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Dublin tours

Best tours in Dublin

From breweries to 13th-century castles, Dublin’s major attractions have impressive stories to tell, from histories to legacies, and the impact on modern-day life in the Irish capital. But while a number of its sites double up as tourist attractions, they are still in operation, so it also offers visitors a fascinating insight into how they get the job done: from mingling with the students at Trinity College, to seeing where Irish presidents are inaugurated at Dublin Castle. Whichever tour you choose, your expert guide will be there to fill in the gaps in your knowledge and perhaps throw in a couple of entertaining stories, too.

  1. Guinness Storehouse tour
  2. Dublin Castle tour
  3. Jameson Distillery tour
  4. Trinity College tour
  5. City walking tour
  6. Little Museum of Dublin tour

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Rough Guides

1. Guinness Storehouse tour

Guinness beer has been brewed in Dublin since 1759, so while the current brewhouse has only been in operation since 2000, this is still a great tour to come on if you want to find out more about a historic part of Dublin’s (and Ireland’s) identity. During the three-hour guided tour of the huge complex, you’ll visit the Roast House, older parts of the site and even unique access through an underground tunnel which leads to the current brewhouse. You’ll learn all about the brewing process, with hands-on demonstrations, interactive exhibits and unique memorabilia spanning the drink’s population through the ages, as well as a few photo opps.

Best for: A popular institution that has stood the test of time.

Top tip: Also included on the tour is a beer/soft drink and food tasting.

2. Dublin Castle tour

The impressive Dublin Castle has a complex history, having served in its time as the seat of the English, British and Irish. Dating back to the 13th century, today it is the site Irish presidents are inaugurated – and a popular tourist attraction. A guided tour of the castle will see you take in Viking and medieval excavation sites, the Gothic Revival-style Chapel Royal with their stained glass windows, and the ornate State Apartments, whose rooms include the Apollo Room (look at the plastered ceiling to see where it gets its name from) and the suitably regal, gold-and-purple Throne Room.

Best for: Fairytale-style castles.

Top tip: You can also download a self-guided audio tour.

3. Jameson Distillery tour

For over 240 years, Bow St. Distillery has been in operation to produce another favourite Irish tipple, Jameson whiskey, which is enjoyed all over the world. Regardless if you’re interested in the drink, the site itself makes for a fascinating visit, with a 40-min guided tour giving you a deep-dive in the history and heritage of Jameson and its legacy it has imprinted on the world.

Best for: Historic buildings.

Top tip: Make sure you arrive 15mins before your designated time slot.

4. Trinity College tour

One of the best Dublin tours to take is of one of its finest institutions, Trinity College. It makes up the sole college of the University of Dublin, which has been running for over 400 years. Booking onto a guided tour of the college will see you take in the historic campus, including its leafy boulevards, Old Library Exhibition and the Book of Kells, which you’d usually have to pay a separate admission fee for. The tour lasts around 40 minutes, during which you’ll also hear some of the university’s notable alumni, who include Oscar Wilde, Aisling Bea and Niall Horan.

Best for: Hearing stories of one of Ireland’s most prestigious universities, led by current students.

Top tip: There’s no advance booking; simply turn up at the ticket desk and book onto the next scheduled tour.

5. City walking tour

There’s loads of Dublin walking tours to choose from, whatever your interest: music, traditional pubs, food, literature and more. If you want a general overview of this capital city, then book onto either a North Side or South Side (of the River Liffey) guided walking tour. Each are invigorating in their own way: on the South Side tour, you’ll take in the likes of Trinity College and Temple Bar while hearing ancient stories of the people who shaped the city’s identity, whereas on the North Side tour you’ll explore Viking settlements and Moore Street Markets, while learning more about Ireland’s struggle for political independence. If you’re considering Dublin holidays, make sure you ask your guide for local recommendations for an ultra-authentic experience.

Best for: Seeing multiple attractions on one tour.

Top tip: The tours are free, but if you’ve enjoyed yourself then your guide will welcome a tip!

6. Little Museum of Dublin tour

The Little Museum of Dublin might be a house-turned-museum, but spanning just three rooms in a rather narrow Georgian townhouse, it manages to retain its homely feel. Your friendly guide will tell you the people’s history of Dublin through entertaining and informative stories, all while showing you around the themed collections. The museum tells the story of Dublin’s cultural identity in over 5000 artefacts, from old photographs to advertisement posters.

Best for: Learning more about the history of the people of Dublin.

Top tip: Just over the road is St Stephen’s Green, which makes for a pleasant stroll before or after your visit.

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