5 millennia old! The entire collection is divided into thematic sections. The western section keeps papyrus with biblical texts of the 2nd-4th centuries AD, as well as old Armenian and Western European manuscripts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The Islamic department has hundreds of complete copies of the Koran from different times and thousands of documents and illustrations of Islamic themes. The East Asian collection includes Chinese scrolls and jade books, and the Japanese collection includes works by Japanese artists from the 17th-19th centuries.

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26. Dublin General Post Office

The stately neoclassical Main Post Office building on O'Connell Street in Dublin Kaihsu Tai

Dublin’s Main Post Office is one of the most famous historic buildings in Ireland, along with such structures as Dublin Castle and Christ Church Cathedral. The Main Post Office dates from the early 19th century and is famous for its splendid Georgian façade, with its geometrically regular shapes and intricate decoration. The roof is crowned with sculptural compositions depicting mythological gods. At the entrance you can see another interesting composition depicting the death of Cuchulain, a legendary character of Irish myths. At the beginning of the 20th century the Main Post Office building became a symbol of the Easter Uprising and as a result of the war it was greatly damaged and after the restoration in 1922 a postal museum was opened inside which the most valuable exhibit was the original of the Declaration of Independence of Ireland.

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27. Dublin Needle

View of the Monument of Light monument from O'Connell Street at night in Dublin

The Monument of Light is the official name of the monument better known as the Dublin Needle. The steel monument in the shape of a giant needle was erected in 2003 on the site of the previously blown up monument to Admiral Nelson. The height of the pointed spire is more than 120 meters, the base diameter is about 3 meters, and at the highest point the “needle” narrows to 15 centimeters. The designers of the Dublin Needle promised that it would be a source of national pride, but its construction caused much controversy over the money spent, because the country was in dire financial straits at the time. However, despite the tangible blow to the state treasury, the monument became one of the capital’s new symbols. The spire is made of hollow stainless steel tubes, which have been thoroughly polished, so it has excellent light-reflecting properties.

28. Samuel Beckett Bridge

The Samuel Beckett Bridge over the River Liffey in Dublin Jnestorius

To travel around the Irish capital on your own, we recommend getting a tourist map - it will make it easier to navigate in unfamiliar places. For example, if you look at the sights of Dublin on the map, in its eastern area you can see the bridge connecting the northern and southern banks of the River Liffey, on which the capital is located. This is the Samuel Beckett Bridge, a structure erected in 2009 and named after the famous Irish playwright. It is Dublin’s most modern crossing, the creators of which simply could not help but take advantage of the technology of our time. That’s why the bridge has an unusual design: it has only one pylon with 25 steel cables diverging from it, which hold the roadway, which has lanes for cars and for pedestrians. As a result, the bridge, which resembles a giant harp, can turn on its support toward the shore and allow large vessels to pass.

29. St. Stephen’s Green Park

A bird's-eye view of St. Stephen's Green Park in central Dublin dronepicr

In the heart of Dublin lies one of the city’s most picturesque places, St. Stephen’s Green Park, a favorite of Dubliners and visitors alike. Its history goes back 3.5 centuries, but the park got its present form at the end of the 19th century. Its shape resembles a large, geometrically correct green square surrounded by the stone jungle of the capital, with its historic buildings and shopping complexes. The park has wide walkways along which numerous sculptures of historical figures are laid out. Lawns with greenery and blooming flowerbeds, ponds with waterfowl are scattered around. Among the local attractions is an old Huguenot cemetery from the 17th century. Cultural and festive events are regularly held in the park. There are also cozy cafes and souvenir shops with a wide range of memorabilia.

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30. Dublin Zoo

The inhabitants of the Dublin Zoo at Phoenix Park in Dublin Cargoking

In addition to the famous streets and structures, there are other interesting places in Dublin - for example, within the huge green Phoenix Park sits Ireland’s largest zoo, a great place for families. This is one of Europe’s oldest zoos - since 1830 a large number of birds and animals live here. The whole territory is divided into thematic zones, but this division is relative - for the inhabitants here are recreated conditions as close to nature as possible. So, you can see the animals of African plains, felines, various species of primates, the inhabitants of South America, the Arctic polar regions, reptiles, farm animals and representatives of rare and endangered species. The main pride of the zoo is its large collection of birds, where you can find a wide variety of feathered birds, from penguins and ostriches, to rhinoceros birds and Indian peacocks.

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We hope that those attractions in Dublin, photos with names and descriptions of which we have now given, you will see to visit in person. Read also about attractions of Belfast and be inspired for further travel in Ireland.

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