Insider Tips

Eight excellent spots to explore in Dublin 8

By Visit Dublin

27th July 2020

Just minutes from the lively city centre streets, stroll through the twisting alleys and quaysides overlooking the Liffey. Cultural events, historical sites and delicious food, there’s so many brilliant activities in Dublin 8.

Here’s a few of the things you won’t want to miss. Pop on your walking shoes and experience the delights of Dublin 8.

Marsh’s Library

Dublin 8 has a lot of aces up its sleeve, but Marsh’s Library is one of the most charming. On the doorstep of the impressive St Patrick’s Cathedral, this hidden treasure opened as Ireland’s first public library in 1707 and remains beautifully preserved to this day.

Browse the original oak bookcases and marvel at the 25,000 ancient and rare books on the shelves, keep an eye out for the ghost of the Archbishop. Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker and James Joyce are just some of the famous writers to have read there. The library is open to the public every day except Tuesday and Sunday.

First Draft Coffee and Wine

Make a pitstop at First Draft Coffee and Wine, a café and wine bar on Lennox Street. Open from Thursday to Saturday, head inside or in good weather, make use of the outdoor seating. During the day, enjoy delicious coffee and in the evening, choose from a selection of wines (often low intervention, natural options) by the glass and bottle, along with small nibbles. 

Keep in mind the COVID-19 restrictions and follow the instructions of staff at all times. 



n the heart of Dublin 8, visit the Irish Museum of Modern Art, (IMMA), you’ll find it at the historical Royal Hospital building in Kilmainham. IMMA is the centre of modern and contemporary art in Ireland, discover the National Collection here. Explore the large gallery space and the dynamic programme of exhibitions from Irish and international artists, as well as complimentary education and family programmes.

Have a coffee in the café or pick up a souvenir in the shop and see the original crypts, don’t leave without taking a walk around the glorious grounds. Most exhibitions at IMMA are free of charge, unless otherwise indicated. The gallery is open 6 days a week, closed on Mondays.

Rascals Brewery

Rascals Brewery

When in Kilmainham, stop off at Rascals HQ — an authentic and immersive food and drink experience, in historic Inchicore. An award-winning independent craft brewery (Rascals Brewing Company), check out the delicious pizza restaurant and event spaces. Take part in guided experiential tours and taste the beer in the brewery’s taproom, try experimental products such as Mint Choc Stouts and Strawberry Vanilla Milkshake IPAs.

In line with the COVID-19 restrictions, make sure you book a table and follow all the regulations and staff requests.

Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park

As the largest enclosed public park in Europe, Phoenix Park is a major highlight of Dublin 8. Rent bikes, stroll through the endless parkland and see if you can spot some deer.

Check out the Wellington Testimonial (the largest obelisk in Europe), visit Dublin Zoo and have a peek at Áras an Uachtaráin. If you have time, head to the visitor centre and discover the park’s history dating back to 3500BC.

War Memorial Gardens

Visit the War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, dedicated to the memory of the Irish soldiers who died in the Great War. Take some time to read the Harry Clarke illustrated manuscripts which include the names of all the soldiers who lost their lives and after, wander around the glorious gardens to admire the herbaceous borders and beautiful roses. 

A haven of peace and serenity in energetic Dublin City, this is a special place to while away an afternoon.

Richmond Barracks

Richmond Barracks

Learn about the 1916 Rising, a major part of our Irish heritage at Richmond Barracks, a new exhibition centre in Dublin 8. This former British military barracks played a significant role in the Easter Rising — over 3,000 Irish rebels were held here while awaiting their fate.

Developed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, visit the interactive attraction and trace the complex story of the barracks. Drop by The Mess, a café run by The Green Kitchen, for a post history lesson snack.


St Patrick's Cathedral

Wander into St Patrick’s Cathedral, one of the few medieval buildings left in Dublin. It dominates the skyline and the amazing architecture takes your breath away as you near its entrance. Explore the 800-year-old history of this magnificent building and admire its beautiful stained glass windows.

Take in one of its incredible recitals or concerts, visitors are always captivated by the talented musicians. The cathedral was built in honour of Saint Patrick between 1220 and 1260 and remains a tribute to Ireland’s patron saint.

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