Guinness Storehouse, St. James' gate, Dublin City

DublinTravel Guide

Dublin City Gateway to Ireland

Dublin is Ireland's largest city and is seen as the gateway to The Emerald Isle. If you're travelling to Ireland by air, there's a good chance you will land and begin your tour in the capital. However, Dublin is far from a stopover on your Irish vacation: this vibrant city has plenty of attractions to suit all visitors and easily merits a few days in itself. Of course, this isn't always possible and, for those who have a tight travel itinerary, we have written a pieces detailing exactly how to do Dublin in one day, and how to do Dublin on foot.

Dublin's Top Attractions

Dublin is Ireland's capital city and its most historically significant, having been the second city of the British Empire until Ireland's independence in 1922. Dublin today is teeming with enough art, culture, and monuments to fill multiple itineraries. Planning to see all the top attractions in Dublin can be a daunting task, but there's good news...

In comparison with other major cities in Europe, Dublin is compact, flat and easily walkable. With the right amount of pre-planning, you can start getting the 'must-see' attractions off your list pretty quickly. Every visitor to Dublin will have their own unique bucket list, but, in case you're caught for time or want to start plotting your adventure straight away, we've drawn up a list of the classic, 'I can't go home without seeing' attractions of Dublin.

1 Temple Bar

Top Attraction
Irish Pub Experience
See it on our Tours

Temple Bar is perhaps the most visited district of Dublin, with many tourists scarcely venturing beyond Dame Street and the Liffey which mark the upper and lower reaches of this cultural quarter. Tourists who enjoy Trinity College and Christ Church Cathedral won't have far to go to enjoy the nearby Meeting House Square with its galleries, archives and weekly food market. Stalls with Irish produce and food trucks take over the Square every Saturday between 10am and 5pm.

Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland

The price of a pint or a bite to eat in Temple Bar is higher, on average than the rest of Dublin City. For this reason, many people walk through the area to soak up the atmosphere rather than spend the whole evening there.

Insider Tips

Temple Bar is a favourite for stag and hen (bachelor/bachelorette) parties and can be very crowded, especially during weekends and summer months.

Visit Temple bar during the day and browse the shops and galleries.

2 Trinity College

Top Attraction
History & Culture
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Ireland's most prestigious university is arguably its most attractive too. Covering no less than 16 hectares, the college buildings and grounds are a poetic tribute to the best of Victorian architecture. Receiving its charter from Queen Elizabeth I in 1592, Trinity remained exclusively protestant until 1793. Today, such prejudices and exclusions are long gone, and Trinity enjoys a global reputation as a leading institution for learning, teaching and research.

Trinity College, Dublin

The Old Library building at Trinity College is home to the Book of Kells, which is the most richly decorated of Ireland's medieval illuminated manuscripts. The book contains the four gospels in Latin. Some of the dyes used were imported from as far as the Middle East. When you are visiting the Book of Kells exhibition, take some time to admire the Long Room. Its oak bookcases hold 200,000 of the library's oldest books.

Insider Tips

On a sunny day, be sure to bring a picnic so you can enjoy the stunning grounds over a relaxing lunch break.

Take a guided tour led by one of the students to learn more about the history of Trinity College. A guided tour includes admission to the old library and the Book of Kells exhibition.

Looking for budget accommodation in the heart of Dublin? From May to mid-September you can book a room on campus.

Practical information

Located in the heart of Dublin, Trinity is easily accessible by Luas, bus or on foot and close to other attractions such as Temple Bar and Christ Church Cathedral.

Opening hours

You can visit the book of Kells and the Long Room seven days a week.

From October to April opening hours are 09.30 to 17:00 (Monday to Saturday) and 12:00 to 16:30 (Sunday).

From May to September opening hours are 08.30 to 17:00 (Monday to Saturday) and 09.30 to 17:00 (Sunday).

Admission fee

Tickets for the book of Kells exhibition must be pre-booked online. A standard ticket costs €18.50 and children under 5 are free. Concession tickets for students or seniors (over 60) are available from €15.

3 Guinness Storehouse

Top Attraction
Irish Pub Experience

Shaped like a giant pint of the black stuff, this most popular of Dublin attractions towers over the surrounding neighbourhoods. The site of the brewery itself is massive, at a staggering 26 hectares. However, it will be the old grain storehouse that you visit. The building was constructed in 1902 and was the St. James's Gate Brewery's fermentation plant - where yeast is added to the brew. Designed in the style of the Chicago School of Architecture and classed as one of the first skyscrapers in the British Isles. In 1997 the building was redesigned to become the tourist attraction we know today, the Guinness Storehouse.

The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin City

Opened in December 2000, Guinness Storehouse has become the most visited attraction in Ireland. To date, they have welcomed over 20 million visitors. Over the years there have been numerous investments made to ensure that the tour features the most cutting-edge technology available to explore the past, present and future of St. James's Gate. At the end of the tour, at the top-floor Gravity Bar guests are greeted with a delightful panorama view across the Dublin cityscape with a complimentary well-earned pint (providing the guest is 18 or over). The Guinness Storehouse is a favourite memory for a lot of people on their tour of Ireland.

