Things to do in Dublin
Much of the charm of Dublin is wandering through its various neighborhoods and taking time to linger over the details of a Georgian home or the goods in, say, a traditional lace store. That said, there are some must-see sights as well.
O'Connell Street. Dublin's main thoroughfare is lined with neoclassical buildings, many with shops on their grand floors. The street was also the sight of many key battles in Ireland's uprising against British rule.
National Museum. The National Museum of Ireland is actually three museums in Dublin (as well as another one in County Mayo). Visits to all three, which focus on archeology, the decorative arts, and the history museum, will give you a nuanced overview of Ireland and its people.
Temple Bar. Head to this area south of the River Liffey to visit galleries by day and the nightlife after dark.
St. Patrick's Cathedral. The largest church in Ireland dates from the 12th century. Much of Ireland's history has played out here, including some surprising footnotes: Jonathan Swift was the dean of the cathedral for more than 30 years.
An oasis of tranquillity in the teeming center of Dublin, this campus of wide green lawns and stately 16th-century buildings is the city’s undisputed jewel.
The library's founder, the Archbishop Narcissus Marsh, believed that everyone should have access to books on medicine, law, science, travel, navigation, mathematics, music, classical literature, and, of course, theology.
There’s nothing immediately distinctive or compelling about Peter’s…but then, unassuming comfort is essential for a good Dublin pub. What is notable here is the absence of both trinkety tourist-bait décor and flickering televisions—and the presence of real neighborhood locals.
Attending a true Dublin “trad session”—a group jam session featuring instruments like violin, mandolin, banjo, accordion, and uilleann pipes—is a memorable event.
Housed in a graceful building that is itself a sort of exhibit (with classically Victorian architecture and a rotunda based on Rome’s Pantheon), this archaeological museum explores Ireland’s ancient Celtic heritage.
A standout collection of European masters.
It’s brash and showy, but this archetypal Dawson Street bar is still well worth a visit.
At the long and narrow Cobblestone pub, in Smithfield, in the early evening and then again after dinner, musicians take turns depositing tall pints of Guinness before each member of the band.
Europe’s largest enclosed urban park—encompassing more than 1,700 acres—is set just two miles west from the city center.
The thumping heart of the Irish indie-music scene, Whelan’s is where you’ll find local heroes like Mundy, David Kitt, and Glen Hansard rubbing shoulders with students and earnest wannabe singer-songwriters at the cramped wood-paneled bar.
An old liquor store with a beveled-glass cashier's booth.
Walking into this somber, dignified Protestant church with its magnificent organ is certainly impressive—but the star attraction here is underneath your feet. After a guide opens a creaking door, revealing a dark stone staircase, you can creep down into the crypt of St.
This Victorian gem with its ornate molding and red velvet boxes is a Dublin institution, hosting a rotating schedule of stand-up comedy, big-name rock gigs, and popular theater.