top tourist attractions and festivals dublin

Dublin’s Top Tourist Attractions & Festivals Guide

Discover Dublin’s lively city scene, rich with history and culture. The city is full of exciting events and festivals that draw people from all over. You can visit places like the Gate Theatre and the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History. Don’t miss the Instituto Cervantes and Draíocht Blanchardstown. They are worth a visit for cultural fun1.

For visitors who love events, there are lots to do. Join in on talks and readings at Dalkey and Merrion Square Park. Also, check out the Instituto Cervantes for interesting activities. Dublin also boasts famous places like The Book of Kells and the Guinness Storehouse, perfect for sightseeing1. Follow us as we explore Dublin’s landmarks and culture.

Key Takeaways

  • Dublin has a wide range of festivals and events for everyone’s taste1.
  • Must-see places are The Book of Kells, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Guinness Storehouse1.
  • The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History gives great cultural insights1.
  • Check out places like The Little Museum of Dublin and Windmill Lane Recording Studios for unique experiences1.
  • Enjoy special events at spots including Dalkey and Merrion Square Park, which add to the culture1.

Dublin Castle: A Journey Through History

Dublin Castle is key to Irish history, from its time as a Viking fortress to today. It was set up in the 13th century after the Normans came to Ireland in 1169. Since then, it has been a big part of Ireland’s story, changing many times but always being an important place2. It’s home to the Medieval Undercroft, State Apartments, and the Chapel Royal, all showing us what life was like in medieval Dublin.

Dublin Castle

The Medieval Undercroft

The Medieval Undercroft brings history to life. It’s said to have parts of the old Viking fort. Back then, it was by a moat that showed off Dublin’s smart making of buildings and roads2. You can only see it on special tours. These tours talk about the Undercroft’s old style and its story in Dublin’s past.

The State Apartments

The State Apartments are all about grand living and big events. The drawing room is where Ireland’s president has important visitors. The portrait room has pictures of leaders from when Ireland was overseen by Britain2. These rooms are richly made and tell stories of past times during the tours at Dublin Castle2.

The Chapel Royal

The Chapel Royal has been part of big state events, like when presidents start their jobs. It shows off great design and its place in Irish history. Exploring the chapel is a must for anyone keen to learn about Dublin Castle’s many stories.

For more on Dublin Castle, check out this detailed guide.

Hidden Gems in Dublin’s Museums

Dublin’s museums are filled with hidden treasures. Some of the best are the Chester Beatty Library, the Little Museum of Dublin, and the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology. They offer unique experiences to visitors. Let’s explore the magic of these special places.

The Chester Beatty Library

The Chester Beatty Library shows worldwide art traditions. Sir Alfred Chester Beatty donated this amazing collection. It has ancient Egyptian works to modern Chinese art. This makes it a top spot among Dublin’s cultural places.

Chester Beatty Library

The Little Museum of Dublin

The Little Museum of Dublin is in a stunning Georgian townhouse. It gives a look at Dublin’s past 100 years with local keepsakes. This place is perfect for learning about Dublin’s growth. And with its lively displays, it’s a hidden gem in Dublin.

The National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology

The National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology takes you on a journey through old Ireland. It has key pieces like the Ardagh Chalice and the Tara Brooch. These items tell stories of Ireland’s past. The museum is a true Dublin gem, showcasing its rich history.”

Number of Museums in Dublin12
Number of Memorials in Dublin9
Number of Historical Sites in Dublin7
Number of Architectural Sites in Dublin5
Number of Statues in Dublin5
Number of Celtic Sites in Dublin4

Dublin’s culture is celebrated with places like Drimnagh Castle and Casino Marino. These sites show Dublin’s global cultural impact3.

Exploring Trinity College and the Book of Kells

Trinity College Dublin was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I4. It’s a treasure trove of learning and history, with stunning buildings. At its heart is the ancient Book of Kells. This manuscript is from the 9th century and has 680 pages5.

The Long Room

The Long Room is a library gem at Trinity College. It’s an incredible 65 meters long, filled with 200,000 books5. For book lovers, it’s like paradise. Walking in, you feel the wisdom of all the scholars before us. The shelves, packed with knowledge, whisper tales of the past.

