12 Famous Buildings In Dublin, Ireland

famous buildings in dublin
| 6 min read

Welcome to Dublin, the capital and social epicenter of the Republic of Ireland, a location jam-packed with sightworthy attractions around virtually every new corner. Discover a unique flavor of recreation and adventure along the east coast of Ireland, a unique synthesis of culture and history that has something to offer to for everyone in your travel party. From castles to wide open, green spaces, Dublin plays the worthy host of an unusually high number of sights and sounds worth exploring. Whenever you’re looking to make authentic North Atlantic history your own in Ireland, check out any one of these recommended famous buildings in Dublin, to instantly upgrade your outing into a winning series of unforgettable adventures. First make sure that you are comfortable in one of the best hotels and vacation rentals in the city before you go exploring these architectural triumphs. Bring the entire family along when you allow these famous Dublin structures to take center stage!

Tip from tour guide



Dublin, Ireland

Dublin has the largest architectural ensemble of straight Georgian streets in the world (uninterrupted until the 1960s - when they demolished one of the buildings and put in the ESB Headquarters).

1. Bord Gáis Energy Theatre

Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kanakari used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Bord Gais Energy Theatre is a performing arts venue located in the Docklands. It is the city’s biggest fixed-seat theater and was designed by Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind for the Dublin Docklands Development Authority. Initially called the Grand Canal Theatre, this notable building opened to the public in 2010 and is currently owned by Bernie and John Gallagher of Doyle Hotels. Some of the famous West End productions that have premiered here are Wicked, Miss Saigon, Kinky Boots, and Dirty Dancing.

Bord Gáis Energy Theatre

Address: Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin, Ireland

Website: Bord Gáis Energy Theatre

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2. The Royal Hospital Kilmainham

Museum Of Modern Art At Royal Hospital Kilmainham - Dublin (Ireland) - panoramio (33)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user William Murphy used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the most enchanting buildings you will have the pleasure of seeing in Dublin is Royal Hospital Kilmainham. It served as a hospital during the 17th century and was built as a home for retired soldiers of the army. Designed by Sir William Robinson, Ireland’s Surveyor General from 1670 to 1700, the landmark was inspired by the iconic Les Invalides in Paris, France. The hospital building closed in 1927 and has since been used for various significant events. The Irish Government finally restored it in 1984. In recent times, Royal Hospital Kilmainham has been a venue for summer concerts.

The Royal Hospital Kilmainham

Address: Military Road, Saint James’ (part of Phoenix Park), Dublin 8, Ireland

Website: The Royal Hospital Kilmainham

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3. The Custom House

Custom House Dublin 01
Source: Photo by user TomAlt used under CC BY-SA 2.5

A wonderful example of neoclassical Irish architecture, The Custom House was originally constructed in the 18th century and sits on the beautiful bank of the River Liffey. Contained within the estate itself are several institutional government constructs, including the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. Situated between two historic bridges in Dublin, the Butt Bridge, and the Talbot Memorial Bridge, This Dublin famous building is easily identifiable against the blues of the nearby river and has undergone extensive restoration efforts to allow for continued access.

The Custom House

Address: North Dock, Dublin 1, Ireland

Website: The Custom House

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4. Dublin Castle

Source: Photo by user Vmenkov used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Take some time out of your day in Dublin to discover the Dublin Castle, and you’ll find yourself falling for the unique combination of fortified architecture and culture. Steeped in history that includes both Viking and medieval times, the Dublin Castle was the seat of English power until 1922. Today, the space itself is constantly put to use as an immersive teaching tool, to inform locals and visitors alike about the region’s history and continued importance. Right off of Dame Street, this Dublin architecture first opened in 1214, with subsequent constructions usually paralleling the necessity for repairs or a changing in the occupation.

Dublin Castle

Address: Dame St, Dublin 2, Ireland

Website: Dublin Castle

Tip from tour guide



Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle was the seat of the British Government in Ireland for over 700 years, from 1204 up until when Ireland got its independence in 1922.

