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Ireland bound? Here's 7 top experiences for a mighty craic in Dublin

From beautiful castles, to lush gardens, eerie gaols, live music and more, no trip to the Emerald Isle is complete without immersing yourself in the magic of Dublin.

From beautiful castles, to lush gardens, eerie gaols, live music and more, no trip to the Emerald Isle is complete without immersing yourself in the magic of Dublin.

Dublin is a city that’s as intimate as a village and as friendly as an Irish pub – and we can assure you, there are plenty of pubs to rehydrate here.

Centred on the River Liffey and edged by a beautiful bay, the city’s streets and alleys are filled with vibrant art and historic buildings, hip cafés, and traditional pubs.

Ha'penny Bridge, officially the Liffey Bridge was built in 1816 over the River Liffey
Ha’penny Bridge, officially the Liffey Bridge was built in 1816 over the River Liffey

As you wander, you’ll feel the energy of over 1,000 years of history, and be treated to a plethora of sights and sounds that will stay in your heart forever.

So whether you’re exploring the city for two days or twelve, we’re here to bring you the very best of this beautifully Irish destination.

1. The Guinness Storehouse

Experience the history, heart, and soul of Ireland's most iconic beer at the Guinness Storehouse
Experience the history, heart, and soul of Ireland’s most iconic beer at the Guinness Storehouse

The Guinness Storehouse is Dublin’s number one attraction.

The “Black Stuff” may be famous all over the world, but this slow-settling porter started off life in St James’s Gate at the heart of old Dublin.

Back in 1759, an enterprising brewer by the name of Arthur Guinness took out a 9,000-year lease on the brewery here for an annual rent of £45.

A couple of centuries later, the Storehouse was born.

Today, the Guinness Storehouse is a gleaming, multimedia exhibition on everything from retro advertising to the craft of brewing, topped off with a pint in the 360-degree Gravity Bar.

Cheers for this one, Arthur, you absolute legend.

2. The Book of Kells and Trinity College

The Book of Kells was created around the year 750 by Irish monks
The Book of Kells was created around the year 750 by Irish monks

With a backstory that includes a mash-up of monks, Vikings and remote Scottish islands, the Book of Kells will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, whether you’re into history or not.

This fascinating Early Christian illuminated manuscript is quite simply a masterpiece.

Located within Trinity College’s Treasury, the tour includes a visit to the Long Room Library, one of Europe’s most magnificent libraries housing over 200,000 of Trinity’s oldest books. 

Long Room, Trinity College
Long Room, Trinity College, is filled with 200,000 of the library’s oldest books

Then, if your inner Hermione Granger wants more, you can spend time wandering around the charming campus of Trinity, which dates back to 1592.

How good is college, when you don’t actually have to be there?

3. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

Uncover the story of Ireland's emigrants and how they shaped the world at EPIC
Uncover the story of Ireland’s emigrants and how they shaped the world at EPIC

The award-winning EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum delves into the past of Ireland’s diaspora in brilliant interactive detail, and the state-of-the-art visitor experience explores the inspiring journeys of over 10 million people who left Ireland’s shores throughout history.

If you fancy learning more about your Irish ancestry, the Irish Family History Centre is also located here, giving you the chance to do some digging, access valuable records, speak with a genealogy expert, and join the online community of people on a quest to learn about their Irish roots.

4. Dublin Castle

Erected in the early thirteenth century on the site of a Viking settlement, Dublin Castle served for centuries as the headquarters of English, and later British, administration in Ireland.
Erected in the early thirteenth century on the site of a Viking settlement, Dublin Castle served for centuries as the headquarters of English, and later British, administration in Ireland.

Despite the lack of turrets, this castle is king.

Perched on the site of a Danish Viking fortress from 930AD, and with its first stone cast by King John of England in 1230, Dublin Castle’s historical significance did not stop there.

Under British rule from that point until 1921, it has been a court, a fortress, even a site of execution in its time, and its architecture has evolved and grown with each metamorphosis. 

Wander the grounds and use your imagination to teleport yourself back in time, or take a guided tour to the state apartments, medieval undercroft and the Chapel Royal.

5. Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

Kinda fascinated by the eerie stories of times past? Don’t miss Kilmainham Gaol, the largest unoccupied prison in Europe.

Holding countless tales within its thick, cold walls, chills are almost guaranteed when walking into its East Wing; vast and deserted.

The tour here gives a dramatic insight into the history of this forbidding prison, with its overcrowding, hardship and brutal conditions.

6. City Parks

Iveagh Gardens are popularly known as Dublin’s ‘Secret Garden’.
Iveagh Gardens are popularly known as Dublin’s ‘Secret Garden’

Cherished and adored, Dublin’s parks are the perfect place to reconnect and recharge.

These green spaces include the hidden oasis of Iveagh Gardens (make sure you pack a picnic!) and the city centre gem of St Stephen’s Green, which was used for public executions until the 1770s.

Enjoy a leisurely afternoon cycling through the Phoenix Park (watch out for the deer!), seek out the statue of Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square; or take time out at Dubh Linn Gardens, tucked just behind Dublin Castle.

7.  Little Museum of Dublin

Little Museum of Dublin is a delightful place to spend an unhurried afternoon
Little Museum of Dublin is a delightful place to spend an unhurried afternoon

If you really want to get a feel for the people of Dublin, check out the Little Museum of Dublin, an eccentric collection of fascinating items donated by Dubliners themselves.

Music fans will particularly enjoy the second-floor exhibition – U2 Made in Dublin, which charts the story of the city’s most famous rock band from 1976 to the present day.

If you get hungry, head to the basement kitchen of Hatch & Sons for a hearty lunch of traditional Irish smoked fish.

So, what are you waiting for? Dublin’s calling…

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