What are the five best things to see and do in Dublin?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Jennifer Wholey

With 1.2 million inhabitants, Dublin has more to see and do than many cities twice its size. Choice sightseeing and shopping abound. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the five best things to see and do in Dublin.

1. Visit the Guinness Storehouse. No trip to Dublin would be complete without paying a call to the top tourist attraction in all of Ireland. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the history of Arthur Guinness’ “black stuff,” then learn about the art of brewing, and of course, tasting. Sip the best pint of your life (free with the price of admission) from atop the Gravity Bar, which boasts unparalleled panoramic views of the city, or learn to pull your own in the Perfect Pint Bar.

2. See the Book of Kells. Trinity College’s medieval campus is stunning in its own right, but this iconic 9th-century gospel manuscript is truly in a league of its own. A standing exhibition tells the story of how the book came to be and details the fascinating and painstaking process of illumination. Upstairs, the Long Room remains one of the most magnificent libraries in the world, holding 200,000 old and precious volumes.

3. Tour Kilmainham Gaol. Empty of occupants since 1924, the gaol provides a poignant point of entry to Ireland’s tumultuous history. The gaol once held some of Ireland’s most famous political and military prisoners, including many of the Republic’s founding fathers. Now, the gaol’s exhibition and guided tour provide invaluable insight to Irish risings and revolutions from the 18th through the 20th century.

4. Explore Temple Bar. The area from Dame Street north to the River Liffey is undoubtedly a tourist hot spot, yet Temple Bar remains one of the most reliable places to catch traditional music, grab some pub grub and find the nightlife. Sidle up to the always-packed Oliver St. John Gogarty’s for an earful and then head over to Gallagher’s Boxty House to fill your belly. If you venture further west, the cobbled streets morph into an arts district.

5. Stroll Georgian Dublin. For architecture buffs, the South Side of Dublin holds a special treat. Brightly painted doors with brass fittings pop with color amidst rows of posh brick houses and state buildings. Wander Dawson Street down to Stephens Green to see the Lord Mayor’s Mansion House, and pay a visit to Oscar Wilde’s birthplace (and his cheeky statue) in Merrion Square.

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