Best Things to do and see in Dublin 

The Irish capital is known throughout Europe as one of the most vibrant cities – not only does it have an amazing food and drink scene, but there are also a great number of stunning and historic landmarks, as well as great nightlife. Those searching what to do in Dublin won’t be disappointed with the amount of options that come back their way. 

  1. The Viking Splash Tour
  2. Dublin Castle
  3. General Post Office
  4. The Spire
  5. Ha’penny Bridge
  6. Malahide Castle
  7. The Best of the Rest 

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. The Viking Splash Tour

One of the easiest and quickest ways to get your bearings in any new place is to tag along on a tour, if you’re a fan of the classic walking tour or even the hop-on hop-off bus variety – there are plenty to help you tick off the best Dublin sights. But there is another popular option which offers something a little different. The Viking Splash Tour is exactly what it sounds like, a tour that has you don a Viking hat, takes you on both the land and water, before explaining the city’s unique Norse history. Brilliant, right? You’ll climb aboard a big yellow amphibious vehicle and be ferried about on both the land and water. Speaking of the water, the River Liffey is one of the primo Dublin attractions and by embarking a tour on it, you get a completely different view of the city. Looking up to numerous historic buildings, famous bridges, Georgian terraces and the exciting modern architecture of Dublin’s revitalised docklands.  

Best for: those who love novelty hats.

While you’re there: The Viking Splash Tour has a dedicated bus stop opposite the Shelbourne Hotel on the North side of St Stephen's Green. There are Luas and DART stops within walking distance and most bus routes pass nearby.

2. Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle, one of the best activities in Dublin, built on the site of a Viking settlement -it’s still a working government building to this very day. Truly the heart of this historic city, there used to be a black pool on the site of the castle garden, which is where the city gets its name from as black pool in Irish is ‘Dubh Linn’. Built in a strategically strong position at a junction which joins the River Liffey and its tributary the Poddle, there are great views to be had of the city from all over the castle. The establishment has passed through multiple hands over history – with the Vikings being another famous tenant. Nowadays, workers from the State Apartments, Medieval Undercroft and Chapel Royal are lucky enough to call this their place of work, while there is also the popular Dubhlinn Tearooms on site. 

Best for: history buffs.

While you’re there: Situated in the heart of the city, you can easily reach Dublin Castle on foot. There are a number of buses which stop at either George’s Street or Dame Street and the closest Luas stops are St Stephen’s Green and Jervis.

3. General Post Office

Much more than your average post office, this is one of the top activities in Dublin. Yes, it still has a fully functioning postal service, but the main reason people come here is to learn about the to country’s unique history. Locals not only consider this a place of business and public service, but also of remembrance, protest and pageantry – it holds a unique place in Irish hearts. And even if you don’t go in, the stunning architecture is fully on view from the outside.  

Best for: those who want to send a postcard home.

While you’re there: The GPO is on the corner of O’Connell Street and Henry Street. A short walk from the St Stephen’s Green Luas stop and Connolly Station, many buses routes have stops nearby.

4. The Spire

The Spire, also known as the Monument of Light, is an elegant steel structure on the site of the old Nelson’s Column in the middle of O’Connell Street, Dublin’s main hub of activity. Made of stainless steel, the structure is said to reflect light at all times. Regardless of where you are in Dublin’s city centre, you can usually spot it stretching into the air.

Best for: modern art fans.

While you’re there: You can easily get to The Spire on public transport. The Luas has two stops nearby, as does the train, and a number of bus routes drop off within walking distance.

5. Ha’penny Bridge

One of the favourite activities in Dublin for many tourists, walking over Ha’penny Bridge not only gives you the opportunity for a great selfie over the River Liffey, but it also has a place in history as the first pedestrian bridge over the river.  

Best for: those who love a stroll.

While you’re there: There are three ways to get to the Ha’penny Bridge from the centre of Dublin if you don’t want to walk. The bus is the cheapest and quickest, the Luas has a stop nearby, or you can book a taxi.

6. Malahide Castle

Found just a short taxi ride away from the city centre, Malahide Castle has played home to generations of the Talbot family. A visit here lets you revel in their history, explore their private rooms and collections, and discover the central part this castle played in Irish history. 

Best for: escaping the city.

While you’re there: The Malahide Train Station is about a ten minute walk away and there are two bus routes from the city centre. If you prefer to drive, there is visitor parking but it is limited, so consider using a taxi if mobility is an issue.

7. The best of the rest

Other sights to tick off include Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity College, Dublin’s largest art collection, Hugh Lange Gallery, the place known as ‘Dublin’s lungs’, St Stephen’s Green, the Irish institute of Kilmainham Jail, and of course the Guinness Storehouse – home of the most famous drink in the entire country, where you can get free samples and a wonderful history lesson of the black stuff.  

Find your perfect destination