Insider Tips

Dublin Date Ideas

By Visit DublinDublin's Official Tourism SiteBIO
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​Let's face it, any of us can buy a few roses, order that box of chocolates and send a card. So, this year, why not go that extra mile and say ‘be my Valentine' with some of our best Dublin date ideas and the most romantic things to do in the city...


Dublin Date Ideas

1. Say I love you at the zoo!

Forget buying stuffed animal toys for your lover and take them to visit the real thing! Start Valentine’s Day with a Date Morning at Dublin Zoo with your own special love bird. This over 18’s event includes a delicious breakfast picnic and special talks about the love and mating rituals of the animal kingdom.

Learn even more about animal love with the “Love Gone Wild” tour also running over Valentine’s weekend and let the zoo help you woo!

2. Snuggle up in a Dublin Pub

With over 1,000 pubs in the capital, you’ll have no problem finding a cosy fireside to snuggle up at. Check out Dublin’s Pub of the Year 2015 – Toners – and enjoy the comfort of the snug while you sip on a fine whiskey. Discuss the romantic writings of the literary greats, such as Patrick Kavanagh and W.B. Yeats, who also frequented the pub.

Or step back in time to the vintage chic, speakeasy style atmosphere of the Vintage Cocktail Club and spend the evening sipping on some of Dublin’s finest mixed drinks and feel as great as Gatsby himself. 

Dublin Date Ideas
Dublin Date Ideas

3. On a bicycle made for two!

Could there be anything more romantic than cycling on a bicycle made for two? Put an original spin on dating with Phoenix Park Bike Hire and rent out a tandem to explore the magnificent park. The Phoenix Park is five times the size of London’s Hyde Park, double the size of New York’s Central Park and offers endless locations for a private picnic in perfect peace while wild fallow deer graze close by. Or you could lock up the bike and stroll the ornamental gardens, across broad expanses of grassland or through forests of oak, beech, pine, chestnut and lime.

Top off the whole experience with afternoon tea at the Victorian Phoenix Park Tea Rooms. This charming eatery, dating back to the late 1800s, serves up everything from delicious coffees to freshly baked scones and jam. A perfect way to wrap up a perfect day!

4. A city high point

Get brownie points when you wow your other half with a trip to the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse. It’s a striking and impressive part of the Dublin skyline, hovering above the Guinness Storehouse, offering uninterrupted 360 degree views across the cityscape as far as Dublin Bay. Get a a bird’s eye view on loads of the city’s famous sites such as Croke ParkThe Spire, the River Liffey, as well as vistas to the Dublin and Wicklow mountains.

If you want to make your date extra special, be sure and book the unique Connoisseur Experience, the ultimate Guinness tasting experience for the ultimate Guinness fan!

Dublin Date Ideas
Dublin Date Ideas

5. Dublin's most romantic historic spots

If you like to mix history and romantic tales, Dublin has all sorts of weird and wonderful treasures to visit.
 
Where better to start a pilgrimage to love than with a visit to St Valentine, the patron saint of lovers? Not many people know it but the saint’s remains are found at the Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street, thanks to a gift by Pope Gregory XVI in 1836. If you pay a visit, you’ll find that the Whitefriar Street shrine to St Valentine has been, and continues to be, a place for those celebrating love, and special ‘blessing of the rings’ ceremony for couples intending to marry are held here on St. Valentine’s Day.
 
Another spot you should visit is stunning St Patrick’s Cathedral, where Dean Jonathan Swift is buried. More well known for works like Gulliver’s Travels, Swift is also famous for his love poems composed for his beloved Stella. Stella was the name Swift gave to Esther Johnson whom he tutored, and his relationship with her continues to be one of controversy as some say the pair were secretly married. Long dead now, they rest side-by-side in St Patrick’s.

6. Take a romantic stroll

Love Lane in Temple Bar (beside the Olympia Theatre) is a narrow alleyway dedicated to love! Made up of a combination of handmade decorated tiles and stenciled spray painted sections, the various tiles contain quotes about love inspired by musical and poetic verse, and feature original romantic thoughts from the people of Dublin. The perfect place to accidently stumble upon on Valentine’s Day!
 
Another alternative is the beautiful Iveagh Gardens, among the finest and least known of Dublin's parks and gardens, this gem is often referred to as the ‘hidden garden’. Located south of St. Stephens Green between Harcourt Street and Earlsfort Terrace, the Iveagh Gardens are secluded from the city's noise and bustle. They were designed by Ninian Niven in 1863 and include a rustic grotto, cascade, fountains, maze, rosarium, archery grounds, wilderness and woodlands. Perfect for that romantic stroll!

Dublin Date Ideas
Dublin Date Ideas

7. Get a breath of fresh air on Dublin Bay

If your perfect date is one that embraces life’s simple pleasures, you’ll love a sea kayaking trip with Shearwater Kayaking. And just a short hop from the city on the Dart, Howth is the ideal spot. The minute you reach this charming seaside town with its stunning harbour, hilly streets and colourful fleet of sailing and fishing boats, that cosy loving feeling will abound! Take the Dublin Bay Cruise and you’ll uncover the hidden treasures of the North Dublin coast – the bird life, seals, hidden coves and inlets, rocky outcrops and secluded beaches. Or if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous head out with Fish and Trips from Malahide, catch your own lunch or dinner and BBQ it on the boat! Yum!
 
As you’re by the seaside, for a treat, why not indulge yourself at one of Howth’s famous seafood restaurants like The Oar HouseIvan’sThe DeepAqua or The King Sitric. If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, not to worry. You can still dine in style on excellent fish and chips on the harbour wall opposite Beshoff’s. It’s true you know that food always tastes better in the fresh air!

8. Meander through a market

Amble hand in hand through a market picking up little trinkets or sampling foodie delights. For an international flavour visit Fusion Sunday’s World Culture Market to sample a diverse range of stalls, interactive workshops and live performances. Don’t forget to have a nibble on some of the tasty street food while soaking up a truly global atmosphere. 

Combine Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day with a visit to the Asian Market on Drury Street. Learn about the mysterious ingredients and how to use them while on a guided tour of this exotic supermarket and go home with a free goody bag of samples. 

Dublin Date Ideas
Dublin Date Ideas

9. Fall in love with laughter 

Tickle that someone special’s funny bone with a night of laughter. Catch one of Ireland’s best loved comedians Des Bishop as he makes a comeback to stand up. See his new show, Grey Matters, in Vicar Street.

Or check out some up and coming new comedy talent at the International Comedy Club. Give the gift of giggles this Valentine’s Day!

10. Dine for two... with a view

George Bernard Shaw is quoted as saying "there is no sincerer love than the love of food". Treat your loved one to a beautiful meal and watch your love blossom at Bloom Brasserie

Stir up the Latin lover in you with a sumptuous meal at Sabor Brazil, satisfy your lust for the exotic at Koh Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge or spice up your love life with the exquisite flavours found in Monty’s of Kathmandu

Looking for a special view? Try The Winding Stair with beautiful views of the Ha’penny Bridge, Aqua overlooking Howth Harbour or La Peniche, the floating restaurant on Dublin’s Grand Canal.