Insider Tips

Dublin's Northside

By Visit Dublin

18th May 2016

From the winding streets of trendy Stoneybatter to the green expanses of Glasnevin, Dublin’s Northside is rich in heritage and has a unique culture all of its own, its people and the stories they tell all within easy reach of one another. Follow Dublin's Northside Attractions (DNA) around some of the city's greatest landmarks and become a northsider for the day.

The Guinness Storehouse

While technically not on the north side, no tour of Dublin would be complete without mention of Ireland’s more notable creamy export. Just a stone's throw across the Liffey at St James’ Gate is the Guinness Storehouse, which covers seven floors, surrounding a glass atrium shaped (aptly) like a pint of Guinness. Moving through the exhibit, you’ll get the inside scoop on how a ‘pint of plain’ is brewed; at the end, you'll get to enjoy one for yourself in the famous Gravity Bar with views over Dublin.

Old Jameson Distillery

Get up close and personal with one of Ireland's most enduring tipples. The Old Jameson Distillery has been in Bow Street since 1780, and while production has now moved south to Cork, the original site offers guided tours, tutored whiskey tastings, bars, a restaurant, and a gift shop. You can even get a personalised bottle of Jameson, though it does come with a price tag. Whether you’re a whiskey lover or not, this is a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours.

Glasnevin Cemetery Museum & Tours

Glasnevin is home to the largest cemetery in Ireland and since 1828, it’s become the final resting place for more than 1.5 million people. Amongst those who have been laid to rest here are some notable ‘residents’, including Charles Stewart Parnell, Eamon de Valera, Michael Collins, Constance Markievicz, Brendan Behan, Luke Kelly and Daniel O’ Connell. A highlight of a visit is Glasnevin Cemetery Museum and Tours, which charts stories of the ordinary to the truly extraordinary people who helped shape the Ireland of today. 

The National Botanic Gardens

National Botanic Gardens

The adjacent National Botanic Gardens are noted for their fine plant collections holding more than 15,000 plant species and cultivars from a variety of habitats from around the world. Landmarks include the exquisitely restored and planted glasshouses, notably the Turner Curvilinear Range and the Great Palm House.

GAA Museum and Croke Park Stadium

While you’d be forgiven for thinking that Croke Park Stadium, north Dublin’s most iconic sporting venue, lies dormant when there are no fans ‘up for the match’, there's a huge amount to see and do at Croker on a daily basis. Aside from offering a behind-the-scenes stadium tour, the museum allows visitors to explore the rich history of GAA. For a breath-taking and unique experience that takes in panoramic views of the city, walking across the roof of the stadium on the Etihad Skyline Tour is a must.

Mountjoy Square

One of five Georgian squares in Dublin, Mountjoy Square can boast a status as Dublin’s only true Georgian square, each of its sides being exactly 140 metres in length. The Square has been home to some very prominent figures over the years including James Joyce, Séan O'Casey and W.B. Yeats. More recently it was the setting for the critically-acclaimed, Oscar-winning film Once. The band U2 also used to rehearse in a squat on Mountjoy Square when they were up and coming in the 1970s.

Hugh Lane Art Gallery Exterior

James Joyce Centre

The James Joyce Centre was established to promote the life and works of James Joyce, one of Dublin’s most famous residents and one of the most influential and important authors of the twentieth century. Set in a stunningly restored 18th-century Georgian townhouse on North Great George's Street Dublin, the house refers back to a time when north inner city Dublin was at the height of its grandeur. There are free audio tours of the building, Joycean walking tours around Dublin city, regular lectures, events and educational courses.

Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane

Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane houses the foremost public collection of contemporary art in Ireland and also has dynamic temporary exhibitions. A standout permanent exhibit at the galley is the studio of Sir Francis Bacon, which in 1998 was painstakingly moved from London to Dublin. The Hugh Lane team catalogued, mapped and reassembled more than 7,000 pieces, a process that took more than three years. The finished product really has to be seen to be fully appreciated. 

Nearby, there is a rare opportunity to see inside No.14 Henrietta Street, one of the north inner city’s most famous streets and home to Dublin’s high society in the 19th century and its poorest citizens in the early 20th century, when the homes were tenements. Occupied by Viscounts and Lord Chancellors, the house was one of the first to become a tenement in 1883 when 17 families comprising more than 100 people lived there making it the ideal place to tell the story of social change in Dublin.

The GPO Dublin

GPO Witness History Museum

To commemorate the 1916 Rising, the GPO Witness History is a brand new highly immersive and engaging exhibition that puts you right inside the GPO during Easter Week in 1916. Through electronic touch screens, video, audio visual booths, sound and authentic artefacts, you’ll experience events from both sides of the conflict, as seen through the eyes of bystanders caught in the crossfire. There is also a café and gift shop overlooking the courtyard, where you can see a sculpture commemorating the forty children who died during the Easter Rising.

Epic Ireland

Located just of the quays in the chq Building, Epic Ireland is a new state-of-the-art visitor experience that showcases how the Irish have changed the world. This unique journey of the Irish nation, in which stories of old are told through modern technology, includes 21 galleries, each showing a different example of Irish life – highlighting stories of the Irish overseas from the past, present and future.

1916 Rebellion Walking Tours

1916 Rebellion Walking Tours was founded in 1996 by Dublin historian Lorcan Collins, who has authored books on both the Easter Rising and James Connolly. Collins' passion for the subject matter is clearly evident and the tours have won plaudits from numerous travel guides and websites. Popular with tourists and locals alike, the tours take different routes on a daily basis but will visit plenty of sites associated with the revolutionary period such as the GPO, Moore Street, City Hall, Dublin Castle, the Four Courts, Trinity College, Liberty Hall and the Custom House. 

By now you'll have a grasp of some of the many delights of Dublin's Northside; find more inspiration on the Dublin's Northside Attractions website.

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