Irish Cultural Heritage

Ireland | My Favourite Places In Dublin

In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty, I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone.  As she wheeled her wheelbarrow through the streets broad and narrow, crying cockles and mussels, alive alive o…(I couldn’t resist 😜)

Dublin is one of my favourite cities in the world.  There is so much to see and do, with tours, museums, art galleries, festivals, music gigs, theatres.  I know you can get all that in any city in the world but Dublin is unique thanks to its people, history and buildings.  I’ve found that people either love it or hate it, but I truly love this city.  I lived in Dublin on two separate occasions for different courses and have many fond memories of my time there.  I first moved to Dublin in 2011 to take a place at Bull Alley Theatre Training Company.  I liked the nightlife, the theatres, the music gigs, the shops, the cafes, the regular bus service 😁  But it wasn’t until my second stint living in Dublin in 2013 that I really fell in love with the city.  I began a tour guiding course with Dublinia Heritage Centre and the history of Dublin was presented to me.  Of course most of us here in Ireland have a simple knowledge of the city’s Georgian and rebel history, that is if you haven’t specialised in studying history in college.  But it was its viking and medieval history that fascinated me.  I could go on and on, but let me tell you about MY favourite places in Dublin:


This is the coolest heritage centre that I’ve been to in Dublin and I would think that anyway if I hadn’t trained there as a tour guide.  Before I move on and tell you more, if you’re interested in history and Irish heritage and are thinking of becoming a tour guide, I cannot recommend the heritage course highly enough.  The lecturers have so much passion for Irish heritage and Dublin’s history.  They know what they’re talking about, they run the course with military precision with two intakes of students a year and they can’t do enough for the students that come through Dublinia’s doors.  No I haven’t been paid to say that ☺

Dublinia is located on St. Michael’s Hill across from Christ Church Cathedral in the heart of Medieval Dublin.  The building was originally St. Michael’s Church dating back to the 12th Century.  During the restoration of Christ Church Cathedral in the late 1800s, the architect George Edmund Street designed the Synod Hall around the tower of the original church.  That is the building you see today.  Dublinia is spread out over three floors, transporting you back to Viking and Medieval Dublin. There is an entrace fee and you have the choice of doing a guided or self-guided tour.

Starting off with the vikings, meet Olaf the White and learn how the vikings got their names.  Experience how they sailed across to Ireland and set up their camps and buried their dead.  Fancy being sold as a slave? You might go for 8 oz of silver.  Walk down a viking street and sit in a viking house.  Learn about the influence they’ve had on Dublin and Ireland and their demise or the lack of influence rather with coming of the Anglo-Normans.

Coming up the stairs on to the medieval floor you’re greeted by Strongbow. On this floor you learn how the Anglo-Normans came to Ireland.  Did they invade or were they invited?  You also learn what life was like in Medieval Dublin.  Experience a medieval fayre and maybe get your teeth pulled by the barber surgeon.  If you misbehave you might be thrown in the stocks in crime and punishment.  Be careful you don’t catch the plague in death and disease but if you do, you’ll learn how to cure it.  Meet Peter Higgley, a Dublin merchant and see what his house was like.  Walk through a medieval street and hear the hustle and bustle and take a ride on a cargo ship but not before you pay the water bailiff a fee.  Meet Silken Thomas and learn how Henry VIII became King of Ireland.

Make your way up to the third floor where you’ll learn why archaeology is so important in understanding our past and what an archaeologist does.  Meet Gunner, a viking man and Maggie, a medieval woman.  From them you’ll learn that their bones tell a story of how they lived and died.  Dublinia’s exhibitions are interactive, informative and most importantly fun.  It’s definitely a must see if you’re in Dublin.


Irish Whiskey Museum

Forget the Guinness Storehouse, whiskey is where it’s at.  Situated across the road from the main entrance of Trinity College, this museum is just over a year old and claims to be the first Irish whiskey museum in the world.  I received a tour of this fine establishment back in March of last year.  A guided tour will bring you through the history of whiskey distilling, from its decline in Ireland to its recent rise again.  On the tour you’ll also learn about the different types of whiskey: pot still, single malt, single grain etc.  The piece de resistance…WHISKEY TASTING!!!  You’ll sample three of the finest whiskeys that Ireland has to offer.

