If you’re in search of Dublin date ideas, you’ll find heaps of them below.
Coming up with fun date ideas in Dublin can be a pain, especially as the same aul suggestions come up over and over, like Dublin Zoo.
For this guide, we’ve spent many… many hours compiling a mix of enjoyable, unique and, at times, unusual date ideas to save you time and hassle.
We’ve split our Dublin date ideas up into two sections:
- Section 1: Date ideas that don’t involve alcohol
- Section 2: Date ideas that involve drinking but in a non-traditional setting
Dublin date ideas that don’t involve drinking
The first section of our guide is packed with fun Dublin date ideas for those of you that want to avoid drink.
Note: if you book a tour through a links below we may make a small commission. You won’t pay extra, but you’ll help us keep this site alive (we greatly appreciate it).
1. Coffee, rambles and food in Dalkey
The first of our Dublin date ideas takes us out to the buzzy village of Dalkey in south Dublin.
Drive or take the DART and grab coffee in the village to kick things off. You’ll then want to head out to the coast (aim for Coilemore Harbour) and admire the very swanky houses along the way.
I’ve mapped out the route on Google Maps to save you the hassle – enjoy!
2. Afternoon Tea on the Vintage Bus
Afternoon Tea on the Vintage Bus is one of the more unique Dublin date ideas that’ll arguably best suit a 4th or 5th date, when you know the person better.
You’ll listen to 1950s jazz, munch away on afternoon tea and hear stories from your wonderful hosts.
A very unique way to see the city. The reviews for this tour are exceptional (4.8/5 from 466+ reviews at the time of typing).
3. Cliffs and dinner in Howth
If you’re looking for 1/2 day dates in Dublin, Howth is a great shout. If you’re driving, head straight up to the car park past the Summit pub.
From here, you can tip off along the Howth Cliff Walk (pick the shorter trail if you fancy a handy ramble).
If you’re getting the DART, you can do the Cliff Walk, but it’ll be a tougher slog, as you’ve more incline to conquer.
The loop takes about two hours. Alternatively, opt for the much handier walk around the harbour and out along the pier.
4. A ring forging workshop
If you’re looking for first date ideas in Dublin, skip this one – making a a ring the first time you’re meeting someone probably won’t go down overly well.
However, for those of you dating someone for a while, the Silver Works ring making workshop is well worth considering.
This is a 2-hour workshop where you’ll create a personalised sterling silver ring with the help of an experienced guide.
The end result is a very individualised ring that you’ve cut, shaped and hammered to your own design.
At €80 a head, it definitely isn’t one of the cheaper date night ideas in Dublin, but it’s one neither of you will forget.
5. Dublin Bay Cruises
Dublin Bay Cruises are one of the more unique date ideas in Dublin. They leave from Howth, Dublin City and Dun Laoghaire, and they depart to a number of coastal spots.
You can polish off your afternoon in one of the many restaurants in Howth before grabbing the DART back to Dublin.
6. Walks, hikes and trails
Walks tend to be some of the better first date ideas in Dublin. There’s nothing overly inventive here, but make sure to pick a trail you’ll both enjoy.
There are some great Dublin walks to tackle and a ramble makes conversation flow naturally. Now, if you want easy-going walks without much include, try:
- The Bohernabreena Reservoir trail
- The Poolbeg Lighthouse walk
- The Malahide to Portmarnock walk
- One of the parks in Dublin, like St. Anne’s
If you fancy a hike, there are endless walks in the Dublin Mountains, like:
7. Cycle and eat around the Phoenix Park
Many successful dates in Dublin have taken place within the confines of the Phoenix Park.
Covering 175 acres, the Phoenix Park will keep you occupied on a date that lasts all afternoon!
Head off on one of the walking trails or rent bikes at the entrance and cover even more ground.
Head through the park and out to the Blackhorse Avenue side – here you’ll find two good food options – the Hole in the Wall pub and DASH- Container Cafe.
8. The Howth Coast and Ireland’s Eye Boat Tour
Next up is one of the more memorable date ideas Dublin has to offer – a cliffside cruise takes you from Howth Harbour to explore the beauty of Howth’s coastline and Dublin Bay.
Over the course of the trip you’ll be treated to views of Ireland’s Eye, the Martello Tower, and a colony of seals and birds.
If you’d like something a little more romantic, there’s also a sunset cruise that operates in the area.
9. Escape Boats
Coming up with pre-dinner date night ideas in Dublin can be tricky. If you’re up for a challenge, give the Escape Boat on Grand Canal a crack.
The aim of the game is to solve the mysteries, repair the boat and escape the perils of the Zorg Ella boat!
There’s two games to choose from – SOS (escape the sinking boat) and CONVICTS (you and your team are prisoners – escape before you get locked up).
Related read: See our guide to the best rainy day activities in Dublin
10. The Ghost Bus Tour
Another of the more unique date ideas Dublin has to offer is the Ghost Bus Tour where you’ll embark on a spine-chilling journey through Dublin’s haunted sights.
Encounter comedy horror, terrifying histories, and creepy mysteries as the bus takes you to the Hellfire Clubroom, a haunted museum, and the Victorian Theatre.
