I’ve been to Dublin at least once a year for the last four years, and I already can’t wait to plan my next visit.
Dublin is hard to describe to those who have never been. Us who have reminisce about the captivating atmosphere, the beauty of the city, the quality of the Guinness and the heartwarming sound of the Irish accent.
It’s not just that, though. It’s so much more than that.
As a seasoned visitor and Dublin fan girl, here’s ten of my favourite things to do whilst in the capital of the Emerald Isle.
(Images are all my own, but were taken unaware I’d write this blog post. Apologies for quality.)
Head to Temple Bar
Located on the south bank of the River Liffey, Temple Bar is probably the most touristy thing to do whilst you’re in Dublin, but don’t let that put you off. Experiencing the buzz and culture of the local pubs is one of the things I look forward to most. The atmosphere here is incredible. Seriously, there’s nothing like it. Everyone is just there to have a great time and it really shows.
If you’ve never been to Dublin before, it may come in handy to note that Temple Bar is an area, not a single bar. There is a bar called The Temple Bar, though, which can be located centrally. This bar was established in 1840 and is an absolute must-visit for an authentic taste of Dublin. Whilst here, I also recommend The Old Store House, The Auld Dubliner, The Norseman and Oliver St. John Gogarty.
Take time to enjoy the live music
In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty…
Whilst you’re out and about in Dublin, there’s loads of opportunities to enjoy free live music. Most of the pubs offer live music performed by local artists throughout the day and night, especially in Temple Bar, but you’ll also find street performers dotted around. One of my fondest memories is dancing the night away with absolute strangers in a little side street of Dublin, complete with backing from a solo street performer and his guitar. It’s moments like these that really add to the magic of Dublin.
Try a pint of Guinness
If you’re of legal drinking age, you simply have to try Guinness whilst you’re in Dublin. Even I was sceptical at first, but this stout of liquid magic really is an adventure your taste buds don’t want to miss out on. Guinness is brewed right there in the capital, at St James’s Gate Brewery, and is the smoothest, freshest pint you’ll ever taste. They don’t call it the sweet nectar of the Emerald Isle for nothing.
Visit The Guinness Storehouse
If you’re as big a Guinness fan as me, or become one after trying it for the first time, then The Guinness Storehouse should definitely be on your list of Dublin to-dos. Located in central Dublin, it is a really interesting, fun filled way to spend one of your days.
Even if you’re not particularly a stout drinker, the history and interactive elements are still to be enjoyed by all. Whilst at The Guinness Storehouse I had a chance to taste samples and even pour my very own pint of Guinness. The best part of The Guinness Storehouse, though, is definitely the Gravity Bar located right at the top of the building. Here you can enjoy a complimentary pint of Guinness or a soft drink and will experience the most breathtaking views of Dublin, allowing you to truly appreciate the city in all its glory.
Take a trip to Dublin Zoo
As an animal lover, visiting Dublin in the summer months meant I had to check out the zoo, and I absolutely loved it. Dublin Zoo is located in the scenic Phoenix Park and is the largest zoo in Ireland, with other 400 animals. The zoo is walking distance from the centre of Dublin, but I’d take a taxi if you’re not keen on walking or the weather isn’t great. The zoo is well designed and maintained, providing a home for all kinds of animals, big and small. Add this to your list for a special day out for all the family. Don’t forget to say, “Hi,” to Rory the Red Panda for me.
Stroll through St Stephen’s Green
St Stephen’s Green is one of Dublin’s public parks, located right in the heart of Dublin. The park can be found adjacent to Grafton Street, one of the main shopping stretches. I’ve visited St Stephen’s Green every time I’ve been to Dublin and each time I find it as breathtakingly beautiful as the last. St Stephen’s Green is home to a variety of plant and animal life, and a selection of unusual sculptures. Strolling the many pathways amongst the shrubbery, flowers, statues and memorials really gives you time to relax and take in the tranquillity of the nature around you.
I’ve visited St Stephen’s Green in various seasons and enjoyed it just as much each time.
Cross over Ha’penny Bridge
This pedestrian bridge was built in 1816 and is a true landmark of Dublin. For 184 years this was Dublin’s only pedestrian bridge over the River Liffey. The bridge makes for a great photo opportunity and a chance to take a closer look at the Liffey. Look out for love locks too. Though removed by the council for safety reasons, there’s still something incredibly romantic about these tokens of love left by couples who have visited.
Stop off at Pitt Bros
If you’re a meat eater, Pitt Bros should definitely be on your list. Everyone I’ve recommended it to so far has loved it. With a variety of mouth-watering BBQ options, including pork, brisket, ribs, sausage and chicken, and a variety of options for sides, you’re bound to find something to hit the spot. The portions are huge, the beer’s great and you get free ice cream for dessert! Check out the menu here.
Treat yourself to donuts
If, like me, you’ve got a sweet tooth, then rest assured, donuts are everywhere in Dublin! With an assortment of unusual flavours, you don’t have to travel far to stumble across these delicious treats. I’d personally recommend The Rolling Donut and Aungier Danger for those guilty pleasure moments. You’ve got to treat yourself on holiday, right?!
Dine at Yamamori
I’m a big foodie (if that isn’t obvious from this post), and Japanese food is some of my absolute favourite. I love anything I wouldn’t be able to cook for myself at home, and food at Yamamori definitely qualifies. Meals here are freshly prepared, full of flavour and something different from everything else you come across in Dublin. The cocktails are super tasty too.
Dublin is one of the most enchanting cities I have ever visited. I hope this post helps you get the most out of your stay.