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Dublin Tour Guide

Diana M

Diana M

Hi there! I am Diana :) My passion in life (next to my loved ones) is travelling and meeting new people, showing others the beauty of the world, art in various forms. My private guided day tours are experiences that are unique and are a great way to do an interesting activity without being overwhelmed. You get to do something only few other travellers would get to do and a chance to gain a local perspective. As your guide, I want to open you the door to Ireland's untouched beauty, from scenic cliffs to fairytale like forests and would point out many details you wouldn’t uncover on your own. You might also like to do an activity which can be difficult without local knowledge, like hiking or horse riding, - I am here to help and guide you.  I’ll handle all the planning and the driving on the left hand side of the road, so all you have to do is sit back, relax, and soak in the beautiful sights and compelling stories. Ireland won’t leave you untouched and I will be delighted to be your guide and ‘local expert’ here. Hope to see you on one of my trips to the heart and soul of our beautiful country!

Tours by Diana

5. City Hall Dublin

Dublin City Hall 2018a
Source: Photo by user Antony-22 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Another fine example of regional Dublin architecture, the city hall first began construction around 1769 and was completed some 10 years later. Interestingly enough, the city hall design was open to public opinion; of the 62 submissions received by the government, Thomas Cooley emerged as the winner, a London architect who beat out the design submission of James Gandon, the designer of The Custom House. Cooley was later called upon to design the Four Courts as well. Easily noticeable once you arrive inside, the stained glass dome above requires you to crane your neck, simply to take in the full scope of the spectacle. Originally meant to be left open, the frequent Irish rains eventually required the dome to seal the very peak.

City Hall Dublin

Address: Dame St, Dublin, Ireland

Website: City Hall Dublin

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6. Christ Church Cathedral

Dublin Christ Church Cathedral 2012 09 26
Source: Photo by user Andreas F. Borchert used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Worship at this dated Irish cathedral in Dublin dates back to medieval times, and is still open today for public services! Welcome to Christ Church Cathedral, where for almost 1000 years, believers have found a common sanctuary beneath lofty ceilings. In addition, the cathedral itself often serves as a pilgrimage site for dedicated Christians around the world. The cathedral was assumed into the Irish church in 1152 but was already known to exist in 1030, making its exact date of construction unknown. Through reform by Henry VIII and the pre-Reformation periods of King James, the cathedral has stood as a witness to the commonality of worldly faith, and today continues to welcome all who walk through expansive double doors!

Christ Church Cathedral

Address: Christchurch Pl, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, Ireland

Website: Christ Church Cathedral

Tip from tour guide



Christchurch Cathedral

Christchurch Cathedral is Dublin's oldest working building, established in 1170 by the Normans under Richard de Clare, otherwise known as Strongbow. His tomb is located in the Cathedral. Also, the Cathedral Crypt is the largest in both Ireland and the UK. 

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7. Convention Centre

Convention Centre Dublin EPP 2014
Source: Photo by user https://www.flick... used under CC BY 2.0

In stark contrast to many of the other buildings on this list, the Convention Centre in Dublin exists as a sleek, modern counterpart to traditional, dated architecture in the area. Even if you’re just going to walk by the building, you’ll admire the smooth edifices on its exterior. Often illuminated once the sun sets, the Dublin Convention Centre houses a regularly rotating series of conferences, conventions and general and specialized events. Listed as one of the Dublin sites you can’t afford to miss, the center is also located adjacent to many of Dublin’s premier hotel stays.

The Convention Centre

Address: Spencer Dock, N Wall Quay, North Wall, Dublin 1, D01 T1W6, Ireland

Website: The Convention Centre

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8. Busáras

Source: Photo by user Jnestorius used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

The hub for a majority of the public transportation that passes through Dublin, Busáras exists as Dublin’s centralized bus station, through which much of Irish traffic either passes or originates. From the inside, it’s a bustling, coordinated effort for on-time arrival and departure. From the outside, it’s a renowned work of local architecture, undertaken by Michael Scott and his architecture team between 1945 and 1953. Despite public backlash regarding the cost and the lavish appearance, the station itself now stands against the Dublin skies, as a somewhat formidable estate that houses everything from terrazzo floor tiles to wall panels of timber.


