With so many sights to see and activities to experience, Dublin tourism is alive and well. Even if you only have one or two days in this historical and modern cultural city, make sure to visit top Dublin attractions. We at Simply Dublin list the 10 top attractions in the city that you should not miss.
St Patrick’s Cathedral
St Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest church in Ireland, founded in 1191 by Archbishop Comyn. The site of the cathedral is believed to be the earliest Christian site in the country, where St. Patrick baptized converts. Unusually, it lacks the major ingredient that makes a cathedral out of a church – a bishop. Dublin’s Church of Ireland Archbishop has his seat in Christ Church Cathedral.
O’Connell Street is the city’s primary traffic artery and has the distinction as the widest urban street in all of Europe. Dominated by monuments and statues, the houses that line the street are large and impressive. You will find here the General Post Office, which played a major role in the 1916 rebellion.
Trinity College and Library
Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, Trinity College still dominates the Dublin landscape, including the oldest buildings in the city which date back from the 1700s. The Trinity College Library houses over a million books and invaluable manuscripts. The Book of Kells is the most famous.
Museums are also top Dublin attractions. Do not miss out the National Museum of Archaeology and History in Kildare and the National Museum of Decorative Arts and History in Collins Barracks. The former showcases prehistoric and medieval Ireland, while the latter is home to an eclectic collection that includes an exhibition on the Easter and the uniform Michael Collins (the legendary fighter for Irish independence) was shot in.
Opened in 1864, the National Gallery is located at Merrion Square West right in the heart of the city. If you are interested in Irish and European art, then you should include it in your list. It houses about 500 major works, including those of Gainsborough, Hogarth, Monet, Poussin, El Greco, Degas, Goya, Velasquez, Titian, Picasso, Brueghel, Caravaggio, Rubens, and Vermeer.
Reinvented as a bohemian quarter, the Temple Bar was originally allocated for the redevelopment as a rail and bus terminal in the southern part of the Liffey. Unlike the surrounding areas surrounding, it has a well-preserved medieval street pattern, featuring narrow cobbled streets. It is the city’s cultural quarter that boasts of a vibrant nightlife popular with tourists.
The Dublin Castle is not an imposing fortress and certainly does not give a fairy-tale image. Today the Royal Chapel and the massive tower have a medieval touch while the administrative buildings have more contemporary styles. While its defensive character is gone, the remarkable state rooms and the stunning gardens make it one of the top sights to see in Dublin.
Dublin is unimaginable without Guinness. Nowhere is it more the center of attraction as in the Guinness Storehouse. Here, you will see the brewing process, the transportation system, as well as a pipeline that is much maligned by Dublin people. The highlight of your tour will be a free pint in the striking Gravity-Bar.
Still in working condition, the Kilmainham Jail (Gaol) is considered as one of the most notorious prisons in Europe. The jail’s bare and eternally cold cells are witness to the unforgiving prison life of its inmates.
National Botanic Garden
Your Dublin sightseeing tour will not be complete without paying a visit to the National Botanic garden. This splendid garden is a short bus ride away from the center of Dublin. It has guided tours and entrance is free. After breathing fresh air and enjoying the sights in one of the top Dublin attractions, you might want to have a coffee to rest.