Dublin Ireland and Unforgettable Day Trips

Dublin Ireland Temple bar
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Dublin Ireland Temple bar
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”Why visit Dublin Ireland and what’s there to see & do”​


Beer litres per year

+ Pubs

The Brazen Head, The Temple Bar, O’Shea’s and much more!

3-4 days

Recommended stay in Dublin

This Ireland Blog is divided into 3 sections. First we’ll identify top places to discover in Dublin city.
Then we’ll list a few ‘cool spots’ to check out.
We’ve also made a Google My Maps which is Free to download.
Simply provide us with your email address and we’ll gladly share it with you 🙂

Why did we visit?

Lia’s niece ‘Ju’ moved to Ireland a few years back, so this was our opportunity to visit her and discover Ireland ! Luckily Ju already knew the layout of Dublin and was able to guide us to places she had previously seen.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, meaning We receive a commission if you decide to purchase using our links mentioned in this page, however at no additional cost to you.

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Dublin Ireland activities & Day Trip ideas

We visited Dublin in the middle of October, the weather was good for the most part as we found mostly sunny temperature. This allowed us to fully take advantage of discovering the sights around.

There are enough sights in Dublin to keep you entertained for 4-5 days. Activities range from museums, pubs, whiskey tours, shopping and more. We also encourage taking a few day trips on the island since it’s well accessible.

Read on to discover our recommendations of sights to see in Dublin and the rest of Ireland.

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Malahide Castle, County Dublin, Ireland

Get your FREE List – Dublin Ireland sites

We’ve been using Google Maps for a very long time. It helps us pin places we would like to visit prior to making our trip. So we’ve decided to share our recommended list of places to visit in Dublin Ireland with you, for FREE!

Simply provide us with your email address and we’ll gladly share it with you.

What is there to see & do in Dublin Ireland ?

For starters you can download our FREE Map assisted by checking out this blog!
Dublin Ireland is rich in culture, sites, food and drink! You’re welcome to dive into each of these categories.

An absolute must is trying out a pint of Guinness or a shot of Jameson whiskey, visit a pub (perhaps the famous Temple Bar) or even a castle.

We also recommend walking up and down the River Liffey and explore the various pedestrian bridges linking the north and the south.

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Dublin Ireland Spire monument
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Dublin Spire
1. Hike in Howth

Fresh off the red eye (Again), we met up with Lia’s niece Ju at the airport. Then we dropped our luggage at our Aparthotel and followed Ju across the city. Lia and I felt completely disoriented since it was our first time visiting Dublin. It’s hard to sleep on the red eye flights yet the best thing to do upon arrival is to keep going until nighttime and get a full night’s sleep.

We followed Ju to a train station in Dublin. She suggested that we take a small day trip to a city called Howth, a 35 minute train ride. Once there we would try her recommended Fish n Chips at a place called Beshoff at the Howth Harbour.

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After lunch, we followed Ju and left our trust in her hands. She took us to the top of Howth and suggested a hike at the Howth Cliff Walk. We were not prepared for this walk, however we were grateful for the waterfront views.

The hiking path loops right back to the Howth harbour. Despite enjoying our hike, seeing the harbour again was a great joy. By this point we had been up for 36 hours and were starting to feel really tired. Ju suggested that we grab a pint at O’Connell’s pub before heading back to Dublin. We had the most delicious Smithwicks beer ever, so much creamier and full bodied than the ones we get back in Canada!

Hike in Howth
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Shoreline view from hike in Howth
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2. Jameson factory visit

This placed is called the Jameson Distillery however it’s more of a museum today. The actual factory has since been relocated and this location serves as the demonstration.

The tours run 1 hour long and are identified on the large billboard at the entrance. Inside is beautifully decorated with a very unique chandelier (hint: it’s made out of empty Jameson bottles). We struck a great tour guide who had a dry sense of humour and managed to make everyone laugh. Near the end of the tour, Lia was selected to taste some whiskies. Feeling light and a little tipsy after the tour, we headed next door to a place called Christophe’s. Our lunch resembled that of a Thanksgiving dinner, yum !

Jameson factory front entrance
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Jameson whiskey in Dublin Ireland
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3. Guinness factory self guided tour

Having learned from our Jameson tour, we decided to purchase our Guinness tour onsite. Finding the entrance to the Guinness factory was a little challenge. On the plus side, we managed to explore the surroundings and take various pictures.

The visit is self guided for the most part. There are few parts in between where you can interact with onsite workers and pour your own pint. BTW, you can get a certificate for a perfect Guinness pour ! Overall, we felt a slight disconnect on our self guided tour. As though we were trying to find activities to fill in the time.

