Places to visit in Dublin if you’re in the city for the first time
There are many things to see in Dublin but it isn’t London: it’s not huge, you don’t need to do a lot of planning and you can see it on foot as the attractions aren’t very spread out. Check out my 20 reasons why you should plan a visit to Dublin by clicking here.
What are the places to visit in Dublin if you’re visiting the city for the first time? There are lots of places to see but my advice, as a Dublin resident, is to enjoy the city above all for its relaxing atmosphere and for the many gastronomic opportunities it offers.
Places to visit in Dublin if you’re visiting the city for the first time:
- Guinness Storehouse: unmissable, the most visited attraction in Ireland and Europe. It’s usually packed full of visitors which is why I recommend you book in advance and be prepared for a huge crowd, on any day of the week. Make sure you stop by the Open Gate Brewery.
- Trinity College: one of the oldest universities in Europe with its Old Library and the Book of Kells. A place to look round calmly, crowds permitting;
- Christchurch Cathedral: the cathedral in the heart of the medieval city. An unmissable stop where you can go underground and see the mummified remains of a cat and mouse;
- Saint Patrick Cathedral: the “official” church of Dublin, a true destination for those passing through. Like all churches, you need to pay to enter but if you want you can stay outside and admire the garden;
- General Post Office: location of the start of the Irish Revolution, today it’s one of the most beautiful post offices in the world (functional and well-functioning);
- Molly Malone: the most famous statue in Dublin. It’s said she was a fishmonger by day and prostitute by night who was famous in Dublin and tradition has it that if you touch her bosom it will bring you good luck;
- Dublin Castle: often overlooked by tourists but it’s a true oasis of green where you can relax. If you’re a booklover lose yourself in the Chester Beatty Library;
- Docklands: this is the non-tourist part of Dublin, the part I love and where visitors come to immortalize themselves in front of Facebook and Google. Grand Canal Square, on a sunny day or at sunset, is simply magnificent.
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- Grafton Street: a walk through the most famous part of Dublin arriving at St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin’s most famous park, where you can sit and watch the ducks on the river. In summer on Sundays, open-air concerts are held here. Not far from here is the shopping center of the same name, famous for its architecture;
- O’Connell Bridge ed Henry Street: the widest and shortest bridge in Europe leads you to Dublin’s shopping street. Chaotic and lively, it’s an unmissable experience (but you need to keep your eyes open);
- Temple Bar: even if it’s practically an exclusive tourist area, a walk here is obligatory. Don’t forget Ha’Penny Bridge, crossing it to go from South Dublin to North Dublin and vice versa!
- Phoenix Park: a massive park, the biggest in Europe, where you can walk or ride a bike and look at the different types of animals, the President’s residence or even the zoo. In spring and summer, you can stop for something to eat or just to rest, perhaps taking part in one of the many open-air activities that are offered here.
21 unique things to do in Dublin for free
What to see in Dublin if you have time to discover its history
- Kilmainham Gaol: Dublin’s former prison, in use until 1920. Only accessible via guided visits (only in English) which last around an hour and let you find out all about this prison, about the history of Ireland and the many people who have featured in its history
- Glasnevin Cemetery: this is worth a visit both for the architecture and for the famous figures buried here known for their struggles for independence, including Michael Collins. Glasnevin is next to the Botanical Gardens and if you have some time left over you could plan a trip here to discover this spot which is rarely visited by tourists.
Dublin: useful tips for an unforgettable holiday
- Wear layers: the weather can change a lot from one minute to the next and can be very unpredictable. The Irish sky often changes tone and you’ll need lots of layers to avoid suffering from the cold or heat. Take a waterproof coat, even in summer, and avoid umbrellas.
- If you want to use public transport get yourself a Leap Card for Visitors (you can buy these at the airport), load it up and use for all your trips in Dublin and also in metropolitan zones;
- To enjoy the city at its best travel on foot, take in the relaxing atmosphere and watch life pass by;
- Don’t miss out on a pint at the pub, it doesn’t matter what time it is: if you want to make a good impression ask for “a pint” and not “a glass”. And obviously remember to say please and thank you, when asking for and receiving your drink;
- If you intend to visit lots of attractions get hold of a Dublin Pass which gives you access to attractions at a discounted price or lets you jump the queue (very useful at the Guinness Storehouse) and you can use the Hop On Hop Off bus to go from one place to another in the city.
ARE YOU READY TO TRAVEL TO IRELAND AND EXPLORE ITS CAPITAL CITY, DUBLIN?
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Are you heading to Dublin and Ireland and do you want more information on customized tours but also on things to do, where to eat and drink and more? Write me an email or follow me on Instagram and Facebook and do not be afraid to ask for more information or a customized consultation! If you want to have photographic tips on what and where to go to take good pictures get in contact with Giuseppe, based in Ireland as well.
[All pics are copyright Giuseppe Milo]