Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

A Walk along Liffey River (Self Guided), Dublin

Take a walk among the places where Irish history was made and is kept alive for the generations to come. This part of town is a place where the past meets the present and the future is defined. There is no better place in Ireland for a tourist to learn more about Irish culture and its rich, colorful history. Don't hesitate to spend a few hours exploring the banks of Liffey River in the central part of Dublin.
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A Walk along Liffey River Map

Guide Name: A Walk along Liffey River
Guide Location: Ireland » Dublin (See other walking tours in Dublin)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Author: max
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • The Spire of Dublin
  • General Post Office
  • The Abbey Theatre
  • The Custom House
  • Tara Street
  • Temple Bar
  • Grattan Bridge
  • The Brazen Head
  • St. Michan's Church
  • The Old Jameson Distillery
  • Frank Ryan's Pub
  • National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History
The Spire of Dublin

1) The Spire of Dublin

The Spire of Dublin, officially titled the Monument of Light (Irish: An Túr Solais) is a large, stainless steel, pin-like monument 121.2 metres in height, located on the site of the former Nelson's Pillar on O'Connell Street in Dublin, Ireland. The spire was designed by Ian Ritchie Architects, who sought an "Elegant and dynamic simplicity bridging art and technology". It is constructed from eight hollow tubes of stainless steel and features a tuned mass damper, designed by engineers Arup, to counteract sway. The steel underwent shot peening in order to subtly reflect the light falling on it. The metal changes colors due to its reflective properties. During the day it maintains its steel look, but at dusk the monument appears to merge into the sky. The base of the monument is lit and the top 12 m is illuminated to provide a beacon in the night sky across the city.
Sight description based on wikipedia
General Post Office

2) General Post Office (must see)

When you want to send postcards home from Dublin to your family and friends, do take the time to go to the General Post Office on O’Connell Street, instead of buying your stamps in the corner shop.

The headquarters of the Irish postal service is the last Georgian public building to be put up in the city and its Greek revival style is wonderful. It was designed in the early 19th century by Francis Johnston and opened for the first time in 1818. The main part of the building was constructed in mountain granite, but the portico was built with Portland stone. The building has three storeys, with the lower part rusticated.

The Ionic portico with its six fluted columns is 24 meters wide. The rest of the facade has a richly decorated frieze along the entablature, but this isn’t continued on the portico. The pediment’s tympanum once held the Royal Arms, but these were removed when Ireland became independent.

On the balustrade above the cornice you will see three statues by John Smyth: Mercury, holding a Caduceus and a purse; Fidelity with one finger pressed to her lips and holding a key, and in the center, Hibernia brandishing a spear in one hand and holding a harp in the other.

In the entrance, there is a commemorative plaque to the heroes of the 1916 Easter Rising, with the Irish text in Gaelic and the English text in Latin. During the rebellion the GPO served as headquarters for the rebels; it was partially destroyed by British troops and rebuilt in 1929.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the most historic buildings in Dublin – it was knocked down and rebuilt, but you still can see the bullet holes from 1916.
Now houses a wonderful history museum, with great flow, and short well-done films scattered throughout.

Check out the lovely modern gift shop, stocked with high quality Irish merchandise!

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 8:30am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Abbey Theatre

3) The Abbey Theatre (must see)

You will find the Abbey Theatre on Lower Abbey Street, and if you are thinking of taking in a play while you are in Dublin, be sure to book your seats early, as this is the most popular theater in the city.

The first Abbey Theatre opened its doors in 1904, founded by Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory, using funds by the English millionaires Annie Elizabeth Horniman. She later withdrew her patronage when the theater stayed open while others closed out of respect for the death of King Edward VII in 1910.

In its early years, the theatre was closely associated with the writers of the Irish Literary Revival, many of whom were involved in its founding and most of whom had plays staged there. The Abbey served as a nursery for many of leading Irish playwrights, including William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory, Seán O'Casey and John Millington Synge, as well as leading actors. In addition, through its extensive programme of touring abroad and its high visibility to foreign, particularly American, audiences, it has become an important part of the Irish cultural brand.