The self-guided tour will take you through the history of the brewery and the brewing process spread out over 7 floors. The visitor experience uses audiovisual and interactive displays to tell its story. The experience will take about 90 minutes.

Insider Tips

One thing that we regretted during our visit to the Guinness Storehouse was that we didn't have a pair of binoculars, to take in the full detail of the cityscape as we enjoyed a pint in the panoramic Gravity Bar.

Visit early in the day to avoid the big crowd.

Practical information

Opening hours

Open on Monday to Thursday from 13.00 to 18.00. Last entry an hour before closing.

Open on Friday & Saturday from 11.00 to 19.00. Last entry an hour before closing.

Open on Sunday from 11.00 to 18.00. Last entry an hour before closing.

Admission fee

You can book a time slot for your visit online. Tickets for a self-guided tour start from €18 and include a pint of Guinness. A child ticket (5-17 years) is €10 and children up to the age of 4 go free. The ticket rate is based on the time of your visit.

4 Shopping in Dublin

Top Attraction
Shopping & Souvenirs

Dublin provides plenty of opportunities for some retail therapy, and if you are looking to hit the shops during your time in the capital, it is Grafton Street that you will want to head for. This district of Dublin has all the high-street stores you could ask for, with British-owned chains being perhaps the best represented here.

Dublin Skyline

If you're looking for something a little more unique or boutique, then you won't have to wander very far. The streets that intersect this main artery of Dublin centre have plenty to tempt you. This is perhaps not the cheapest shopping district you will find on your travels, so be sure to pack your Euro.

Insider Tips

Visa and Mastercard are accepted in nearly all Irish stores, but be advised, that not all shops will take American Express.

5 Christ Church Cathedral

Top Attraction
Religion & Spirituality
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Christ Church Cathedral was founded by Viking King Sitric, almost 1000 years ago, in 1034. The nave, or central part of the church, contains the tomb of medieval warlord Strongbow—leader of the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland. It also contains the heart of Dublin's patron saint, Saint Laurence O'Toole. The crypt of the church, which is one of the largest in Ireland and the UK, has been restored from the 12th century and houses an exhibition called the Treasures of Christ Church. Amongst other manuscripts and artefacts is a 14th century copy of the Magna Carta Hiberniae (a book of law dating back to 1216). Perhaps the crypt's most popular exhibit is the mummified remains of a cat and a rat. Known locally as 'Tom & Jerry', the cat is believed to have chased the rat into a pipe of the church organ, where they both eventually became stuck.

Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin City Centre

On guided tours, there is also the chance to ring the church bells. The oldest of that dates back to 1743 and, collectively, the 19 bells form the world record for the number of bells available for full-circle ringing. Getting to the Belfry in Christ Church Cathedral involves climbing 86 stone steps in a medieval building and crossing the roof at the South transept – quite the experience! Please note, because of this steep climb a visit to the Belfry is not suitable for children under 12 or if you have walking difficulties

Insider Tips

Visit on a Sunday evening and linger for an enchanting evensong service to experience the heavenly acoustics of this historic building.

Many events are organised throughout the year at the Cathedral, such as free lunchtime concerts and lectures. Don't miss the 'Carols by Candlelight' events if you are visiting at Christmas time.

Practical information

You will find Christ Church Cathedral in the heart of medieval Dublin. It is on many of the city centre bus routes and served by the Luas Red Line (Four Courts Stop).

Leaflets in 11 languages are available, free of charge. There is also a children's leaflet in English. Just ask for them at the welcome desk.

Opening hours

Please check their website for the most recent updates regarding the opening hours.

Admission prices

Please find the rate for a self-guided tour below:

  • Adult: €8
  • Student & Senior (65+): €6.5
  • Child under 12: €3.50
  • Toddler (0 - 4 years): Free

6 Dublin Castle

Great for Returners
History & Culture

Visitors who set off in search of ramparts and turrets are likely to walk past Dublin Castle in search of something more medieval-looking. So, be warned that there won't be jousting and suits of armour. For 700 years, the bastion of British rule in Ireland, the castle is really a Victorian architectural mish-mash, and wouldn't look out of place in London or Paris.

Dublin Castle, County Dublin

This is perhaps one of the more sedate attractions you'll find set against Dublin's bustling backdrop, and it's certainly not a day out for the kids, but the 45-minute tours are frequent and informative. A visit to the castle will appeal to anyone who has a keen interest in Irish history.

Insider Tips

Especially for visitors following a tour guide for one quick 'lap', Dublin Castle will be more of a short visit than a full day out.

Use the free Wi-fi access in the Castle to download the Dublin Castle app.

Practical information

The castle grounds and gardens are free to explore. A self-guided guided visit to the State Apartments is available and takes about 40 minutes. Guided tours are also available. You can get a brochure in 17 different languages or download the free Dublin Castle app.

