33 Best Things To Do In Dublin This Weekend (Hikes, Food, Museums + More)

Hikes, walks, museums, pubs and more

best things to do in dublin this weekend
Photos via Shutterstock

If you’re on the lookout for things to do in Dublin this weekend, you’ve landed in the right spot!

This guide is wedged with places to visit in Dublin. Some, like the Howth Cliff Walk, you’ll have likely heard of while others, like Marsh’s Library, you hopefully won’t!

Ireland’s capital is home to a clatter of things to see and do, from the Dublin Mountains and the many museums in Dublin to quirky attractions and more.

In the guide below, you’ll find loads of things to do in Dublin, with a little bit of something to tickle most fancies. Dive on in!

The best things to do in Dublin (a quick overview)

best dublin walks
Photos via Shutterstock

The first section of this guide will give you a nice, speedy overview of the most popular places to visit in Dublin, from hikes and walks to things to do in Dublin when it rains.

The second section of the guide goes into the specific things to do in Dublin this weekend, like the brilliant Phoenix Park and the often-missed Ireland’s Eye.

1. Walks and hikes

places to visit in dublin
Photos via Shutterstock

Although there’s plenty of hikes near Dublin, there’s an endless number of incredible walks in Dublin that’ll get your heart-rate soaring.

From long walks in the Dublin Mountains to easyish saunters, like the Killiney Hill walk, there’s walks in Dublin to suit every fitness level. Here are our favourites:

2. Unique places to visit in Dublin

dublin guide
Photo by Peter Krocka (Shutterstock)

There’s plenty of unique places to visit in Dublin, if you fancy stepping off the beaten path a little and dodging the crowds.

From trips to Dalkey Island with Dublin Bay Cruises to the magnificent Long Room in Trinity College, there’s plenty of unique and unusual spots to visit. Here are our favourites:

3. Popular tourist attractions

St Patrick's Cathedral dublin
Photo left: SAKhanPhotography. Photo right: Sean Pavone (Shutterstock)

Next up are the most popular tourist attractions in Dublin. These are the ‘old-reliables’ that have been delighting visiting tourists and locals alike for many a year.

Below, you’ll find places to visit in Dublin like the historic Kilmainham Gaol and the very popular Guinness Storehouse to the GPO and more. 

4. Beaches galore

swimming at seapoint
Photo by the gent that is @Padddymc.ie on IG

Some of the best places to visit in Dublin are the sandy stretches (and the ‘hidden’ swimming spots) that are dotted along its magnificent coastline, as you’ll discover in our guide to the best Dublin beaches.

From tourist favourites, like Dollymount Strand and Sandycove Beach, to lesser-know spots, like Burrow Beach, there’s something to tickle every fancy. Here are out favourites:

5. Mighty parks

phoenix park walks
Photos via Shutterstock

When you hear people talking about the various Dublin attractions, you rarely hear the county’s parks mentioned.

Which is a shame, as there are some mighty parks in Dublin, like the Phoenix Park and Herbert Park, that are perfect for an early morning ramble. Here are our favourites:

6. Food, glorious food

what to do in dublin
Photos via Benito’s Italian Restaurant on Facebook

If you’re wondering what to do in Dublin after a day spent exploring, or if you fancy a tasty breakfast or lunch, you’re in luck.

There’s countless great restaurants in Dublin, from Michelin Star restaurants and places for bottomless brunch to dive cafes and more. Here’s some guides to nip into:

7. Day trips from Dublin

Walks around Dublin
Photos via Shutterstock

If you’ve ticked-off the various activities in Dunlin mentioned above and below and you fancy exploring some places near the city, you’ve loads to choose from.

There’s heaps of day trips from Dublin that you can head off on (either solo or via an organised tour – more info here). Here are some of our favourites near the city:

8. Pubs

The Gravediggers pub
Photos by The Irish Road Trip

Dublin’s nightlife is hard to bate, once you know where to look (if you’re new to the city, try our self-guided Dublin pub crawl – you’ll visit some mighty old-school pubs).

In our guide to the best pubs in Dublin, you’ll find loads of old-school pubs worth nipping into. If you fancy something a bit different, there’s everything from nightclubs to rooftop bars on offer. Here’s some guides to hop into:

Our favourite places to visit in Dublin

Killiney Hill walk
Photo by Globe Guide Media Inc (Shutterstock)

So, the second section of this guide tackles our favourites/what we think are the best things to do in Dublin this weekend.

