Do you want to explore Dublin in a not-so-common way? Here is my list for those who want something more than just tourist spots.
Bray is a pleasant town on the coast that offers walking trails (flat promenades and uphill dirt trails), friendly restaurants and tourist shops, and great beach views! It’s about 30 minutes outside Dublin city centre and is easily accessible by car, DART, and bus. So if you’re interested in a laid back day getting lunch, having a nice walk on the beach, and browsing shops, a visit to Bray is for you!
Eat Gelato at Gino’s
Gino’s Gelato on Grafton Str is arguably one of my favourite gelato places in Europe in Dublin’s heart. I know what you’re thinking ‘Why would somewhere cold and rainy be known for gelato?’; trust me, go get yourself a cup. I would recommend a scoop of chocolate brownie and a scoop of Stratecella – both are divine! (Pro tip: there are actually two Gino’s on Grafton Street, so if you don’t absolutely love the flavours at the first one, walk the two blocks to the second – seriously!)
Explore Dublin: Visit Kilmainham Gaol
Suppose you’re looking for some historical information on the 1916 Easter Uprising but can’t make it to Northern Ireland during your trip. In that case, this is the place to be! Kilmainham Gaol is a jail on Dublin’s county line that housed the biggest names arrested and charged as leaders of the Easter uprising. This 45-minute tour takes you through the trials, lets you walk in the jail cells, and tells the story of both executions and marriages. The ticket is 8 euros for adults, and the city bus drops you near the prison! *Tour times fill quickly, so make sure to book in advance!
Tour The Little Museum to explore Dublin and Irish history
The Little Museum boasts its ability to give all the need-to-know history of Ireland in just 29 minutes. It definitely lives up to the expectation! Situated directly across from St. Stephen’s Green, this museum not only gives you an inside look at a Georgian Architectural beauty but also gives you more information on everything Irish, from the first democratically elected female leader to pop sensation U2. Tickets are 7 euros for adults.
Explore Dublin through Irish Dancing
While in Dublin, you absolutely want to experience Irish dancing! If you’re with your family or are interested in learning a few traditional Irish dance moves (all partnered…think Jane Austin films), then head over to the Cultural Center on Friday night! The Cultural Center offers dance lessons with live Irish music for 10 euro per adult, including a traditional drink and snack. There is also a bar where locals bring their instruments and create their own band! …If sitting and watching is more your pace, I’d recommend the Celtic Nights performance in downtown Dublin. For 34 euro per person, you get a 3-course meal (soup or salad, a main dish, and a dessert) and a show! Book in advance to reserve great seats and the best time – I recommend choosing a time that starts at least an hour before the show so you can entirely eat your meal before the show begins.
Suppose you’re interested in ancient monasteries, like hiking, or could spend some time sitting by a lake with a good book. In that case, Glendalough is definitely worth a visit! To visit Glendalough, book a St. Kevin’s bus (which picks up directly in front of St. Stephen’s Green). Tickets for the bus are 15 euro and take you directly to Glendalough. Be mindful to book ahead of time, especially if you are visiting during high season! Two buses run every day, so you want to arrive early to ensure a spot on the bus. Wear your sneakers and pack a picnic (alternatively, there is a restaurant with sandwiches, ice cream, and snacks).
Check Out The Pub Scene
I know I promised a not so typical list, but it’s not Ireland if you don’t visit a few pubs! If you’re looking for a reasonably priced and delicious lunch that’s a bit out of the hustle, check out Foley’s Pub (Can I recommend the grilled ham & cheese toastie with soup of the day?). About three blocks from St. Stephen’s Green, Foley’s is cozy and warm and the perfect place to relax and get great food! If you’re craving a delicious meal in a more upscale (but still reasonably priced) environment, then check out Seasons of Baggot Street (which is excellent if you have a bigger group, too!). Searson’s has amazing food, is very spacious and it’s not too loud if you’re looking for good conversation…
Finally, don’t miss out on the live music down at the Temple Bar scene or head over to O’Donoghues to drink with the locals at night! Temple Bar is a must-visit if you want to explore Dublin the original way.