The Best Way To Spend Your Time In Dublin
I confess Dublin holds a special place in my heart because it was where my first backpacking adventure began. I was, unfortunately, a bit ill when I frolicked through Dublin so I don’t have many recommendations for where to eat but I do have plenty on what to do! For the complete Dublin guide, check out Dublin Solo Female Travel Guide next.
Join A Free Walking Tour
One of the things I love about Dublin is how walkable it is. It is so easy to get around and see the sights on foot. And if you are going to be walking anyway, why not join a free walking tour and learn more about Dublin as you go. Tours tend to run later in the morning or earlier in the afternoon. The tour guides are knowledgeable and take you around to different places of significance and explain their history. A walking tour is also perfect for solo travelers who want meet up with others and socialize. You’ll run into other tourists who are most likely just starting their adventure in Dublin too.
Start off the day in Temple Bar. This neighborhood is a bit touristy but I still enjoyed walking around, seeing all the bars and dropping by the shops. There are tons of Irish and Asian restaurants spread through Temple Bar and many free walking tours start from this area. At night, Temple Bar comes alive and it’s the perfect time to enjoy some live music with a couple of new friends from your hostel.
See the Book of Kells & The Long Room
The Book of Kells is a handwritten, illustrated manuscript of the Gospels of the Bible. Created by monks over 1200 years ago, is it one of the oldest books in the world. The care and detail that went into creating the Book of Kells is truly impressive and was worth squeezing and maneuvering my way through the crowd to get close enough to see it. But little did I know this attraction had even more in store for me.
I had heard of the Long Room and knew it was in Dublin but I hadn’t known where exactly it was. So, imagine my surprise when I walk away from the Book of Kells, top the stairs and suddenly find myself there. The Long Room is a book lover’s dream. It holds thousands of rare volumes and early editions. Not to mention the busts of a bunch of dead guys. If ancient books and marble busts intrigue you then hop online to book your tickets to see the Book of Kells. Skip the queue and soak in all that history.
If you go to see the Book of Kells you will find yourself on the Trinity College campus. You might as well explore, take a few pictures, or even join a guided, student-led visitor tour and hear more about the history and traditions of the campus. Sneak peak: the tale includes a shooting, revenge, and murder.
National Gallery of Ireland
I personally love visiting galleries and museums when I travel. They are cool, quiet, and they give insight into the culture of the country. You can learn about its history and its values. The things they literally put on a pedestal to say: “This represents the beauty, history, and culture of Ireland. This is what we are proud of.” You get that feeling as you walk through the National Gallery and see its collection of Irish and European fine art. When you finish exploring the gallery, head over to the food court for lunch. Their soups, in particular, are quite delicious and were perfect for a sick little solo traveler who needed to get her strength up before she explored more of Dublin.
Founded over a 1000 years ago this cathedral is one of Dublin’s top attractions. From the magnificent arches and all the way down to the medieval crypt. The crypt holds priceless treasures and pieces that the Church has amassed over the years and, can’t forget this, mummified remains of a cat and rat that got trapped in an organ over a hundred years ago. When they found “Tom & Jerry” they did the only thing they could do, put them on display.
Guinness Storehouse Tour
I wouldn’t call myself a Guinness fan but I still enjoyed this tour. You can tell a lot of thought went into making the tour unique and interactive. It’s self-guided so you can go at your own pace as you experience what every floor has to offer and learn more about the history of Guinness and how it’s made. There are lots of bars and cafés if want to grab a bite to go with the free pint you receive at the end of the tour.
The River Liffey
Walk along the River Liffey and do some sightseeing. Snap some shots of the bridges, or of the shops and cafes, or of yourself! Enjoy strolling along the river and taking in Dublin.
Chester Beatty Library
The Chester Beatty Library is located on the grounds of Dublin Castle. The library houses multiple collections of rare books, manuscripts, and works of art from different cultures throughout the world. East Asia, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Turkey are some of the cultures represented here. People of all age groups can participate in the different interactive activities available or join in on the free guided tours. Admission to the library is free but even if it wasn’t I would still highly recommend you visit. But it is, so no reason not to go!
Saving the best for last, we arrive at Kilmainham Gaol. This was my favorite stop and if, no, when I go back to Dublin, I will visit again. Many seem to feel the same about this because Kilmainham Goal happens to be number 1 on TripAdvisor so you know my recommendation is solid. This old prison is infamous for having locked up well-known leaders of movements and rebellions. As well as, for many, being their final stop before forced emigration to Australia, or execution. Kilmainham is only accessible by guided tours and there is a maximum of 35 people per tour. To make sure you see Kilmainham at the time you want and to save a little money, you should book online. I hope you enjoy the tour as much as I did!
Well, as promised, ten things to do in Dublin! Dublin is a wonderful city with lots to do and see and eat and experience. I hope this guide helps you have the best time. Happy Travels!