Insider Tips

Seize Dublin by the Reins

By Visit Dublin

9th February 2017

Dublin is a city that pulses with ancient legends, bursts with history and weaves a tapestry of tales. There’s so much to look at around every corner — from the green, copper and indigo pigments of the Book of Kells in Trinity College, to the gnarled trees of the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin.

But as every traveller knows, there’s a time for looking and a time for doing, a moment for observing and a moment for raising the tempo and springing into action...

To truly get under the surface of the city and understand its nooks and crannies, seize life by the reins and plan an adventure in Dublin to suit you. Whether it’s a hair-raising zipline experience or a relaxing walk in the hills you're after, Dublin can make it happen.

So glance upwards as you kayak under the Ha’penny Bridge, grit your teeth as you bounce by bicycle over cobblestones, and grip the reins with all your strength as you canter through the mountains — we’ve highlighted eight completely different adventure experiences to help you make the most of your holiday in Dublin.

1. Dublin by bike

The capital is tailor-made for cycling — with windy lanes and generous cycle paths, it’s the perfect way to gain a unique perspective of its layout. Leave the car behind and sign up for a guided tour with See Dublin by Bike that takes in everything from Google in Grand Canal Dock to Guinness. Their 'Taste of Dublin' tour will help you discover Dublin’s rich history, folklore and unique atmosphere from the comfort of your saddle. 

For an even more relaxing two-wheeled adventure, try Lazy Bike Tours Dublin. Their series of e-bike tours are led by knowledgeable local guides, who will introduce you to Dublin Castle, Teeling Whiskey, the Guinness Factory, Kilmainham Gaol and a range of other destinations. For some quiet contemplation by bike, escape the hustle and bustle of the city with They offer cycling tours in the Dublin Mountains and Wicklow Hills for individuals and groups, led by multilingual instructors. These local guides use expert local knowledge to navigate quiet country lanes, giving you the chance to explore the beautiful Dublin countryside.

2. Paddle your own canoe

Dublin’s waterways and coastlines are an historic part of the city, and kayaks offer you the chance to see it all from a different angle. City Kayaking offers day and night-time trips through the centre of the city on the River Liffey, with stable sit-on-top style kayaks that are suitable for complete beginners and more seasoned kayakers alike.
Go farther afield with, a boutique kayaking business offering tours of Dublin Bay. Suitable for complete beginners, their tours offer guided visits to Dalkey Island and the chance to get up close and personal with the famous Dalkey seals.

3. Head for the hills

The Dublin mountains are the perfect vantage point from which to take in the true scope of the city. Sign up for one of the many walking options offered by HilltopTreks, from day tours to guided walking holidays, and you’ll see Dublin at your own pace.

4. Take to the treetops

While you’re in the Dublin mountains, take the excitement up a notch with a zipline experience in Tibradden Wood. Zipit offers five circuits, ranging from 1 to 20 metres high, and up to four hours of fun for all ages and abilities. Their Treetop Ropes Adventure Course will have you climbing high into the treetops, swinging into cargo nets and flying down one of their many ziplines in perfect safety.

5. Master the Gaelic games

At the heart of Irish culture lies the Gaelic games, while Dublin’s connection to sport is legendary. Experience Gaelic Games is a unique interactive cultural activity that enables you to learn the mysteries of hurling, Gaelic football and handball in a fun group session. It’s suitable for all ages and abilities, and will have you feeling like a Celtic warrior in no time.

6. Explore Grand Canal Dock

Just a short stroll from Dublin’s Grafton Street and Temple Bar, you’ll find yourself in Dublin’s Docklands, a district full of great amenities, restaurants and adventure activities. Surfdock Watersports Centre offers paddle boarding, windsurfing and kayaking in the heart of the city, with rentals and lessons available. Nearby, Wakedock Wake Park is a cable zipline installed in the docklands and designed for wakeboarding; sign up for a beginner’s or advanced session to experience the excitement.

7. Discover Dublin’s waterways

There’s no end to the excellent range of water sports available in the capital. Pure Magic Dublin offers kitesurfing and stand up paddle-boarding sessions for all abilities; visit world-class water sports locations with them including Dollymount Beach and Howth. arrange exciting group rafting trips on the River Liffey that traverse Dublin’s Strawberry Beds area and a series of weirs; all you need is a towel and a sense of adventure for this two-hour experience.

8. Saddle up in Saggart

Ireland, and indeed Dublin, has a proud equestrian history; tap into the scene on a session at Coolmine Equestrian Academy in Saggart, near the foothills of the Dublin mountains. Ireland’s premier equestrian academy and outdoor leisure centre specialises in horse riding tours, children’s camps and riding holidays. Their horseback tours cover mountain and forest, and will introduce you to local wildlife, including deer and native birds.

For more Dublin-based adventures and operators, visit Adventure Dublin, a diverse group of providers from across the city working together to promote a range of adventure activities for visitors.

Visit Dublin

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