The 30 best sights in Dublin – descriptions and photos

Dublin

Dublin is the capital of Ireland and one of the oldest cities in the country, having the status of a county town and located where the River Liffey flows into Dublin Bay. Centuries-old history and a large number of attractions attract tourists from all over the world. Dublin is the cultural center of the country. It gave the world a lot of literary talents. World famous writers such as Bernard Shaw, William Butler, Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett were born here. Dublin is also famous in many countries rock band U2.

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Highlights

Dublin is not only the oldest but also the largest Irish city, covering about 115 km². It is home to 553,165 people, and the population of the metropolitan area is 1,904,806 (2016).

Dublin is attractive because it does not resemble the main cities of other European countries. It has a slight provincial charm. In the old streets you can often see red-headed partygoers coming out of bars with friends, which is why tourists traveling through the Irish capital do not miss the opportunity to stop by one of the famous Dublin pubs to relax and order a couple of mugs of dark Guinness beer.

The city was named after the Irish word “dubh,” which means “black” and the English word “linn,” which means “pond or creek. There is another version of the origin of the name of the Irish capital. Some researchers believe that Dublin has Scandinavian roots and comes from the Icelandic words “djúp lind”, meaning “deep river”. However, most scholars do not support this version, because the name of the city originated before the Vikings came to the coast of Ireland.

Liffey River and Samuel Beckett Bridge (Dublin Harp)

History of Dublin

The official history of Dublin begins in the ninth century. The fortification at the mouth of the River Liffey appeared, thanks to the Vikings who came to these lands. However, the historical notes of Greek scholar Ptolemy mention a Celtic settlement and monastery, which existed here long before the Vikings – in 140 AD.

In the second half of XII century Ireland was conquered by the Normans, and the English King Henry II Plantagenet declared himself ruler of this country. Soon Dublin Castle was built, the city began to grow rapidly and became the cultural and commercial center of the island. The power of Dublin is evidenced by the fact that when in the mid XIV century, half of the inhabitants died from a terrible epidemic of bubonic plague, the city quickly recovered.

In the 18th century, during the reign of King George III of Britain, Dublin became the largest city in the empire and the fifth most populous urban settlement in Europe. It had a major port and was an important industrial and commercial center in Britain.

The Monument of Light on O’Connell Street

Geography and Climate

The River Liffey in the urban area flows from west to east and empties into the Dublin Bay of the Irish Sea. It divides Dublin into two halves, north and south. For a long time the river valley was marshy, but this problem has now been solved by fortified embankments and drainage systems.

Dublin in winter Dublin in summer

The climate of the Irish capital is temperate maritime. In Dublin there are no sudden jumps in temperature; summers in the city are relatively cool +20 ° C and winters are mild. During the cold season the thermometer does not fall below -8 ° C and if snow falls, it usually melts in 4-5 days. In terms of rainfall Dublin is similar to London, and compared to the western parts of the country it rains half as much.

The Irish capital is located on the coast, so its residents are influenced by sea breezes all year round. Winds are especially strong from October to February.

The sights of Dublin

One of the visiting cards of the city is Dublin Castle, which today houses the government complex. The history of this fortress begins from the times of the first lord of the country – King John the Soleilless (1199-1216). Since the beginning of the XIII century the castle has undergone many reconstructions, and today it is open to visitors, except for those days when official events are held here.

Of the old buildings in Dublin it is interesting to see a four-storey Ashtown Castle, built in the XVII century. It is located in picturesque Phoenix Park near Dublin Zoo, which received its first visitors in 1831.

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Ashtown Castle Manderley Castle St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Another beautiful castle, Manderley Castle, is known for its distinctive crenellated towers and magnificent gardens. Its history begins in 1840. The castle was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s accession to the British throne and was first called Victoria Castle.

The city is home to Ireland’s largest church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where the bishop’s pulpit is located and where many public ceremonies are held. The history of the temple begins in 1192. The cathedral has been rebuilt many times over the centuries and has survived several major floods during the floods of the River Poddle, a tributary of the Liffey. For tourists the main Irish church is open every day from 9:00 to 17:00. On Saturdays the cathedral closes for an hour later, and on Sundays it receives visitors from 9.00 to 10.30, from 12.30 to 14.30 and from 16.30 to 18.00.