In 1924 the theater was offered to the Irish Government as a gift to the people. The gift was refused, but the government accorded the theater a yearly grant, making it the first government subsidized theater in the world.

Today the theater puts on mainly classical Irish and European plays. The Peacock Theatre, which seats 157 people and is situated under the Abbey’s foyer, puts on new plays by up and coming playwrights. The theater shop sells books, posters, clothes and scripts.

Why You Should Visit:
Excellent production qualities and the energy on stage is infectious!
Due to the steep decline, any row or seat would be a good seat in the theatre.
There is a bar downstairs and upstairs (limited seating), and a cafe around the corner where you can grab a pastry and coffee.

The backstage tour is delightful and gives a history of the theater's beginnings, its role in the 1916 Rising, and its current productions. You are taken onto the stage and backstage space with its costumes, makeup rooms, and halls lined with historical photos.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 12-7:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Custom House

4) The Custom House (must see)

The Custom House (Irish: Teach an Chustaim) is a neoclassical 18th-century building in Dublin which houses the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. It is located on the north bank of the River Liffey, on Custom House Quay between Butt Bridge and Talbot Memorial Bridge. It was designed by James Gandon to act as the new custom house for Dublin Port and was his first large-scale commission.

Construction started in 1781, and for his assistants, Gandon chose Irish artists such as Meath stone-cutter Henry Darley, mason John Semple and carpenter Hugh Henry. Every available mason in Dublin was engaged in the work. When it was completed and opened for business on the 7th November 1791, it cost £200,000 to build – a considerable sum at the time. The four facades of the building are decorated with coats-of-arms and ornamental sculptures (by Edward Smyth) representing Ireland's rivers. Another artist, Henry Banks, was responsible for the statue on the dome and other statues.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the most beautiful buildings in the city, an architectural masterpiece of European neo-classicism.
On a nice day, there is a free to the public section and if you go upstairs to the windows you can get a great view of Dublin.
Even if you can't manage to get inside, a stroll through the grounds is worth the visit.

Best viewed from the south side of the river, which makes for the best photo opportunity.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-4:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Tara Street

5) Tara Street

This is a popular road because it is the major route leading downtown. This street was also mentioned by James Joyce, in his famous book “Ulysses.” Leopold Bloom was a frequent guest of Tara Street's public bathhouses. Many important state and media institutions have their headquarters on Tara Street.
Temple Bar

6) Temple Bar (must see)

Temple Bar isn’t a bar or a pub; it is the cultural corner and liveliest area in Dublin – a great place to spend the day or evening.

The Temple Bar district is on the south bank of the River Liffey and it is a delight of medieval cobble-stoned streets, full of pubs, clubs restaurants and cafes. There are also souvenir shops, tattoo parlors, second-hand shops and the Reptile Haven, a pet shop with a difference where you will find almost any type of lizard or snake that you can think of.

The area is also the home of the Irish Photography Centre, the Ark Children’s Cultural Centre and the Irish Film Institute. There is plenty of street entertainment with singers, magicians and clowns, and on weekends there are three great markets: the Temple Bar Food Market every Saturday is full of locally grown fruit and vegetables and delicious pastries and cakes; the Temple Bar Book Market on Saturday and Sunday sells second-hand and new books, CDs and old records; in the Designer Market at Cow’s Lane you can buy locally made arts and crafts.

The district is the center of Dublin’s night-life with nightclubs and pubs including Bob’s Backstage Bar where you can listen to country music, the Ha’penny Bridge Inn with a folk-song programme, and Oliver St John Gogarty Pub and Restaurant which has live groups singing traditional Irish songs.

Why You Should Visit:
Packed but a really quaint, lively place – you're left in no doubt you are in Ireland!
Live music all day long, many great spots to snap a photo, loads of eateries, and the bartenders pour a perfect pint every time.

This is Dublin's tourist hotspot so expect to pay tourist prices!
The less busy / more affordable (but still enjoyable) pubs are just a bit farther afield, and many of them too.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Wed: 10:30am-2am; Thu-Sat: 10:30am-2:30am; Sun: 12pm-1am
Sight description based on wikipedia
Grattan Bridge

7) Grattan Bridge

To get from Parliament Street to Capel Street on the south bank of the River Liffey, you will cross the Grattan Bridge.