Tours go every 30 minutes with a Standard or VIP Tour and you’ll be escorted by the museum’s highly trained and knowledgeable guides.  If you’re a whiskey connoisseur I highly recommend you pay the little extra and take the VIP Tour.  Along with the three whiskeys, you’ll taste an aged whiskey, which has been matured for a minimum of five years and receive an Irish Whiskey Museum glass as a souvenir.  If you can barely stand after the whiskey tasting, rest yourself in the museum’s cafe and savour the view of Trinity College over a coffee.


The Little Museum Of Dublin

The Little Museum of Dublin is situated at 15 St. Stephen’s Green in an exquisite 18th Century Georgian house owned by Dublin City Council.  I had the pleasure of completing two months work experience in this museum for my tour guiding course.  The museum in a nutshell tells the story of 20th Century Dublin and boasts over 5,000 artefacts in the collection, which have been kindly donated by the public.

Since its launch in 2011, Trevor White (Director) and Simon O’ Connor (Curator) have worked tirelessly to make the museum what it is today.  With permanent and temporary exhibitions, evening recitals and guided tours it’s no wonder The Little Museum of Dublin is the No. 1 museum in Ireland and was nominated for The Museum of the Year Awards.

There is a small fee on entering the museum and you have the option going around the museum yourself or taking a guided tour.  Guided tours go on the hour, every hour and again are led by the museum’s knowledgeable guides.  When taking the tour, Dublin’s history and characters are brought to life and you’ll hear some lovely anecdotes and stories that the history books don’t tell you.  The tour is divided into two parts.  The first part of the tour consists of Dublin in the 20th Century with characters such as Queen Victoria, Margaret Skinninder (her story is fascinating!), Michael Collins and Eamonn deValera making an appearance.  The second part of the tour is my favourite as you’re brought into the second room.  This room is chockablock with artefacts and prints, each with their own stories that you wouldn’t read about in the history books.

This is a gem of a museum and you’ll be filled with a sense of nostalgia.  It’s a must see for young and old.


St. Stephen’s Green Park

There are many beautiful parks and green areas in and around Dublin but my favourite has to be St. Stephen’s Green.  The name originates from St. Stephen’s Church that was in the area back in the 13th Century.  The land wasn’t used until the 1600s and in the 18th Century it became very fashionable to be seen in The Green when one was promenading.  By the 19th Century it had fallen into a terrible condition and  became a private park.  However, thanks to the generosity of Lord Ardilaun (Arthur Guinness) he bought the park, landscaped it, entrusted it to the Commissioners of Public Works (now the OPW) and gave it back to the people of Dublin.  While the history of the park is fascinating to me and there are many monuments around the park harking back to that period, what I love most about the park is the flora and fauna.  The park is home to over 750 trees and a large number of different types of birds.  It’s a just a lovely place to sit down and retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.


St. Patrick’s Cathedral

I love St. Patrick’s Cathedral, not only is it one of my favourite places in Dublin but it’s one of my favourite religious buildings (I have a thing for church architecture).  The Cathedral is situated on Patrick’s Street and it is believed that St. Patrick converted people to Christianity at a well on the site of the cathedral.  St. Patrick’s is the National Cathedral for the Church of Ireland faith.  While its primary function is for worship, it has historical and architectural significance.

There is a charge into the cathedral but all monies go towards the maintenance and up keep of the building.  With parts of the building dating back to the 12th/13th Century it can’t be easy looking after.  You have the choice of a guided or a self-guided tour. If you want to do a self-guided tour be sure to visit their website where you’ll be able to download a copy of the guide to the cathedral.

Always preferring guided tours I recommend you take the tour by one of the cathedral’s many volunteers.  Tours go at different times so consult their website for tour times.  The history of the cathedral is brought to life where you’ll hear about Robert Boyle (the father of chemistry), Dean Jonathan Swift (author of Gulliver’s Travels) and where the phrase “to chance your arm” came from, among other characters and stories.  If you like history and architecture, you’ve got it all at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

My Favourite Places In Dublin

There you have it!  My favourite places in Dublin.  Have you been to Dublin before?  What are your favourite places in Dublin?Marteen Lane (4)

Looking for some inspiration for your next visit to Dublin? Check out my favourite places in Dublin!