Of modern architectural sights the attention of tourists is attracted by the Dublin Needle or Monument of Light, rising to a height of 120 meters. The monument appeared in Dublin relatively recently – in 2003. Originally on this place stood the column of Admiral Nelson, but in 1966 it was destroyed by fighters of the Irish Republican Army. The steel-needle monument is located at the northern end of the city’s main street, O’Connell Street.

Museums

There are several museums open in Dublin. The National Museum of Ireland, located in the heart of the capital, next to the parliament building on Collins Barracks Benburb Street, attracts the most visitors. The museum’s rich collections are devoted to Irish archaeology, history and ethnography. The halls display antique gold jewelry, wrought metalwork, pottery, and everyday objects. Here you can see the body of an Iron Age Klonikavan man found in the marshes of Meath County in 2003. The museum is open to tourists every day except Monday: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m.

National Museum of Ireland National Gallery of Ireland

While vacationing in Dublin, it is very interesting to visit the National Gallery of Ireland, opened in the middle of the last century. The halls of the gallery feature paintings by Irish, Dutch and Italian artists. In total, there are about 14 thousand paintings. Especially prized are works by Pablo Picasso, Jack Butler Yates, Jan Vermeer, Diego Velázquez and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. In addition to paintings, the gallery exhibits graphics, sculpture and photographs. The gallery is located in Merrion Square W and is open all days except Monday: Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries can be seen at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, which is open in Dublin at the Royal Hospital Military Rd Kilmainham. The museum was created in 1991 in a building built in the 17th century for the Royal Hospital. The old mansion has been refurbished to house the art collection and today’s paintings blend in beautifully with the stylish glass steps and aluminium railings. You can visit the museum any day except Monday. Its doors are open Tuesday to Friday 11.30am to 4.30pm, Saturday 10am to 4.30pm, and Sundays and public holidays 12pm to 4.30pm.

Irish Museum of Modern Art Dublin Literary Museum

The Literary Museum (18 Parnell Square) is housed in another old building that appeared in the city in the 18th century. It appeared in Dublin not by chance, because many famous writers were born in the Irish capital. In addition to museum exhibits devoted to famous writers, the building housed a large library. The Dublin Literary Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In Irish folklore there are mythological creatures similar to elves and fairies – leprechauns. The only museum in the world dedicated to these fabulous characters has been in Dublin since 2010. During a tour of it, you can learn about how the myths of leprechauns originated, as well as Walt Disney’s journey to Ireland. One of the museum’s halls shows a wood model of the Giant’s Causeway, the prototype of which is in northeastern Ireland, in County Antrim. In addition, visitors are led through a room with huge furniture where they can feel like midgets. The leprechaun museum is on Twilfit House Jervis and is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The museum has a small store that sells “magic” souvenirs and leprechaun puppets.

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Fans of heraldic art will be interested in a tour of the Irish Heraldry Museum. It was established in Dublin in 1908 and is considered one of the oldest museums in the world devoted to state and family coats of arms. The museum is located on Kildare Street, 2, and is open Monday through Wednesday from 10.00 to 20.30, Thursday through Friday from 10.00 to 16.30, and on Saturday from 10.00 to 12.30. The day off is Sunday.

At the National Leprechaun Museum the Irish Heraldic Museum

Dublin Bridges.

The River Liffey divides the city in two, and the brightest attractions of the Irish capital are Dublin’s bridges, each with its own history and unique architectural appearance. If you like, you can take a hike along the river to admire the bridges and buildings along the Liffey. The best place to start such a journey is at the Houston train station, which is located in the center of the city.

The nearest bridge, like the train station, is named for Sean Houston, a volunteer who died in 1916. However, the bridge structure itself appeared earlier, in 1821. Today it is used for the movement of streetcars. Nearby is a bridge named after politician Frank Sharvin. It is designed for vehicular traffic. If you walk along the river further, you can see the Guinness Brewery on one side of the river and the National Museum of Ireland on the opposite side.

Rory O’More Bridge Mellows Bridge

The history of the next Rory O’More Bridge goes back to 1670. At first it was wooden, but in 1704 it was made of stone. From here it’s a short walk to the beautiful steel arch bridge named after the writer James Joyce. It is 41 meters long and 33 meters wide and was built by the famous Spanish architect and sculptor Santiago Calatrava.

The next Mellows Bridge is the oldest bridge in Dublin. The first stone version of the bridge appeared in 1683 and was called Arran Bridge. It stood for 80 years and was destroyed by a flood. The one you can see today was built in the 1860s.

