The Dublin Experience
Depending on who you are, where you’re coming from, and why you like coming here, there are endless reasons to love Dublin.
It’s great value for money
If you're thinking about taking a trip to Dublin, here's some good news: it's never been better value. You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to quality, affordable accommodation, food and drink, and getting around won't break the bank either.
It’s easy to get to
Whether you’re flying or getting the boat, you’ll find yourself in Dublin in no time at all. Dublin Airport connects over 100 European destinations, including daily flights to and from 29 UK airports, and ferries run here from Holyhead and Liverpool.
Dublin’s a great city – but it’s so much more than that. Travel north or south of the city centre by DART rail service or by bike, and you’ll find a sparkling string of coastal towns, beaches, harbours and bracing sea views. And where there’s sea, there’s great seafood!
The friendly locals
Ireland in general is renowned for the friendliness of its people, and we’re proud to say that Dublin is no different. We’ll always do what we can to help, and we’ve even been known to be “up for the craic” every now and then!
Its spacious parks and gardens
On glorious summer days like these, you just want to be outside, so why not join the countless Dubliners who love to get out and enjoy “the lungs of the city”.
From the historic Phoenix Park to the central Saint Stephen’s Green, to name but two, Dublin’s full of beautiful, relaxing green spaces.
No exploration of Dublin should be complete without at least one castle visit.
From Dublin Castle in the heart of the city, to suburban sites in Malahide, Swords,Balbriggan, Dalkey and Drimnagh, they’re all impressive examples of ancient architecture.
It’s so kid-friendly
Dublin’s a city with something for everyone – and that includes the little ones.
Our Family Insider Guide is packed full of fun and exciting things to see and do that your kids will just love, from the Viking Splash Tour to Dublin Zoo… and did we mention the chocolate factory?
The beautiful beaches
You may not think of Dublin as a beach destination, but a short trip outside the city centre will bring you to any number of gorgeous sandy stretches. They’re perfect for walks and views, activities like kite surfing, and of course ice-cream!
Its dancing culture
Dublin’s a great place to see the nimble footwork of traditional Irish Dancing in action – and even to try it yourself!
Its cultural quarter
Dublin’s Temple Bar district richly deserves its status as the city’s Cultural Quarter. As well as its many fine bars and restaurants, you’ll find plenty of cool independent fashion and design shops, colourful outdoor markets and award-winning architectural spaces.
The River Liffey
Running through the heart of Dublin, and culturally celebrated by everyone from Joyce to Radiohead, the River Liffey is both a water and power supply for the city, and used by commercial and recreational craft. And once a year, hundreds of hardy souls attempt the historic Liffey Swim! Each of the many bridges that spans the river has its own history and style.
Its glorious food
Whether you fancy Michelin-star dining, cosy cafés, tasty Irish classics, the best in world cuisine, bustling food markets, or fresh seafood straight from the coast, Dublin’s a place with something to suit all tastes. We’re hungry just writing this!
Its fantastic festivals
It’s no secret that Dubliners love to party, so it makes perfect sense that you’ll find so many festivals on here throughout the year. St Patrick’s Day is always the big one, but the rest of our calendar is usually packed with all sorts of festival fun.
The live music scene
Whatever type of music you’re into, you’re never far from a gig in Dublin. Live traditional Irish music sessions take place nightly in dozens of pubs and hotels, and there are plenty of concert venues and clubs hosting local and international bands, artists and DJs.
Lots of free things to see and do
Not only has a trip to Dublin become more affordable than ever, you can also enjoy so many things during your visit without spending a single euro. From museums and galleries to parks and festivals, they’re all fantastic – and free!
Its Georgian heritage
From gardens to galleries, townhouses and squares, you’ll find magnificently preserved examples of the Georgian style of architecture all over Dublin. Most noticeable, of course is our countless number of gorgeous Georgian doors!
Its stunning mountain views
Even in Dublin city centre, there are places where you can spot mountains in the distance, but to really get the full vista, take the DART to Howth. While walking around Howth Head, you can enjoy a breath-taking panorama that includes both the Wicklow and Mourne Mountains.
Its glorious golf Courses
If you’re wondering whether to bring your clubs to Dublin, let us make up your mind for you! You’ll find some of Europe’s best links courses along our coastline, and the scenery alone will ensure that these good walks will never be spoiled.
Dublin has so much history
As you’d expect from a city that’s more than 1,000 years old, there’s ancient history to discover all over Dublin. From streets and buildings to cultural objects, you’ll find remnants of our Victorian, Georgian, medieval and even Viking eras!
