13 Best Things to Do in Dublin, Ireland

Are you planning on taking a short break from your jampacked schedule and the thought of visiting Dublin in Ireland zoomed in to your mind? Well, if that’s so, just know that taking a trip to Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, is a decision you wouldn’t regret!

Go on a road trip in Ireland, and make sure you’re somewhere fun for Saint Patrick’s Day. Dublin has always played an important role in the history of Ireland. This city founded by the Vikings and whose indomitable spirit has allowed it to overcome wars and adversities to become one of the main cities of the United Kingdom.

Dublin is truly beautiful and is steeped in the signature Irish beauty. There’s so much to see from lush green parks, to incredibly beautiful cathedrals and historic monuments, traditional Irish pubs and the gorgeous Irish countryside. This city divided in two by the Liffey river. If you want to get around the city of Dublin even when you're on a tight budget, you can still have a chance to visit some of its tourist attractions at a more affordable price.

Many travel to Dublin every year to see the remains of St Valentine in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin! Though a visit to Dublin can cost you a little much money, there’s no need for you to worry because there are still various ways you can do to cut off your supposed travel expenses.

And besides, you surely wouldn’t want to miss out the chance to see the vibrant city itself, experience its flourishing nightlife, and see its mind-blowing tourist attractions before your eyes. So, as you start writing and organising an itinerary for your Dublin visit, you might want to check out the following tips below best-suited for thrifty travellers.

The capital of Ireland is like the long lost uncle you never knew you had. Here the welcome is as warm as the seat next to the pub’s open fire – expect chatty locals to ask for your life story (and tell you most of their own) while you both enjoy a Guinness. The city itself is a fascinating place – filled with ancient buildings, famous liquors and perfectly cute storefronts.

Follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s most famous writers, or find a pub to enjoy some traditional Irish singing and dancing. Go to Dublin if you appreciate a nice pub, you like to feel at home while you’re away, you’re not put off by bad weather.

Apart from this, there’s Trinity College to visit, Temple Bar area for great pubs and live music, The famous Guinness distillery and much more! Dublin has a lot to offer. If you have time head over to the countryside to see the majestic ‘Cliffs of Moher’. If you are thinking about traveling to Dublin, in our guide you will find information about the best areas to stay in a castle in Ireland, things to do in Dublin and tips that will be very useful throughout your trip.

Dublin was the birthplace of important writers, musicians and musical groups such as Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Jonathan Swift, Gabriel Byrne, Colin Farrell, Stephen Rea, U2. One of the most important Dublin writers of the twentieth century is James Joyce, whose works have permanent references to a Dublin both real and symbolic.

best things to do in Dublin

What are you waiting for? Read and figure out how you can save up money while enjoying the best things to do in Dublin!

1. Touring the Library of Trinity College Dublin

It’s become a favourite thing of mine to visit local colleges wherever I go. Specially if they house THE most impressive library in the world. Trinity College in Dublin is a historical one on its own, but you can also just go and visit the library that has more than 200,000 books. Touring the Georgian quarter, famous for its particular architectural style, you will find the headquarters of the University of Dublin, Trinity College. Its library is the largest literary space in Ireland.

2. Walking along O'Connell Bridge

Other sites for leisurely walking are the two most famous streets in Dublin. One is Grafton Street, the most important shopping street, shopping malls, famous jewelers, designer clothing stores and elegant restaurants. Dublin’s best shopping district and one of the young-crowd districts of the city. Loads of good stores- retail, designer shops, utility stores, antique shops, bookstores, cafes and pubs. All in all, a good place to go to shop! The other is O'Connell Street, one of the longest and widest streets in Europe where Saint Patrick's Day is held every year and, in addition, several emblematic buildings and monuments are present.

You will find historic buildings such as the Dublin Castle and St. Patrick's Cathedral, fantastic antique shops, amazing avant-garde architecture, famous pubs, elegant restaurants, shops, theaters and cinemas.

3. Tour the Guinness Storehouse

Traditional Irish pubs still dominate the evenings, with live music and the ever-present Guinness beer. You can not miss, on a visit to Dublin, the tour to the Guinness Beer factory. Despite Ireland being its famous home, more Guinness is sold in Nigeria than here! The brand is quite popular in Africa, and the Nigerian Guinness brewery was its first operation outside Britain and Ireland.

Irish Coffees are a beloved drink in the United States that are served in Irish pubs, faux Irish pubs, and regular old bars across the country. Unlike the Moscow Mule or Oaxacan Old Fashioned, the cocktail actually originated in the country it’s named after. Yet its reputation in Ireland is quite a bit different.

