Top 10 Things To Do in Dublin: The Best Itinerary With Friends!

Updated on:  
June 1, 2022
Reading Time:  
We're about to spoil our secrets with the list of the 10 amazing things to do in Dublin, including commonly asked questions answered. Discover now!

Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our users. We may earn a small commission fee when you click on affiliate links on our website, and all recommendations are independently reviewed.

Dublin is the lively capital of the Republic of Ireland. A sprawling city, many of the top attractions are, luckily, concentrated into a fairly compact and walkable area. One of the most popular places to visit in Ireland, Dublin has something to suit diverse tastes and interests.

Dublin boasts a plethora of cool attractions, spanning from the historic and cultural to the funky and fun. There’s a variety of activities to suit people of all ages. Numerous eateries where you can sample authentic Irish fare. Awesome shopping streets. A dynamic nightlife. Many accommodations to match different budgets.

What more could you want?! Start planning your Dublin adventure and get set to experience the local craic!

If you have the time, why not make Dublin part of a wider European trip? Check out our collection of all things to do and places to stay in the popular destinations around the world! Find our collection here.

If you're looking for things to do around Ireland instead, why not check out our classic must dos around Ireland?

Keep reading to discover the ultimate best things to do when you’re in Dublin, Ireland (not to be confused with the best things to do in Dublin CA, or the best things to do in Dublin Ohio!).

We’ll also answer some common questions posed by travelers and give you top tips to make your city break go smoothly.

Night view of the river by dublin ireland
Photo by Andrei Carina on Unsplash

Is Dublin Expensive for Tourists?

First, let’s talk costs. It’s pretty widely known that Dublin is one of the most expensive cities to live in in Europe. Living in Dublin costs more than in London as well as in other major cities in the Eurozone. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s also the most expensive city in Eire.

How about visiting the Irish capital, though? Dublin does, unfortunately, come out as the most expensive of the best places to visit in Ireland.

Food and drink are often significant chunks of change when exploring Dublin. Avoiding tourist-focused restaurants and bars can go some way to keeping the costs down. Another option is to stay somewhere with self-catering facilities so that you can pick up cheap groceries and prepare at least some of your own meals.

Mix and match free and paid attractions to fill your days and spend less, and walk or use public transport over catching a cab.

The good news is that most people only stay in the capital for a few days, so a trip really doesn’t need to break the bank. If you’re planning to stay longer or want to hit as many highlights as possible, a Dublin Pass can be really cost-effective.

If you're looking for a cheap place to stay, why not check out some of the amazing hostels in Dublin? Not only are they affordable, social, but you'll have a lot of fun staying in a hostel.

Is Dublin Safe?

With Dublin being one of the biggest tourist destinations in Ireland and Europe, the city is definitely considered a relatively safe place to visit. Some common crimes include petty thefts and pickpocketing, so we would recommend being conscious of your belongings while you roam the streets of Dublin.

Here's a more comprehensive guide to know whether Dublin is safe for you to travel to.

City streets of dublin ireland
Photo by Gregory DALLEAU on Unsplash

What Can You Do in Dublin for Free?

There are plenty of free things to do in Dublin—indeed, some of the best things to enjoy in the Irish capital won’t cost a single cent.

If you'd like to explore all that Dublin has to offer, why not check out some of the free walking tours in Dublin? They're all run by local guides that are filled with incredible local stories and experiences you won't hear anywhere else!

Dublin Museums

All government-run museums are free to enjoy. They include the fascinating Natural History Museum and the history-focused National Museum of Archaeology. If creativity is more your thing, check out the contemporary collections in the Irish Museum of Modern Art, or admire fine arts in the National Gallery of Ireland.

Make sure to include museums in your itinerary if you have the time! Museums in Dublin are filled with incredibly diverse artworks and artifacts that many travelers specifically fly to see!

Dublin Parks

Dublin has several pretty parks and open spaces where you can bask in the sunshine and enjoy a picnic. St. Stephen’s Green has several memorials and statues, Phoenix Park is home to a large herd of deer, the National Botanic Gardens is full of fragrant blooms, and the Garden of Remembrance is a tranquil spot. There are beautiful beaches on the outskirts of the city too.

Admire the neoclassical buildings alongside the cobblestone walkways of Trinity College, the oldest university in Ireland. Join a free tour of the White House-inspired Aras an Uachtaráin, the official home of Ireland’s president. Take scenic walks alongside the River Liffey. Snap a picture of Molly Malone’s statue on Suffolk Street. There are tons of cool things to do in Dublin for free!

Aras an Uachtaráin in dublin ireland
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Are Two Days in Dublin Enough?

The length of time you spend in Dublin depends on your interests. You can, at a hectic pace, see most of the city’s highlights in a couple of days. You’ll also have time to experience live music come nighttime in a handful of Dublin’s famous pubs.

Of course, staying longer will allow you to explore more of Dublin city center and at a more relaxed pace, but it’s perfectly possible to have a ball on a weekend city break.

If you'd like to maximize your trip to Dublin, make sure you're all caught up on how Dublin neighborhoods works! Picking which neighborhood to stay in can reduce travel time and maximize the specific activities or sights you'd like to see!

