If you’re looking for a travel destination that is both historical and modern, Dublin, Ireland is the perfect place for you. With its rich culture and abundance of things to do, Dublin is a great choice for your next vacation.
This travel guide will provide you with all the information you need to plan the perfect trip to Dublin in 2023. From where to stay and what to eat to the best attractions and activities, we’ve got you covered.
Use these tips to start planning your Irish adventure today!
Where to Stay in Dublin, Ireland
The Irish capital of Dublin offers a lot of accommodation options for travelers. Whether you can splurge a little on luxury hotel stays or you’d rather stay in a cheaper hostel, this city has a lot of options for you. Here are our top three picks:
1. The Davenport Hotel
Located at 8-10 Merrion Street Lower in Dublin, The Davenport is an iconic 4-star luxury hotel that offers modern comforts, fine dining, and classical rooms. The hotel was Initially called Merrion Hall, which was a Plymouth Brethren church that was completed in 1863.
The Davenport is a tourist attraction in itself, thanks to its beautiful appearance remaining unchanged over the years, even after renovations. Plus, the best thing about the hotel is its downtown location and proximity to hotspots like Merrion Square and Trinity College.
2. Number 31
Located at 31 Leeson Close, D2 in Dublin, Number 31 is a Georgian townhouse turned 4-star hotel that’s popular with couples who like to experience luxury and elegance without spending a fortune.
St. Stephen’s Green is just a 5-minute walk while Grafton Street, The National Museum of Ireland, and the National Library are only 15 minutes away. Plus, this B&B offers a delicious freshly made breakfast every morning. If you want a boutique-style experience, we highly recommend you check out Number 31.
3. Generator Dublin
Located at Smithfield Square, Generator Dublin is your go-to hostel if you want to stay in a central location on a budget. It’s also close to Temple Bar and Jameson Distillery, in case you’re in the mood for an Irish drink or a whiskey tour.
The hostel is the perfect place to grab a private or shared room if you want to shop, watch, or dine nearby. Also, if you’re traveling with your girlfriends, they have affordable female-exclusive dorms here, too!
What to Do in Dublin, Ireland
First-time visitors will always find Dublin City Centre a great place to go for food, shopping, and day tours. But there’s so much more to do in this beautiful city! We recommend planning your itinerary ahead of time so you don’t miss out on anything while you’re in Dublin. Here are our recommendations on where to dine and what to do for a fun-filled experience while you’re here.
Dining and Drinking Experiences
Live music, foodie hotspots, and pubs! You can experience the best of the best entertainment in Dublin. Here’s a list of what you shouldn’t miss:
1. The Temple Bar
If you visit the capital city of Ireland, the Temple Bar is a popular spot for tourists. Locals have been enjoying this friendly hotspot for almost 160 years now!
2. The Liath
Michelin-starred restaurants like The Liath are a gastronomic experience that you definitely shouldn’t miss. Here, you might want to try the seasonal vegetarian menu or the classic European dishes available. Plus, don’t forget to book in advance because the seating at this coveted restaurant is very limited.
3. Johnnie Fox’s Pub
You’ll be transported back in time when you step through the doors of Johnnie Fox’s Pub. At this famous Dublin gem, you can appreciate live traditional Irish songs and dancing while enjoying a delicious four-course meal. The Irish craic (meaning a very good time) is definitely alive here at Johnnie Fox’s!
4. The Long Hall
The interior of this pub has a Victorian-era ambiance that feels more like an elegant shrine than your average watering hole. Plus, the service here is nothing short of magnificent, which is likely due in part to all those long-standing barmen who have been working there for over 35 years!
5. Irish House Party
If you’re looking for some traditional Irish music, the Irish House Party is a fantastic idea for a three-course dinner with a show. Afterward, you can meet the artists behind the music and cap off the night with a drink or two at the bar.
Activities and Tours
Medieval castles, anyone? How about old prisons? There’s just so much to explore in the capital of the Emerald Isle! And don’t forget about ending your day trips with a traditional Irish pint of beer. Here’s some of the best activities you’ll want to make time for during your stay in Dublin:
1. Guinness Storehouse
Grab a pint of Guinness here after enjoying a self-guided tour across all seven floors! At this famous brewery, you’ll get to learn about the history of the brand, its founder, and the advertising campaigns that it’s been through since the 18th century.
2. Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle is a complex of buildings that have been important to Ireland for centuries. Here, you can see excavation sites from Viking times as well as the medieval areas of the castle. It’s also worth checking out the Gothic Chapel Royal, Garda Museum, and Chester Beatty Library, while you’re here. This location is a must-see for the history buffs!