Book of Kells in Trinity College

The Historic Grounds

Trinity College’s grounds mix learning with calm beauty. Found at the foot of Grafton Street, it’s close to Dublin’s hotspots like the Guinness Storehouse5. It’s a great place for a gentle walk, surrounded by history. Notably, the college opened its doors to women in 1904, a big step for education5. Its Zoological Museum holds rare finds, like Ireland’s Last Great Auk.

St Patrick’s Cathedral: A Gothic Masterpiece

St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin shows us what Gothic architecture is all about. It’s Ireland’s tallest church. This iconic building has been around since the 12th century, making it very special6. Besides being a place to pray, it’s where we find the grave of Jonathan Swift, a famous writer.

The cathedral is not just a building; it’s a work of art. Its detailed stonework and tall spires stand out in Dublin7. Inside, you’ll see beautiful stained-glass windows. And there’s more to discover in the many chapels it holds.

St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin

On March 17th, the world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day, and Dublin has a big part in it7. The cathedral hosts lots of fun events during this celebration7. Between these activities and Dublin’s lively night scene, there’s something for everyone7.

St Patrick’s Cathedral is close to Phoenix Park, a huge green area in the city6. Anyone who loves Gothic architecture and Irish history should visit. It’s a must-see in Dublin, alongside other famous sites.

Grafton Street & St Stephen’s Green: Heart of Dublin

Grafton Street Dublin is located in the lively city centre. It’s a key spot for shopping with its energetic vibe and wide variety of stores. This famous street is the heart of shopping in Dublin, attracting both locals and visitors.

Shopping and Street Performers

On Grafton Street Dublin, you’ll find top-tier boutiques, well-loved shops, and independent stores. As you walk, talented street performers provide a delightful backdrop to your day. They bring life to the bustling shopping scene.

The Tranquil Park

A short distance away is St Stephen’s Green, a beautiful park perfect for relaxation. It offers a peaceful break from city life with its green spaces. You can take a leisurely walk or enjoy a quiet picnic in this serene setting in the middle of the city.

Grafton Street Dublin and St Stephen's Green

In summary, Grafton Street Dublin and St Stephen’s Green are key sites in Dublin. They unite the city’s shopping buzz with moments of calm. Visiting these locations allows you to experience Dublin’s vibrant core fully.

Art and Culture at the National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland is a top pick for art lovers. It has works from Irish artists and from around the globe. You can find it at the heart of Dublin, with free entry for most parts8.

Caravaggio Masterpiece

One of its treasures is Caravaggio’s painting, “The Taking of Christ,” from 1602. This masterpiece was missing for 200 years. It was found by chance in a Jesuit House dinning room on Leeson Street, Dublin, in 19878.

Lovers of Baroque can’t miss its dramatic beauty, highlighting Caravaggio’s huge impact on art history.


Jack B Yeats Collection

The gallery also highlights Jack B. Yeats, an acclaimed Irish artist. His work, “The Liffey Swim” from 1923, even won an Olympic silver. These pieces vividly depict life in Ireland, securing Yeats’ spot in Irish art history.

The collection of Yeats’ works tracks his unique path in Irish art. It makes the National Gallery of Ireland a must-see spot in Dublin9. It’s a key among the 94 attractions Dublin offers9.

Explore these masterpieces and delve into the rich cultural history of the National Gallery of Ireland.

Kilmainham Gaol: Ireland’s Historic Prison

Just 3.5km from Dublin’s heart, Kilmainham Gaol is a key symbol of Ireland’s past10. It started in 1796 and was active in major events for almost 150 years. This included the 1916 Easter Rising, where 14 leaders were executed1011 Kilmainham Gaol

In history, it held prisoners waiting to go to Australia and saw over 4,000 cases11. Yes, children as young as seven were also put behind its walls12. After closing in 1910, it later reopened in 1916 for the Rising leaders’ executions. Fortunately, it closed for the last time in 19241112.

Today, the gaol welcomes everyone for tours12. These let you imagine the tough life prisoners had, with beds scarce and too many in a single room12. It’s now a museum with three floors full of Ireland’s historical stories. Plus, there’s a tea shop to enjoy after the tour12.