Dublin's iconic clock
Photo by Fabrício Severo on Unsplash

Top Ten Things to Do in Dublin Ireland

Choosing the best things to do in Dublin is a pretty tough task! Dublin city center is packed with amazing things to see and do … and that’s before you even factor in hidden gems, suburban delights, and places away from the typical tourist trail.

Unique urban sculpture near the water in Dublin Ireland
Photo by Thomas Vogel on Unsplash

We’ve tried to include things that appeal to different interests and types of travelers, as well as headline attractions and well-known sites. And so, without further ado, these are our picks for the top ten things to do in Dublin:

1. Shop Till You Drop Along Grafton Street

Grafton Street is the hub of Dublin’s shopping scene. Whether you’re browsing or buying, it offers plenty to hold your interest. You’ll find everything from quirky one-off stores and high street fashions to large high-end designer boutiques. Street performers, musicians, and pavement artists help to create an almost carnival-like air.

2. Sample Black Gold at the Guinness Storehouse

Visiting the Guinness Storehouse is among the most popular things to do in Ireland. Learn all about the brewing history of the famous Irish drink, and see how the perfect stout is created.

See Guinness memorabilia from throughout the ages, watch machines in action, and gain a greater appreciation for one of the most well-known Irish things! Tours end in the 7th-floor Gravity Bar where you can admire the city views while sipping on a glass of creamy Guinness.

Famous guiness beer in guinness storehouse dublin
Photo by Erik Jacobson on Unsplash

3. Observe the Animals at Dublin Zoo

Spending a day at Dublin Zoo is one of the top recommended things to do in Dublin with kids. The zoo is home to many species of animals from around the planet, all housed in clean and spacious conditions. Some species are rare, and the zoo is an active player when it comes to education, conservation, and protection.

Creatures include lions, elephants, monkeys, meerkats, wolves, sea lions, and red pandas.

4. Wander Along Love Lane

Taking an arm-in-arm stroll with your beloved along Love Lane is one of the most romantic things to do in Dublin. Located at Crampton Court in the district of Temple Bar, the small street has been decorated by Irish artists to reflect the themes of passion and tenderness. Hues of red and pink stir the emotions, and there are quotes about love and loss, hearts, and other romantic touches.

5. Travel Back in Time at Kilmainham Gaol

Feel a chill as you tour the abandoned Kilmainham Gaol, once home to some of Ireland’s most notorious criminals. Walk along eerie open corridors and landings, peer into reconstructed cells, and learn about the harsh treatments endured by former prisoners. It’s one of the top things to do in Dublin for history buffs.   

Kilmainam gaol dublin
Photo by Yoav Aziz on Unsplash

6. Have Fun at Dublinia

Travel back to the Viking and medieval eras at the fascinating and engaging Dublinia. Among the fun things to do in Dublin, Ireland, Dublinia has something to please all ages. There are informative displays and exhibits as well as interactive activities to capture the imagination. It’s certainly a great place to learn more about Dublin in days gone by.

7. Visit St. Michan’s Church

Dublin is filled with churches, so you may wonder what makes St. Michan’s Church special. The church itself, although quaint, is pretty regular. Descend into the crypt, however, and you’ll discover one of the quirkiest things to do in Dublin! Underneath the church lie mummified corpses and the coffins of infamous criminals!

8. Marvel at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

The enormous St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the biggest Christian church in the whole of Ireland. There’s plenty of architectural splendor and religious symbolism to appreciate both inside and out. Learn how the phrase “to chance your arm” was born within the cathedral’s walls, pay your respects at the grave of author Johnathan Swift, and stroll through the pretty gardens.

st patrick's cathedral in dublin
Photo by Jaime Casap on Unsplash

9. Sip Fire Water at the Old Jameson Distillery

Although you won’t actually see whiskey being produced in the former distillery, visiting the Old Jameson Distillery is still one of the cool things to do in Dublin. Tours do, however, recreate the distilling process and take you through the history of the brand. At the end, you can try the famous fiery drink too.   

10. Party at the Temple Bar Area

Temple Bar is both the name of a famous Irish pub and also the bar- and club-filled area that surrounds the lively drinking establishment. There’s plenty of fun to be found here, including trying various drinks, dancing the night away, and listening to traditional Irish music. It’s hard not to enjoy the craic! In the red-fronted Temple Bar, you’ll find the biggest collection of whiskeys in Ireland—more than 450!    

What’s the Best Thing about Dublin?

With so many awesome sights and experiences, delicious food and drinks, and friendly people, it’s impossible to choose just one thing that’s fabulous about the Irish capital city. If you're running short on time, you'll definitely want to visit some of the classic Dublin landmarks the city has to offer!

Plan your trip to discover your own favorite things about Dublin—we’re sure there will be many!

Plan Your Dublin Vacation with Pilot

Now you’ve got a good idea of what to do in Dublin, it’s time to start planning your getaway. Whether you’re traveling with mates, your lover, or your family, a good plan makes for a fantastic trip!

Pilot’s cool (and free!) social trip planner helps you to plan your break effectively. You can all dip in and out of your plan, tailoring it to meet your unique tastes. And, you don’t need to spend tons of time finding things to do or places to stay.

Sign up for our travel themed newsletter Flightdeck if you're looking for some travel inspiration! We'll bring you a weekly dose of all the latest travel news, handy tips, and tons of terrific ideas for future vacations. Sign up now!

Originally published on:  
July 22, 2021

Related Articles