Best of Dublin- Fun (and some Free) Things to Do in Dublin
I’ve been to Dublin twice- once with my family before I went to college, and a second time as a student while studying in Paris. Some of my friends and I decided to spend a long weekend in Ireland (hello, RyanAir $40 flights!), so we flew in and out of Dublin and rented cars to travel around the rest of the Emerald Isle. In this post, I’m going to talk about 3 fun things to do in Dublin- great if you only have one day in Dublin and want to soak in as much of this city as you can! I’m also including a list of free things to do in Dublin if you have more time and want to enjoy more of this city while on a budget!
Dublin is a lovely city, full of rich Irish culture and fascinating history! There are so many fun things to do in Dublin, but these attractions are just the beginning! This city is fairly compact, so most things are within a short cab/bus ride or walk!
Looking to get out of the city and explore more of the Emerald Isle? Visit County Meath and explore “Ireland’s ancient east” on a day trip!
Fun Things to Do in Dublin
- Visit the Guinness Storehouse
Guinness, Ireland’s iconic beverage, has one of the biggest attractions in Dublin! I know this seems like a touristy attraction, but I really enjoyed my visit to the Guinness Storehouse. The museum has a really interesting set up, and I learned a ton about how Guinness beer is made. The interactive exhibits take you through various stages of the brewing process, and you learn a lot about the history of the company within the greater history of this city as well. Tickets for adults are 25 euros at the door, but you can buy them online here for a discount depending on the time and day you intend to go! Student tickets are 17.50 euros. All tickets (for guests 18+) include a pint of Guinness. If you’re a big fan of Guinness, you might enjoy the Connoisseur Experience (starting at 50 euros) for a more intimate and detailed experience!
Pro tip: There are two options for getting the included free pint of Guinness during your visit: you can pour your own pint or get a pint at the rooftop Gravity Bar. I recommend pouring your perfect pint in the pouring room and then taking it upstairs to enjoy it with 360 degree views of Dublin at the Gravity Bar! Best of both worlds!
2. Go on a Musical Pub Crawl
There are a lot of different options for musical pub crawls in Dublin! My family and I went on a musical pub crawl, and we followed two musicians to three different pubs where we learned different Irish songs and stories. This was a really neat way to hear about Irish culture and listen to traditional folk music while enjoying the lively pubs in Dublin. Even though this may sound like an adult experience, under 18’s are totally welcome- I just recommend finding a tour that starts early in the evening! My sister and I were 14 and 17 when we went the first time. My whole family said this was one of the best parts of our time in Ireland, so I highly recommend spending one evening on a musical pub crawl. Try some traditional Irish pub fare while you’re at it! Guinness Pie and fish and chips are always great Irish options!
3. Take a Tour of the Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison in Dublin that operated from 1796 to 1924. This jail has a storied history, as it housed prisoners from the civil war and numerous rebellions throughout Irish history. When touring this jail, you get a better sense of Dublin’s somewhat tumultuous history and Ireland’s past conflicts with England. I went on a guided tour of the jail with my family after my grandparents recommended it. We learned so much about Irish history, and it was really fascinating. We went in skeptical about this attraction because we weren’t sure how “fun” a visit to an old jail would be, and while it was somber, all four of us (including two teenage girls!) were happy we went. If you enjoy history or just want a greater understanding of Ireland’s past, I highly recommend visiting Kilmainham Gaol! Tickets for a tour of the jail are 8 euros per adult, 4 euros for children between the ages 12-17, and free for children under 12. There are also discounts available for seniors and students. You can purchase tickets on the official website here.
Want to explore more of Ireland? Think about a day trip from Dublin to Cliffs of Moher!
Free Things to Do in Dublin
There are a number of free things to do in Dublin if you want to make the most of your visit without spending too much!
- Walk Around Saint Stephen’s Green
Saint Stephen’s Green is one of Dublin’s most beautiful parks! The park has a storied history, as it was once a cattle grazing area before becoming a restricted park for residents. Now, it’s open to the public to roam as you please! It’s right by Grafton Street, a major shopping street, so you can take peaceful break from shopping around Dublin!
2. See the Illuminated Texts at the Chester Beatty Museum
Most tourists visiting Dublin want to visit the Book of Kells, a famous illuminated manuscript from the 9th century. We thought about visiting the famous medieval book, but (up to) 14 euros per person seemed like a lot to spend to visit an old book (sorry any fans of the Book of Kells!!). Instead, we went to the Chester Beatty Library, which has manuscripts and books from 2700 BC to present from all over the world! Admission to Chester Beatty Library is free, too!
3. Visit Trinity College
If you have time, I recommend walking around Trinity College. The college was founded in the 1500’s, and the campus is absolutely beautiful!
4. Hang Out in Temple Bar
Temple Bar is a neighborhood in Dublin that has a lot of restaurants and bars! Although it can be kind of touristy, there are plenty of fun Irish pubs that make this area well worth a visit!
There’s so much to do in Dublin! Whether you want to enjoy a pint of Guinness at the Storehouse’s rooftop bar, sing along with musicians at a pub, or enjoy the many free things to do in Dublin like the Chester Beatty Library, there’s plenty for you to enjoy!
What’s your favorite part about Dublin? I personally love the live Irish music played at the pubs!