Dublin is an extraordinary city, and one that is fairly high on a lot of worldwide travelers’ lists. And as with any major city that attracts a lot of tourists, it’s essentially overflowing with sights, activities, and even off-the-beaten-path attractions that have become well known. Ideally, if you ever make it to the Irish capital, you should see and do as may of these things as you can during your stay. Provided that most travelers need to prioritize though, we’re presenting here a list of some of the best things you can do during your stay.
1. Tour Trinity College
Trinity College of Dublin can rightly be called one of the prettiest college campuses in Europe, if not the world. In fact, it made this very site’s previous list of the best places to go in Ireland! It’s old-fashioned in certain ways, but if anything that only enhances its beauty, and some of its most noteworthy rooms and buildings are downright awe-inspiring. The most famous of these, and the most stunning, is the “long” library. It’s a place that can make you understand at a glance the full wonder of literary potential, in that it looks simultaneously like a place someone invented in a story and a place someone sat to do the inventing.
2. Hang Out At Ha’Penny Bridge
Ha’Penny Bridge is just that – literally a bridge – but it’s not a bad idea to have some legitimate highlights on your list that won’t take up much time. Specifically, this is a relatively small walking bridge that crosses over the River Liffey, and which was first built in 1816. Its age makes it something of a wonder in and of itself, but it can also provide one of the prettiest and most impactful vantage points of the surrounding city. Take your time hanging out at the bridge, perhaps at sunset when the city is beautiful and the bridge is about to light up for the evening, and you won’t regret it.
3. Have A Pint
Advising travelers to have a pint in Dublin is about the most obvious travel advice you could find on the internet, but that’s sort of the point. The city is so well known for its local brews (most notably Guinness) and its delightful old pubs that you have to keep the idea on your list. Toner’s, Neary’s, and The Long Hall are a few names to markdown, but the truth is you can find a great old pub just exploring aimlessly as well.
4. Play Some Games
Ireland has made quite a name for itself in the online gaming front the last few years, rivaling Britain with its freely available slot games, competitive digital poker rooms, and more. These get so much attention though, you might not realize that there are real places to play casino games in Ireland. From the Sporting Emporium (a fairly traditional casino venue complete with sportsbook) to the Fitzwilliam Card Club (more of a classy poker den), there are some really fun places to let loose and enjoy a bit of gaming. They’re worthwhile in Dublin particularly because they tend to pack all the fun without the excessive fanfare.
5. Watch Hurling
Not many cities you’ll visit have sports of their own. But with Ireland essentially being the only country that takes hurling seriously, you really do have a chance to take in an almost wholly unique sport while you’re in town. It’s a fascinating game, with elements of field hockey and football, as well as a few other sports, and the crowds in Dublin get very into it. Do some asking around before your trip, and if there happens to be a significant match while you’re going to be in town, try to attend. It’s a blast.
6. Walk St. Stephen’s Green
To round out the list there’s St. Stephen’s Green, essentially a city park that’s been in place since the 17th century (though its form has changed over the years). It’s not a place full of attractions or outdoor entertainment, but it is arguably the prettiest outdoor area in Dublin, and it’s a shame to visit the city without at least taking a walk or two through the Green.