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Best things to do in Dublin 2019

From music and food festivals to parades, movie screenings and endless sightseeing opportunities, there is always something new happening in Dublin's fair city. This guide features our recommendations on the best things to do in Dublin each day of your next visit, from Monday to Sunday.
River Liffey - Best things to do in Dublin

Be it visiting Trinity College, sipping a cold pint at the Guinness Storehouse or listening to the buskers perform on Grafton Street, here are the best things to do in Dublin, from Monday to Sunday.

Monday by the Sea:Take a Day Trip to Howth, Co. Dublin
Tuesday for History:Morning: Visit Trinity College and The Book of Kells
Afternoon: Get a history lesson at Kilmainham Gaol
Wednesday for Music:Enjoy Traditional Irish Music in Temple Bar
Thursday for Culture:Afternoon: Pull a pint at the Guinness Storehouse
Evening: See a performance at The Abbey Theatre
Friday for City Life:Morning: Walk around St Stephen’s Green
Afternoon: Take a stroll down Grafton Street
Saturday for Irish Bars:Go on a pub crawl
Sunday for Nature:Visit the Phoenix Park and Dublin Zoo

Things to do in Dublin on a Monday

Take a Day Trip to Howth, Co. Dublin

Howth - best things to do in Dublin on a Monday

Just a short train ride north from Dublin City, approximately 35 minutes, is the seaside village of Howth. Here you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and Dublin Bay. There are cliffside walks, a lighthouse and plenty of photo opportunities. And to finish off a fun day trip, either stop off for some traditional fish and chips and walk along the pier. Or if you’d like some finer dining, Howth is home to a number of restaurants where you’re sure to enjoy a fresh catch. We recommend Deep and Aqua, two award-winning restaurants on the West Pier. Aqua really is a restaurant with a view with a superb seat overlooking Ireland‘s Eye and Howth Harbour.

Travel Tip: You can get to Howth using the DART, Dublin intercity and commuter train service. Tickets only cost a few euro and the trains run regularly throughout the day.

Things to do in Dublin on a Tuesday

Morning: Visit Trinity College and The Book of Kells

Trinity College Dublin - best things to do in Dublin on a Tuesday

Trinity College Dublin, one of Ireland’s most prestigious colleges, is situated in the heart of Dublin City. Founded in 1592, it remains one of the most beautiful and most-visited buildings in Ireland. Besides the buzzing atmosphere and beautiful architecture, one of the biggest attractions in Trinity College is the Long Library which is home to the famous Book of Kells. The library reminds many visitors of the Harry Potter movies and the library at Hogwarts, which adds to the attraction and charm.

Travel Tip: If you can befriend a student at the college they can get you into The Book of Kells and Long Library for free!

Afternoon: Get a History Lesson at Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol - top things to do in Dublin on a Tuesday

Kilmainham Gaol (jail), gives locals and tourists a deeper look at some of the darker aspects of Irish history. This jail turned museum, which dates back to 1796, was the sight of many public hangings in the 1800s. The jail was also where every significant Irish Nationalist leader was incarcerated over a 200-year period. It is a fascinating attraction and one of the most interesting things to do in Dublin.

Things to do in Dublin on a Wednesday

Enjoy Traditional Irish Music in Temple Bar

Best things to do in Dublin - Traditional Irish Music Session

Temple Bar is renowned for being one of the most ‘touristy’ areas of Dublin City, and can also be one of the most expensive areas for a drink. However with that said, the atmosphere is always electric, both in and out of the bars. Live music can be found in almost every bar day and night. Pubs to look out for are The Old Storehouse, The Temple Bar, and The Vat House. Temple Bar is also a very popular spot with street artists and buskers, so another option is to sit on the main square and listen to Ireland’s newest talent perform live for free. This area is also home to some great daily flea markets, vintage clothes stores and an amazing food market that takes place each Saturday in Meetinghouse Square.

Travel Tip: For more Traditional Music sessions visit The International Bar on Wicklow Street or head across the River Liffey to Smithfield, where you’ll find The Cobblestone Pub, a pub renowned for Traditional Irish Music sessions and gigs.

Things to Do in Dublin on a Thursday

Afternoon: Pull a Pint at the Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse

No trip to the Irish capital would be complete without visiting the home of Guinness, one of Dublin’s most popular tourist attractions. Don’t be fooled into thinking the Guinness Store House is simply a brewery where you can get a few pints – it is so much more than that. An award-winning attraction and an immersive museum experience, it takes you through the production process, the history of Guinness advertising and introduces you to the famed Guinness family. The best part of all is when you reach the Gravity Bar at the top of the Storehouse and can enjoy 360 degree views of the city whilst enjoying a pint they let you pour yourself.

