Daily Life Tour, Dublin (Self Guided)

The real life of Dubliners is hidden away from the main tourist attractions. Those who live in Dublin and breathe its air daily, live an interesting and complex life. Take this tour to feel what it is like to be a Dubliner. Walk off the beaten track, shop alongside Dubliners, perhaps even go to an opera at The National Concert Hall.
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Daily Life Tour Map

Guide Name: Daily Life Tour
Guide Location: Ireland » Dublin (See other walking tours in Dublin)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Author: max
Christ Church Cathedral

1) Christ Church Cathedral (must see)

While you are in Dublin you really should visit the Christ Church Cathedral which is the oldest medieval church in the city.

In the early 11th century the Norse-Gael King, Sitric Silkenbeard, went on a pilgrimage to Rome and on his return he founded the cathedral overlooking the Viking settlement in Wood Quay. The first building was wooden and was rebuilt in stone in 1180. An extra nave and the Chapel of Saint Laurence O’Toole where added in the 13th century.

The church is somewhat unique in the fact that it is the seat of both the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Ireland and the Anglican Church of Ireland. While the cathedral remains in the church, the Archbishop uses St Mary’s Church and the cathedral is managed by the dean and chapter.

The crypt dates back to 1172 and is the largest in Ireland. It is also the earliest surviving structure in Dublin. It houses the oldest secular carvings and carved statues in the country. There is a 17th-century tabernacle and candelabras and you can see 17th-century stocks that were once set up beside the church doors to publicly punish offenders. An unusual display in the crypt is the mummified remains of a cat and a rat found trapped behind the organ.

In the crypt, you can watch a short video on the history of the cathedral and visit the cathedral shop where you will find souvenirs and documents about the beginning of Christianity in Ireland. The cathedral cafe is also to be found in the crypt; it serves sandwiches, a variety of cakes and scones and cream, as well as tea and coffee.

At the west end of the building, an ancient stone bridge leads to the former synod hall, which today is home to the Dublinia Exhibition of Medieval Dublin. The cathedral has 19 ringing bells; bell ringing is carried out by the Master of the Tower and the Ringing Master.

Why You Should Visit:
The crypt is outstanding and incredible, the belfry offers amazing views, the stories by the guides are excellent, and the architecture of the building is an art in itself!

They have lovely lunchtime and evening concerts here if you're lucky enough to catch one.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9:30am-5pm; Sun: 12:30-2:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Leo Burdocks Fish and Chips

2) Leo Burdocks Fish and Chips

This quaint and charming place is a family business opened in 1913. Today, Burdocks Fish and Chips is an international brand, and has become quite a tourist attraction. Still, their main customers are locals. This restaurant is popular with politicians, writers and regular citizens of Dublin.
City Hall

3) City Hall

Don’t miss a visit to the City Hall, which you will find on Parliament Street next to Dublin Castle. This building is a fine example of 18th century architecture.

When it was built in 1779 by the architect Thomas Cooley, the building housed the Royal Exchange. The neo-classical entrance hall, called the Rotunda, has a soaring dome supported by twelve Ionic columns. Over the columns you can see 12 elegant round windows, with a large circular window in the center of the dome. This window is surrounded by magnificent mosaic-like stucco work by Charles Thorpe.

Between each column you can admire 12 frescoes, eight of which are scenes of the history of the city or legendary figures, the other four represent the Coat of Arms of the Irish provinces: Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster (in Northern Ireland). On the center of the Rotunda’s floor is a 19th century mosaic representing the city’s arms and motto.

When it first opened the building was the meeting place for local and foreign merchants. They would walk in the ambulatory surrounding the columns to trade bills of exchange and buy and sell their goods. As it was close to the former Customs House, it was handy for foreign merchants. When the City Corporation bought the building in 1852, they turned the ambulatory into office space.

At the beginning of the 21st century the building was restored to its 18th century style. Today you can visit the vaults where you can admire the exhibition “Dublin City Hall, the Story of the Capital”.
Powerscourt Townhouse Center

4) Powerscourt Townhouse Center

Powerscourt Townhouse Center has a few places that are very popular among locals. One place is the farmers market on the top floor and another is a vegetarian eatery called Cafe Fresh that offers meals containing only the freshest ingredients.
Operation hours: Monday-Wednesday and Friday - Saturday: 10:30 am – 6:00 pm;
Thursday: 10am–8pm; Sunday 12:00 – 6:00 pm.
Grafton Street

5) Grafton Street

Give yourself a break from visiting Dublin’s museums, theatres and galleries and spoil yourself with an afternoon’s shopping in Grafton Street, the biggest shopping street in the city.