Visit St. Kevin’s Graveyard and hear the ghostly tale of Darky Kelly, guided by sinister hosts in tune with the afterlife.
Now, this isn’t one to chuck in with your first date ideas in Dublin – it’ll be better suited to a 4th/5th date.
11. Sunsets followed by food
If you’re looking for romantic Dublin date ideas, there’s plenty of great viewpoints in Dublin where you can watch the sunset.
Arguably the best of the lot is Killiney Hill. Get to the top of the 153m high summit and you can soak up spectacular views of Dublin, the Irish Sea and the Wicklow Mountains on a clear evening.
After working up an appetite, surprise your date with dinner at DeVille’s or one of the many other restaurants in Dalkey.
12. The skyline tour in Croke Park (followed by lunch in Drumcondra)
So, this is arguably one of the more ‘out there’ Dublin date ideas, and it’s better suited for a third or forth date. It’s at Croke Park that you can tackle the excellent Skyline Tour.
You need to book in advance and make sure your date has an adventurous spirit (and is not fazed by heights!).
This guided tour takes you up 17 stories and then out onto an open viewing platform – the highest in Dublin.
When you’re finished, take the short stroll into Drumcondra and grab a bite to eat (there’s plenty of choice).
13. Head off on the music Under the Bridges Kayaking Tour
This is arguably one of the most unusual (and brilliant!) date ideas Dublin has to offer. If you want some live music on your date, book a place on this Kayak Tour.
Paddle down the River Liffey and you’ll come across some of Dublin’s best musicians playing in the sheltered setting beneath Dublin’s landmark bridges.
Glide along on this 2.5 hour tour marvelling at the city views and enjoying a private concert like no other! More info here.
Fun dates in Dublin that involve drinking
A lot of dates in Dublin involve whittling away hours in a pub. And, while there’s nothing wrong with that, it can get a bit repetitive.
If you’re looking for some of the more impressive date ideas Dublin has to offer, the section below should tickle your fancy.
1. Take cocktail classes at The Little Pig
First up is one of the more unique date ideas Dublin has to offer. Breaking the ice with a date on a Cocktail Masterclass at The Little Pig.
You’ll find it on Wicklow Street and it’s here that you’ll learn how to mix two different cocktails.
The bartender will share tips, techniques and flavour combinations before letting you loose behind the bar to try out your newfound knowledge.
2. Catch a flick and have a sip at the Stella Cinema
Catching a flick is of the handier date night ideas in Dublin (definitely not for a first date…). However, don’t just take them to any aul cinema.
Named one of the world’s top 20 most beautiful cinemas, a flick at the Stella Cinema is hard to bate!
After years of neglect, the art deco cinema was restored in 2017. When it originally opened, it was the largest cinema in Ireland with 1283 seats, but now it’s a little cosier with leather armchairs, couches, snack tables and footstools.
3. Try the whiskey and food tasting tour
Pair Irish whiskey with wonderfully prepared food on this whiskey and food tour.
Over the course of the tour, you’ll try 5 whiskies, sample locally source food and visit a mix of whiskey bars and old-school pubs.
This tour includes sipping and appreciating five legendary whiskeys, Irish artisan cheese, soda bread and chocolate.
The two-hour guided tour takes place in Bowes Lounge (where you’ll get some of the best Guinness in Dublin!) and the Palace Bar.
4. Take a tasting tour at Teelings
Conclude this fun activity with tastings of their Small Batch and Handcrafted Whiskeys including a handcrafted whiskey cocktail.
5. Tantalise your tastebuds
Now, although a bite-to-eat in a great restaurant is one of the more traditional date ideas Dublin has to offer, don’t write it off. There’s nothing wrong with the tried and tested.
Why do boring when there are so many great places to eat in Dublin, from cheap and tasty eats to Michelin star establishments?!
Whether it’s a first date in Dublin or a night out with your long-term partner, choose a place that offers cuisine that you both enjoy then dive in.
6. Head for a walk in the Botanic Gardens and then step back in time at the Gravediggers
This is one of our favourite date ideas Dublin has to offer, as it mixes a longish walk with a visit to one of the oldest pubs in Dublin.
Dublin’s National Botanic Gardens are a fragrant, colour-filled setting for a wonderful walk arm-in-arm in all seasons. Admire the restored glasshouses, forerunners to the more famous ones in Kew Gardens.
The gardens are a tranquil oasis in the city with over 15,000 plant species. Skip the cafe and head instead to John Kavanagh, aka Gravediggers, a lovely old-school pub in Gasnevin where gravediggers once quenched their thirst.
Date ideas Dublin: Have your say
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant Dublin date ideas from the guide above.
If you have any ideas for dates in Dublin that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about fun things to do in Dublin on a date
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What are fun things to do on dates in Dublin?’ to ‘What are the best outdoor date ideas Dublin has to offer?’
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What Dublin date ideas are different, fun and unique?
If you’re after unique Dublin date ideas, the food tours above are worth a look. Or, the likes of the cruises are well worth checking out, too!
What are the best outdoor dates in Dublin?
If you’re looking for active dates in Dublin, try one of the walks mentioned above or give one of the kayak tours a bash.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.