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Dublin.

Top Dublin Attractions

The first time you visit Dublin, or any new destination, the question asked isn’t usually what attractions should be scene but what attraction to see first, what to expect, how to get there, and how much time is needed. We’ve provided tips, advice, and other information about the top tourist attractions in Dublin to help with your itinerary planning.

Guinness Storehouse Guinness Storehouse
Dublin Castle Dublin Castle
St. Stephen’s Green St. Stephen’s Green
Trinity College Trinity College
Kilmainham Gaol Kilmainham Gaol

Guinness Storehouse

 Address St. James Gate
 Admission €13.50 / students and seniors €9
 Hours Open daily 9:30 am – 5pm / Also open 5 – 9pm, July – August
 Phone +353-1-453-8364
 Website www.guinness-storehouse.com

What better way to celebrate 250 years of brewing magic than to visit the Guinness Storehouse? The cast-iron and brick Storehouse alone is a sight to see- it was constructed in 1904 in the style of the Chicago School of Architecture. Originally used to house the fermentation process, in which yeast is added to the beer, the Storehouse now educates Guinness lovers on the ingredients and processes used to make the fine stout.

Spanning six floors, visitors are meant to be wooed by cutting-edge museum designs, including a man-made waterfall, large copper brewing tanks you can walk through and interactive displays that show how water, barley, hops and yeast combine to create the perfect pint of Guinness. The original 9,000 year lease signed by brewery founder Arthur Guinness and a fascinating collection of Guinness ad campaigns and packaging are also on display.

By far, the best part of the exhibit is the free pint of the “black stuff” that is served to you at the Gravity Bar. Located on the top-floor, the bar is enclosed by 360-degree floor-to-ceiling glass walls offering a breathtaking view of Dublin city and beyond.

Hit the gift shop on the ground floor for fun and modern Guinness souvenirs. Most of the prices are surprisingly reasonable.

 

Dublin Castle

 Address Castle Street and Dublin West (Best entrance is Cork Hill Gate, just west of City Hall)
 Admission €4.50
 Hours Open 10am–5pm M–F / Open 2–5pm
 Phone +353-1-677-7129

Dublin Castle symbolizes Britain’s rule over Ireland for nearly seven centuries until it was handed over to the new Irish Free State in 1922. Built by a Norman king in 1204, the castle stands in the heart of the city on the site of an old Viking settlement with its murky black pool of water which gave its name to the city, “Dubh Linn.” Much of the Castle was rebuilt after a fire in 1684.

Surrounded by high walls and a moat, Dublin Castle was built to withstand a major battle. Fortunately, the Castle grounds only saw minor attacks like the Kildare Rebellion and the Easter Rising in 1916, when 50 insurgents died at the Castle’s walls.

Visitors can tour a portion of the former Viking fortress, called Undercroft, the Royal Chapel, and The State Apartments. Originally used as the court’s residential quarters, it is now the main venue for official functions like the Presidential Inauguration.

The best views of Castle are behind the complex on the Irish-knot lawn near the Chester Beatty Library. There is no fee to tour the grounds so take a look around and keep your eye out for sculpted faces that adorn doorways and the Scales of Justice, a statue that symbolically has its back turned on city.

 

St. Stephen’s Green

Lush and green all year long, St. Stephen’s Green spans roughly 22 acres and can be reached by heading south on Kildare, Dawson or Grafton Street. The park is home to colorful flower gardens, manicured lawns and ornamental lakes. The main entrance of the park is marked by Fusilier’s Arch across from the top of Grafton Street.

As you wander through one of its paths, you will notice many statues erected throughout the Green, the most striking being memorials to literary geniuses Yeats and Joyce. Take a moment to relax in a cozy gazebo or stretch out on the picture-perfect grass. In the summer, theatrical performances are given near the Victorian-style bandstand.

The west side of the open square was a place of public execution until 1664. For the first time in its history, it became a private park in 1814 and remained so until Arthur Edward Guinness, then proprietor of the infamous brewery, formally laid it out as a gift to the public in 1880.

During the late 18th century, the aristocracy often strolled along the sidewalks outside of the Green. Many of their fine Georgian houses still stand and can be found surrounding the park in St. Stephens Square.

The park is free to enter and is open sunrise to sunset.

 

Trinity College

 Address Between Westmoreland and Grafton Street
 Admission Free, except for Book of Kells (€7.50)Walking Tour (€10- includes admission into Book of Kells)
 Hours Grounds are always open
 Phone +353-1-608-1000
 Website www.tcd.ie

Founded by Queen Elizabeth in 1592 as a way to “civilize” the Irish, Trinity College is Dublin’s oldest and most famous college. With 12,000 present day students, Trinity counts Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and Jonathan Swift among its notable alumni. Sprawling across 40 grassy-green acres, the campus is made up of stone buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The grounds are always open and the only admission fee is to enter the Old Library, home to Ireland’s largest collection of books and the prized The Book of Kells. Meandering through the campus via cobblestone walkways will satisfy most tourists, but take The Trinity College Walking Tour if you thirst for additional University lore. The 30-minute student-led tour runs every 40 minutes daily from 10:15am – 3:40pm May-October and on weekends March-May. Meet at the Info Booth inside the front gate.

The Old Library, built in 1712, displays two of the four volumes of The Book of Kells. This manuscript was created in 800 A.D. by four Irish monks who used the ink from bugs and plants to colorfully illustrate this lavish edition of the gospels. Lines to see the illuminated manuscript are usually very long except in the morning, but those who pay for the campus tour can skip ahead in the line. Ireland’s oldest harp is hiding upstairs in the library’s main space, the Long Room, which measures a staggering 213 feet long and 42 feet wide.

Another structure worth noting is the slightly Gothic Graduates Memorial Building built in 1892. It is home to Trinity’s two fiercely competitive debate teams, the Philosophical and Historical Societies. Behind the cobblestone quadrangle of Parliament (or Front) Square, stands the old redbrick Rubrics that dates back to 1690. Now used as rooms for students and faculty, Rubrics is the oldest building still standing on campus.

 

Kilmainham Gaol

 Address Inchicore Road (Dublin West)
 Admission Adults €5 Children/ Students €2Senior Citizens €3.50Small museum is free
 Hours April – September Open daily 9:30am – 4:45pm October – March 9:30am – 4:00pm / Sunday 10am – 4pm Closed on Saturdays.
 Phone +353-1-453-5984
 Website www.heritageireland.ie

Kilmainham Gaol is the largest unoccupied gaol in Europe and it offers visitors a glimpse into the disturbing yet inspirational history of the modern Irish world. The correctional institution opened in 1796 and for nearly 200 years, detained prisoners who were leaders of the 1916 rising, DeValera and other rebellions. Famous prisoners included rebellion leaders like Robert Emmet and James Connolly, and the politician Charles Stewart Parnell. Unfortunate detainees resided in the grim structure until their execution in the prison yard. The cells are eerie and offer a bone-chilling view of prison life.

Your entry fee into the gaol includes a guided tour with an audio-visual component, as well as entry into a small museum. The exhibition details the political and penal history of the prison, and describes its renovations. There is a small tearoom on the premises.

Parts of the film In the Name of the Father were shot at Kilmainham Gaol. An extremely busy attraction, be prepared for larger crowds during the summer months.

 


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