Travel Tip: If you’re interested in the craft beer element of beer then a trip to Guinness Open Gate Brewery is a must.

Evening: See a Performance at The Abbey Theatre

The Abbey Theatre - top things to do in Dublin

Opened in 1904 by W.B. Yeats, The Abbey Theatre Dublin is the most famous theatre in Ireland. With just over 600 seats, this intimate theatre plays host to many of Ireland’s most promising playwrights and is a great place to watch out for emerging talent and locally written plays and productions. With ticket prices as low as €10 for early bird tickets, this national theatre promotes inclusiveness from its ticket prices to the performances it hosts.

Things to do in Dublin on a Friday

Morning: Walk around St Stephen’s Green

Best things to do in Dublin - Friends relaxing in St Stephen's Green

St Stephen’s Green Park, located at the top of Grafton Street, is a beautifully landscaped city park complete with duck ponds, band stands and perfectly manicured lawns and flower beds. In the summer months office workers from all over Dublin flock to the park at lunchtime to enjoy the sunshine. There are plenty of photographic moments to experience whilst touring the park’s famous features such as the Fusiliers Arch, The Yeats Memorial Garden, a bronze statue of Theobolde Wolfe Tone and the bust of James Joyce.

Afternoon: Take a Stroll down Grafton Street

Grafton Street

They say the best things in life are free and that certainly rings true for Dublin’s most famous shopping street. Although it’s the most expensive shopping street in Dublin, it is host to numerous high street stores, cafes and pubs. Stores include the gorgeous designer haven Brown Thomas, while cafes include the famous Bewley’s. Grafton Street’s real charm lies with the buskers and street performers that come out to entertain the city each day. Be it a 12 year old local with the voice of an angel or a dancing troupe from West Africa, there’s always a great atmosphere on Grafton Street.

Things to do in Dublin on a Saturday

Go on a Pub Crawl

Dublin Pub Crawl - best things to do in Dublin on a Saturday

If you’re visiting Dublin for the first time, you’re probably going to want to experience the best of Dublin nightlife. Unlike other cities in Europe, the fun in Ireland lies in the pubs rather than the nightclubs. It’s where the most craic can be found.

There are six main nightlife districts in the city that locals and visitors frequent.

  1. There’s the Temple Bar area, mentioned previously in this article.
  2. Dublin’s Creative Quarter which takes in South William Street, George’s Street, and stretches from Lower Stephen’s Street to Exchequer Street. This area is full of great bars and restaurants, think craft beer and cocktails.
  3. Harcourt Street, which is home to a number of cocktail style bars and nightclubs popular with ‘younger crowds’.
  4. Wexford Street Area has a mixture of well established pubs, bars, restaurants and the well known Whelan’s music venue.
  5. Baggot Street, where you will discover about 10 pubs all gracing the street, many shoulder to shoulder.
  6. Capel Street, where you will find a number of pubs and bars including Dublin’s most famous gay bar Panty Bar.
Temple Bar is known for its buzzing nightlife - best things to do in Dublin on a Saturday

Travel Tip: There are a number of Pub Crawl services in Dublin but if you don’t want to be restrained try a self-guided crawl. This way you can take in some, if not all of these areas. But always drink responsibly.

Things to do in Dublin on a Sunday

Visit the Phoenix Park and Dublin Zoo

Phoenix Park

Looking for the best things to do in Dublin this weekend? There’s so much to see and do in the Phoenix Park. As Europe’s largest walled city park, don’t be surprised to come across wild deer on your adventures. The park includes numerous historical monuments, Dublin Zoo, a viking cemetery and Áras an Uachtaráin, the President of Ireland’s home! One of the best ways to explore the park is by renting a bike. This can be done at the main entrance. And as well as being fun, cycling gives you a chance to see all the sights in a few hours.

Monkey driving - A visit to the Dublin Zoo is one of the top things to do in Dublin on Sunday

While you may at first think about skipping Dublin Zoo, it’s actually well worth a visit. And it’s worth booking your tickets online before you go because they are cheaper, and you can skip the queue!

Fun fact: Cairbhe the lion (renamed Leo), the symbol for MGM Film Studios, was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. So you could say he was Ireland’s first Hollywood star!

Lion

*Updated July 2019. Prices correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change and/or availability.

Beckett Bridge, Dublin at sunset

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