Father Matthew’s Bridge

Even lower is Father Matthew’s Bridge, named after a Catholic priest who was active in preaching sober living. It was built in the middle of the XIX century. Documents have been preserved testifying that the first bridge in the city was erected at this very spot of the river in 1014. Back then it was the only one in Dublin, so it was simply called “The Bridge” or “Dublin Bridge.

The oldest pedestrian bridge is Liffey Bridge, which connected the banks of the river in 1816. The cast-iron arch bridge was originally named after Wellington, but was later renamed after the river. Townspeople and tourists call it “Halfpenny” because there was once a toll to cross the bridge.

The last bridge before Dublin Bay is the East Link, opened in 1984. It is raised three times a day so that river-sea-class vessels can pass from Liffey to the Bay and back. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists use this bridge for free.

Liffey Bridge East Link Bridge

Restaurants and cuisine

Irish cuisine deserves special attention. Dublin has more than 2,000 cafes, restaurants and eateries offering simple burgers and gourmet meat and seafood dishes. They all serve a hearty Irish breakfast, the full version of which includes scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs, fried bacon, a few sausages, white and black pudding, potato bread, and a side of vegetables, tomatoes and beans. After such a breakfast it is hard to stay hungry!

Especially popular among tourists is the famous Irish stew made of lamb, potatoes, onions, carrots, and herbs. This dish is also very hearty and may well replace a full meal. Both gourmets and unpretentious eaters love the potato fritters “boksti”, fragrant pork sausages “koddle”, bacon stewed with cabbage, and sweet bread with raisins “barbecue”.

In addition to stout and porter, Dublin’s drinks include Irish coffee. It is made as a cocktail, mixing hot coffee, strong Irish whiskey, sugar and whipped cream. In addition, in any restaurant in Dublin you can also taste traditional Irish liqueurs – creamy and Irish Mist. The latter includes clover and heather honey and wild herb extract.

Irish Stew Irish Coffee

Dublin Pubs

Brewing has been a leading industry in the city since ancient times. Suffice it to say that the famous Guinness beer began to be produced in the capital of Ireland in 1759. There are about 800 pubs in the city, and the Temple Bar area is especially famous among tourists, where you can find a beer place for every taste.

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Pubs are a true living history of Dublin. Each one has a unique look and regulars. Every pub is interesting with its original design, special cultural program and years-long traditions. Suffice it to say that the oldest pub in Dublin, The Brazen Head, opened in 1198 and is still open.

The Brazen Head pub O’NEILLS St. Patrick’s Day at Temple Bar Brewery at St. James’ Gate, view from the Guinness Museum

Townspeople and visitors to the Irish capital have a particularly fun time on March 17, when St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated here. On this day, the city is painted green, most residents wear green costumes and dresses, and you can see images of shamrocks everywhere.

The St. James Gate Brewery, where Guinness beer is made, is home to a beer museum. Visitors can learn about the technology of the popular drink’s production, see the history of beer advertising and a collection of various bottles. Here you can also taste Guinness dark beer, which has long been popular around the world.

Evening in Dublin

Souvenirs

As a memento of their trip to Dublin, tourists prefer to buy warm knitted sweaters, scarves and hats made from the wool of Merino sheep, which are sold in many places in the city. They are practical, never go out of fashion and are relatively inexpensive.

Guinness, Murphy, Harp beer, whiskey or Baileys liquor should be brought from the Irish capital. As souvenirs are popular ornaments with Celtic symbols, funny bouffant red beards, souvenirs with the image of trefoil and the national emblem of the country – the golden harp. Many travelers in Dublin buy dolls and figurines of Irish fairy tale characters, audio recordings of national music and folk musical instruments.

Transportation

Dublin’s transportation network consists of rail trains as well as city streetcars and buses. Passengers travelling through the city can use single tickets in the form of an electronic card “Leap Card” or buy single tickets from the drivers.

Dublin Bus buses run on the streets of Dublin from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. They are usually painted green and have two floors. Streetcars run on two lines. Fares vary depending on the transport area.

The DART railroad trains serve the city and the nearest suburbs. The trains run from 6.00 to 23.45 at intervals of 15-20 minutes and make stops at 25 stations. The fare, like on the streetcar, is determined by the distance of the trip.

If you want, you can get to any corner of Dublin by cab. However, you should know that this pleasure is not cheap here.

