The capital of Ireland, Dublin is home to history, heritage and award-winning stout. This cultural hub is a popular spot for European lovers looking to get a taste of typical Irish life. Millions of people flock to the city for Guinness, historical architecture and vast, green spaces. With so much to see, taste and explore, you’ll fall in love with the quaint charm and elegance of this literary landmark. Here are 5 places you must see during your cruise to Dublin:
Possibly one of the most iconic attractions in the city, the Guinness Storehouse is now a museum and tourist attraction for true lovers of Guinness. Covering seven floors of Guinness history, visitors take a tour around the historical site that has produced famous Irish stout for hundreds of years before taking you on a journey through the history of the drink and allowing you to take a sip for yourself.
Becky from The Global Grasshopper told us about her trip to the Guinness Storehouse, “Guests start their storehouse journey in the atrium where a seven-story pint glass creates an impressive entryway. A 9,000-year lease signed by founder Arthur Guinness, pictures and other historic documentation are available for review on the ground floor. Arthur Guinness Business Centre, on the third and fourth floors, holds multiple conference centres and private event spaces available for rental.
“Displays highlighting Guinness’ development sit throughout the building. Graphic designers used bold fonts and eye-catching decor to keep guests entertained while exploring. Each ticket includes a complimentary pint or soft drink. Interested parties use their ticket to obtain certification at Guinness’ fourth-floor Pour Your Perfect Pint Bar or for a pint at the seventh-floor Gravity Bar.”
Ha’penny Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that crosses the River Liffey in the centre of the city, connecting The Temple Bar in the south with the shopping district in the north. Since 1816, the bridge was home to thousands of love locks all dedicated to previous visitors at the river crossing, which has since been removed and banned from the site.
Head to the location at night and witness the white bridge glow as the decorative lights glisten in the water below, creating a truly enchanting picture from both sides of the water. If you’re looking for a romantic walk or the perfect photo opportunity, then a wander over this famous bridge is a great option.
A former prison set in the heart of the city, those looking to get a glimpse into the criminal and historical background of Dublin should make sure this magnificent building is on their must-visit list. Now a museum owned by the Office of Public Works, visitors to Kilmainham Gaol can wander its eerie corridors, explore the 24-square-feet cells and get a glimpse into life inside the prison.
Olivia from Olivia Leaves has been based in Dublin since 2013. The city captured her heart when she first visited and she always recommends a trip to the museum to her family and friends, “Dublin was the first city I visited in Europe and I’ve been here ever since! It’s a special place that is growing rapidly and developing a very cosmopolitan centre, without losing its friendly, community feel. If you’re visiting Dublin for the first time, you don’t want to miss Kilmainham Gaol. It’s the jail where Irish revolutionaries were held during the 1916 Easter Rising and the tour will give you an amazing history lesson. It’s my favourite attraction!”
Justine and her husband Scott from Wanderers of the World agree, “We visited Dublin for a long weekend in 2016. We were instantly struck by the city’s rich history, impressive buildings and ease with which to get around. Furthermore, a guided tour around Kilmainham Gaol - where many Irish revolutionaries including the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were imprisoned and executed - will be both educational and bewitching.”
The Temple Bar
The perfect spot to relax after a busy day of exploration, The Temple Bar is one of Dublin’s most popular pubs. Famous for its huge selection of traditional whisky, hosting traditional Irish music nights and its infectious atmosphere, it really is a must-visit when wandering around the city.
“I’ve visited Dublin twice,” Kara from Whimsy Soul told us. “The first time was when I was 18, about two weeks after I graduated high school. Ireland was my first solo international trip and I immediately fell in love with the cobblestoned streets of Dublin, the friendly faces everywhere I went and of course, the live music and beer I could legally drink in the pubs! The second time I visited was on my European honeymoon trip. Dublin was kind of our “date night” city - so many pubs like The Temple Bar offer cosy nooks, which made our trip feel like one big date night.”
James and Sarah from The Whole World or Nothing believe that visiting the city’s pubs is the best way to get a feel for the real Dublin, “Our biggest recommendation would be to sample the legendary nightlife. And of course, there’s no better way to do this than watching some live music with a pint of the black stuff, Guinness. Head to the Temple Bar area for your pick of great pubs.”
Trinity College is one of Ireland’s most prestigious universities. Founded in the 1500s and opened by Elizabeth I, visitors to the site today can book guided tours around the cobbled and grassy squares and revel at the magnificent Georgian buildings. Visit the library within the university and discover the Book of Kells exhibition, a display of ancient Latin manuscripts and illustrations, dating back to the 9th century.
Justine and Scott recommend visiting the tombs within the university, “During your trip to Dublin, you must make it your mission to marvel at the dusty tomes within the Trinity College Library and Book of Kells exhibition.”
“We visited Dublin as part of an epic road trip we took around Ireland in 2017 and instantly fell in love,” James and Sarah explained. “Dubliners are characteristically friendly and welcoming and the city itself is absolutely charming, full of fascinating history and beautiful architecture. Places not to miss off your must-see list are Dublin Castle, Trinity College and Ha’penny Bridge.”