13 Fun Things To Do In Dublin Ireland

Some of my favorite fun things to do in Dublin include visiting classic Irish pubs, museums, churches, and parks, along with my recommended restaurants and Dublin hotels.

Before the TBEX Killarney travel conference, my wife and I spent six nights in Dublin and visited many of the attractions in Ireland’s capital. While there are thousands of things to do in Dublin Ireland, with our limited time we focused on the following Dublin attractions.

Fantastic and Fun Things To Do in Dublin Ireland


Learn about Irish heritage around the world, why people left the green isle but still long for their homeland. The twenty rooms of EPIC cover literarature, arts, sports, science, history, religion, and much more about Irish people and culture. Family History Centre is separate admission and located in the back of the EPIC gift shop. The on-site genealogist helps determine visitor’s Irish ancestry.


McCool Travel tip: the EPIC Dublin basic goal is to find a visitor’s ancestry back to 1840s.

The Custom House Quay houses EPIC and also some restaurants and shops. Visit the poignant Famine Memorial near the EPIC entrance.

2. Dublin Museums

Locals call the National Museum of Ireland the “dead zoo” because it has hundreds of stuffed animals. Take advantage of free admission to the National Museum of Ireland and nearby National Gallery of Ireland.


The Chester Beatty Library is simply magnificent—also with free admission—with an impressive collection of world and religious manuscripts and objects. It has been awarded with “European Museum of the Year” awards and is an amazingly fantastic free museum.

3. Fun Manhole Covers in Dublin

US manhole ground covers are round. Why are Dublin manhole covers this shape? Really, why? But seeing these irregular-shaped street covers was one of the most fun things to do in Dublin Ireland.


4. Guinness Storehouse at St. James

At Guinness Academy, learn the six step process for pouring a perfect pint of Guinness and receive a certificate. At Gravity Bar, take in panoramic views of Dublin from seven floors above the St. James storehouse. Take in the self-guided tour through five floors of interactive and visual displays on your way to either experience.

McCool Travel tip: the Beef and Guinness pie costs less and tastes better here than other places we went in Dublin.

5. Dublinia

Experience Viking and Medieval Dublin history at Dublinia. Dublinia is a cool museum for kids of all ages—1 to 101.


6. Jameson Distillery

After a six year refurbishment, the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street opened in March 2017. During your tour, learn the history of the distillery and whiskey in Ireland, taste a few Jameson products, and receive your daily grog.


7. Trinity College

The walk up-price to view the Book of Kells and the Old Library is 13 Euros and there will likely be a line. Order online to skip the queue and receive a timed entry pass.


McCool Travel tip: the student-led tour of the Trinity College library costs only 1 Euro more than regular admission so check it out especially when there are long lines.

8. St Patrick’s Cathedral

On the site where St. Patrick converted the first Christian in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Cathedral sits. Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, is buried here.

great things to do in Dublin Ireland. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel.
things to do in Dublin Ireland: St. Patrick’s Cathedral

9. Christ Church

The copy of the Magna Carta in the basement of Christ Church really impressed me. A collection of gold chalices, plates, and ornaments are also displayed down there along with a mummified cat and rat—you will have to visit to learn the story. Oh, plus check out the actual church for amazing history and architecture.

great things to do in Dublin Ireland. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel.
things to do in Dublin Ireland: Christ Church


10. Dublin Restaurants

Most Dublin pubs serve standard Irish entrees like fish & chips, steak & Guinness pie, and soup with bread. Pubs in Dublin we visited for meals and pints included Doheny & Nesbitt, Bull & CastleThe Hairy Lemon, and The Cobblestone (no food).

Several cafes in Dublin offer a quick bite, baked goods, or cup of tea. Queen of Tarts offered an amazing daily soup and this scrumptious dessert.

Several people recommended Leo Burdock for fish & chips. We went. We ate. It was OK.

11. Walk Dublin

Dublin is a very walkable city and is ideal for exploring on foot. On a sunny day, residents and visitors flock to parks like St. Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square.

Oscar Wilde statue in Dublin's Merrion Square park
things to see in Dublin Ireland: Oscar Wilde statue in Merrion Square

12. Trad Music

Every pub, it seems, has someone playing traditional music every evening. It is not unusual to find several pubs in the same area with different musical acts. We enjoyed visiting The Cobblestone in Smithfield area of Dublin, near Jameson’s, for some great trad music.

13. Where to Stay in Dublin

Holiday Inn Express City Centre is in a nice location on O’Connell Street. From there it is a short walk to Trinity College across the River Liffey.

We spent three nights in a vacation rental apartment in Smithfield area. Having more space, residential conveniences (like a kitchen and washer/dryer), and being in a community is a fun alternate experience to downtown hotels.


Compliments of Failte Ireland, we stayed at The Shelbourne for one night. It is one of Dublin’s most historic properties and one of the best Places to stay in Ireland.

Note: Failte Ireland provided McCool Travel a media pass in order to discover and explore things to do in Dublin, Ireland.

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6 thoughts on “13 Fun Things To Do In Dublin Ireland”

  1. I love the Chester Beatty library, too. I was able to interview the curator of their western civilizations collections for my One Perfect Day in Travel podcast while I was there. I am impressed that they have the oldest copy of writings from the Book of Revelations, the oldest compilation of the first four books of the New Testament, and the oldest writings Paul’s epistles all in one place!

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