These are places that we’ve visited, loved and have been banging on about ever since to anyone that’ll listen!

1. The Dublin Mountains

Tibradden walk
Photo by Poogie (Shutterstock)

If you’re looking for things to do in Dublin this weekend that’ll take you away from the hustle and bustle, point your nose in the direction of the Dublin Mountains.

It’s here that you’ll find some very mighty rambles. Located to the south of the city, the Dublin Mountains are actually an extension of the Wicklow Mountains.

They’re around a 30-minute spin from the city and there’s heaps of walks to tackle here, from the Hell Fire Club and Cruagh Wood to Tibradden Wood, Ticknock and Carrickgollogan Forest.

2. The coast

things to do in dublin todau
Photos via Shutterstock

Dublin’s home to plenty of lovely seaside towns and villages that make a great day-trip-destination if you fancy getting away from the city.

Although the likes of Howth, Malahide and Dalkey tend to attract a lot of the footfall, there’s plenty of other scenic towns to explore.

Places like Killiney, Skerries, Dun Laoghaire and Clontarf are just some of the other areas worth nipping out to, as they’re home to plenty to do and lots of places to eat and drink.

Don’t limit yourself to the various things to do in Dublin City, hop on the DART and head off to one of the many towns and villages nearby. They might surprise you.

3. Botanic garden / Gravedigger combo

Botanic Gardens dublin
Photo left: kstuart. Photo right: Nick Woodards (Shutterstock)

If you head out in the direction of Glasnevin, you’ve a fine afternoon ahead of you. Kick start your visit with a saunter around the glorious National Botanic Gardens.

The story of the gardens begins at the end of the 18th century and, nearly 200 years later, they’re still delighting locals and tourists alike.

When you’ve finished up, you’re a short ramble away from Glasnevin Cemetery, where you can discover the stories of 1.5+ million people on one of several tours. You could also do the Croke Park tour, if you fancied!

To round off your visit to the area in style, take the short walk from Glasnevin to the Gravediggers – it’s here you’ll get some of the best Guinness in Dublin.

4. Endless Dublin attractions

Ha'penny bridge
Photo by Bernd Meissner (Shutterstock)

Dublin City gets a bad aul rap. Sure, there’s plenty of areas to avoid in Dublin but, for the most part, the city’s a fine spot for a day out.

If you’re into museums and historical sites, Christ Church Cathedral, 14 Henrietta Street, the Little Museum of Dublin and the National Museum Of Ireland are worth checking out.

For the culture vultures among us, there’s some beautiful Dublin architecture to admire, along with The National Gallery of Ireland and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. There’s some fine art galleries in Dublin, too! 

There’s also Dublin Castle, St Stephen’s Green, The Famine Memorial, Merrion Square and the Chester Beatty. If you’re looking to make a day of it, see our guide to spending 24 hours in Dublin. 

5. Distilleries and breweries

whiskey distillery dublin
Photo left: Brian Morrison. Right: Failte Ireland (both via Ireland’s Content Pool)

If you’re looking for places to visit in Dublin with a group of friends, there are a handful of whiskey distilleries in Dublin who’s tours have racked up rave reviews online over the years.

While the best known is arguably the Jameson Distillery on Bow St., the Pearse Lyons Distillery, the Roe and Co Distillery and Teeling Distillery are all worth a visit.

If you’d prefer a pint, the likes of the world-famous Guinness Storehouse and the often-missed Rascals Brewing Company in Inchicore are worth checking out, too.

What to do in Dublin today if you want to discover the city’s history

dublinia tour
Photo left by Lukas Fendek (Shutterstock). Photo right via Dublinia on Facebook

Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Dublin are the tours that beautifully tell the story of the city’s past. 

Below, you’ll find everything from the Dublinia Tour and the EPIC Museum to the Jeanie Johnston and some often-missed things to do in Dublin City Centre.

1. Marsh’s Library

marshs library
Photo by James Fennell via Tourism Ireland

You’ll find the oldest library in Ireland just behind St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, and it’s absolutely gorgeous (it’s also a bit of a hidden gem!).

