Insider Tips

Alternative Ways to Enjoy Dublin

By Visit Dublin

7th April 2020

Human beings are naturally social and curious, but as the global COVID-19 situation continues to unfold and we're mindful of keeping ourselves and others safe, we need to find the best ways to exercise not just our bodies... but also our imaginations.

We’ve found some of the best ways to sharpen minds and raise spirits – all while remaining socially responsible!

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Go on a virtual tour

Closed doors needn’t mean you miss out on some of Dublin’s most loved tourist attractions. Thanks to virtual tours, you can still get your history fix at EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum, Glasnevin Museum, National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology and Dublinia. Alternatively, find your favourite work of art at the National Gallery of Ireland; learn about the 'little people' with a Facebook tour of the Leprechaun Museum; discover more about our capital city thanks to The Little Museum of Dublin or find out about the history of Kilmainham Gaol thanks to a behind-the-scenes look on Facebook.

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Enjoy a digital exhibition

With galleries not currently open to the public, many exhibitions have moved online. Trinity College Library, IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) and the National Gallery are all offering talks with artists and curators or exhibitions. The MoLI (Museum of Irish Literature) has launched RadioMoLI featuring 24/7 broadcasting of newly commissioned writing, discussion interviews, radio plays and documentary.

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Read a good book

If we’re staying away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s time to use our imaginations – and sometimes that needs a little creative prompting. What better way to ‘live’ the streets of Dublin than through the pages of our finest authors’ novels? Dublin will come alive for you in the vividly descriptive passages to be found in James Joyce’s Ulysses, Flann O’Brien’s At Swim Two Birds, and other classics. Read about five novels set in Dublin.

Or submerge yourself in books through a virtual tour of the National Library of Ireland, join in their storytelling Zooms, or enjoy a wonderland of priceless manuscripts and books at the Chester Beatty.

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Try some tasty tipples

The distilleries may not be open to the public at the moment, but you can still learn about the story of whiskey at one of Dublin's finest. Take a virtual tour of Teelings Distillery to discover their history and the processess they use. Learn about the history of the drink known as uisce beatha at the Irish Whiskey Museum and do a virtual tasting class with their Whiskey Lock-in.

But if tea is more your, um, cup of tea, why not pour yourself a brew and listen in to the Teatime Talks from 14 Henrietta Street. This museum shows how life has changed in the city from the house's Georgian Townhouse days through to tenement times and tells the stories of the people who lived there down the years. 

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Watch the Dublin Zoo webcams

Tune into the live animal cams at Dublin Zoo to see penguins enjoy their lunch, swim and play; watch the giraffes, rhinos, ostrich and zebras peacefully roam the African Savanna; and see the noble herd of Asian elephants in the Kaziranga Forest Trail. This activity is a fun learning experience that's suitable for all ages.

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See the sights from home 

Check out Dublin’s most instagrammed landmarks and follow the #LoveDublin hashtag on Instagram to see how a multitude of talented photographers have captured the essential beauty of our capital. And why not bookmark the images to create a bucket list for when we’re all out and about again? Now is a unique opportunity to thoroughly plan future jaunts around the city!

While you’re at it, see some of Dublin’s most famous statues come alive online in 3D: Molly Malone, George Bernard Shaw and James Joyce.

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Inspire the kids

It can be difficult to keep little ones entertained at home, and the Museum of Literature Ireland website has just the activity for entertaining your bright sparks. There’s a daily 'Creativity Hour' providing writing prompts and tips – perfect for the budding authors in your household.

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Indulge in the arts

Join 50 of Ireland's actors as they present monologues written for them by 50 writers as part of the Abbey Theatre's "Dear Ireland" project. With artwork from street artist Maser, music by Ray Harmon and contributions from writers as varied as Blindboy, Edna O'Brien and Dermot Bolger, combining with the acting talents of Brendan Gleeson, Nicola Coughlan and others, it truly is a theatrical treat. 

If music is more your thing, check out the online events and talks hosted by the National Concert Hall or if you have children who enjoy a more hands-on approach to the arts, why not tune in to some of their story and song sessions aimed at the little ones. 

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Become a history buff online

For those with an archivist's soul, images and information about the National Museum of Ireland's Historical Collections are available online. This virtual treasure trove of objects provides hours' worth of fascination, and features Ireland's Historical, Military and Easter Week Collections.

Throughout the spring, though we've been looking after ourselves by staying in we've also enjoyed some of Dublin's best-loved sights from home... and we'll continue to do so! But with restrictions now easing, we can now head out to explore our nearby areas responsibly, embark on local days out and make some long-awaited summer plans.

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