Whether you are looking for culture, relaxation or fun, Dublin has it all. Often the first port of call for visitors to Ireland, Dublin offers a compelling mix of history, heritage, elegant architecture, activities, great shopping and a wide choice of dining options. The Heritage Island attractions in Dublin are diverse and vary from historic castles, Viking interpretative centres, sports stadiums, cathedrals and gardens to breweries, chocolate experiences and a working farm!. They will each reward a visit.
TIP: The greatest mistake visitors to Dublin make is to try and take in too much in a short period. It's always a better experience not to cram too much into a day - doing less gives you time to absorb the experience and to enjoy a relaxing coffee, lunch break or shopping diversion. We've suggested some Heritage Island Attractions you could visit in each busy day, but you can also 'mix and match' to suit your own interests and available time. Enjoy Dublin.!
Dublin City Centre - Part 1
Enjoy your first day by exploring the city’s history and heritage. Visit Trinity College Dublin, the oldest university in Ireland, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, and famous for its graduates such as Swift, Goldsmith, Wilde and Beckett. It's home to the famous 9th Century Gospel – The Book of Kells and to the longest single-chamber library in the world. Then on to Dublinia, an exciting heritage attraction in what was the heart of medieval Dublin. There are three themed exhibitions there to enable you to experience Dublin city as it was in times past - 'Viking Dublin', 'Medieval Dublin' and ‘History Hunters’. Right next door you will find the incredible Christ Church Cathedral which is almost 1000 years old and was originally a Viking Church and is now an Anglican cathedral. Why not finish off the afternoon with a visit to the Guinness Storehouse to learn all about the art of making, pouring and enjoying Guinness. The seven floors bring to life the rich heritage of GUINNESS®, telling the stories of its origins at St. James's Gate to its growth as a global brand, known all around the world. The tour ends at the Gravity Bar at the top of the Storehouse where you can enjoy panoramic views over Dublin whilst sipping a complimentary pint! If Whiskey Tasting is your thing then a visit to Pearse Lyons Distillery located in the heart of the historic Liberties area of Dublin City.
Dublin City Centre - Part 2
Staying around the city, why not start today with a visit to Dublin’s City Hall – The Story of the Capital - where you can learn about the history of the capital. Chester Beatty is a highly recommended next stop, an excellent museum and must-see on any Dublin visitor's itinerary. Its rich collections from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world.
Stroll over the River Liffey towards the Grafton Street shopping area. Near here the National Library of Ireland is located on Kildare Street. This is a free must-visit cultural institution with daily events, exhibitions (including the award-winning Yeats exhibition), beautiful Victorian reading room and relaxing café. There are also a number of other NLI locations near here, all free to visit.
A short walk away in Merrion Square you can visit The National Gallery. Nominated for European Museum of the Year 2018, the gallery holds a world-class collection of European and Irish Art.
Another special attraction, and well worth a visit, is EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum on Custom House Quay. It is a brand new immersive exhibition that tells the amazing story of Irish emigration around the globe. Journey through 20 interactive, high-tech galleries and these stories of bravery, sacrifice, survival and adventure come to life to deliver a breathtakingly poignant experience.
Dublin City South
A day of adventure! Take a trip out to the Airfield Estate near Dundrum. It is Dublin’s only 38 acre working farm and visitor attraction. Highlights include the farmayard, an interactive exhibition, tours, ornamental walled garden, kitchen gardens and woodland walks.
Escape Dublin city and head to County Wicklow, the ‘Garden of Ireland’ situated in Ireland’s Ancient East. Visit the magnificent Powerscourt House and Gardens set against the backdrop of the great Sugarloaf Mountain. 47 acres of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues, lakes and rambling walks. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch or snack overlooking the beautiful gardens.
Visit the Powerscourt Distillery, home of Fercullen Whiskey located in an 18th century Mill House on the Powerscourt Estate, the Powerscourt Distillery is set against a backdrop of the breathtakingly beautiful Wicklow hills and Great Sugarloaf Mountain. With a history that traces back to the 9th century, the Estate formed part of the strategically important and ancient lands once known as Fercullen.
Powerscourt Waterfall is Ireland’s highest at 121m (398ft) and is 6km from the main Powerscourt Estate. Set in one of Ireland’s most beautiful parklands. As you drive from the gate lodge towards the Waterfall, you are surrounded by Beech, Oak, Larch and Pine trees some of which were planted over 200 years ago. Take time to explore the pathways that meander through the flora and fauna, walk along the woodland pathways and listen to the birdsong.
A little further south, stop into Wicklow town where you can visit Wicklow’s Historic Gaol. Here, you will be transported back in time, and meet face to face with some of the most notorious characters to have walked the floors of this building—one of the most historically shameful places in Ireland.
Dublin City North
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, recent winner of the Best Cultural Attraction in Ireland, Glasnevin is Ireland’s largest cemetery, a grand and impressive Necropolis. Since 1832, more than 1.5 million people have been interred in Glasnevin - rich & famous, paupers & politicians, artists, warriors & heroes. Knowledgeable, witty and professional guides bring history to life on a fascinating cemetery tour. Dramatic re-enactments by actors in period costume, events, commemorations, and interactive exhibitions are just some of the exciting things happening at Glasnevin.
Also on Dublin’s ‘North-side’ and very close to the city centre, why not take to the heights at Croke Park, home of the GAA, and enjoy panoramic views of Dublin from their Ericsson Skyline Rooftop Tour? Here you can also visit the on-site GAA Museum to gain an insight into Ireland’s sporting heritage.
Journeying further north into County Meath allows you explore the wonderful historic and archaeological treasures of the Boyne Valley, a starting point in Ireland’s Ancient East – it is said that virtually every significant event in Irish history took place here!
Roll over the map pins to view attraction names. Click on a marker to go to the profile of the attraction.