Insider Tips

11 Ways to Explore Dublin’s Docklands

By Visit Dublin

27th July 2020

Whether you’re on the hunt for adventure or looking to get up close and personal with the capital’s rich history, Dublin’s Docklands has a few surprises up its sleeve for any day trip to the city. It’s probably been a while since you were last in this part of town, so make the most out of your day out.

These are the top 11 things to do in the fair city.

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

Start off right by getting to grips with Ireland's history at EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum. Feel what it means to be Irish come alive through imaginative visual and audio displays in the historical setting of the listed industrial CHQ Building. Swipe through video galleries, dance through motion sensor quizzes and listen to remastered audio from 100 years ago to learn about the Irish emigrants who became scientists, politicians, poets and even outlaws abroad.

The Irish Family History Centre


In the same building, trace your own Irish ancestors in Ireland and across the world at The Irish Family History Centre. Embark on a journey of discovery with one of the Centre’s genealogists who can help you trace your family’s heritage, whether you’re brand new to family history or an experienced researcher. To get the most out of your visit, do your homework on family birth, death and marriage dates before you arrive, to help you get a deeper understanding of your relatives’ pasts.

Harbourmaster Bar & Restaurant


Continue your journey back in time with a trip to the Harbourmaster Bar and Restaurant, a two minute walk away. You can’t ask for a better setting for a bite to eat than this 1830s former harbourmaster’s house, filled with gorgeous nooks and crannies for a perfectly spaced out dining experience. The chicken wings, and of course, their seafood offerings, come highly recommended.

Urban Brewing


Or, if you’d prefer a local craft brew after your historical deep dive, stay in the CHQ Building where Urban Brewing offers unique beers brewed on-site, alongside a vast menu of over 200 selected beers from around the world and an exciting cocktail list. Opt for a tasting tray to sample a few of these Dublin beers, or explore their perfectly paired ‘Taps and Tapas’ menu if you’re feeling peckish.

The Jeanie Johnston


Follow in the footsteps of those who fled the famine when you climb on board The Jeanie Johnston. Experience a famine ship firsthand as you meet a humanitarian captain, a noble doctor, a pregnant woman, a mother and her children searching for her husband, and two terrified orphans trying to survive the journey. Imagine the voyages our ancestors made as you fully explore the incredible tall ship.

Surfdock Watersports School & Surf Shop


If you’re feeling adventurous, you won’t have to travel far from home to get your adrenaline fill when Surfdock Watersports School covers all watersports bases. Pull on a wetsuit and join the craic in the river basin at the heart of Grand Canal Dock. Try your hand at surfing, windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), wakeboarding, kayaking and more, and see Dublin’s fair city in a new light from the water. Bring the young ones with you, it’s a great buzz for the whole family.

Wakedock Ireland


Don’t stray too far from the water as there’s even more adventure to be had. Wakedock is Ireland’s first cable wakeboard park, and no experience is required. In cable wakeboarding, the cable replaces the boat and pulls you along the course. There’s no messing around swimming back to the start if you fall off, as the operator can drive the cable back to you so you have maximum fun on the water.

BrewDog Dublin Outpost


With a gorgeous outdoor terrace and huge indoor space around the corner from the basin, enjoy a pint and the infamous chicken wings in BrewDog’s Dublin Outpost. You’ll immediately feel like you’re on your holiers at this craft brew spot overlooking the water. Not sure where to start with their extensive menu? Book in for their Beer School – they’ve reduced the numbers on each guided beer tasting to keep things safe, while still ensuring a full education in pints.

Windmill Lane Recording Studio Tour


Visit an iconic building in Dublin’s Docklands, Windmill Lane Recording Studio, home to the production of some of the most celebrated albums and songs of the past 40 years. Take the tour to learn the amazing history of these world famous studios and the artists that have recorded there, from U2 to The Rolling Stones, Metallica to Lady Gaga and many more. It’s still a working studio, so cross your fingers you might catch someone you love recording the day you visit.

Escape Boats

Get ready for a good laugh from the moment you hop aboard the Escape Boats, Ireland’s first escape room on a boat. With two games to choose from, prepare to fully immerse yourself as you crack codes and solve mysteries to escape the perils of the Zorg Ella boat. Suitable for groups as small as 2 and as big as 10, you’ll all need to get in on the action to escape within the hour.

3FE coffee

It would be a crying shame to leave the Docklands without grabbing a coffee at one of Dublin’s original and most well-known indie coffee houses, 3FE, in their main HQ. Famous for their tasty espressos, you’ll be hard-pressed not to be tempted by a treat or two from the counter to accompany your perfect brew.

There’s boatloads to see and do in our capital, but you won’t regret dedicating a day to just exploring Dublin’s Docklands. Explore on foot or be led through the historic streets on a bicycle with The Lazy Bike Tour Limited.

Wherever you see the COVID-19 Safety Charter symbol, you’ll know those businesses are committed to ensuring you have the safest visit possible. The only question left is when you’re making a break for the city!

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