Grafton Street runs from College Green in the north to St Stephen’s Green and shopping centre in the south. The nice thing about this street – apart from the wonderful shops – is that it’s mostly a pedestrian precinct, so you only have to dodge other shoppers and not heavy traffic.

It is named after the 1st Duke of Grafton, Henry Grafton, King Charles II’s illegitimate son and until the O’Connell Bridge was built, it was a residential area. The section between Nassau Street and College Green is open to vehicles and you can see Trinity College Provost’s House and the statue of Molly Malone here.

You will find the best and most exclusive of all Dublin’s shops, but there are also more modest ones where you will find souvenirs, clothes and accessories more reasonably priced. There are also a number of pubs and restaurants that serve a wide range of food: French, Italian and traditional American burgers – that are the envy of McDonalds!

The street is always busy and full of buskers, street musicians, clowns, mime artists, poets and magicians. It’s a great place to pick up some bargains to take home.
Davy Byrnes

6) Davy Byrnes

200 years ago it was known as the “Scotch House on Burgh Quay”. A famous local on Duke street with a very skilful manager. Today, it's named after its owner, but became famous international because of Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses, though you'd never know it from the modern décor. An outstanding service it is also part of its rich cultural background.
Steven's Green Shopping Center

7) Steven's Green Shopping Center

Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre is located on the south end of Grafton Street and it is difficult to miss this Dublin landmark.

The centre opened in 1998 and is modelled after the style of London’s Crystal Palace. It is a three storey shopping mall built of steel and glass and is really amazing with over 139 tall round topped windows, lace-like steel surrounds and a delicate steel and glass dome.

The steel and glass structure is carried on inside the building with a central atrium and two floors of galleries that house over 100 shops, restaurants and pubs. The arcades are painted white and green, there are lots of plants and lamp standards with clusters of globes; there are also globe wall fittings and crucible chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. Between the second and third floors is a huge steel and glass clock. Many-coloured banners are strategically placed to give the centre a timeless ancient and modern look.

You will find all sorts of shops here; there is something to please everyone: a Dunne store rubs shoulders with Boots the Chemist; Asha sells alternative and Gothic clothes, while the Banana Tree offers novelty gifts.

You will also find the only shop in Ireland dedicated to wrestling – Wrestling Mania sells outrageous costumes designed for ring spectacles, boots, gloves and posters of famous wrestlers. There are antique shops, jewellery stores and stands where portrait artists will immortalise you on paper in a few minutes.

Operation hours: Monday - Wednesday & Friday - Saturday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm; Thursday: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm; Sunday: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

8) Krystle

Since its opening in 2007, Krystle has become a much-talked-about club on the Dublin nightlife scene for its elegant setting and sophisticated night of partying. Attracting a bevy of local celebrities, including sports figures, media professionals, models, and socialites, Krystle is the place in the city to see and be seen. Set inside the Russell Court Hotel, this great club features a cozy bar area, comfortable sofas and lounge seating, as well as a dance floor that heats up when the DJs start spinning funky house, R and B, and hip hop tunes. Booths and tables are available by reservation at no additional cost, and VIP reservations can be made for the evening as well.

Operation Hours: Friday – Saturday: 10.30 pm – 3 am
Iveagh Gardens

9) Iveagh Gardens

Iveagh Gardens is a public park located behind the National Concert Hall. It is a lovely, calm place to spend an hour or so in the sun.

This beautiful park isn’t very large, but it full of things to see. It was first opened to the public in the early 19th century, but no-one took much care of it and it became something of a wilderness and the land might have been sold off for housing, if not for Benjamin Guinness who took it over and restored it in 1863 after Iveagh House was built. His son Edward gave the park to the University College of Dublin in 1908.

The Gardens are laid out in a harmonious blend of a French formal garden and an English landscaped garden. You will find hidden grottoes and waterfalls, sunken lawns and fountains. In various places statues of Roman and Greek gods peer at you from the bushes.

There is a lovely box hedge maze to explore with its sundial in the center, a well stocked rose garden and an American garden with mellow meadow-like grass and rockeries. You can stroll along the pathways, shaded by woodland trees or sit on a bench near the bronze statue of the 19th century tenor John McCormack.
The National Concert Hall

10) The National Concert Hall

If you want to go to a concert, whether classical or modern, or enjoy an opera, the best place to book your seats is the National Concert Hall.