Address: Store St, North Dock, Dublin 1, Ireland

Website: Busáras

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9. Aviva Stadium

Aviva Stadium seen from Block 312
Source: Photo by user wynnert used under CC BY-SA 2.0

More than 51,000 spectators regularly pack themselves into the local Aviva Stadium in Dublin, whenever it’s time to watch a world-class recreation of athletics. Home to both the Irish rugby national team and the Republic of Ireland football team, Aviva Stadium is used on a frequent basis, depending on rotating athletic schedules and availability. By size, Aviva Stadium qualifies as the third-largest stadium in all of Ireland and was in 2011 the home for the Europa League Final. Shaped like a bowl and supported by four individual tiers, the estate was opened recently in 2010, after which time it was awarded the British Construction Industry award.

Aviva Stadium

Address: Lansdowne Rd, Dublin 4, Ireland

Website: Aviva Stadium

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10. Irish Whiskey Museum

Irish Whiskey Museum bar
Source: Photo by user PvOberstein used under CC0

A staple of the Dublin lifestyle, whiskey itself frequents every local pub, so much so that Dublin houses the Irish Whiskey Museum! Of course, there is a wide variety of interactive exhibits on the premises, and all guests are treated to an immersive whiskey tasting experience at the conclusion of the museum tour itself. A roughly two-hour experience from beginning to end, the Irish Whiskey Museum in Dublin can effectively help you to overcome any rainy day, replacing wet grounds with warm, dry interiors, and the comfort of a company while you sip on, and learn more about, the whiskey way of life.

Irish Whiskey Museum

Address: 119 Grafton Street, Dublin, D02 E620, Ireland

Website: Irish Whiskey Museum

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11. The Little Museum of Dublin

20130810 dublin098
Source: Photo by user Jean Housen used under CC BY-SA 3.0

For your chance to learn more about the foundational history that characterizes Dublin itself as both unforgettable and culturally rooted, you need to stop by The Little Museum of Dublin. A museum specifically dedicated to people of Dublin itself, the estate features a wide, rotating exhibition of displays and content, including artistic renderings and submissions from locals. The Irish Times went so far as to call the museum “Dublin’s Best Museum Experience,” and with the provision of onsite educational materials and a wide portfolio of guided, local tours sanctioned through the museum, it’s a wonder that more people don’t find the time to visit The Little Museum of Dublin!

The Little Museum of Dublin

Address: 15 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, Ireland

Website: The Little Museum of Dublin

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12. The Four Courts

The Four Courts Dublin - panoramio
Source: Photo by user William Murphy used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the main buildings for the legislature in Dublin, Four Courts is centralized at Inns Quay, where the Irish Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Dublin Circuit Court and High Court all function simultaneously. This Dublin building was not actually named for the four courts currently presiding inside; instead, it was named for the building’s previous four inhabitants: the courts of King’s Bench, Chancery, Common Pleas and Exchequer. The designs of Thomas Cooley were put into place at Four Courts, with initial construction beginning in 1776. Architect James Gandon took over construction duties after Cooley died in 1784, and delivered the current product beloved by so many in Dublin today!

The Four Courts

Address: Inns Quay, Dublin, Ireland

Website: The Four Courts

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An Irish vacation done the right way

Dublin, Ireland exists as the worthy home to so many world-class sights and sounds; it’s time that you discovered them! Take the time to venture through Dublin at a pace most conducive to your own enjoyment, and make sure to make time for each of these famed local buildings. From legislature to local art, whiskey to history, each Dublin building has a worthy story to tell and adds another element to the overall aesthetic. These places continue to inspire the Dublin architects of today. Check out these famed buildings in Dublin, for an Irish vacation done the right way.

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Frequently asked questions about famous buildings in Dublin

1. Which are the best architectural buildings in Dublin?

For the architecture lovers out there, some of the best places you have to see in Dublin are the Custom House, the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin Castle, and Christ Church Cathedral.

2. Which are the best architectural buildings in Dublin for couples to visit?

Dublin sure is home to a few romantic structures that you must experience when you travel to this city with your partner. Places like the Little Museum of Dublin, the Irish Whiskey Museum, Christ Church Cathedral, and Dublin Castle are some of your must-not-miss attractions.

3. Which are the best architectural buildings in Dublin for groups to visit?

For those who are visiting this lovely city with their friends, make sure that you squeeze Bord Gais Energy Theatre, the Convention Centre, Busaras, and Aviva Stadium into your itinerary.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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John Gallagher is a digital marketing consultant and writer from San Diego, California. When he isn't thoroughly enjoying the writing process or pretending he thoroughly enjoys the revision...Read more

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