A Town Full of Character: 8 of the Best Things to Do in Dublin, Ireland
Exploring the Best of Ireland’s Capital City
Most trips to the Emerald Isle begin in Dublin, the country’s capital and largest city. While you’re probably looking forward to seeing some of that postcard-perfect scenery in the countryside and along the coast during your Ireland vacation, it’s worth spending at least a couple of days here first.
There are plenty of things to do in Dublin that will take up your time and give you a taste of Irish culture and history before you set out to explore the hills and coastal views. Here are a few main attractions you need to check out.
Tour the Guinness Storehouse
Whether or not you’re a fan of Guinness, you won’t want to miss touring the Guinness Storehouse. One of Dublin’s most iconic attractions, the beer is synonymous with Ireland and you’ll not only get to see how its made, you’ll get a free sample at the end.
In fact, many people come just to take advantage of the Gravity Bar which sits on the top floor, high above the Storehouse, providing a 360-degree view of the city. The earlier you go, the better chance you’ll have of enjoying it all to yourself.
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Visit Trinity College & View the Book of Kells
The Old Library at Trinity College houses the famous “Book of Kells,” which is truly a must-see when you’re in Dublin. Written around 800 AD by Irish monks, it’s considered to be one of the world’s most spectacularly illuminated manuscripts.
Its 680 pages of vellum contain Latin texts of the Four Gospels with brilliantly colored depictions of Christ and his followers, all bordered by intricately detailed Celtic knots and other designs. For centuries, this precious book sat buried deep in the ground in order to prevent the Viking invaders from stealing it. After eventually recovering it, it was given to Trinity in 1653.
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Take a Stroll Through Phoenix Park
Phoenix Park is Europe’s largest city park and is an ideal destination for enjoying fresh air, a walk and some fabulous people-watching, which can really go a long way when it comes to beating jet lag after a long flight. Along the way you’ll see the President’s House — look closely and you’ll notice a lit candle in one of the windows. It serves as a reminder to the many who’ve left Ireland over the decades that they’re always welcome home.
In the Fifteen Acres area, watch for the herd of wild fallow deer that are often in the meadow. Other highlights include the Phoenix Park Tea Rooms and the Dublin Zoo, one of the oldest in Europe having opened nearly two centuries ago in 1831. It helps preserve some of our most endangered animals and houses hundreds of species, most in settings designed to mimic their habitats in the wild.