Free Walking Tour
Get to know the city with a free walking tour. This is a really good way to get to know the city and see the main sites. The tours run several times a day and you can simply turn up. The three hour walking tour will take you to several points around the city with a local guide who has expert knowledge on the area and Dublin’s history. We did our walking tour with Dublin Free Walking Tour. Depending on which tour you join you may get either the North side tour or the South Side. A coffee break is included!
Traditional Irish Pub Tour
After spending the day getting to know the area, try a Traditional Irish Pub Tour or an Irish Beer Tasting Tour. Our guide from the walking tour also ran an evening pub tour. These are a little off the beaten track in a more traditional Irish pub where the locals would drink. You will have the option to have some wonderful Irish food!
Guinness Storehouse Tour
Is any trip to Dublin complete without visiting the Guinness Storehouse? Guinness is Ireland’s most famous beer which began its production in the heart of Dublin. Although it is no longer in production here, the Storehouse is a museum containing all the facts and history about Guinness. You even get a voucher for a free Guinness, and the chance to become a certified Guinness pint pourer! On the 7th floor there is a rooftop bar with panoramic views of Dublin. A wonderful place to have a pint!
Temple Bar & Camden Street
Now you have a taste for Guinness it might be a good idea to head over to Temple Bar. Temple Bar is an old cobbled street renovated into a popular and creative food and drink spot for tourists. It’s best to go in the afternoon as it gets extremely busy on a night. Pubs like The Temple Bar have live music on all day including some traditional Irish folk type music. As nice as Temple Bar is, the prices are high and they seem to get higher as the night goes on. Try heading down to Camden street which is a little more relaxed (as are the prices). Here there are some nice restaurants and pubs
- Against the Grain – Good craft ales, pub that doesn’t sell Guinness!
- Camden Brews and Bites – Great food and great cocktails at reasonable prices
- Camden Exchange – Good drinks and street food
Take a Day Trip
Take a day trip from Dublin. There are plenty to choose from: Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, The Giant’s Causeway. I opted for The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Most of these tours are full day trips and they will start early, finish late, and visit various locations.
The Giant’s Causeway Tour started at 6:30am and we returned to Dublin at 8:30pm. The tour included:
- The Dark Hedges – a road lined with huge 300 year old beech trees featuring as the King’s Road on the Game of Thrones series. Apparently the life expectancy of a beech tree is 150 years – so these ones are particularly special.
- The Giant’s Causeway – 40,000 basalt rock pillars formed by lava cooling in an unusual way 60 million years ago. Irish folklore tells a story of the Irish Giant Finn McCool building the Causeway to Scotland to fight with another Giant.
- Carrick-A-Reed Rope Bridge – just a few miles from the Giant’s Causeway. The walk to the rope bridge takes you over the picturesque cliffs of Ballycastle. The rope bridge connects the main land with a small island. From here you can see Scotland in the distance – it’s only 15 miles away!
- Cushendall – a seaside village with a goat named Arlene. This caves in this quiet village are now known as another Game of Thrones filming location.
- Belfast – The capital city of Northern Ireland and a halfway stop on the way back to Dublin. With only a short time here it’s best to catch a glimpse of the beautiful City Hall building and then try out on of the restaurants or bars nearby.
Our tour operator was Finn McCools Tours and we were picked up from Dublin City Gallery at Hugh Lane. Close by here there is a fantastic Irish bar called Murrays with great food and traditional Celctic music and dancing every night.
Whiskey Distillery Tours
Besides Guinness, there is more than enough whiskey in Ireland. Dublin has two distilleries you can visit: Teeling and Jamesons. Alternatively you can try the Irish Whiskey Museum located just next to Trinity College. All of the above have whiskey tasting experiences included with a distillery tour. Jameson’s offers an interactive and in depth experience with an extremely knowledgeable guide. As with the Guinness tour, this one also comes with a complimentary drink at the bar afterwards!
Museums and Parks
Dublin has quite a few free museums and parks to walk around. I spent an afternoon roaming around a few of these. If you’re a fan of art then there are several free art galleries. Dublin also has a string of history museums. Although it wasn’t really what I was expecting! The National History Museum was two floors of taxidermy animals, essentially someone’s ‘trophy’ collection. Everything from pandas to sea slugs!
Here are some of the free museums:
- National Gallery of Ireland
- National Archaeology Museum
- National History Museum
- Hugh Lane Gallery
- Dublin Museum of Modern Art
Or if you’d prefer to be outside there are plenty of parks to walk around in the city:
- St Stephens Green
- Ivenagh Gardens
- Phoenix Park
- National Botanic Gardens
Originally written for adventuresofaginger.co.uk.
Photo by Donaldytong – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7196082