Founded wayyyyy back in 1707, Marsh’s Library holds roughly 25,000 books and over 300 manuscripts.

As you wander around Marsh’s, keep an eye out for bullet holes in the bookcases, which were made during the Easter Rising when the hotel next door was being occupied. Over the years, Marsh’s has had a lot of famous visitors.

The likes of Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift, and James Joyce have all spent time here, and you can see their signatures in the visitor ledger. This really is one of the most unique places to go in Dublin.

2. Glasnevin Cemetery Museum

Glasnevin Cemetery tower
Photo by Yulia Plekhanova (Shutterstock)

Since 1832, a staggering one and a half million people have been laid to rest in the historic Glasnevin Cemetery.

Glasnevin Cemetery, which sprawls over 124 acres of parkland, is the ideal destination for those looking to step back in time and dive into Dublin’s past.

Those that visit will learn about the legacies of many of Ireland’s heroes, from Daniel O’Connell and Michael Collins to Charles Stewart Parnell, Countess Markievicz and many more.

When the tour’s finished, head to the top of the O’Connell Tower (there’s 198 steps) and enjoy magnificent views out over Dublin city. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Dublin for good reason.

Related read: Check out our guide to the best spa hotels in Dublin (with something to suit most budgets)

3. Kilmainham Gaol

kilmainham gaol dublin
Photo by matthi (Shutterstock)

Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 as the County Gaol (prison) for Dublin City and the wider county. It’s within its walls that leaders of the 1798, 1803, 1848,1867 and 1916 rebellions were detained.

And, in some cases, executed! Many members of the Irish Republican movement during the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21) were also held in Kilmainham Gaol.

If you’re in search of things to do in Dublin today this should top your list. The tour is fantastic from finish to end and the guides are knowledgable and entertaining in their delivery.

If you read our guide to the best things to do in Ireland, you’ll see a visit to Kilmainham Gaol raking high – it really is brilliant! This really is one of the most interesting places to go in Dublin.

4. The GPO 1916 Tour

gpo dublin
Photo by David Soanes (Shutterstock)

The GPO 1916 tour is excellent. I did it a couple of years back and I’ve been raving away about it to people ever since.

When you walk into the GPO 1916 tour, it nearly feels like you’ve just stepped out onto a battlefield. From the minute the tour begins, you feel completely immersed in the action.

The exhibition puts you right inside Dublin’s GPO during Easter Week in 1916. It’s highly visual and conveys the events in an easy to digest, dramatic manner.

The tour leaves you with a totally different perspective of the General Post Office forevermore. When you finish, you’re a short walk from the O’Connell monument and The Spire.

Related read: Check out our guide to the best 5 star hotels in Dublin (from historic accommodation to modern and boutique hotels in Dublin)

5. EPIC Museum

Since 2016 the EPIC museum, which was recently crowned Europe’s leading tourist destination, has racked up rave reviews online.

It’s now one of the leading Dublin attractions and it has welcomed everyone from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Justin Trudeau through its doors.

A visit to the EPIC museum takes you on a journey to uncover what it really means to be Irish. If you’re wondering what to do in Dublin this weekend, the EPIC Museum won’t disappoint.

6. Dublinia

museums in dublin
Photos via Dublinia on Facebook

The Dublinia Tour is arguably one of the best places in Dublin to discover the city’s Viking past. The tour here is one that has been recommended to me time and time again.

Those that embark upon it will meet the Vikings face to face while learning about life during the Medieval period in Dublin.

How the folks at Dublinia describe the tour: ‘Go back to Viking times in Dublin! See for yourself what life was like onboard a Viking warship. Learn of their long and challenging voyages, their weaponry and the skills of being a Viking warrior.’

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Dublin this weekend, the Dublinia tour is well worth doing. You can visit nearby Christ Church Cathedral when you’re done.

Fun things to do in Dublin this weekend

dalkey hill walk
Photo by Globe Guide Media Inc (Shutterstock)

If you’re wondering what to do in Dublin today that’s a little bit different, this next section is just for you (these are also handy Dublin date ideas!).

Below, you’ll find everything from unique tourist attractions in Dublin to some quirky activities in Dublin that you’ll have hopefully never tried before.

