Dublin, Ireland is a city a lot of people would love to visit, but also one that can sometimes be hidden in the shadow of the popular destinations of Great Britain. The truth of the matter is that it’s an incredible place to visit in its own right though – and even if you’re visiting London, or touring the Cotswolds, it’s easy enough to make a quick trip to Dublin (either by plane or via a few ferries, like the one from Liverpool).
If you do, these are a few of the things you have to experience while you’re there.
1. Hang out at Temple Bar
There’s an understandable misconception among some that Temple Bar is in fact just a bar. Really, it’s a whole area within Dublin – a neighbourhood or a borough, so to speak. It’s one of the most culturally active and generally enjoyable parts of the city though, to the point that there are whole guides for what to do there – never mind Dublin as a whole! It’s imperative to spend at least a few hours exploring Temple Bar, perhaps with a meal or a few drinks included, and if you’re in Dublin for a longer stay you may want to set a couple nights aside for the area.
2. Read or write at Trinity College
Trinity College is commonly recommended as a sightseeing destination in Dublin, and it’s certainly picturesque. What you really can’t miss though is the chance to explore some of the college’s indoor nooks for reading and writing, which can take you back in time and make you feel like you’re at an exclusive boarding school or something of the like, studying alongside titans of literature. The Trinity College Library, in particular, is almost unspeakably lovely for anyone with an appreciation for reading, writing, and history.
3. Do a distillery tour
It may be something of a stereotype to associate Dublin (or Ireland more broadly) with alcohol, but there’s no escaping the fact that the city has some of the world’s most renowned whiskey distilleries. Jameson is certainly the most well known, and merits a tour from anyone passing through. Even if you’re not a whiskey drinker yourself, you can gain an appreciation for the history of it all, as well as the ties to Irish culture.
4. See sports at Croke Park
Croke Park is the primary sporting venue in Dublin, and an exceptional place to see all sorts of public sporting events: football, hurling, rugby, and more. Sports in Dublin can be fairly major, and in some ways echo the British sporting tradition. Spectators support local teams, and many look to easy-access betting sites online to take part in the action, even if it’s just with a minimal wager or a free bet now and then. As a result of general local fandom and betting interest there can be a lot of enthusiasm on display for matches at Croke Park, making them some of the most enjoyable events in town.
5. Walk the river Liffey & Ha’Penny bridge
The River Liffey flows through Dublin, and as is typical of rivers in major European cities, it provides some very charming places to walk, or simply hang out. That’s not to say ever place along the river is necessarily pretty or pleasant, but for the most part it makes for a good way to explore the city. The Ha’Penny Bridge in particular, and some of the areas around it, can be very pretty and enjoyable. It’s a perfect place to start an evening out, perhaps with a walk in the late afternoon and some exploration of restaurants, bars, and other attractions thereafter.
6. Tour the cathedrals
The churches and cathedrals of Dublin are among the best in any European city, which is certainly saying something. It’s fair to suggest there’s always something somewhat similar about visiting one ancient religious building versus another, but between St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, and even the slightly more off-beat, medieval St. Audoen’s Church, Dublin’s offerings in this category really are quite extraordinary. They’re worth a few hours of touring, though you can also sprinkle them throughout your trip such that you see three or four over the course of a few days.
Keep all of these places on your list and you’ll have the beginnings of a lovely and memorable trip to Dublin.