Dublin buses DART trains Dublin Pass cabs

Discount card for tourists

Travelers coming to Dublin enjoy the Dublin Pass card, issued for 1, 2, 3 or 6 days. The discount card is sold in the city’s travel agencies.

Owners of “Dublin Pass” have many advantages and significant savings. With the card you can get a free shuttle from the Dublin airport to the hotel and back on the buses “Aircoach,” as well as substantial discounts in restaurants, theaters and stores. The card also entitles you to free visits to 33 of Dublin’s city attractions and major museums.

Dublin City Tour

If they wish, tourists can take part in an unusual city tour called “Dublin Ghosts.” It is conducted by Dublin Bus, a transportation company serving shuttle buses. The tour lasts more than two hours and takes place late at night on special double-decker buses painted in purple.

The route of the tour starts from the Dublin Bus office and runs through the Dublin sites, the history of which is connected with ghosts. Tourists are accompanied by a professional actor who talks about the monuments and the history of the creation of the novel about Dracula. During the tour, the bus stops near the cemetery, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and several city churches. Tours are available any day except Sundays. Monday through Thursday they start at 8 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The cost per ticket is 28 euros. Book this and other Dublin Bus tours at https://www.dublinsightseeing.ie/.

View of Dublin from an ocean liner

Special offers on hotels

How to get there

There is an international airport in Dublin, 10 km north from the city center, which accepts direct flights from Moscow. In addition, you can get to the Irish capital via many European cities.

From the airport passengers are taken on high-speed buses Airlink, which go to the central bus station, railway station “Houston” and railway station “Connolly. Airlink buses leave every 15 minutes and are convenient because they run non-stop.

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You can get to Dublin on city buses 41, 41b, and 102. This is a slower option, but tickets for city buses are cheaper. Aircoach buses, which have a large luggage compartment, take passengers to Dublin’s outlying areas. There is also a convenient cab service to the city from the airport.

Because Dublin is a port city, it is also reached by sea. Ferries to the Irish capital come from Britain (from Liverpool, Holyhead and the Isle of Man) and France (from Cherbourg). The trip by water takes from 2 to 3 hours.

The sights of Dublin

Dublin Castle Malahide Park Phoenix Castle Malahide Cathedral Christ Church Lord of the Dance National Museum of Leprechauns National Museum of Ireland

This site contains Dublin attractions – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to questions: what to see in Dublin, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places in Dublin.

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle (photo)

The most famous historic building in Ireland is Dublin Castle, whose construction dates back to 1230.

It was built on the site of the first outpost of the Vikings, then became the residence of the British Crown in Ireland, and later the first President of the Republic of Ireland.

Today the castle hosts official receptions and celebrations. The outside of the castle resembles a fortress structure. But the magnificent halls inside give no doubt that here were the royal chambers. There are 10 main rooms in the state apartments of the castle. Each one has a distinctive and unique style. What they have in common is the majestic and regal style. One of the most luxurious rooms is St. Patrick’s Hall.

Coordinates: 53.34389700,-6.26618700

Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle (photo)

Malahide Castle was founded in 1185 by Richard Talbot, a knight who received the estate for his loyal service during King Henry II’s expansion into Ireland.

The Talbot dynasty owned the castle for 791 years. The exception is a few years, when during the subjugation of Ireland to Oliver Cromwell his protégé Myles Corbet lived in the castle. After Cromwell’s death Corbett hanged himself and his ghost, according to legend, still dwells in the walls of the castle.

Another tragic history of the castle is connected with the death of 14 members of the Tablebot family in 1690 during the Battle of the Boyne River.

Today the castle has preserved its unique antique furniture and interior. A beautiful park is laid out near the castle – the whole area of the manor occupies more than 250 acres.

There is also a museum of model railway vehicles.

Coordinates: 53.44443600,-6.16457500

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Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park (photo)

Phoenix Park is one of the largest urban parks in the world, covering 707 hectares. It is located in the northeast of Dublin, 3 kilometers from the center.

In the 12th-16th centuries the land on which the park is situated belonged to the Order of the Ioannites, but in 1662, after the land was confiscated, the Duke of Ormond founded a royal hunting park on the site, and in 1745 it was opened to the public.

On its grounds you can see 351 species of plants, you can visit attractions such as the presidential residence built in 1754, the 15th century Ashtown Castle, Dublin Zoo, which is home to over 700 different species of animals and birds, a 63-meter monument honoring Wellington, erected in the 18th century.

