Insider Tips

The Dubline Trail

By Visit Dublin

3rd June 2019

The cosmopolitan city of Dublin is a modern hive of buzz and activity, packed full of trendy restaurants, bars and cafés. But scratch the surface of its vibrant streets, lanes and alleyways and you’ll find a rich and compelling history just waiting to be explored.

The garden of remembrance, the river liffey and Kilmainham Gaol

The Dubline trail in our free Discovery Trails app runs through the heart of the city, connecting the people, places and stories of Dublin. In fact, it follows part of the ancient road (the Slige Mhór) that once crossed the entire width of the country. From Vikings and Normans to rebellion and (of course!) a brewery or two, you’ll learn about the many factors that contributed to today’s thriving capital. Along the trail, you will encounter many Dubline interpretive panels dotted throughout the city – these illustrated storyboards are full of information about nearby landmarks, hidden gems and local anecdotes.

The trail begins on the northside of the city, at Parnell Square. You’ll see fine examples of Georgian architecture in the area’s colourful buildings, as well as the adjacent Rotunda Hospital. In the tranquil Garden of Remembrance, there’s a commemorative sculpture dedicated to all those who gave their lives in the name of Irish freedom.
You’ll then move down onto one of Dublin’s main thoroughfares; O’Connell Street. Home to the historic General Post Office (otherwise known as the GPO; find out more on the Rebellion trail), majestic Daniel O’Connell statue and the striking Spire, this bustling street has many tales to tell.
Next is the River Liffey, or ‘Anna Livia’ as it’s also known, thanks to iconic Dublin scribe James Joyce. You’ll learn how the city flourished around this body of water, before visiting Trinity College – home to the Book of Kells – and the original Irish parliament on College Green. Further up Dame Street you’ll find two more important locations, City Hall and Dublin Castle – both are positively steeped in history and well worth a visit.  
If you’re in luck, the Designer Mart on Cow’s Lane will be in full swing. After you’ve had a browse through the pretty jewellery, art and craft items on sale, you’ll learn about the history of cultural quarter Temple Bar. You’ll also be taken to Christ Church Cathedral, one of the city’s most impressive buildings that dates back to Viking times. Do you dare visit its underground crypt?! While in the area, don’t forget to visit Dublinia, an attraction focusing on the Viking and Medieval history of the city.
A stroll through the Liberties offers an authentic slice of ‘old Dublin’, and you’ll visit the iconic Guinness Storehouse, National College of Art & Design, and James’ Street Church (the starting point for the Camino de Santiago). There’s some striking and unique art on show at IMMA (the Irish Museum of Modern Art) – afterwards, be sure to explore its tranquil gardens. Finally, you’ll finish up at Kilmainham Gaol and Courthouse, an atmospheric former prison which once detained many important figures in Irish history.
Find the full walking trail today on our Discovery Trails app, along with the many other great options you’ll find there, including Echoes of War and The Story of Dublin.

Download the Dublin Discovery Trails app

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