Guinness factory in Dublin Ireland
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Enjoying Guinness pints
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Although the Guinness self guided tour didn’t have the same ‘magic’ as the Jameson tour, we appreciated other aspects. For instance, pouring our own pint of beer and enjoying it with a view of Dublin!

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4. The Temple Bar

Googling ‘what to do in Dublin’, you’ll undoubtedly find ‘Visit the Temple bar’. Luckily our guide Ju joined us for a night out along with Travelling Eddie. The four of us meet up in front of the pub and headed inside for a great time.

Vibrant and electrifying doesn’t come close to describe the time we had. In Dublin, you can enjoy a pint of beer in any pub, but it’s the vibe is transcends which is important. We found a little nook inside and met some American tourists. We shared our discoveries from the city and they expressed how they visited a place as old as the Egyptian pyramids called, Bru na Boinne. More on this in our day trip section below.

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Dublin Ireland the Temple bar
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Dublin Ireland live music
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Book your Hotel in the city of Dublin

5. St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin

No matter if you’re religious or not, it’s a great piece of architecture to discover in Dublin. Make sure you walk around the cathedral to explore its different facets.

The uniform colours and decorative floor is soothing. You’ll most likely find more tourists like yourself inside, admiring the various pieces. As we recall, there are great souvenirs inside.

More on the St Patrick’s Cathedral

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St Patrick's cathedral in Dublin Ireland
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St Patrick's cathedral in Dublin Ireland
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6. Trinity College

Visiting the Trinity college grounds is a free attraction. Notably, we enjoyed the main entrance with the picturesque dome and clock tower-like structure. Additionally, we found other interesting pieces of art like the sphere within the sphere.

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Trinity college main entrance
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Trinity college in Dublin Ireland
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Visit the library and the Book of Kells

The library is known for the book of Kells, which was written in 384AD on vellum (prepared calfskin). It attracts many tourists, as does the majestic arched library, as depicted in the images below.

More on the Trinity College Library here.

Dublin Ireland Trinity library
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Dublin Ireland
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7. Carrolls Irish gifts

If looking for some interesting souvenirs to take home, we recommend that you visit Carrolls Irish gifts! Here you’ll find decorative house pieces, postcards, Guinness accessories and much more.

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Bru na Boinne Ireland
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Few day trip ideas while discovering Dublin Ireland

A brisk 3 hour drive from Dublin will get you to the west coast to the Cliffs of Moher and to the south coast where you’ll find Cobh. Consider renting a car and making your own way, if you’re brave enough to drive on the ‘opposite’ side of the road. Alternatively, there are countless day tours available our of Dublin city.

1. Cliffs of Moher

Our first day trip was in destination to the Cliffs of Moher. As mentioned earlier, it’s a 3 hour drive from Dublin and luckily our driver made a couple of pit stops. The first one was at a gas station for a coffee and a bio break.

Next the driver made a quick stop in Limerick. The heavy fog made for interesting pictures and an eerie visit. The image below to the left depicts the old ‘toll tower’ where the kinsmen would tax passersby. To the right of that image is the Limerick castle, or what little we can see of it.

Limerick roll road
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Limerick castle in the fog
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On the remainder of the way to the Cliffs, the driver kept ‘praying’ for the fog to lift. Once we arrived, we were lucky because it did lift, for the most part. The clearing of the fog was a blessing because we were able to see this magnificent view. It was the first time Lia and I had seen such a coastal view !

We made a couple of other stops before making our way back to Dublin. We heavily recommend that you consider a visit to the Cliffs of Moher !

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Dublin Ireland day trip
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2. Blarney Castle, Cork and Cobh

Our next day trip from Dublin was planned with Ju and Travelling Eddie. We all decided to visit Cobh since we were all curious to discover the Titanic’s last stop before crossing the Atlantic.

There was a quick pit stop on the way over, otherwise we made our way directly to Cobh. Our first stop was at St. Colman’s Cathedral for a beautiful waterfront view of Cobh.

Next the bus driver dropped us off with a set time to return. With our ‘carte blanche’ we gravitated towards the Heritage museum because it had artifacts from the Titanic and other eras, such as the famine. Alternatively, it was possible to visit the Heritage museum.

View from St. Colman's Cathedral
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Inside Cobh's heritage museum
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Cork was the second stop

Our next stop was in Cork. The driver gave us roughly 1 hour to walk around the city. Most people ended up in the shopping centre, as did we. Until Ju, Eddie, Lia and I thought that we can see shopping centres back home. So we decided to venture out a little more. We kept walking aimlessly further in the city and notice a church spire.

Long story short, we made it to Fin Barre’s Cathedral with just enough time to admire it from outside. Our walk back to the tour bus was a stressful one since we were cutting it close on time. Thankfully the driver waited for everyone to get back, and hopefully we didn’t upset other passengers (oops).