144 thoughts on “Ireland | My Favourite Places In Dublin”

    1. Yes we had terrible flooding in most parts of the country last year. It was difficult for a lot of people. I think we’re better prepared this year if it happens again.


  1. Whiskey museum sounds interesting. 🙂
    I usually read up the place and do self guided tours, but then here I think I will heed your advice and take up a guided tour.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great list! I’ve wanted to visit Dublin and Ireland for a while now and hope to get there sometime soon 😀 I’d probably start with St. Stephen’s Green Park and then move on to the whiskey museum. Not a hard liquor drinker at all, but who could miss that?


    1. You’ll always be welcome Alina! I’m not either but it’s interesting to listen to the history and how it’s distilled.


  3. Dublin is so close to my home and yet I still need to make time to visit, at least for a weekend. I live in the UK and the flight would probably only take about an hour. I love the way you describe the architecture of Dublin and even if I don’t drink whiskey, I wouldn’t mind visiting the museum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is so much architecture in Dublin Jona, from neo-classical, to Georgian, to Dutch Billies, to Victorian! You’ll always be welcome to Ireland ☺


    1. Being a tour guide I love going on guided tours too and yes you get extra information from the guides that you might not be able to find anywhere else ☺


  4. Not been to Dublin yet but have watched so many movies set there and fallen in love with the city or maybe blame it on all those Mave Binchey books lop. Great list of rather interesting things to do for when I visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dublin for me is ok but not Ireland. I prefer to get away from the city to seek the Irish (if that makes sense). But when I have visited Dublin, I do like the Irish Whiskey museum, I found that interesting. The worse place was the Guinness Storehouse for us, what a rip off for what you get (I leave that for another day 😀 ) – but the other places on here, I havent visited. I know I am due a trip back to Dublin soon so hopefully I will have time to check them out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you Danik. There is more to Ireland than Dublin and some visitors forget that. I absolutely hated the Guinness Storehouse. Too busy and overrated. I hope you’ll get to visit the other places 😊


  6. Great list! Dublin has been on my bucket list pretty much since I can remember, but I always get a little overwhelmed trying to figure out exactly what I’ll want to do when I finally get there. The fact that this is varied – a park, a cathedral, whiskey deliciousness, etc – is amazing. Definitely saving this for later!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was in Dublin a few years ago, but only for 2 days. Wonderful and exciting city. Your post has shown me a few things I wish I experienced. I guess I will just have to go back!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved Dublin when I was there, and have so many fond memories! I think I went to the Little museum, but I know I definitely went to St Stephen’s park, as I was walking around there for NYE! A truly beautiful city.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It amazes me, with the amount of Irish friends I’ve made through my travels and the fact that I’m back in England again that I’ve still not hopped over to Dublin. There are so many things and places I’d like to see especially the whiskey museum and also some whiskey tours haha. I must get over there.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I haven’t made it to Ireland yet, but I know I will end up there some day. The whiskey museum is definitely a place I would like to check out. I am no connoisseur, but do enjoy a good whiskey.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As an Irish person, I have to say that the Guinness Storehouse is very overrated and pretty much a tourist trap rip-off. Definitely stick to whiskey. It’s great that there are so many whiskies in Ireland now considering it almost died out completely in the 70s. Did you go to Kilmainham Gaol by any chance?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m Irish too Damien 😊 From the west 😉 I visited the storehouse during the summer for the first time and I absolutely hated it. Very overrated as you’ve said. Exactly! No I didn’t get a chance when I was living in Dublin. I’ve heard wonderful things about the tours there 😊


  12. So you had me at whiskey tasting…..but honestly, Dublin just looks like such a fantastic place to experience. I love a city that not only spouts beautiful architecture, but a rich history as well. Perhaps it is the place for my daughter, not only would a theatre program appeal to her, but I think the knowledge and experience that would come with learning to be a Heritage Tour Guide would be a great position for anyone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dublin certainly has a rich history and it’s amazing that it’s still there for people to see 😊 There are so many theatre courses in Dublin, your daughter would be spoilt for choice. The Abbey and the Gate theatres would be the two main theatres in Dublin for showcasing plays.


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