3. Kilmainham Gaol
Famous for being the filming location of the original Italian Job movie with Michael Caine, the Kilmainham is a sight to behold. This historic prison served as both a place of punishment and a place of refuge for many people during Ireland’s history. The building was also home to executions that took place on site, and it even played an important role in the Great Famine times when food shortages caused mass starvation across Europe.
4. Dublin Zoo
Located inside Phoenix Park, there’s no shortage of animals at this zoo, and they all have spacious habitats to roam in. Plus, at this world-famous zoo, visitors can enjoy an exciting day out on the animal trail, which makes it the perfect activity for families. Plus, while you’re here, don’t miss the chance to get up close and personal with the meerkats in the Meerkat Café.
5. Ha’Penny Bridge
Built back in 1816, Ha’Penny Bridge over the River Liffey should be one of your top sightseeing destinations in Dublin. While you’re here, you can also take a boat tour exploring the Dublin Bay, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Likewise, you can also take a dinner cruise here!
6. Museum Tours
A visit to the National Museum of Ireland is a great way to learn about Irish history. At this museum, you’ll get to know more about Irish fashion from the 1760s to the 1960s, military artifacts, and the Asgard yacht, among other things.
Similarly, The Little Museum of Ireland is your best bet to go for a walking tour of St. Stephen’s Green. If you prefer a short museum visit, this award-winning location is worthy of your time.
7. Cathedral Tours
Christ Church Cathedral has a rich history that dates all the way back to 1028 and is the oldest medieval cathedral in Dublin. However, this medieval church was later mixed with Gothic, Romanesque, and Victorian styles. Plus, Showtime’s The Tudors was filmed here! At this historic location, you can take a tour to witness tombs, mummified animals, and a huge silver collection.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is another worthwhile historic building to visit, even for the non-religious. It’s the largest church in Ireland and it’s also where St. Patrick used to baptize the locals over 1,500 years ago.
8. Merrion Square Park
Your artsy side will absolutely love walking through Merrion Square Park! Aside from hanging out with the statue of Oscar Wilde, you can also find other interesting and historic art installations around the Art Trail here. Plus, with the nearby playground and food market, this is a great place to bring your kiddos.
Related: How to Take Vacation as a Lawyer
9. Trinity College Library
Your day trip won’t be complete without experiencing a tour inside the breathtaking Trinity College Library. When you get here, we recommend you beeline towards the Book of Kells exhibition, one of Ireland’s best cultural gems. This medieval manuscript is a 9th century decorated book of the four gospels of the New Testament.
Of course, you’ll also want to see The Old Library, which has the Long Room that houses over 200,000 books spread across a couple of floors. It’s also one of the biggest inspirations for the Hogwarts Library in the Harry Potter films.
10. Hurling Match
If you’re close to Croke Park, we recommend buying a ticket for a Hurling sport match. The objective of this ancient Gaelic and Irish game is to drive the ball through the goals using a wooden stick or “hurley.”
By the way, Dublin is one of the top destinations for lawyers, attorneys, and legal practitioners thanks to the CLE program you can experience here with Destination CLEs.
Although the next Eduvacation℠ here is currently sold out, you can click here to join the waitlist and be notified when a spot becomes available.
Trust us, you don’t want to miss out on taking a relaxing vacation while completing your CLE requirements in Dublin!
When to Visit Dublin, Ireland
The best time to visit Dublin, Ireland is during the summer months, when the weather is at its warmest point. Still, summer in Ireland usually means at least a few rain showers, so don’t forget to pack your raincoat if you choose to visit during this season.
The summer months here typically start during the third week of June and last until the end of August. The Emerald Isle usually experiences a cool autumn from September to November, and a mildly cold winter after that until springtime begins during the last week of March.
No matter when you visit, though, we know you’ll love experiencing all that Ireland has to offer!
Dublin is truly a city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to explore the rich history and culture or you just want to relax and enjoy some of the best food and drink in the world, there’s no shortage of things to do in this amazing city.
If you’re thinking of planning a trip to Dublin in 2023, today is a great day to start planning your dream vacation!
Plus, if you’re a lawyer or legal professional, we highly recommend you get on the waitlist for the Destination CLEs trip to Dublin in June of 2023. This program allows you complete your CLE credits while enjoying all that Dublin has to offer.
Click here to get on the waitlist so you can be notified if a spot opens up!
Have you visited Dublin before? If so, what was your favorite spot? Tell us in the comments!
- Earn Your CLE Credits Abroad with Destination CLEs!
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- How to Take Vacation as a Lawyer