Coordinates : 53.35736500,-6.33358200

In photo mode, you can view the sights in Dublin by photo only.

Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle (photo)

Malahide Castle is one of the oldest buildings in Ireland and dates back to the 12th century. It was taken possession of by the knight Richard Talbot in 1185. The castle served as the home of the Talbot family for 791 years. The only exception is the period of 1649-1660, when Oliver Cromwell granted the castle to Mille Corbet after the Cromwellian era.

Corbet was hanged after Cromwell’s death and the castle was returned to the Talbot family. During the reign of Edward IV, the castle was enlarged and towers were added in 1765. In 1920, important documents were discovered in the castle. They were later sold to an American collector. For many years, the castle has been a landmark in the town of Malahide. Everyone can explore both the interior and exterior of the castle at any time.

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Coordinates: 53.44482900,-6.16456900

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ's Cathedral (photo)

Christ Church Cathedral is the main cathedral in Dublin. Its erection dates back to 1030 and it was built by order of the Viking king. A stone building appeared in 1180. In 1562, there was a catastrophe – the vaults of the cathedral collapsed. The temple was rebuilt in the 17th century, as a result of the reconstruction it acquired the Gothic style.

In the XIX century the cathedral was again restored, to the main building were added some buildings, including the hall of the Synod, which is connected to the church with a stone passage.

The cathedral has several beautifully preserved medieval structures-including the vaulted crypt, which is the oldest structure in Dublin and the largest medieval crypt in England.

Inside the temple you can see an amazing exhibit – a mummified cat and rat that were found in the pipes of the organ.

Coordinates: 53.34345500,-6.27131600

Lord of the Dance

Lord of Dance (photo)

Lord of the Dance is a world-famous Irish show that saw the light of day thanks to choreographer Michael Flatley in 1996.

The show is based on the history of Ireland, its hard and sometimes tragic fate, and the hard way to a happy life. The sensual plot, conveyed by high class actors, music, dance, theater, improvisation, and energy works wonders with the audience. Masses of fans around the world, full houses.

What can I say, it’s worth looking at the list of trophies:

– A billion-dollar brand.

– Over 13 million tickets sold since 1996.

– More than 2,400 performances worldwide.

– The video of the original show has sold over 7 million copies worldwide.

– March 2011 screening in over 2,000 theaters worldwide.

All in all, it’s better to see it once.

National Leprechaun Museum

National Leprechaun Museum (photo)

The National Leprechaun Museum is dedicated to the little fairy men, one of Ireland’s distinctive symbols.

The museum is located near Wolfe Tone Square.

The museum was opened to preserve the country’s distinctive culture. Leprechauns are part of the traditions and ancient Irish lore. According to legend, a leprechaun is a peaceful creature dressed in green, 60 centimeters tall, who never refuses to drink and hides a pot of gold in the grass.

In the museum you will learn many interesting stories from the life of fairy tales, will see a rainbow, which will show you where the pot of gold is, and for a while you can feel yourself Leprechauns, being in the hall where all the furniture is several times bigger than its real size. At the end of the tour you will have the opportunity to draw your own leprechaun and buy souvenirs.

Coordinates: 53.34762400,-6.26631700

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National Museum of Ireland

National Museum of Ireland (photo)

The National Museum of Ireland is a decorative arts and history museum located on Kildare Street, next to the Parliament of Ireland in the center of Dublin, the capital of Ireland. The National Museum of Ireland reveals to visitors a magnificent collection of golden prehistoric treasures.

The museum was founded on August 14, 1877 by an Act of Parliament, by the Royal Dublin Society, to continue public funding and to expand the museum’s activities. The museum was administered by the Ministry of Science and Art, with government support began construction of a new building on Kildare Street, which opened in 1890. The new museum housed collections of coins, medals, and mineral and plant collections. In 1921, the museum became known as the National Museum of Ireland.

In the museum you can see a great variety of national attributes of the country – weapons, furniture, silver, ceramics and glass, as well as there are samples of folklore and folk costumes. In the museum you can see the body of a man found in Klonikavan in the Iron Age, which is very well preserved, it is called Klonikavan Man.You can also see numerous early Christian jewelry and relics, Celtic outfits, examples of forged metal art, including Tara Brooch, Adra Chelis, and Mayola Bell Shrine.

Coordinates : 53.34050800,-6.25517600

The most popular attractions in Dublin with descriptions and photos for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit Dublin’s famous places on our website.

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