Insider Tips

Different Things to Do in Dublin

By Visit Dublin

12th October 2016

Think you know Dublin? Think again! From wild watersports in the heart of the city, to flirting with the occult (yep, you heard us), there’s much more to do in Dublin than you might expect...

Wakeboard in Silicon Docks

Whether you’re a nervous wakeboarding newbie or a skilled and seasoned veteran, the sheltered surrounds of Silicon Docks – so called because it’s the European home of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Airbnb – is the place to go. The lovely folk at Wakedock, a cable wakeboard park in the enclosed harbour, will take you onto the water where you’ll see the bustling square and impressive architecture from a totally different point of view. Smugly waving at those heading back to work from lunch hour is strictly optional!

Cable wakeboarding image via Wakedock
2 images: Wakedock and Zipline in Dublin

Zip through the woods

Feel alive as you get in touch with nature in vigorous fashion with ZipIt Forest Adventures near the Dublin Mountains. Based in Tibradden Wood, ZipIt is your passport to a wild aerial adventure as you climb high into the treetops, swing into cargo nets and zipline through the woods, taking in spectacular views of the surrounding Dublin City as you do. All ages and abilities are encouraged to give it a go, so whether it’s your first time strapping into a harness or you’re the kind of thrill-seeker who thinks of the sky as their second home, zip along.

ZipIt image via ZipIt

Enjoy the spontaneous

Pop culture has become ‘Pop-Up’ culture in recent years with events centred around food, films, music and other fun activities dotted around the city. Mega-popular Dublin collective Happenings was set up by a group of fun-loving creative types and you’ll find them regularly whipping up a frisson of outdoor shenanigans across the city; enjoy classic movies at their outdoor cinema pop-ups, or get your zen on at a yoga class in the park. Elsewhere, Dublin Pop Up combine creative space with mouthwatering delights in bespoke dining experiences, while Ranelagh-based weekend-only dining experience Salt Lick offers themed food, plus it’s BYOB so it’s good on a budget.
2 images: Outdoor Cinema and Teelings Distillery

Tour the only operational Irish whiskey distillery in the city

The first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years, Teeling Whiskey Distillery is but a stone’s throw from the original distillery site from 1782. Located in the heart of the Liberties in Dublin 8, the distillery is a cool creative space where you’ll find local art exhibited and, of course, visitors from around the world who are keen to meet Irish spirit head-on. Open seven days a week, this genuine distillery experience allows you to see, smell and taste the fruits of considerable and careful craft while interacting with the people at the heart of it all.

Descend into the depths of hell

Ok, not quite. Embrace the stranger side of the city with a visit to the most devious and spooky place in town; the Hell Fire Club. Situated 1275 feet atop Montpelier Hill overlooking the city, this curious peak was apparently once the site of dark arts and wanton debauchery. Sounds great, right?! Today it’s said to be haunted by a veritable rogue’s gallery of ghouls and ghosts. If you’re brave enough to take a walking tour, you’ll be rewarded not only with terrifying tales and potential supernatural encounters but also with an unrivalled view of Dublin at dusk. Adults only!

Hell Fire Club image via EveryTrail
2 images: Hell Fire Club and some Dublin Street Art

Take a street art tour

Has your scare threshold been reached? Some bright and colourful street art will surely scare away the boohoos. No longer just an underground subculture, the vibrant practice of outdoor art has exploded into brilliant life in recent years. You never have to look too far for some stunning artwork on Dublin’s walls – there are 900 individual pieces along the North Quays alone! Take a stroll and look out for some of Rachel Joynt’s permanent art installations. Temple Bar and the Italian Quarter also play host to some wonderful imagery. Elsewhere, native designer and street artist James Earley has created a striking tribute to Dublin on City Quay, worthy of a city that constantly embraces such creative vision.

Make a splash!

Kayaking is another unique way to navigate the city, without a traffic light in sight! City Kayaking offer atmospheric night-time trips, while Dublin Bay is dotted with lots of great places to go exploring. Hop on the DART­ to Clontarf where you can give kitesurfing and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) a whirl with Pure Magic Kitesurfing. Of course, there’s more than one way to make a splash. Those of you who prefer less physical exertion (hey, we’re not here to judge) should take a seat on a Viking Splash Tours bus. With a jaunty Viking helmet proudly sitting atop your head, you’ll be brought on a very entertaining trip around the city (and on the Grand Canal) in these unique amphibious vehicles. Known as the ‘DUKW’ (colloquially referred to as ‘ducks’); they were actually built during World War II to carry soldiers and equipment to aid the war effort.
2 images: Kayaking on the river Liffey and an exterior image of Malahide Castle

Become king or queen of a castle

Well, not literally, but you can mill about all regal-like in some of Dublin’s most sturdy and historical constructions as you visit the excellent castles that still make their presence felt to this day. Take a living history tour at Dalkey Castle where professional actors bring the past to brilliant life with a theatre performance as part of the guided tour. The site also boasts a state of the art heritage centre (with information in 12 languages) and a writer’s gallery featuring the work of 45 writers and creative artists.
On the northside of the city and also on the DART line, you’ll find Malahide Castle which dates back to the 12th century. Today it stands tall as the jewel in the crown of the picturesque seaside town of Malahide. A number of fun tours are available, including the castle itself and a stroll through the Secret Walled gardens while the park is open to the public. Meanwhile in the city centre, the magnificent Dublin Castle has its own stories to tell. Its striking Wardrobe Tower was finished in 1203 and is the city’s last intact medieval tower, so-called because it was originally used to house visiting monarchs’ royal robes. In later years, the tower served primarily as a prison and today, in something of an ironic twist, it is part of the Garda Síochána – Irish Police – Museum and Archives.

Cross the city without passing a pub

Bespectacled author James Joyce once declared that “a good puzzle would be to cross Dublin without passing a pub”. Yes, it might sound like a Herculean task but it is in fact possible! Not only that, it’s quite an eclectic route, serving up fruit for the mind with everything from a relaxing, exotic Tea Garden on Lower Ormond Quay to the informative and fun Dublin Science Gallery at Trinity College to the always compelling – not to mention dark and mysterious! – stories found within Hidden Dublin Walks & Tours.
2 images: The Science Museum & The Natural History Museum Dublin
Dublin has a whole host of interesting cultural activities available that won’t trouble your wallet. The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) on the grounds of the 17th century Royal Hospital Kilmainham contains magnificent sculptures, ancient chestnut trees and inviting avenues, while the National Gallery of Ireland near Trinity College is a great spot to appreciate fine art. You can also stop by the ‘Dead Zoo’, aka the Natural History Museum and marvel at the animal specimens on display – including a dodo skeleton – or visit the Irish Jewish Museum at the Walworth Road Synagogue. Remember, all are completely free!
Natural History Museum image via ActiveMe

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