When you picture Dublin you may think of a city filled with men and women dressed as leprechauns dancing around the street. And if you visit on St. Patrick’s Day, that might be what you see. But for the other 364 days of the year Dublin has so much more to offer. It is a historic city with so many stories to tell - and the locals will jump at the chance to tell you them. Read on to learn about the best tours in the city!
Of course one of the most popular tours in Dublin is the Guinness Factory Tour. You can learn the story of the one of Ireland’s most popular exports. The experience includes lessons in history, production and marketing of Guinness. And to top it all off, you’re given your very own pint of the black stuff to enjoy while you gaze out at the city skyline from the Gravity Bar. This really is a must-do tour in the capital of Ireland.
The Guinness Factory Tour
Address: The Guinness Storehouse, St. James’ Gate, Ushers, Dublin 8
Not everybody is a fan of Guinness, so if you prefer to drink something a little stronger, perhaps a whiskey tour would be more to your liking. Jameson is Ireland’s most popular whiskey and the Bow St Experience gives you the chance to learn why. The 40 minute tour includes a factory tour and concludes in JJ’s Bar where you can relax and unwind with a drop of whiskey and listen to a story or two from the locals.
The distillery also offers a 90 minute masterclass in cocktail making or a 90 minute lesson in whiskey making where you’ll get some hands on experience. Keep an eye out for seasonal events such as live jam sessions by popular local artists. What better way to enjoy Ireland’s favorite whiskey?
The Jameson Distillery Tour
Address: Bow St, Smithfield Village, Dublin 7
The Irish are known for their love of story-telling. Give an Irishman the opportunity and he’ll talk your ear off, but who better to tell the history of Dublin than a local? University graduates take you on a whistle stop tour of all key Dublin landmarks while humorously explaining what makes Dublin so great. The walking tour usually lasts over two hours starting at the gates of Trinity College and winds through the streets of Dublin to include iconic sites such as Temple Bar, Dublin Castle, Grafton Street and many more.
The Historical Walking Tour
Address: Trinity College, College Green, Dublin 2
4. Hop-on Hop-off Bus
If you’re looking for something a little more leisurely than a walking tour than the bus tour is for you. A ticket grants you 24 or 48 hours of unlimited access to the sightseeing tour so you can enjoy Dublin at your own pace. It includes live or pre-recorded commentary depending on the language, 25 important landmarks and discounts on food and drink in local stores. It also includes a free ticket to your choice of walking tour: the 1916 tour, the City of Words tour, or the Temple Bar cultural tour for parts of the city inaccessible by bus. The bus tour is an easy way of learning all about the famous city.
Website: Hop-on Hop-off Bus
5. Book of Kells Tour
The Book of Kells is one of the most famous illustrations of the gospels in the world. Although scholars disagree on the book’s origin, it is generally agreed that the book’s journey is the stuff of legends. Transported around the British Isles in hiding from the wrath of Oliver Cromwell, the book finally found a home in Dublin. As a result the Book of Kells has become a cultural treasure in Ireland. The tour includes seeing the Book of Kells and a visit to the impressive Old Library in Trinity College which is also home to the Irish Declaration of Independence.
The Book of Kells Tour
Address: Trinity College, College Green, Dublin 2
The River Liffey cuts its path right through the heart of Dublin. The 45 minute cruise offers unobstructed views of historical monuments in Dublin including the Ha'penny Bridge, Custom House and the Samuel Beckett Bridge. Perfect for your holiday snaps. On board you are treated to the story of Dublin starting from the arrival of the Vikings all the way to present day, delivered by a local historian. The glass roof boat produces the perfect leisurely environment to take in the views no matter whether you are treated to a beautiful summer’s day or a traditionally wet Dublin day.
The River Liffey Cruise
Address: Bachelors Walk, North City, Dublin
7. Dublin Ghost Tour
Fancy experiencing something a little different during your time in Dublin? Spend the night discovering the supernatural with the Dublin Ghost Tour. Explore the haunted areas of Dublin and hear the scary stories omitted from the regular walking tours. Not for the fain hearted, this 45 minute tour focuses on Dublin’s grizzly past. You’ll learn all about the supernatural and you may even encounter some spirits. The tour concludes in The Brazen Head Pub - the oldest pub in Ireland.
Dublin Ghost Tour
Address: Merchants Quay, Dublin 8
Website: Hidden Walks: The Ghost Tour
When you first think of Dublin inevitably you also think of a good session in the pub, listening to music and chatting with friends. Well, now this traditionally Irish past time can also be an educational excursion - the perfect excuse for a pint. Dublin is home to around 1,000 pubs including Ireland’s oldest pub, The Brazen Head 1198. So it’s only natural that one of the most popular tours is a pub crawl.
Not to be confused with the messy bar crawls of Ibiza, this sophisticated shindig takes place in various pubs in the Temple Bar area. Talented musicians take you on a journey through the history of Irish music. And you get to enjoy a drink or two along the way!
Traditional Irish Music Pub Crawl
Address: Oliver St John Gogarty’s,18-21 Anglesea Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
See Dublin through a Dubliner's eyes
Dubliners are fiercely proud of their history and their city, and they are more than happy to share their passion with anyone willing to listen. Lend your ears and your eyes for a little while to experience the city with a local - you surely won’t regret it.
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