Dublin, the capital of Ireland is a small city with an energy rivaling one of a titan. It’s a perfect getaway for literary buffs and beer devotees. Dublin has a lot to offer from medieval history, endless serene landscapes to one-of-a kind pub scene.
If it’s your first time in Dublin and you don’t have a lot of time to explore, it’s difficult to know what to dedicate your time to. As UNESCO’s city of literature you get a first hand glimpse at the lives of some of the greatest writers that ever lived, James Joyce and Oscar Wilde just to name a few.
Literature adventures aside, Dublin’s pub culture with live music, dare-to-try oyster stouts and mutton stew, make a compelling argument that Dublin is indeed a hedonist’s heaven.
This list is a quick rundown of 10 interesting Dublin’s attractions.
It was built on a site previously settled by the Vikings, under the first Lord of Ireland, King John (1204). The castle carried out multiple functions over the centuries, a military fortress, a prison, treasury and more. It upheld its historical significance to this day, as now it’s used for State receptions and Presidential Inaugurations. It’s a perfect beginning of your Dublin adventure as it foretells the origin of the city.
The library is on the grounds of the Dublin castle and it was founded by the “King of Copper”, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, the mining magnate. The library hosts an extraordinary collection of some of the rarest Islamic and Far Eastern artifacts. It is so highly regarded that it even won the European Museum of the Year award.
This was the final resting place for some of the most noted figures in Irish history, Charles Stewart Parnell, Robert Emmet and leaders of the rebellions. It’s a somber reminder of the dreadful conditions convicts were subjected to during their incarceration. Access is available by guided tour only.
National Leprechaun Museum
As the name is pretty much self explanatory, the museum in question is devoted to cherishing the myth of a leprechaun. The museum is a fun experience with its tunnel full of optical illusions and rooms carefully designed to deliver a story. If you’re having trouble finding the museum just follow the end of the rainbow.
National Botanic Gardens
Dublin’s national botanic gardens grew to hold more than 20,000 plants and over a million of dry specimens. Take a day to spend relaxing in the sun, reading and having a picnic. There is no entry fee but the downside is that it’s a little bit outside of the city – but I promise that it’s worth the trip. It’s a Dubliner’s favorite escape from the everyday bustle.
Opened since 2000 and already attracted over four million visitors. Seven floors devoted to exploring the story of Guinness. What more can you ask expect than a Gravity Bar offering you a stunning view of Dublin and of course a pint of the Guinness.
This is Dublin’s neighborhood famous for its artistic vibe. It’s the home to many cultural institutions, such as the The Gallery of Photography. The Gallery of Photography is located in Meeting House Square. It’s a beautiful place for a walk, as wherever you take a step you’ll be followed by lively music protruding from pubs and nightclubs.
Dublin Writers Museum
In 1991, the long awaited Dublin Writers Museum was opened to celebrate the heritage of their brightest minds. The Museum has an impressive collection. It hosts first editions of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, also his friend Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” and Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” among other famous works.
James Joyce Center
Many people travel to Dublin just to experience in person the spirit of the city that shaped their favorite author. The most famous Dubliner in many opinions is, James Joyce. The most famous exhibit is the door of No.7 Eccles Street, the fictional address of Joyce’s Ulysses protagonist Leopold Bloom. For the Joyce’s stans, you’re also able to follow the steps of Leopold Bloom through Dublin with walking tours on offer.
Tivoli Car Park
Every year there is an event organized by All City Jam, gathering graffiti artists from all over the world to use their walls as they please. It’s sort of a “graffiti mandala”, as the art remains intact for only a year. The Tivoli Theatre is on Francis Street, just off Thomas Street.
If this is your first trip to Dublin you’ll be surprised how intimate the city will already feel to you. Its cobbled streets and its unique character will have you enamored and as a witness to that, you’ll find yourself subconsciously already planning your return.
If you liked this list check out the more comprehensive one made by The Crazy Tourist.