Dublin is Ireland’s capital and largest city, as well as being one of Europe’s best-loved and most vibrant. It has excellent shopping opportunities, lots of places to eat and drink, an exciting nightlife scene and endless options for accommodation.
Top Attractions in County Dublin
Chester Beatty Library – Dublin Castle, Dame St, Dublin City – Situated in the heart of the city centre, the Chester Beatty Library is an art museum and library which houses the great collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and some decorative arts assembled by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty.
Christ Church Cathedral – Christ Church Place, Christchurch, Dublin City – Standing on high ground in the oldest part of the city, this cathedral is one of Dublin’s finest historic buildings. It dates back to 1038 when Sitric, the then Danish king of Dublin, built the first wooden church here.
Croke Park – Drumcondra, Dublin City – Visit Croke Park Stadium and find out what being Irish is all about! Croke Park is an iconic stadium steeped in history, and has been at the heart of Irish sporting and cultural life for over 100 years.
Dublin City Hall – The Story of the Capital – Dame St, Dublin City – Dublin City Hall is a magnificent example of the Georgian architecture for which Dublin is world renowned. Originally used as a financial centre by the merchants of Dublin, today it is the focal point for the elected members of Dublin City Council.
Dublin Zoo – Phoenix Park, Dublin City – Established in 1830, this is the third-oldest zoo in the world (after London and Paris), nestled in the midst of the city’s largest playground, the Phoenix Park, about 3km (2M) west of the city centre.
Dublinia – St Michaels Hill, Christchurch, Dublin City – The Dublinia exhibition covers the formative period of Dublin’s history from the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in 1170 to the closure of the monasteries in the 1540s. There are many exhibits here which include videos, models and reconstructions.
EPIC – The Irish Emigration Museum – The CHQ Building, North Wall Quay, Dublin City – Come and discover the Irish at EPIC Ireland, Dublin’s new visitor attraction and museum dedicated to telling the complete story of Irish emigration through the centuries.
Guinness Storehouse – Guinness Storehouse, St. James Gate, Dublin City – Ireland’s No 1 Visitor Attraction – The Home, Heart and Soul of Guinness® A visit to the magical home of Guinness is a must on any tour of Dublin. Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s top visitor attraction located in the heart of the Guinness Brewery.
Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) – Military Road, Kilmainham – The Irish Museum of Modern Art houses one of Ireland’s largest collections of modern and contemporary art. Housed in the restored Royal Hospital building and grounds, there is also a formal garden, meadow and medieval burial grounds as well as a number of other historical buildings.
Jameson Distillery Bow St. – Bow Street, Smithfield – Since John Jameson’s brave first steps into this building in 1780, we’ve been focused on his ambition to create unforgettable experiences (along with great whiskey, of course).
Kilmainham Gaol – Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham – Kilmainham Gaol was built in 1792, and is Ireland’s most famous disused prison. Throughout history, many famous figures have been incarcerated at this gaol, and is the location where the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were executed.
National Gallery of Ireland – Merrion Square West, Dublin City – This purpose-built gallery was opened to the public in 1864. It houses many excellent exhibits, with more than 2,000 works on display. Although there is much emphasis on Irish Landscape art and portraits, every major school of European painting is well represented.
National Library of Ireland – Kildare Street, Dublin City – Opened in 1890 to house the collection of the Royal Dublin Society, this library contains a vast collection of books, manuscripts, records, photographs and maps.
National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology and History – Kildare Street, Dublin City – The National Museum Of Ireland was built in the 1880s to the design of Sir Thomas Deane. The treasury houses priceless items such as the Broighter gold boat, while Ór – Ireland’s Gold, an exhibition focusing on Ireland’s Bronze Age gold, contains beautiful jewellery such as the Gleninsheen Gorget.
National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History – Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin City – The Museum of Decorative Arts and History is home to a wide range of objects which include weaponry, furniture, silver, ceramics and glassware, as well as examples of folklife and costume.
National Museum of Natural History – Merrion Square West, beside the National Gallery, Dublin City – This building is now open again following a major restoration project. Our exhibitions have changed very little in over a century. The ground floor is dedicated to Irish animals, featuring giant deer skeletons and a variety of mammals, birds and fish.
Phoenix Park – Dublin 8 – This is Dublin’s playground – the largest urban enclosed park in Europe, with a Circumference of 11km (7m) and a total area of 712 hectares (1,760 acres). Situated 3km (2m) west of the city centre.