4. Walk aimlessly through Temple Bar

Dublin has this vibrant nightlife where you can party all night. If you want to experience the true Irish atmosphere, walk aimlessly through Temple Bar, on the south bank of the Liffey River. This neighborhood concentrates the nightlife and cultural life of the city.

Temple Bar in central Dublin is one of the most visited places in Ireland. It’s jostling with cheery, friendly, noisy people. The pub culture in Ireland lives up to its name. People are singing, saying hi, raising glasses to each other - everyone is in a jolly mood. For once the real feeling is better than the internet pictures.

5. Visit Lambay Island

Lambay Island, near the capital Dublin, has some very exotic wildlife. A man named Cecil Baring purchased it and introduced peacocks, kinkajous and flightless rheas. They didn’t do very well and have long since died out. However, his son inherited the island and seeded it with red-necked wallabies from Australia, which are still thriving and now number over 100.

6. Street art tour to Merrion Square

Well, when visiting Dublin on a budget, you better not forget to avail a self-guided Dublin Street art tour. In this free-of-charge activity, you can have a chance to see the city's top street art routes presenting artists like Banksy, Bordalo, Dan Leo, James Earley, and KinMx.

7. Visit National Botanic Gardens

Aside from that, you can also enjoy a low-cost visit to Dublin’s variety of parks. St. Merrion Square, Phoenix Park, Stephen’s Green, and the National Botanical Gardens are just some of the free places you can check out. Take note of this, the National Botanical Gardens only offer free guided tours during Sundays between 12 pm to 2:30 pm. For the rest of the time, it charges €5 per head.

8. Howth Castle

The city of Dublin is small enough so that on a weekend you have time to leave its borders and take a trip. In addition to Malahide Castle, another good idea is to approach the small fishing village of Howth. This fishing village is full of charm, is accessible by public transport and has much to offer (in addition to a premium fish). A traditional Irish village on the suburbs of Dublin, it was earlier a quaint little fisherman’s village. Go to Howth for a hike along the gorgeous cliffs- reach the top to see some extraordinary views.

Beyond the hills north of Dublin Bay, Howth is a fish lover's dream, a hiker's paradise and a destination as scenic as it is romantic. As soon as you get to Howth, if you have a good day, take a walk to the end of the West Pier. Pass by restaurants and fishing boats, sit down for a while to admire the island of Ireland's Eye and to listen to the songs of a street musician.

The outdoor market is the ideal place to buy local crafts, antiques, gifts and, in passing, fill the belly with olives and cheeses of all kinds, chocolate or some cupcakes to melt. If the hunger tightens, cut the tooth to one of your burgers or get some noodles to take, a few gyozas or a sandwich and have a picnic by the sea. Howth Castle underwent changes and improvements.

If you have time, in the grounds of the castle you will also come across the ruins of the Corr Castle and a dolmen known as Aideens Grave. Howth seals are possibly the friendliest you will find in nature. If only for the interest, they will follow you if you walk along the Western Pier of Howth, hoping that you will get them some fresh fish.

9. Howth Cliff

Basically a large hill surrounded by cliffs, the Howth Head with its 171 meters of height is an excellent viewpoint of the Bay of Dublin and the Wicklow county. If you like to walk, do not even think about it. On a small promontory in the highest part of town you will see a Martello Tower, one of those buildings that are repeated throughout the Irish coast. Today some are museums, other lodgings and that of Howth is a Radio Museum.

10. Saint Stephen’s Green

Known to be Dublin’s lungs, St. Stephen’s Green is a 22-acre park in Dublin. Surrounded by some beautiful Georgian architecture and also gives a nice escape from the city’s hustle-bustle. On a day when the weather is good, visit this park to laze around in the grass, look at the ducks in the ponds, read under the gazebo or just take a walk whenever you feel like. Lush, Green and utterly calm.

11. National Museum of Ireland

If you are interested in knowing Ireland’s history and the nation’s artifacts and valuable collection- Go to the National Museum of Ireland. Visit to see the famous 12th century- ‘Ardagh Chalice’. It houses some exquisite antique collection of jewelry, metal artifacts, military antiques and a lot more.

12. Dalkey Castle

Take the DART rail to Dalkey town which offers a breathtaking view of the Eastern Irish countryside. Visit the ‘Dalkey Castle’ and you go on their guided tours as its quite fun.

13. Killiney Hill

Hike up to the top of the hill to Killeney. Witness fantastic views of the Killeney Bay and laze around in the public park on the top of the hill.

