Dublin City is bursting at the seams with attractions for couples, young and old. Whether you want to unwind and relax with some good food and drink in one of the city’s many traditional pubs, an adventure or day of culture, Dublin certainly won’t disappoint.
Dublin is a city that is steeped in history, dating back as far as the 9th century. Without planning a thing, you could easily spend your day wandering the streets, discovering the past of Ireland’s capital city one landmark or mounted wall plaque at a time.
Dublin has a whole array of attractions on offer to suit everyone and we’ve rounded up a list of our favourites:
1. Dublin Zoo
Opening its doors in 1831, Dublin Zoo is one of the world’s oldest zoos and is still a firm favourite for locals and visitors alike when it comes to whiling away a morning or afternoon. The zoo spans 69 acres of the city’s famous Phoenix Park and welcomed more than 2 million visitors in 2018, as well as the arrival of more than 100 new animal residents, including an Asian elephant calf.
The zoo is divided up into different habitats, such as the African Savanna, Asian Forests, Gorilla Rainforest, Sea Lion Cove and more. Here, you can also attend talks about the various animals onsite and even witness feeding time (pro-tip: check the website in advance so you don’t miss out).
2. Hiking in Ticknock
Perhaps getting out of the hustle and bustle of the city is more to your liking. If so, you won’t regret head up to the Dublin mountains for a hike in Ticknock. head on a two-hour hike with your date and take in all that stunning scenery.
With over 10km of mountain and forest walks, each offering beautiful views out over the city, Dublin Bay and even Bray Head, there are a whole network of trails to suit every level of hiker.
To finish off the day, there is a quintessential Irish pub called The Blue Light situated at the foot of the mountains where you can enjoy some hearty pub grub and a drink, looking out over Dublin Bay.
3. Croke Park
Croke Park isn’t just a landmark in the city of Dublin. It’s also a European landmark because with a capacity of 82,300, it’s the third largest stadium in the region.
More than just a sporting stadium, Croke Park has been at the heart of Irish life for over 100 years and is well worth paying a visit – even if it’s not on match days! The tours offer wonderful insights into everything from the intricate care of its rich green grass to its inspiring role in Ireland’s past and present.
When you’ve finished on the pitch, you can also ascend 17 storeys onto the Ericsson Skyline – the stadium’s rooftop walkway. It is Dublin’s highest open-viewing platform and offers unrivalled panoramic views of the capital from the mountains to the sea, all pointed out by a friendly guide.
Tickets for tours must be booked in advance through their website.
4. Adventure at Phoenix Park
The Phoenix Park is somewhere you could easily spend an entire day with your partner, and it would be a day well spent. The park itself is one of Europe’s largest enclosed recreational spaces and there are several ways to explore it.
The park itself has no admission fee so you can stroll the whole thing for no cost at all but if you don’t fancy walking, there are bicycles available to rent at the entrance on Parkgate Street. There’s also 14km of official cycle trails, which makes cycling an enjoyable and safe way to see the sights.
When you need a break, visit the charming Phoenix Park Tea Rooms for some refreshments and maybe grab a cone from the local ice cream van as it passes.
5. Temple Bar Food Markets
If you enjoy tasting fresh food, you should visit the Temple Bar Food Market. It takes place every Saturday from 10.30am – 4.00pm in Meeting House Square and its home to Dublin’s tastiest dishes.
For the romantics, you’ll find The Temple Oyster Bar there every week, with oysters that are renowned for being extremely fresh and delicious.
The market is on all year and you can check out their Facebook page in advance to learn about what stalls are there each week, with a handy map to help you navigate your taste buds.
6. The Guinness Brewery
The Guinness Brewery is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions and has stood in the same place since 1670. Since opening its visitor centre, known as The Storehouse, over 4 million visitors have flocked through the famous gates.
The Storehouse building was remodeled to look like a pint glass and standing at seven stories, it’s one of Dublin’s tallest buildings, offering wonderful panoramic city views from its Gravity Bar.
On the tour, you’ll get to see how Guinness is made, as well as getting to sample some in the tasting laboratory.
7. The Little Museum of Dublin
While Dublin has a lot of museums to offer, The Little Museum of Dublin is the one that will capture the hearts and minds of everyone. Looking back 100 years, the museum has a large collection of small artefacts that had a big impact on the city’s history from both political and cultural aspects. It has everything from a first edition of Ulysses to a very interesting statue of U2 front man Bono.
There are also specialised seasonal exhibits on offer and a tour that focuses specifically on women’s history in Ireland takes place every Thursday.
Just a few minutes’ walk from most of the attractions on this list is the four-star Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge. With a range of offers on various stay packages, delicious in-house dining experiences and an incredible city location, you’re sure to have a wonderful stay at Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge.