If you’re on the lookout for things to do in Dublin this weekend, you’ve landed in the right spot!
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)
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.
1. Walks and hikes
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:
- Dublin Mountains walks
- Poolbeg Lighthouse walk
- Ticknock walk
- Hellfire Club walk
- Cruagh Woods walk
- Tibradden Wood walk
- Carrickgollogan Forest walk
2. Unique places to visit in Dublin
There’s plenty of unique places to visit in Dublin, if you fancy stepping off the beaten path a little and dodging the crowds.
- Bohernabreena Reservoir
- Ireland’s Eye
- St Michan’s Church
- Marsh’s Library
- The Marino Casino
- Sorrento Park
3. Popular tourist attractions
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.
- Dublin Castle
- St Patrick’s Cathedral
- Book of Kells / Trinity College
- The GPO
- Malahide Castle
- Temple Bar
- Molly Malone statue
- Glasnevin Cemetery
4. Beaches galore
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.
- Seapoint Beach
- Donabate Beach
- Portmarnock Beach
- Howth Beach
- Killiney Beach
- The Forty Foot
- Vico Baths
5. Mighty parks
When you hear people talking about the various Dublin attractions, you rarely hear the county’s parks mentioned.
- Marlay Park
- Newbridge House
- Ardgillan Castle
- Iveagh Gardens
- St. Catherine’s Park
- Tymon Park
- St Anne’s Park
6. Food, glorious food
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:
- Bottomless brunch in Dublin
- Afternoon tea in Dublin
- Best breakfast in Dublin
- Best brunch in Dublin
- Michelin Star restaurants in Dublin
7. Day trips from Dublin
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.
- 30 mighty things to do in Wicklow
- 16 lovely walks in Wicklow
- 29 adventurous things to do in Meath
- 41 of the finest things to do in Louth
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:
- Pubs that do the best Guinness in Dublin
- 7 of the oldest pubs in Dublin
- The swankiest cocktail bars in Dublin
- The liveliest nightclubs in Dublin
- The coolest rooftop bars in Dublin
- The best beer gardens in Dublin
Our favourite places to visit in Dublin
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
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.
2. The coast
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.
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
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
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.
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!
5. Distilleries and breweries
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.
What to do in Dublin today if you want to discover the city’s history
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
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
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 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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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 a couple of places to play mini golf in Dublin, 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
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
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
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 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
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
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
Although there are loads of swimming pools in Dublin, there’s nothing quite like AquaZone – Ireland’s leading waterpark 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
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.
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.
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:
- 14 fun things to do in Carlingford
- 15 interesting things to do in Drogheda
- 14 often-missed things to do in Dundalk
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.
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