The first bridge to be built spanning the river here was called the Essex Bridge, named after the 1st Lord of Essex, Arthur Capell, who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland between 1672 and 1677. This bridge was designed by Sir Humphrey Jervis with seven piers of arched stone taken from the ruins of the nearby St Mary’s Abbey. In 1722 an equestrian statue of King George 1st was erected on the north bank in front of the bridge.

The bridge hadn’t been very well built and not high enough over the river to avoid flooding. This and increasing human, horse and cattle traffic over the bridge caused it to start crumbling in places.

It was deemed unsafe and in 1757 when the Wide Streets Commission was established by Parliament, the bridge was rebuilt by George Semple. When the reconstruction was finished the statue of King George was removed and place in the gardens of Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

In 1872 the bridge was remodeled after Westminster Bridge in London and wrought-iron lamp standards, decorated with pairs of sea-horses were installed to light the bridge. In 1874 the Bridge was renamed after the Member of Parliament, Henry Grattan.

In 2003 the Dublin City Council reconstructed the bridge deck, adding granite footpaths with the idea of setting up a book market in the middle of the bridge, but so many other street-vendors applied for permission to set up kiosks that the idea was abandoned.
The Brazen Head

8) The Brazen Head

The Brazen Head originally opened back in the medieval ages. Today, this establishment retains its original look and atmosphere despite all the changes that it has been through. The Brazen Head’s decor reflects the bar's long history, earning its place in Irish history. Remarkable Irish people like James Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh and Brendan Behan frequented this old haunt. The live traditional Irish music and Guinness are never ending here.
St. Michan's Church

9) St. Michan's Church

Built on the site of an early Danish chapel (1095), the current structure dates largely from a reconstruction in 1686. While the exterior of the church may be unimpressive, the interior boasts some fine woodwork, and an organ (dated 1724) on which Handel is said to have composed his Messiah.

The vaults of St. Michan's uniquely contain many mummified remains. The walls in the vaults contain limestone, which has kept the air dry, creating ideal conditions for preservation. Among the preserved remains are the 400-year-old body of a nun, a six-and-a-half foot man popularly believed to have been a crusader, a body with its feet and right hand severed, and the Sheares brothers—Henry and John—who took part in the 1798 rebellion. The various holders of the title Earl of Leitrim were also interred here.

The church and vaults are open to tours on Saturdays, and seasonally on some weekdays. As an active place of worship however, the church is closed on Sunday to visitors
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Old Jameson Distillery

10) The Old Jameson Distillery

Irish history was made in pubs with a glass of beer and a shot of Old Jameson. This most famous Irish label of whiskey is made in Dublin. The Old Jameson Distillery has succeeded in keeping its recipe secret throughout centuries. Today, it is also a museum where Dublin's history can be revealed through a glass of good old whiskey. Open 7 days a week all year round, the distillery greets visitors with an audio-visual introduction followed by a tour of its recreated facilities, culminating in the Jameson Discovery Bar with a free glass of Jameson and an opportunity to qualify as an Irish Whiskey Taster. Afterwards, you can have a delicious lunch at the on-site restaurant or browse the distillery shop, which sells unique Jameson gifts, to make your visit truly complete.
Opening hours: Sunday - Thursday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm; Friday - Saturday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Frank Ryan's Pub

11) Frank Ryan's Pub

A small, cute pub hidden away of the city crowd. It opened about two hundred years ago and it is still popular to this day. It has been refurbished over the years but its Irish soul remains intact. Wood-paneled walls and low ceiling, an open fireplace, warm atmosphere, a tasteful selection of old artifacts and pictures add to this bar’s unique charm. Great Irish music is played all year round.
National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History

12) National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History (must see)

The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History is the third Dublin branch of Ireland’s wonderful National Museum. It is housed on three floors in the restored Collins Barracks.

The museum displays an extensive collection of arts and crafts dating back over 2000 years. It also hosts interesting lectures, workshops and has state-of-the-art interactive multimedia displays.

The exhibits are separated into eleven sections on three floors and a 12th exhibition across the courtyard, where you will also find the reception area, the museum cafe, two bookshops, and the restrooms.

