Dublin is an enchanting city, teeming with history, culture and attractions. Sightseeing in Dublin is a very enjoyable experience as the city is compact and easy to get around.
Here are just 10 of Dublin’s attractions to start you on your way…
· Trinity College
Trinity College is located at College Green in the heart of the city centre, so it should definitely be at the top of your sightseeing itinerary!
It was founded by Queen Elizabeth in 1592 and not alone is it the oldest university in Ireland, but it’s also one of seven ancient universities in the English speaking world (according to Wikipedia).
The library at the college is the largest library in Ireland and the most famous book to be found here is the Book of Kells. It can be seen on display in the Old Library along with other ancient text books. The Book of Kells is regarded as the oldest manuscript in the world as it was created by monks around 800AD!
More information on Trinity College
· Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol is located in Inchicore, just at the edge of Dublin city. This former prison is a great place to start if you want to learn about Irish history.
This famous prison which was built back in 1796, played a significant part in Irish history. It was here that Nationalist and Republican leaders were imprisoned and where many leaders of the 1916 Rising were executed like James Connolly.
Some famous Irish figures who were imprisoned here include Charles Stuart Parnell, Joseph Plunkett, and Eamonn De Valera 3rd President of Ireland, who was, in fact, the last prisoner in the jail before it closed in 1924.
More information on Kilmainham Gaol
· Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle stands proudly in the oldest part of Dublin city – the Christchurch area. The original castle was first built by King John of England as a defensive structure and it was the head of British rule in Ireland until about 1922.
The castle has played a huge part in Irish history from the disappearance of the Irish Crown Jewels from the castle back in 1907, to state ceremonials and inaugurations.
The castle is a huge attraction nowadays and is still the venue for many EU meetings and concerts. The castle is also home to the Chester Beatty Library.
More information on Dublin Castle
· Guinness Storehouse
No visit to Dublin is complete without a visit to the home of the ‘black stuff’. A tour of this museum will give you an incredible insight in the making and brewing of Guinness.
The Guinness story will take you from it’s very beginning step by step through the brewing process. At the end of the guided tour, you will be at the seventh floor in the Gravity Bar overlooking the city while enjoying a nice creamy complimentary pint of Guinness.
More information on the Guinness Storehouse
· Dublin Zoo
Dublin Zoo is Ireland’s largest zoo and is located in the Phoenix Park, just west of the city centre.
It claims to be one of the oldest scientific zoos in the world and is home to over 235 different species of animal and bird. The zoo is divided up into different ‘themed’ areas such as a Reptile House, World of Cats, Pet Corner, African Plains and World of Primates to name a few.
Dublin Zoo is open all year round and is both an educational and fun day out for all the family.
More Information on Dublin Zoo
· Irish Museum of Modern Art
If you’re a fan of modern and contemporary art, then this is for you. The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) is located in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham close to Hueston Station.
The museum hosts many exhibitions on a regular basis and has a total of about 4,500 works of art in its collection.
More information IMMA
· Croke Park & GAA Museum
The GAA Museum can be found at Croke Park in Drumcondra, just north of Dublin city centre. Croke Park is the 4th largest stadium in the EU and is headquarters of the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) in Ireland.
Take a tour of the museum and learn about the birth, growth and development of gaelic football and hurling in Ireland and how they became the cornerstone of communities the length and breath of the country.
Croke Park is one of the most modern sporting arenas in the world and due to the redevelopment of Lansdowne Road, Croke Park has recently been opened to soccer and rugby. It has also hosted some major concerts like Westlife, Bon Jovi, Robbie William and The Police.
Find out more about the GAA Museum & Croke Park
· Christchurch Cathedral
The magnificent Christchurch Cathedral can be found in the Christchurch area of the city and is the oldest of two medieval cathedrals in the city, the other being St. Patrick’s.
This cathedral has a long and fascinating history. Its origins date back as far as 1038, when a Danish Viking built a church here overlooking a nearby Viking settlement.
The cathedral contains the tomb of Strongbow (also know as Richard de Clare who led the Norman invasion of Ireland) and a large crypt where visitors can see many interesting historical features.
More information on Christchurch Cathedral
· National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland is made up of cultural, historical and artistic collections, which are exhibited in three different buildings in Dublin city centre.
The National Museum of Decorative Arts and History is located at Collins Barracks just west of the city close to Hueston Station. This museum is home to a wide range of artefacts the most important being a Chinese Vase dating back to about 1300AD!
The National Museum of Archaeology and History is located on Kildare Street in the city centre, not far from Merrion Square. This museum houses up to 2 million archaeological artefacts that have been found all over Ireland, the most significant being the Tara Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice.
The National Museum of Natural History is located in Merrion Square in the city centre and is really a zoological museum with about 10,000 animals on display. Here you’ll see an exhibition of some rare Irish animals and some of Ireland’s wildlife.
· Malahide Castle
The beautiful Malahide Castle and Demesne can be found in Malahide, a coastal area about 14km north of the city centre.
The castle originated back in 1185 when Mr. Richard Talbot who accompanied Henry II to Ireland was granted lands in Malahide. The Talbot family managed to keep this castle down through the years for almost 800 years!
Today, portraits of this distinguished family can be seen in the Great Hall.
Malahide Castle is a great day out for all the family. It boasts two major attractions – Tara’s Palace, an impressive doll’s house construction, which is said to have taken 10 years to build, and the Fry Model Railway, a fantastic display of miniature railways.
More information on Malahide Castle
These are just some of Dublin’s attractions that you should not miss out on when in Dublin! What is your favourite Dublin attraction? Please feel free to add more Dublin attractions to this list by using the comment box below.