Insider Tips

Top 10 Things to Do in Dublin

By Visit Dublin

7th October 2016

The Guinness Storehouse has retained the top spot for a third consecutive year in the listing of Ireland's top visitor attractions. The iconic Dublin attraction was closely followed by Dublin Zoo, while The National Gallery of Ireland continues its dominance of the free attractions in the capital. Dublin has a myriad of visitor attractions to suit all interests and we've compiled a list below of the top visited attractions and the best things to do in Dublin. Have fun!

Guinness Storehouse exterior
1. Guinness Storehouse

Not sure what to do in Dublin or where to start? What better place to begin your Dublin adventure than the city's number one attraction, the Guinness Storehouse. Located in the heart of the St James’s Gate Brewery and home to the black stuff since 1759, this massive seven-storey building, a former Guinness® fermentation plant, has been remodelled into the shape of a giant pint of Guinness®. A visit will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about this world famous beer. The highlight for many visitors is the Gravity Bar® where they receive a complimentary pint of Guinness® and a chance to relax and enjoy the breathtaking 360-degree views across Dublin City.

Tigers at Dublin Zoo
2. Dublin Zoo

See many rare and exotic animals living and roaming in a wide variety of natural habitats at Dublin Zoo. Wander through the African Savannah and gaze at the giraffes, zebras, scimitar oryx and ostrich, then head to the Kaziranga Forest to see the magnificent herd of Asian elephants that call this beautiful place home. Dublin Zoo, located in the Phoenix Park in the heart of Dublin City, allows you to discover amazing animals that include tigers, hippos, bats, rare monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees, red pandas and reptiles, to name but a few!

3. National Aquatic Centre

AquaZone, at the National Aquatic Centre, is one of the most innovative water parks in Europe. A whole host of exciting features ensures that there is lots of family fun, thrills and something for everyone. If you crave extreme thrills, raging water adventures, flying through the air, or just an enjoyable family day out in Dublin, AquaZone at the National Aquatic Centre has Europe's biggest and best water rides and attractions waiting for you!

Long Room at Trinity Library
4. Book of Kells

The Book of Kells was written around the year 800 AD and is one of the most beautifully illuminated manuscripts in the world. Its 680 pages of vellum contain the Latin texts of the Four Gospels. It was written around 800 AD by Irish monks and later buried in the ground for fear of the Vikings. After being eventually rediscovered, it was deposited for safe keeping in Trinity College Dublin in 1653.

Couple looking at portraits in the National Gallery
5. The National Gallery of Ireland

Today the National Gallery of Ireland's collection includes over 2,500 paintings and some 10,000 other works in different media including watercolours, drawings, prints and sculpture. Every major European School of painting is extensively represented. It also houses a renowned collection of Irish paintings. The gallery's highlights include works by Vermeer, Caravaggio, Picasso, Van Gogh and Monet.


6. The Irish Museum of Modern Art

The Irish Museum of Modern Art, located in historical Kilmainham, hosts a world-class collection of modern and contemporary art. Built in the former Royal Hospital, it's a breathtaking location for art—modelled on Les Invalides in Paris, it's arranged around a courtyard with long interior corridors running along a series of interlocking rooms. The museum offers a series of exhibitions and holds an artist-in-residence programme, with artists' studios located in the restored stable buildings.

Botanic Gardens exterior
7. National Botanic Gardens

The National Botanic Gardens, 19.5 hectares on the south bank of the Tolka River, contain many attractive features like an arboretum, sensory garden, rock garden and burren area, large pond, extensive herbaceous borders, and an annual display of decorative plants including a rare example of Victorian carpet bedding.


8. St. Patrick's Cathedral

Built between 1220 and 1260, St Patrick's Cathedral is one of the few buildings left from the medieval city of Dublin. Today, St Patrick's is the National Cathedral for the Church of Ireland and still the largest cathedral in Ireland. Visitors can learn about the building’s fascinating history, including its most famous Dean (head) Jonathan Swift, who is one of around 700 burials on site.


9. National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology

Walk into the National Museum of Ireland on Kildare Street and be magically transported back in time. Take time at The Treasury and see examples of Celtic and Medieval art, such as the famous Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch and the Derrynaflan Hoard. Gaze in wonder at the finest collection of prehistoric gold artefacts in Europe, which is to be found in Or—Ireland's Gold. Ramble through prehistoric Ireland and experience life at the same time of the Vikings in Viking Age Ireland.

People enjoying demonstration at the Science Gallery

10. The Science Gallery

The Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin is where science and art collide. Since the gallery's opening in 2008, the venue has drawn nearly 3 million visitors, ranking it among the top 10 free cultural attractions in Ireland. Through an innovative programme that promotes creativity and exploration, Science Gallery Dublin encourages young people to learn through their own curiosity. Exhibitions range from living art experiments to materials science – make sure to check dates on their website.

The best of the rest...

Farmleigh House
Number Twenty-Nine - Georgian House Museum
Kilmainham Gaol
Chester Beatty Library
National Museum of Ireland - Natural History
The National Library of Ireland 
Old Jameson Distillery 
National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History
Dublin Castle
Christ Church Cathedral
The Little Museum of Dublin

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