Airgead has a collection of over 1000 years of Irish coinage and currency, including the first paper money in the 18th century to present day credit cards. In Irish Silver you will follow over 300 years of the silversmith’s craft with details about mining and the evolution of design fashion. You will admire one of the largest collections of silver items in the world. Out of Storage contains interactive multimedia kiosks where you can see objects kept in storage and brought out for temporary exhibitions.

The Curator’s Choice Gallery displays 25 items that the museum’s curators choose to put on show, so the exhibits change regularly, except for three items: the Fonthill Vase – the earliest recorded piece of Chinese porcelain in Europe, a 2000-year-old Japanese ceremonial bell and the gauntlets that King William wore in 1690 during the Battle of the Boyne.

On the 2nd and 3rd floors, you can admire 400 years of furniture in the Irish Furniture Gallery and the Irish Country Furniture Gallery; clothing and jewelry from 1760 to 1960 in The Way We Wore Gallery; the history of Eileen Gray in a room dedicated to her life and work.

There is a gallery devoted to the History of Ireland between 1916 to 1923 – Easter Rising: Understanding 1916, which explains the social and political causes behind the Easter Rising, through the War of Independence and the subsequent Civil War. The new Soldiers and Chiefs exhibition takes you through the history of Irish soldiers at war at home and abroad from 1550 to the present day.

Why You Should Visit:
Looks at two distinctive parts of Ireland – its history, including the various wars and rebellions against Britain, and its art. The facility is huge, and one could easily spend an entire day here, but the rooms are set up in such a way, that there is a natural flow from room to room and you can be confident you've not missed anything due to the route you decided to take.

Take a look around the large courtyard. Even this empty expanse is an important part of Irish history, and you will learn about this while visiting the museum as well.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun, Mon: 1-5pm; Free admission
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Dublin, Ireland

Create Your Own Walk in Dublin

Create Your Own Walk in Dublin

Creating your own self-guided walk in Dublin is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
A Walk with Famous Irish Writers

A Walk with Famous Irish Writers

Check out this unique tour to learn about the lives of famous Irish writers, such as Oscar Wilde and James Joyce. You will visit places from their daily life, as well as monuments, museums, a birth place, and even a final resting place. Follow this tour and learn more about Dublin’s literary background.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 Km or 3.7 Miles
Temple Bar Entertainment

Temple Bar Entertainment

Temple Bar is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin, Ireland. Unlike the areas surrounding it, Temple Bar has preserved its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets. It is promoted as Dublin's cultural quarter and has a lively nightlife that is popular with tourists, with locations proving to be traditional Irish hotspots

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Places of Worship Tour

Places of Worship Tour

This tour will give you a glimpse of Dublin's religious life. There are many churches located in the old town of Dublin, a place unaffected by the city’s radical modernization of the 1960s. They are the guardians of Dublin’s spiritual side as well as architectural history. Take this tour to familiarize yourself with some of the city’s most holy places.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles
Old City Walk

Old City Walk

After the 1950s, Dublin went through a series of reconstruction and remodeling. Old buildings were taken down to make way for modern architecture. Despite the trend, the Old City area was preserved to keep the cultural legacy of Ireland’s history alive. Take this amazing tour to discover some of the most important venues in the Old City of Dublin.

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 Km or 3.6 Miles
Pub Crawl

Pub Crawl

Dubliners and the Irish in general are known for their passion for whiskey and beer. The Irish and the Scots are constantly at odds as to who makes the better whiskey and who could imagine St. Patrick's day without some famous Irish green beer ? Check out this amazing tour, that will guide you trough an area packed with pubs, and find out first hand what an Irish pub crawl means.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Hidden Places Walking Tour

Hidden Places Walking Tour

You don't always find everything that's worth-while on a map, smaller and less famed sights are often omitted on tourist maps and brochures. However a trip off the beaten track can sometimes be the most rewarding. Take this tour and find some of Dublin's secret places, some of which even the locals aren't always aware of.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

16 Distinctively Irish Things to Buy in Dublin

16 Distinctively Irish Things to Buy in Dublin

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