Its Christmas atmosphere
Dublin’s a great city to visit at any time of year, but when there’s Christmas spirit in the air, it really comes alive. The lights, the markets, the buzz of people, the warm and cozy pubs (perfect for post-shopping recovery) – it’s always fantastically festive!
Temple Bar is the beating heart of Dublin city centre.
No trip here should be complete without a stroll through its cobbled lanes, full of restaurants, shops and galleries. And with so many popular nightclubs and traditional Dublin pubs in the quarter, night-time’s when it really comes alive!
If the walls of Kilmainham Gaol (jail) could talk…
This hugely popular attraction is where some of modern Irish history’s most disturbing and inspirational themes came about. Down the centuries, the Gaol Hosted the likes of Robert Emmet, Parnell and the leaders of the 1916 Rising.
The many traditional pubs
We’re always happy to tell you about the craic, atmosphere, culture, music and history of Dublin pubs but really, there’s no substitute for experience. And it goes without saying that you’re always very welcome to come and sample it all for yourself!
Located inside the equally wonderful Phoenix Park, Dublin Zoo’s spacious 28-hectare site is home to more than 400 amazing animals from around the world. Whatever time of year you find yourself in Dublin, it’s always worth a visit!
The Guinness Storehouse
Year in, year out, The Guinness Storehouse is Dublin’s most visited attraction, and with many good reasons. You can learn about the history of ‘the black stuff’ and discover how it’s made, pull your own pint, enjoy The Gravity Bar’s stunning panoramic views and more.
Core Dublin Bus Route Map
This map shows the core routes operating in and out of Dublin city centre. Listed on the map are some key destinations and attractions in and around the greater Dublin area, and the routes that serve them.
Night Bus Route Map (Nightlink)
If you're out late at night in Dublin and need a quick and affordable way home, you could use the Nitelink, Dublins night-bus service. This map clearly shows the routes serviced.
Airport Express (Airlink)
The Airlink bus serves a variety of Dublin locations which are detailed on this route map.
Tickets for Luas (the Irish word for ‘speed’) can be purchased at streetside vending machines. They’re available for single/return journeys or as flexi-tickets covering travel for seven or 30 days. Check the destination on the front of the tram before boarding, and you’re all set for a smart light-rail system serving not just stops along the River Liffey, but some of Dublin’s best sights.
The Red Line is 20kms in length and has 32 Stops. The Red Line runs from Tallaght to The O2 and from Saggart to Connolly.
The Green Line is 18.2km in length and has 22 Stops. The Green Line runs from Brides Glen to St. Stephen’s Green through Sandyford.
DART and RAIL
DART is an electric rail system following the eastern coastline from Malahide and/or Howth in north Dublin, right through the city centre to southern suburbs like Blackrock, Dun Laoghaire, Dalkey and onwards to the coastal towns of Bray and Greystones in County Wicklow.
Trains run regularly both on and off-peak, are kitted out with free Wi-Fi and provide one of the speediest ways to transport you around the city, not to mention the hidden beaches, seaside villages and harbour restaurants secreted away along Dublin’s surprising coastline.
Dublin is also a central arrival and departure point for visitors looking to explore the rest of the country by rail. Cork, Galway, Limerick, Killarney, Belfast and Sligo are just some of the intercity routes served from the city’s two main stations: Heuston and Connolly.
Hire a bike and explore the city on two wheels!
If you are looking to do sightseeing on a budget then Dublin is the place to kick start it! Examine an original Caravaggio at the National Gallery, come face to face with an exhibition of Iron Age bodies at the National Museum of Ireland Archaeology or get involved in a white hot scientific experiment at the Science Gallery and much much more, all at no cost. Dublin has so much to offer, check out our list of top free attractions not to be missed!
1. National Gallery of Ireland
Today the collection includes over 2,500 paintings and some 10,000 other works in different media including watercolours, drawings, prints and sculpture. Every major European School of painting is extensively represented. It also houses a renowned collection of Irish paintings. The gallery's highlights include works by Vermeer, Caravaggio, Picasso, Van Gogh and Monet.
2. National Botanic Gardens
The Gardens, 19.5 hectares on the south bank of the Tolka contain many attractive features including an arboretum, sensory garden, rock garden and burren area, large pond, extensive herbaceous borders, and annual display of decorative plants including a rare example of Victorian carpet bedding.