1. Boat tours

dalkey island
Photos via Shutterstock

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Dublin today, one of the boat tours with Dublin Bay Cruises are well worth considering.

They leave from Dublin City, Howth and Dun Laoghaire and they can take you anywhere from Dalkey Island to Ireland’s Eye.

The trip from Dun Laoghaire to Howth is a firm favourite as there’s plenty of things to do in Dun Laoghaire before you leave and there’s loads of things to do in Howth when you land.

2. Phoenix park by bike

phoenix park walks
Photos via Shutterstock

The Phoenix Park is one of the better known of the many parks in Dublin. It’s the largest park within any European City and there’s plenty to see and do.

If you fancy a day out with a difference, you can rent bikes at the main entrance of the park and zip around all of the various attractions.

You can stop off for coffee over at the Hole in the Wall pub, see the Papal Cross and admire Áras an Uachtaráin from afar.

If you’re on the hunt for places to go in Dublin a stone’s throw from a plethora of other attractions, get yourself here.

Related read: Check out our guide to the best free things to do in Dublin today (a mix of outdoor attractions and museums)

3. Awesome Walls

climbing in dublin
Photo via Awesome Walls Dublin

This is another handy one if you’re wondering what to do in Dublin today with a hard to amuse group (or when it’s raining).

If you fancy doing something indoors that’ll give you a solid workout, take a spin out to Awesome Walls Dublin – one of the largest indoor climbing centers in Europe.

Home to over 2,000 square meters of dedicated climbing surface, Awesome Walls has over 250 climbing routes that you can attempt.

Related read: Check out our guide on where to stay in Dublin (a guide to the different areas and neighbourhoods)

4. The Stella Theatre

things to do in dublin this weekend
Photo via the Stella

Enjoy a unique cinema experience in the stylish Stella Theatre, which was carefully restored to reflect the glamour and glitz of the 1920s.

Kick back and watch one of the latest blockbuster releases or dive into a bit of nostalgia with an old-school classic.

Swanky seats range from luxurious red armchairs and comfy sofas for two to big double beds that engulf the front row. 

You can also grab a bite to eat from the comfort of your seat (that unintentionally rhymed and I’m delighted).

5. Rainforest Adventure Golf

rainforest adventure golf
Photo via Rainforest Adventure Golf

If you’re looking for places to visit in Dublin when it’s raining, this next place should come in handy.

When it lashes rain, as it often does in Dublin, finding something to keep kids occupied gets that little bit trickier.

Thankfully, there are places like Rainforest Adventure Golf in Dundrum to nip into for an hour or so.

There are two 18 hole courses here – an Aztec themed course and a Mayan themed course. Each course takes around 45 mins to play.

6. Viking Splash

viking splash
Photo by Andrew Bradley via Failte Ireland

The Viking Splash Tour is one of the most popular Dublin attractions, and you tend to see it (or hear it!) as you walk around the city.

The Viking Splash provides a nice quirky way to explore Dublin City from the comfort of a World War II amphibious vehicle.

These vehicles can travel on land and water, which means you’ll be spending the first half of the tour driving around the city and the second, yep you guessed it, on the water.

The best things to do in Dublin with kids

Dublin Zoo
Photos via Shutterstock

So, as the number of family-friendly activities in Dublin is almost endless, we’ve covered this in detail in our guide to things to do in Dublin with kids.

However, I’ll pop in some of the more popular things to do below, from Dublin Zoo to the fairy trails in some of the top parks in Dublin.

1. Zipit Forest Adventures

I fancy giving this a crack myself if I’m honest. You’ll find Zipit nestled on a sloping site in the Dublin Mountains, a handy 15-minute drive from Dundrum Town Centre.

Zipit is a forest adventure park where children and adults can climb high into the treetops, swing into cargo nets, and even ride a BMX across a bridge, before zipping down one of the many ziplines. 

Now, if you’re looking for things to do in Dublin with kids, keep in mind that this is likely to only suit those that are a little bit older!

2. Newbridge House and Farm

Newbridge house
Photos via Shutterstock

Newbridge House and Farm is one of the most overlooked Dublin attractions, and you can find it on the road into Donabate (just off the M1 Motorway).

There are extensive grounds here that you can ramble around, part of which contains a section with deer (they’re behind a fence) and another with goats, sheep, cows, and other farmyard animals (these guys are also behind a fence).