Opening hours

Open 7 days a week from 9.45 to 17.45, with last admission a half-hour before closing.

Dublin City

Getting to Dublin

Arriving by Plane

Almost everyone who arrives on a visit to Dublin from abroad will arrive by plane (though some self-drive visitors from the UK may arrive by Ferry). Dublin Airport is located just 10km (6 miles) from Dublin City Centre and is accessible by both the M50 and M1 motorways. It is made up of two terminals. Visitors arriving from the USA and Canada will be arriving at Terminal Two.

Terminal One

Short-haul flights. Served by Ryanair, British Airways, Germanwings, Iberia, Lufthansa, Norwegian, SAS and Air France.

Terminal Two

Long-haul flights. Served by American Airlines, US Airways, Delta, Air Canada and Aer Lingus. Recent additions to Terminal 2's roster include United Airlines, Etihad and Emirates.

Airport Shuttle Bus Services

There are bus services available to and from both terminals, provided by Aircoach, Airlink, Dublin Bus and GoBus. Aircoach will bring you to multiple stops in Dublin City, including O'Connell Street and Grafton Street. They also operate routes to and from Cork City (€19- Adult, Single, 3hrs) and Belfast City (€12- Adult, Single, 2hr 20mins). You can follow their distinctive blue signs from the arrivals hall in both terminals. GoBus offers a route from Dublin Airport to and from Galway City (€18- Adult, Single, 2hrs 30mins). A ticket to Dublin City Centre from Dublin Airport costs €6 (Single)/ €11.50 (Return). Dublin Bus also operates a service between Dublin Airport and Dublin City for a similar price.


Like all international airports, there is a large number of taxis available outside both terminals at all times. To travel to the city centre by taxi will cost between €30-€40.


Currently, there is no direct railway link between Dublin Airport and Dublin City.

Arriving by Bus

The main bus terminal of Dublin City is Busáras Central Station. Located on the eastern edge of the city centre, on the same street as Connolly Train Station. Busáras Central Station is the terminal for all state-run buses coming in and out of Dublin City, both locally and across Ireland.

There are also a number of private bus companies that operate in and out of Dublin City. Their pick-up and drop-off points differ from one another and depend on what part of Ireland you are going to/coming from. The majority will have pick-up and drop-off points at Dublin Airport.

Arriving by Train

Train services in and around Dublin serve local commuters better than they do visiting tourists. To get to Dublin from a different region of Ireland by land, the bus is usually the recommended option.

Arriving by Car

Most people who visit Dublin City would usually advise against driving there. The traffic in the city centre can come to a stand-still for large parts of the day and you have to travel miles outside the city before you can find any free parking. If driving to Dublin city is a must you can find more information on parking here.

Arriving by Ferry

Dublin Port operates ferries across the Irish Sea to Liverpool in England, Holyhead in Wales and, during Summer and Christmas, to Douglas on the Isle of Man. The ferry companies that operate to and from Dublin Port are Irish Ferries, Steam Packet, P&O Ferries and Seatruck Ferries.

Getting to the City Centre

Dublin Port is connected with Dublin City Centre via Dublin Bus (the number 53 bus). Bus fares are payable with coins (Euro), smart cards or pre-paid tickets. There is a plentiful number of taxis outside Dublin Port at most times of the day, expect to pay in the region of €9 to €12 for a taxi to the city centre. The Luas Red Line tram operates 7 days a week and is located on East Wall Road, opposite the entrance to Dublin Port, and a one-way ticket to the city centre costs €2.

Is it easy to get around Dublin?

Because the roads are so busy, driving in Dublin is not usually recommended. In the capital, public transport is usually the best way to get around. When navigating your way around the city itself, the following three options are usually the best, depending on the weather and what luggage you may have with you.

Dublin Four Courts

Dublin Bus Services

Dublin City and its suburbs are well catered for in terms of bus services. The state-owned Dublin Bus company, founded in 1987, has a reputation of being reliable, plentiful and not too harsh on the pocket.

It is always advisable to check their timetable and stop locations if you are planning a bus journey, especially if you are new to the city. For more information, visit their website...

Bike hire in Dublin

NOW Dublin Bikes

Dublin City runs a bike hire scheme, sponsored by a subscription-based TV service NOW. It is a cost-effective and quick way to get around the city. There are 109 stations in total, each within close proximity to another.

A user must first take out a subscription, which allows an unlimited number of rentals. A long-term subscription is €35, a 3-Day ticket costs €5. Under 30 minutes is free and prices only go up after this. For longer rides, it is advisable to get to a terminal in under 30 minutes and take a new bike. For more information, visit their website...

taxi cabs

Taxi Cabs

Dublin City taxis are also known as hackney carriages, the kind that you can flag down on the street or find at a taxi rank. There are also private hire vehicles, which are not licensed to "ply for hire" or stand in a taxi rank and can only be booked in advance.

A taxi journey of 35 minutes (for example from Dublin Airport, in the North of the city, to the city centre) would cost between €30 to €40. See here for more info on Dublin Taxi ranks.

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