3. National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology
Walk into the National Museum of Ireland on Kildare Street and be magically transported back in time. Take time at The Treasury and see examples of Celtic and Medieval art, such as the famous Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch and the Derrynaflan Hoard. Gaze in wonder at the finest collection of prehistoric gold artefacts in Europe, which is to be found in Or - Ireland's Gold. Ramble through prehistoric Ireland and experience life at the same time of the Vikings in Viking Age Ireland.
4. Farmleigh House
Built in the late 18th century, Farmleigh was purchased by Edward Cecil Guinness, a great-grandson of Arthur Guinness, in 1873. The house contains many beautiful features including the Main House, which is a fine example of Georgian-Victorian architecture, the Sunken Garden, the Walled Garden, the famous Clock Tower and the Lake and The Benjamin Iveagh Library. The library holds some of the finest examples of Irish bookbinding from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The collection was donated to Marsh’s Library by the Guinness family.
5. Science Gallery at Trinity College
Science Gallery is a world first. A new type of venue where today's white-hot scientific issues are thrashed out and you can have your say. A place where ideas meet and opinions collide. Unlike most galleries, we don't have a permanent collection. This means that there is always something new to see.
6. National Museum of Ireland – Natural History
This museum of museums is famous for its Victorian cabinet style, which houses one of the world's finest and fullest collections' still to be seen today. Two million species, of which roughly half are insects, live side by side with, appropriately for a natural history museum, decorated and sculptured panels depicting mythological figures.
7. National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History
Collins Barracks could be said to be the National Museum of Ireland's largest artefact, having had a unique history all of its own in another life. The Museum charts Ireland's economic, social, political and military progress through the ages, with stunning exhibitions like Soldiers & Chiefs and The Asgard.
8. Chester Beatty Library
Situated in the heart of the city centre, the Chester Beatty Library's exhibitions open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. The Library's rich collection of manuscripts, prints, icons, miniature paintings, early printed books and objects d'art from countries across the world offers visitors a visual feast.
9. The National Library
With over eight million items in its collection, the National Library of Ireland in Dublin City is home to the most comprehensive compilation of Irish documentary material in the world. From music, periodicals and photographs to maps, manuscripts and genealogical material, the library offers and provides free access to an invaluable representation of Irish heritage.
10. Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
Located in Dublin's city centre, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, houses one of Ireland's foremost collections of modern and contemporary art. The original collection, donated by the Gallery's founder Sir Hugh Lane in 1908, has now grown to include over 2000 artworks, ranging from the Impressionist masterpieces of Manet, Monet and Degas to works by leading national and international contemporary artists.
11. Gallery of Photography
Since its inception in 1987 the Gallery of Photography has become Ireland’s premier venue for photography. It has staged exhibitions with many of the major names in contemporary photography. The Gallery moved to its new location, a purpose built space with fully fitted darkrooms and digital imaging facilities in Meeting House Square in 1995. The Gallery, which is non-profit making, is funded by the Arts Council and Dublin Corporation. However the cost of maintaining standards continues to rise. The Gallery relies on sponsorship and support from members to help fund its activities.
12. Irish Museum of Modern Art
It is leading national institution for the collection and presentation of modern and contemporary art. The Museum presents a wide variety of art in a dynamic programme of exhibitions, which regularly includes bodies of work from its own Collection and its award winning Education and Community Department.
The Museum is housed in the magnificent, 17th century Royal Hospital building, whose grounds include a formal garden, meadow and medieval burial grounds.
13. National Photographic Archive
The National Library of Ireland’s National Photographic Archive (NPA) is home to the world’s largest collection of Irish photographs. This collection has been acquired through purchase and through generous donation. While most of the collections are historical there are some contemporary collections. Subject matter ranges from topographical views to studio portraits and from political events to early tourist photographs.
14. Phoenix Park Visitor Centre
The Phoenix Park is one of the largest and most magnificent city parks in Europe. A lively and entertaining exhibition on the history and wildlife of the Phoenix Park is on display in the Visitor Centre.
Adjoining the Visitor Centre is the fully restored Ashtown Castle, a medieval tower house that probably dates before the 17th century. The castle had been incorporated into an 18th century mansion and was 'rediscovered' when this building was demolished due to dry rot.
15. Pearse Museum
A former school run by Patriot and Educationalist Patrick Pearse, it is now a museum in beautiful grounds. Attractions include exhibitions, a nature study room with attractive displays on Irish Flora & Fauna and an audio-visual show titled "This Man Kept a School".
St. Enda's Park - one of Dublin City's most charming and atmospheric parks, with its riverside walks, waterfall and walled garden. Access for visitors with disabilities to ground floor and nature study centre.