There’s also a big playground with a little coffee cart next to it. Inside Newbridge House itself, kids can join Kevin the Kid and his farmyard friends on a brand new interactive adventure.

You’ll get up close with Shetland and Connemara ponies, pigs, goats, baby chicks, bunnies, birds and much more. 

3. The Fairy Trail at Malahide Castle

castles in dublin ireland
Photo by neuartelena (Shutterstock)

I’ve been visiting Malahide Castle for as long as I can remember. As a kid, we used to be brought to the playground in the castle grounds (it’s still there), and as I got older I’d visit with friends for walks and, most recently, concerts. 

In 2018, a Fairy Trail was created across the castle grounds, with sculptures, fairy houses and many other hidden gems to find.

Those that walk the trail will be given an interactive booklet to solve clues and answer questions on their way around the trail. There’s loads of things to do in Malahide when you finish here.

4. Jump Zone

jump zone dublin
Photo via Jump Zone

I’m 32 years of age and I can safely say that I’m 100% having my 33 birthday here. If you’re after fun things to do in Dublin this weekend, book into Jump Zone.

Jump Zone has locations in Santry, Sandyford and Liffey Valley and is the first of its kind indoor trampoline park not only in Ireland but in the whole of Europe.

It’s suitable for children over 5 years and 1 meter in height to adults of 55+ years. You can:

  • Free jump
  • Take part in aerobics
  • Hop into the foam pit
  • Take part in a bit of Dodgeball 

5. AquaZone

one of the best things for kids to do in dublin when it's raining
Photo via AquaZone Dublin

AquaZone, Ireland’s leading waterpark, is based in the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre in Blanchardstown.

Another of the more popular rainy day activities in Dublin, visitors to AcquaZone can hop onto:

  • 8 rides, slides and experiences
  • The ‘FlowRider’
  • The gravity-defying ‘Master Blaster’
  • the ‘Green Giant’

Now, if you’re looking at the above and thinking ‘God, that all sounds a bit mental!’ then worry not, there’s something for all ages to enjoy.

Things to do near Dublin

walks near dublin
Photos via Shutterstock

If you’ve ticked off the many things to do in Dublin mentioned above, there’s plenty of things to do near Dublin to keep you occupied.

Below, you’ll find everything from walks and hikes to scenic drives and some often-missed things to do near Dublin.

1. Wicklow

tonlegee hike
Photo by zkbld (Shutterstock)

When it comes to things to do near Dublin, Wicklow tends to be the most popular choice, as you have the likes of the various Glendalough Walks and the brilliant Sally Gap Drive.

There’s also Lough Tay, Powerscourt Waterfall, the Bray to Greystones Cliff walk and loads more a short 1-hour drive away.

2. Meath

Newgrange aerial
Photo via Shutterstock

Meath is another fine county that’s home to plenty of things to do near Dublin, from Newgrange and Trim Castle (one of the finest castles near Dublin) to the Hill of Tara and much more.

See our guide to the best things to do in Meath for more. The beauty of Meath is it’s nice and close and generally easy to spin around.

3. Louth

things to do in drogheda
Photo left: David Soanes (Shutterstock). Right: Ireland’s Content Pool

Last but by no means least is Louth. Home to the historic town of Drogheda and many an under-explored beach, there’s plenty of things to do in Louth. Here are some guides to nip into:

What to do in Dublin: Where have we missed?

I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant places to visit in Dublin in the guide above.

If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!

FAQs about what to see in Dublin

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What are the most unique activities in Dublin?’ to ‘I’m wondering what to do in Dublin at night?’.

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 are the best things to do in Dublin this weekend?

Our favourite places to visit in Dublin are the Dublin Mountains, Dalkey and/or Killiney, Howth and Dublin City, as there’s plenty to see and do.

What are the most unique places to visit in Dublin?

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Dublin, the likes of the kayak tours to Dalkey Island, St Michan’s Church and the Bohernabreena Reservoir are worth a look.

What are the best things to do in Dublin for free?

If you’re wondering what to do in Dublin for free, the various parks, the walks and the free museums mentioned above are a good start.

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi! Thank you so much! I thought I’d seen everything in Dublin and was planning day trips to other cities but this made me stay here for the rest of the holiday!

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