The hall was built in 1865 for the Dublin International Exhibition. Between 1908 and the mid 1960s it was the central building of the University College of Dublin. When part of the University moved to a new campus in 1981, the empty half of the building became the concert hall. At that time it was a bit cramped and only small concerts were held here.

In 2005 the last classes of the University moved out and the building was entirely renovated; now it contains three theaters: the Main Auditorium, which seats 1200 people, hosts concerts and operas; the John Field Room, with its 250 places, puts on small-scale recitals and exhibitions; and the Carolan Room, with 100 seats, used for pre-event discussions and receptions.

The hall offers a lot of lunchtime concerts of classical and popular music, short operas and recitals. It is a popular venue for the workers in the area. Outdoor recitals take place in Iveagh Park in the summer. The Hall’s resident orchestra is the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, which puts on recitals most evenings of the week between long-running concerts and musicals.

The Hall has a small bistro, a bar on the first floor and the famous Terrace Café where you can enjoy an excellent meal before or after a show. The Terrace Café is open to non-concert goers.

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.
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
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
Art Galleries Tour

Art Galleries Tour

Dublin's city center is home to several prominent galleries, like the The National Gallery of Ireland, which is a must see for any art lover. Dublin has a varied and rich art-scene, from classical to contemporary, from domestic to international, it offers something for everyone. Take the following tour to discover the most popular and prominent art galleries in Dublin.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Nightlife Tour, Part 1

Nightlife Tour, Part 1

Dublin at night is a buzzing Mecca of nightclubs, restaurants, bars, and night-time attractions. If you want to have an unforgettable night out, this walking tour is definitely what you need! We offer you a walk around the heart of the Irish capital, with stops at some of the most popular clubs and bars in this fascinating city.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 km
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
A Walk along Liffey River

A Walk along Liffey River

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...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

16 Distinctively Irish Things to Buy in Dublin

16 Distinctively Irish Things to Buy in Dublin

The birthplace of many artistic talents, such as Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde, Dublin is the show-window of Ireland, a small country renowned for its rich cultural scene encompassing music, writing, poetry, dance, craftsmanship and more. The food & drink scene of Dublin (much as the whole of...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Dublin for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Dublin has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Dublin's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Dublin Pass or Dublin Freedom Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Dublin's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Dublin hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: Westin Dublin, Temple Bar Hotel, The Morgan Hotel.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Dublin, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Dublin typically costs somewhere between US$20 and US$30 or more per person:

- A Historical Walking Tour is a must for a city like Dublin that wears on its sleeve a great deal of history spanning from the times of Viking settlement to modern days! This is more than just a sightseeing walk but a brief examination of the key periods of Irish history.

- Combine educational with recreational on the entertaining crawl through Dublin's pubs that have inspired great Irish writers. This walking tour is a great introduction to Dublin's rich literary heritage complete with a chance to enjoy a few pints along the way.

- A good story and glass of whiskey is the combination hard to beat! And to learn the story of Jameson Whiskey' rich heritage is what one may definitely want to do, whilst in Dublin, on a tasting tour of Jameson Distillery, the home of Ireland's best-selling whiskey.

- If you feel like partying, why not throw yourself into a traditional Irish house party for a deeper understanding of Dublin's culture with a great deal of fun in a warm and friendly atmosphere! Good food, lively and lovely music to dance and listen to are all added to the equation.

- If you love for music commands you to go out, feel free to do so and discover Irish music in the traditional pubs of Dublin on a 2.5-hour pub crawl through historic Temple Bar. Let professional musicians take the lead and reveal to you the story of Irish music in the most suitable Irish pub setting!

- Pedal your way around Dublin on a guided bike tour to feel the city's energy and unique atmosphere, see its great sights while stopping at some of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the city's history and distinguished citizens from a knowledgeable group leader.

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in Dublin, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, Northern Ireland, Kilkenny and Glendalough, or Titanic Belfast Visitor Experience and Giant’s Causeway. For as little as circa US$40+ to US$80+ per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites including famous rock formations, castles, caves and cloisters, discover the best of Ireland’s dramatic coastline with cliffs, historically significant monastic settlements, gain insight into Irish folklore and history, relive the tragic yet captivating story of the Titanic, and see many other landmark sites worth visiting. For any of these tours you will be picked up straight from your hotel in Dublin and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned coach/minibus to the destination of your choice and back again.