In the world of accessible European voyages, Dublin is an absolute no-brainer. In addition to its proximity to the United States, Ireland uses the Euro and has English as its national language, making it incredibly easy for anglophone, Euro-bound travelers to have an authentic and hassle-free vacation. Not sure where to begin? Check out our ultimate guide to Dublin — featuring 15 of the city's best offerings — below.
1. Enjoy a Proper Irish Coffee at Bar 1661
No drink screams Irish imbibing like that of an Irish coffee. Featuring a combination of Irish Whiskey, whipped cream, and — you guessed it — hot coffee, this eponymous cocktail has garnered worldwide fame. While a majority of Irish coffees are quite subpar, the award-winning Bar 1661 on Green Street serves up the city's best. (We promise: This drink will change your life.)
2. Pour Your Own Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse
Many alcohol museums feel kitschy, but the Guinness Storehouse experience is an exception. Explore the interactive museum and learn the ins and outs of brewing Ireland's signature beer before heading to the top floor to master the art of pouring your own brew (yes, there is actually a technique to pouring a proper Guinness!). Also, don't miss the on-site Gravity Bar, which offers panoramic city views.
3. Visit the Old Library at Trinity College
Trinity College is among Europe's most famous universities, and a visit to this Dublin-based campus promises an unforgettable time. For an additional albeit well-worth-it fee, snag a ticket to the Book of Kells exhibition to see the famed ninth-century-era manuscript. Visitors will also gain access to the famed Long Room, which is considered one of the world's most beautiful libraries.
4. Tour the Original Jameson Distillery on Bow Street
A trip to Dublin without a stop at the original Jameson Distillery would be a travesty. Head to the flagship location on Bow Street to learn the basics of distillation and taste the different expressions of Ireland's flagship liquor (including a few distillery-exclusive varieties!).
5. Take a Stroll Through St. Stephen's Green
Located in the heart of Dublin, St. Stephen's Green provides a calm and tranquil oasis amongst the hustle and bustle of the city center. Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch beneath the trees, stroll through the winding walking paths, or simply post up on a bench with coffee and a book.
6. Indulge in the Best Fish Sandwich at Fish Shop
Dublin isn't necessarily synonymous with seafood delights; however, the acclaimed Fish Shop on Benburb Street is an absolute must-visit. Come noon, this seemingly hole-in-the-wall joint immediately fills up, so be sure to arrive a few minutes early. Indulge in one of Europe's best fried fish sandwiches – and wash it down with a copious amount of vino. The only thing more charming than the shop's ambiance? The friendly and hospitable folks who work here.
7. Listen to Live Music at a Traditional Pub
Live music and Dublin go hand in hand, and the city's lively Temple Bar neighborhood is easily one of the best places to experience the camaraderie. However, we do recommend avoiding the famed Temple Bar itself, as the space is quite hot, crowded, and a bit overhyped. Instead, head a few streets up to Darkey Kelly's, which offers a more comfortable ambiance, plus lots of locally crafted brews.
8. Shop Your Way Through Local Markets
While Dublin isn't necessarily known for its high-end shopping, there are plenty of local markets to discover. Check out the delights at the open-air Moore Street Market and the Temple Bar Book Market (Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). The Dún Laoghaire CoCo Market (Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m), which features everything from freshly baked goods to one-of-a-kind crafts, is also noteworthy.
9. Pop Into the Irish Whiskey Museum
We said it before, and we'll say it again – no trip to Dublin is complete without savoring the local spirits. At the Irish Whiskey Museum, visitors can learn the history behind the country's famed whiskey production while sampling (and purchasing!) a variety of whiskies. Both novices and pros will take delight in this simple yet satisfying tour.
10. Wander Down Grafton Street
Whether music, shopping, or snacking is at the top of your to-do list, a visit to Grafton Street won't disappoint. Home to the city's larger retail stores, this spirited street is regularly flooded with local musicians and performers, making the experience all the more worthwhile for serious shoppers and window browsers alike.
11. Hop on a Double-Decker Bus
As stereotypical as it may sound, a ride on a double-decker bus is an absolute must. However, you need not worry: pricey tours are not the only way to experience the city's wonders. Do as the locals do and hop a local bus for just under three euros a pop. However, make sure you have some coins on you as local buses do not accept credit cards, and they generally don't give change.
12. Take a Boat Tour Along River Liffey
One of the most fun ways to see any city is via boat, and Dublin is no exception. Dublin Discovered and Finn McCools Tours both offer excellent itineraries — though keep in mind that these exciting excursions are weather-permitting and seasonally available.
13. Walk Over the Ha'Penny Bridge
Built in 1816, the Ha'penny Bridge is one of Dubin's most visited structures. (Plus, it makes accessing both sides of the city incredibly easy.) The pedestrian-only bridge spans nearly 142 feet over the River Liffey and sits about nine feet above the water. Stop in the middle of the bridge to admire the postcard-worthy views — and snap some photos while you're at it, too!
14. Savor a Locally Brewed Pint
While Guinness may be Dublin's claim to fame, you won't want to sleep on other local brews. For those hoping to visit the breweries in person, consider The Five Lamps Brewery or Dublin City Brewing Co. Or, you can always grab an authentic, Irish-crafted pint in one of the local pubs.
15. Get Your Culture Fill at One (or More!) of the City's Many Museums
Dublin is home to a plethora of museums, galleries, and cultural attractions. Art lovers will appreciate the National Museum of Ireland, the National Gallery of Ireland, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Or, for a quick hit of local history, look no further than The Little Museum of Dublin.
Want to take that trip for free — and score some valuable miles for your next excursion? Check out our top pick travel credit cards for the best welcome bonuses, perks, and plenty of cash back.