Dublin, the lively and deeply historic capital of Ireland has fascinating evidence to prove its line of inhabitants dating back to the First Viking Age. The city center is established around the River Liffey that divides it right down the middle to create the North and South sides of Dublin and flows into the Dublin Bay. The city is consisted of several types of attractions that are enjoyed by all ages but there are museums in all corners of Dublin so be sure to check out the ones we mention below and look into the others such as the National Wax Museum and the National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland.
Attractions that lie on the outskirts of Dublin are also worth mentioning. If you are up for taking a drive north or south of the city we recommend: the Malahide Castle & Gardens, Powerscourt House, Gardens & Waterfall. The Malahide Castle & Gardens, about 9 miles north of Dublin’s center, has been established since the 12th century and sits majestically on 260 acres of land. The Powerscourt grounds were established during the 18th century and is a beautiful place to be explored as well. The Powerscourt Waterfall lies a bit further south from the house and gardens and you can pay about 6 Euros to visit so don’t miss out on the tallest waterfall in Ireland! Below we have compiled a list of what we would start with when visiting Dublin and it is very telling that there is so much more that should be explored!!
The Dublin Castle, located on Dame Street, is an extremely popular government owned structure that has been established since 1204. Up until 1922, the Dublin Castle grounds were the main headquarters of the British Government Administration. The public is welcome to visit on most occasions except for when the castle is being used for state functions. We highly suggest visiting here during your stay and since the Dublin Castle is close to the Temple Bar area you will also be able to see some of the city’s popular restaurants and lively nightlife scene.
Christ Church Cathedral & Dublinia
Extremely close to the Dublin Castle, you will find the oldest structure of the Dublin: Christ Church Cathedral. This gothic style cathedral has been standing since 1030 so this is yet another fascinating piece of history that is worth visiting. The building attached to the Christ Church Cathedral, Dublinia, is a history museum that goes more in depth about the Medieval and Viking periods. Down the street from these two attractions, you will find St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the tallest church in all of Ireland and has been the heart of Dublin for over 800 years.
Irish Whiskey Museum & Molly Malone Statue
Irish Whisky, an adult beverage that has been perfected here in Ireland and has made waves throughout the history as being referred to as the “water of life.” We wanted to include the Irish Whiskey Museum because here you can learn the history of how whiskey was made and have yourself a tasting at the end of your guided tour. Close by to the Irish Whiskey Museum, you can visit the Molly Malone statue that was designed to celebrate Dublin’s first millenia. The story of Molly Malone was a legend that came about during the 17th century about a woman who was a street vendor by day and a prostitute by night. Today there is a famous song about her story that is known to be Dublin’s unofficial anthem.
Similar to the Irish Whiskey Museum, the Guinness Storehouse is where you come to learn more about the history of beer, how its was made in the Guinness way, and a few tastings at the end. Guinness is such an important part of Ireland’s history that it almost seems wrong not to visit or drink one while your here. If you enjoy these distilleries be sure to visit the Jameson Distillery Bow St. that is located across from the River Liffey.
National Museums of Ireland: Archeology & Natural History
If you want to get into the deep history, archeology, culture, and fine arts of Ireland, then you’re going to want to start with these 3 branches of the National Museums of Ireland. The National Museum of Archeology and Natural History are located very close to St. Stephen’s Green while the Decorative Arts and History is located next to Phoenix Park. Next door to the first two branches of the National Museum of Ireland is the National Gallery of Ireland that has many temporary art exhibitions so be sure to take a couple days to cover all of these attractions.
St. Stephen’s Green
St. Stephen’s Green is a beautifully maintained urban park that is very popular here in Dublin. Due to its establishment being in 1664, the depth of these grounds create a certain quaint atmosphere that must be experienced in person. People come here to visit the Victorian architectural buildings, various sculptures and busts, the Fusiliers’ Arch, the lake, waterfall and the Little Museum of Dublin along with so many types of birds you see while taking a stroll on a lovely day.
National Botanic Gardens
Located a bit north west of Dublin’s center, you will find the National Botanic Gardens. The Gardens have been established since 1795 and are known to have over 20,000 different living plants and over a million dried plants for reference and research. The architecture of these grounds are well known for the design of the large greenhouses, one of them being called The Palm House. Be sure to carve some time in your visit to view this extensive exhibit of plants that is known for being Ireland’s top places to visit.
Irish Museum of Modern Art & Kilmainham Gaol
The Irish Museum of Modern Art is the largest institution in Ireland that displays modern art exhibits. One of the amazing things this institution does is that they bring about new art and artists to further their reach and to introduce more innovative creations through many of their programs. Another suggestion to view The Dublin City Gallery Hugh Lane, located towards city center (across from River Liffey) is to view Modern Art and is highly recommended. Very close by the the Irish Museum of Modern Art is a former prison that is now showcased as a museum, Kilmainham Gaol.
Phoenix Park & Dublin Zoo
Phoenix Park, a few kilometers away from Dublin city center, is known to be one of Europe’s largest urban green spaces with wild wallow deer roaming around. The park grounds is mainly known for sharing their land with the popular, Dublin Zoo, which is home to over 700 animals that are from all over the world. From motor racing, concerts, the Phoenix Cricket Club, Dublin Zoo, the Wellington Monument, Papal Cross and more, you will be able to find the Phoenix Park as an attraction that’s well worth your time.
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