Best Way to Get to Dublin

Apparently, nobody can tell what's the cheapest way possible for you to get to Dublin. As it will all depend on where you're coming from - are you coming from abroad or from just a nearby city or place? If you're coming from within Ireland, the best option you can consider is to take a bus or train trip to Dublin. But when you’re coming from outside the country, your best options are booking a flight or take a ferry going to Ireland.

Either way, you can always have a chance to get discounted plane or ferry tickets if you book for your Dublin city tour as early as you can.

Best time to visit Dublin

To make the most of your Dublin trip, you better not forget to also check out the most suggested times or seasons to visit the city. By far, the cheapest season to visit Dublin is during winter. However, when you say winter, expect the rainy weather throughout your visit. If you don't like much snow and too much rain to get in your way during your Dublin trip, you can also consider the Spring and Fall seasons to travel with just enough budget.

If you're planning to have your Dublin tour between the months of July and August, which is the summer season and also the most sought-after time by the majority of tourists, you better ready your pocket as it's also considered as the most expensive time to visit the city.

The very first thing you will face as soon as you arrive at the Dublin airport will be the Irish climate, which is very unpredictable, It rains here most of the time, even in the month of August you would certainly feel cold so bring a windcheater with you and a warm jogger and some really nice shoes. You are going to walk a lot so a good shoe will be worth of an investment.

Accommodation in Dublin

Aside from your plane tickets going to Dublin, you’re probably thinking about a place to stay while in the city, right? Well, don't think too much because Dublin has a world of cheap options to resolve your accommodation concerns. You can find a cosy and clean place to stay in any serviced apartment in Ballsbridge at a very affordable rate.

If you want to stay in the city centre, you can book accommodation in one of Dublin city centre’s hotels. Don’t worry because cheap hostel and/or apartelles are also available in Dublin. You just have to take some time and a lot of patience on finding the best and perfect place for you. Take a temporary accommodation in any hostel, book the place before you leave from your country.

Understanding how to spend in Euros

From the first coffee you will purchase to the first grocery shopping you will be confused at first with the price due to currency difference, it will be difficult for you to understand what you can call cheap and what you can call costly, trick is to stop converting the price with the currency of your country.

There will be a lot of fancy shops around but don't fall for the temptation. Buy anything you need from the big retailers like Tesco, Aldi, Lidl as their prices are quite affordable. For example a can of coke will cost you 2.5 euro in a street-side shop and a same will cost you 90 cents in a big retail store.

How to get a phone number

Go to any store and buy a sim which is usually 15 euros/month. You can change plans later depending on your needs.

Transportation in Dublin

Cabs are expensive in Ireland, so be ready to walk 4-5 km every day. Buy a bicycle as it will save a lot of your time and money. You can buy a used bike from the Facebook marketplace or new bikes from decathlon or local bike shops. Another option is the Leap card which you can use for buses,

Pro Tip: If you are running late for a place avoid taking a bus, only board a bus if you have a buffer of 30 minutes.

Final thoughts:

The Dublin city must be pretty much expensive in different aspects but with great planning and organising, you can absolutely make the most out of your Dublin visit without a hassle! If you have more Dublin travel tips that are definitely best-suited for thrifty travellers, just know that you can always knock on our doors and share your ideas and thoughts with us and our readers.

The people are extremely friendly. To add onto this, say thanks to the bus driver. When people say sorry, most of the time they mean “excuse me”. If someone offers to take a photo for you, it's exceedingly unlikely that it's a scam. It's pretty much guaranteed to be someone who genuinely means well. If someone seems shady though, go with your gut.

Temple bar is a nice, interesting, creative area, but beware that drinks in temple bar are extremely extremely overpriced. It's unlikely you'll see a local drinking in temple bar. That said, the Tesco in Temple Bar is by far the cheapest grocery shop in the city (for name brands. If you're happy to go with cheaper store brands, there's a Lidl off Parnell Street).

Don't be offended if someone is laughing at you or making fun of you, it's probably a well meant joke and it won't be received well if you get genuinely annoyed and offended. The currency exchange on Westmoreland street is slightly better than the one on O'Connell Street, if you care about that sort of thing. Dublin Bus (Blue and yellow bus) is almost always exact change only (they'll keep the change and give you an IOU reciept, and you have to go to their HQ to get the money back), but other bus companies have change.

If you want a good view of the city, go to the Stephen's Green shopping centre. Find the lifts (the elevators. They're beside Dunnes) and go to the top floor. Then, walk outside, and you'll be on the roof of the car park, and you'll have a fantastic view. The security don't mind, unless it's Paddy's Day.

Rest you will enjoy your time in Ireland it's a lovely country with lovely people, during your time here be ready to hear words like Thank you, Sorry, Please, more than you ever did.
Kalyan Panja