Big investments were made to keep this historic place alive10. Ahead of the 1916 Rising’s centenary, €5 million went into its restoration. To go, you must book online. Groups can email for a special visit experience. Visiting with special needs? Remember to contact the museum first10.

Kilmainham Gaol is more than Dublin’s story; it’s Ireland’s fight for freedom all in one place10. It’s open from 9:30 in the morning to the early evening, carefully managed for your learning11.

  1. Adult admission: €811
  2. Senior (60+): €611
  3. Student: €411
  4. Child (12-17): €411
  5. Family (Two adults & 2-3 children 12-17): €2011

Not far from other Dublin spots, Kilmainham Gaol is near must-see places. As you enter, you’re immersed in Ireland’s past challenges and courage.

Guinness Storehouse: The Ultimate Experience

In the heart of Dublin, the Guinness Storehouse is an iconic draw for those who love beer and history. It’s in the historic St. James’s Gate Brewery, now a bustling seven-story museum13. Built in 1904, the place fuses its industrial roots with modern exhibits13.

This spot is great for diving into the history of Guinness, with stories stretching back over 200 years13. Thanks to a team-up with Ancestry, visitors can check out 1.6 million digitised records14. Tickets start at just €2014. And you can add on fun experiences like learning to pour the perfect pint14. For kids under 4, entry is free. Those aged 5-17 can come in for €1013.

The Storehouse is not just a pretty sight. It’s a taste adventure too. We can enjoy seasonal dishes and great food at spots like the 1837 Bar & Brasserie and Arthur’s Bar13. It also suggests other places to visit, like the Roe & Co. Distillery and Kilkenny for its famous red ale14.

Looking for something special? There’s exclusive shopping available. Plus, don’t miss the Gravity Bar. Here we have a full view of Dublin as we enjoy a fresh Guinness14. It’s the perfect spot to experience the best of Irish brewing and Dublin’s beauty.


What are the top tourist attractions in Dublin?

Dublin’s top attractions include Dublin Castle, the Guinness Storehouse, and Trinity College with the Book of Kells. They also feature St Patrick’s Cathedral and the National Gallery of Ireland. These places show the city’s blend of history and culture.

Which festivals and cultural events should we attend in Dublin?

In Dublin, don’t miss the St Patrick’s Festival in March, Bloomsday in June, or the Dublin Theatre Festival in autumn. These events spotlight the city’s rich cultural life, traditions, and arts.

What are the most important sites to visit at Dublin Castle?

When at Dublin Castle, explore the Medieval Undercroft, the State Apartments, and the Chapel Royal. They shed light on different parts of Irish history and show amazing architecture and design.

Which museums are considered hidden gems in Dublin?

The Chester Beatty Library, The Little Museum of Dublin, and the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology are Dublin’s hidden museum gems. They offer everything from ancient manuscripts to local memories, deepening your knowledge of Dublin’s past.

Why is Trinity College a must-visit in Dublin?

Trinity College is a must-see for its historic buildings, the famous Book of Kells, and the lovely Long Room. The visit combines history, art, and beautiful surroundings.

What makes St Patrick’s Cathedral a notable landmark in Dublin?

St Patrick’s Cathedral stands out with its Gothic design, place in history, and spiritual significance. It’s where Jonathan Swift is buried and its spires and stonework stand as Dublin’s iconic features.

What can we experience on Grafton Street and at St Stephen’s Green?

Grafton Street offers lively shopping and street performances. Nearby, St Stephen’s Green is a peaceful park. It’s great for walks and picnics.

Which notable artworks are housed in the National Gallery of Ireland?

The National Gallery holds treasures like a Caravaggio painting and works by Jack B. Yeats. They reflect Ireland’s rich artistic past.

What is the historical significance of Kilmainham Gaol?

Kilmainham Gaol played a key part in Ireland’s fight for freedom. Today, it’s a museum sharing the country’s hard history. Visitors see the past through its carefully preserved cells.

What can visitors expect at the Guinness Storehouse?

The Guinness Storehouse gives an in-depth view of Guinness’ history and making. The visit ends at the Gravity Bar for a pint and stunning views of Dublin.

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