City of Cork
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Fin Barre Cathedral
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Blarney for last

The tour company saved the best for last with the Blarney Castle. Sadly it was raining for the most part and there was little refuge inside as most of the area was roofless. In order to kiss the Blarney stone (to get the gift of the gab), we needed to make it all the way to the top. The staircase was steep and extremely narrow, allowing for only 1 person to pass at times. It was necessary to hang on to the rail cord in case one lost their footing.

Alas the view at the top was magnificent, as depicted in the bottom right image. We all participated in the kissing of the Blarney stone, wondering if it was at all a sanitary thing to do (ha!). Thankfully this was pre-Covid.

Dublin Ireland day trips
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Dublin Ireland day trips
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3. Malahide castle

On a given sunny day, Lia and I decided to venture out of Dublin for a quick escape. Having been thought to use the train system by Ju, we felt confident to travel ourselves while she went to work.

To this day, we’re not entirely sure what attracted us to Malahide, however it was a pleasant visit. The is a large green space, mostly filled with a garden and this massive and rigid castle. After visiting the grounds, we ventured into the city centre in search for a restaurant.

We managed to find McGovern’s Steakhouse and were pleasantly impressed with the quality of their Fish n Chips! Although restaurants are known to lack consistency, we recommend giving it a try. Hopefully they haven’t changed the recipe!

More on the Malahide Castle here.

Day trips from Dublin Ireland
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Day trip to Malahide
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4. Brú na Boinne

When you plan your trip, we highly encourage to keep a flexible itinerary for any new adventures that might come your way. Luckily we had room in our itinerary to add another day trip in Ireland.

We met a group of American tourists in the Temple Bar who talked about an archeological site near Dublin. Apparently the structure dates back to 2500 BC. They immediately caught my attention and I took it upon myself to convince Ju, Eddie and Lia.

Once there, our guide talked about the discovery of the ‘dome’. The excavation process was similar to that of the pyramids in Mexico.

Day trips from Dublin Ireland
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The entrance
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Things to do in Dublin

Questions about Ireland answered

Q – What things to do in Dublin ?
A – Dublin has a lot of culture, monuments, pubs and day trips in a decent vicinity.

Q – Where to stay in Dublin ?
A – We really loved our comfy stay and perfectly located Staycity Aparthotel. Check it out with our link!

Q – Where to eat in Dublin ?
A – The Duke, The Old Storehouse, The Brazen Head, Copper Alley Bistro to name a few.

Q – What is Dublin Ireland known for ?
A – Lots of pubs, the Guinness factory, the Jameson factory, rugby !

Q – What is Dublin Ireland weather like ?
A – You might have heard about lots of rain or clouds in Ireland. This is true, however we were lucky and got mostly sun during our trip. The summer months don’t typically go beyond 25 degrees.

Q – Is Dublin Ireland safe for tourists ?
A – We felt entirely safe while visiting all of Dublin. Surely you must beware pick pockets and be vigilant at all times.

Where are the cool spots in Dublin, Ireland ?

Whether you’re travelling on a budget or simply looking to put your wallet to rest for a little, we’ve got some cool spots that will put a freeze on your spending.

Cool Spot #1

The Dublin Spire

Located on the south side of the River Liffey. A beautiful area with a symmetrical view of O’Connell street. If you’re coming from the north side, we recommend that you cross the Ha’Penny bridge and make your way via the Liffey Boardwalk!

Dublin Ireland Spire
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Book your Hotel in the heart of Dublin

Cool Spot #2

Ha’Penny Bridge

A historical landmark since the 1800’s. Refurbished during the 19th-century in cast-iron span & an important city symbol. Beautiful to discover and a historical location to visit.

Pedestrian bridge in Dublin Ireland
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Cool Spot #3

Trinity College entrance

This view (depicted in the image) really struck us. It’s the alleyway entrance to the Trinity College. We were fortunate to get this view on a sunny day.

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Cool Spot #4

Guinness Factory top view

Well this view comes at a price, the Guinness factory entrance ticket that is. However we really appreciated the landscape and printed description of the sites in the horizon. This view also goes well with a pint of Guinness in your hands.

Guinness factory in Dublin Ireland
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THANK YOU for going over our Dublin Ireland blog, we hope it inspired you to discover ‘The Pub Capital of the World’ !

Itineraries and Attraction recommendation

Cliffs of Moher day trip – 1 full day
Galway Bay day trip – 1 full day
Blarney Castle, Cobh & Cork – 1 full days
Exploring Dublin Ireland – 2-3 full days

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Hello from Discovering Destinations ! We are a couple, Eli and Serge, that love to travel and share our experiences with those want to discover the world with Great Tips!  CLICK TO KNOW MORE!

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