Trinity College Dublin – College Green, Dublin City – Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. Among many famous students to attend the college were playwrights Oliver Goldsmith and Samuel Beckett. Trinity’s lawns and cobbled quads provide a pleasant haven in the heart of the city.
Trinity College Library – The Book of Kells – The Old Library, Trinity College, Dublin City – This part of the college houses 200,000 antiquarian texts, marble busts of scholars and the oldest surviving harp in Ireland as well as the Book of Kells.
Annual Events and Festivals in County Dublin
Bloomsday Festival celebrates the life and works of James Joyce, and is held on June 16th, the day on which the events of Ulysses occurred.
Dublin Horse Show is an annual horse show held in the RDS.
St Patrick’s Festival is held annually over several days around March 17th, Ireland’s national holiday, St. Patrick’s Day.
TradFest is an annual culture and music festival held in Dublin’s Temple Bar district.
Main Destinations in County Dublin
Balbriggan, a sea-side town located 32km (20mi) north of Dublin City Centre in North County Dublin. The name of the town in Irish is either Baile Bricín, meaning Town of the Small Trout, or Baile Brigín, meaning Town of the Small Hills.
Dalkey is a coastal suburb and resort located 13km (8 miles) south-east of the city, named after its neighbouring island. It is also a designated Heritage Town.
Dun Laoghaire is a beautiful seaside town, located just 11km (7 miles) south-east of the city.
Howth is a fishing and yachting port, and popular suburban resort on the north side of Dublin Bay.
Lusk is charming little village located 23 km north of Dublin City Centre. Features include a delightful thatch cottage on the way into the village and a formidable looking building which includes a round tower, housing Lusk Heritage Centre.
Malahide is a pretty town in County Dublin located 16km (10mi) north of Dublin City Centre. The sea has influenced much of the development of the town. The broad Velvet Strand stretches to the horizon and is very popular with swimmers and water sports enthusiasts.
Rush is a pretty sea-side town and a centre of market gardening located 26 km north of Dublin City Centre in North County Dublin. Broad beaches north and south of the harbour have always attracted visitors from Dublin City.
Skerries is another of North County Dublin’s sea-side towns located 31 km north of Dublin City Centre. It is a prosperous fishing town with much on offer to tourist. Skerries is now one of Dublin’s most desirable residential areas due to its character and its lovely seaside.
Temple Bar is famous for its nightlife. It is home to some of Dublin’s best night spots, bars and restaurants as well as arts and cultural venues.
Popular locations to stay in Co. Dublin are Blackrock (2 places to stay), Booterstown (1), Castleknock (1), Churchtown (1), Dublin Airport (3), Dublin City (143), Dun Laoghaire (2), Liffey Valley (1), Lucan (1), Lusk (1), Newlands Cross (2), Sandyford (1), Swords (8), Tallaght (3).
Other towns include Ashtown, Balbriggan, Baldoyle, Ballinteer, Ballyboughal, Ballybrack, Ballycoolin, Ballyfermot, Ballymount, Blanchardstown, Bluebell, Cabinteely, Carrickmines, Chapelizod, Citywest, Clondalkin, Clonee, Clongriffin, Clonsilla, Clonskeagh, Coolock, Dalkey, Deansgrange, Donabate, Donaghmede, Drimnagh, Dundrum, Firhouse, Foxrock, Glasthule, Glenageary, Glencullen, Goatstown, Howth, Irelands Eye, Killiney, Kinsealy, Kylemore, Leopardstown, Loughlinstown, Malahide, Milltown, Monkstown, Mount Merrion, Mulhuddart, Naas Road, Naul, Ongar, Palmerstown, Parkwest, Portmarnock, Rathcoole, Rathfarnham, Rush, Rush and Lusk, Saggart, Sandycove, Shankill, Skerries, Stepaside, Stillorgan, Sutton, Templeogue, Terenure, The Ward, Tyrrelstown, Walkinstown, Windy Arbour.
Getting Here and Around
Dublin is well connected to the world with direct flights to much of Europe, North America, and more recently North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Dublin Port offers ferry services connecting Dublin with Holyhead in Wales and with Liverpool in England.
There are bus routes connecting both Dublin and Dublin Airport with direct services to most major towns and cities across Ireland.
The M50 motorway bypasses the city, and from this motorway, there are radial routes connecting Dublin with the major cities and towns across Ireland.
More detailed information on getting to and around County Dublin can be found in our Co. Dublin Transport Guide.