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

Dublin Introduction Walk (Self Guided), Dublin

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.
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Dublin Introduction Walk Map

Guide Name: Dublin Introduction Walk
Guide Location: Ireland » Dublin (See other walking tours in Dublin)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Author: max
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Trinity College
  • Irish Whiskey Museum
  • O'Neill's
  • Molly Malone Statue
  • Ha'penny Bridge
  • Temple Bar
  • Dublin Castle
  • Chester Beatty Library
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • Dublinia (Synod Hall)
  • St. Patrick's Cathedral
  • St. Stephen's Green
  • Grafton Street
1
Trinity College

1) Trinity College (must see)

Trinity College, Dublin, formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", and is the only constituent college of the University of Dublin. It is Ireland's oldest university. Originally established outside the city walls of Dublin in the buildings of the dissolved Augustinian monastery of All Hallows, Trinity was set up in part to consolidate the rule of the Tudor monarchy in Ireland, and it was seen as the university of the Protestant Ascendancy for much of its history; although Roman Catholics and Dissenters had been permitted to enter as early as 1793, certain restrictions on their membership of the college remained until 1873, and the Catholic Church in Ireland forbade its adherents, without permission from their bishop, from attending until 1970. Women were first admitted to the college as full members in 1904.

Why You Should Visit:
Great place to go to in a sunny afternoon, with numerous places to sit and relax like the cricket pitch or the steps of the Pavilion Bar.
You can see an exhibition at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, attend lectures, performances, or buy a book at the shop.
You can also buy tickets to view the Book of Kells (admission) as well as the spectacular Long Room library.
The spacious college campus is beautiful to walk around and take in as well.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Irish Whiskey Museum

2) Irish Whiskey Museum (must see)

A great combination of Ireland’s best traits – history and booze – the Irish Whiskey Museum has everything you could possibly want in one great place. The museum tour gives you a detailed history of all types of whiskey (not just Jameson). At the end of the tour, you get to taste three unique types of whiskey as celebration. Plus, if you purchase the VIP package, you get an exclusive 4th whiskey and a unique shot class to take home with you.

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3
O'Neill's

3) O'Neill's

This public establishment was open on the 2 Suffolk Street three hundred years ago. O'Neill family has it since 1927. They start to play Irish traditional music a few decades ago and O'Neill's is famous for its live performances of Irish singers and dancers. There is also an original beer garden, a smoking area and late bar for those who want to have more fun at weekends. For great food, drink, wonderful traditional Irish Music, O'Neill's pub is the place to be.
4
Molly Malone Statue

4) Molly Malone Statue

You will find the Molly Malone Statue by Jean Rynhart on Grafton Street. This rather controversial statue was set up here during the 1988 Dublin Millennium festivities.

The controversy arose after the unveiling of the statue: Jean Rynhart presented Molly as a young woman with large breasts all but falling out of her low-cut dress. According to the famous song, “sweet Molly Malone” was a fishmonger, but stories add that she was also a part-time prostitute.

Other stories relate that she was one of the few chaste street sellers of the 17th century. For those who believe in the “chaste” story, the statue is an affront to women; to others the statue has been dubbed “The Tart with the Cart” or “The Dish with the Fish”.

No matter, as Molly Malone the fishmonger probably never existed anyway. The song which first appeared in the 19th century is a mystery too. It has none of the airs of a traditional Irish street ballad and some say its origins are Scottish, while others say it is a Victorian music hall ballad. It is a song associated with Dublin because of the first line “In Dublin’s fair city” and has practically become a second national anthem. Since 1988 the 13th June has been officially labelled Molly Malone Day.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Ha'penny Bridge

5) Ha'penny Bridge

The Ha'penny Bridge, known later for a time as the Penny Ha'penny Bridge, and officially the Liffey Bridge, is a pedestrian bridge built in May 1816 over the River Liffey. Made of cast iron, the bridge was cast in Shropshire, England.

Originally called the Wellington Bridge (after the Dublin-born Duke of Wellington), the name of the bridge changed to Liffey Bridge. The Liffey Bridge (Irish: Droichead na Life) remains the bridge's official name to this day, although it is most commonly referred to as the Ha'penny Bridge.

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A strikingly unique white-picketed beauty, the Ha’penny Bridge is famously known as the first pedestrian bridge to span over the river Liffey. Its name was derived from the price pedestrians had to pay (a “halfpenny”) to cross the bridge back when it was built in 1816. Today, it has become one of the main “monuments” or structures that identify Dublin – appearing on postcards, tourism brochures, books and memorabilia.

For an even more unique & unusual experience, you can kayak under the bridge with City Kayaking. They run tours all year, and if you’re lucky, you might catch one of Dublin’s famous autumn sunsets.

If you’re really lucky, you can be there for the ‘Music Under the Bridge’ tours when they call in some of the best musicians in Dublin to perform under the bridges as people kayak down the River Liffey through the city.
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Sight description based on wikipedia
6
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.

Tip:
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
7
Dublin Castle

7) Dublin Castle (must see)

A visit to Dublin Castle, just off Dame Street, should be on everyone’s “must see” list. It is used for state functions, including the inauguration of the Irish President. It also houses the Revenue Commissioners, offices of the Public Works and certain sections of the Garda Siochana.

The castle was first built in 1204, 35 years after the Norman invasion of Ireland. King John of England ordered its construction as a defense measure for the population and also to protect the King’s Treasury. A typical Norman construction, it consisted of a central courtyard, surrounded by high walls with four towers at each corner.

The River Poddle formed a natural defense on two sides of the castle, which was part of the outer perimeter of the city, facing the south-east side of Norman Dublin. The water was diverted into the city by archways at the points where the city walls joined the castle. Today the only remains above ground are the Record Tower and one of the arches.

Inside, the castle courtyard contained several wooden buildings, until the Great Hall was added in the Middle Ages. The hall was built of stone and wood and was used for banquets, a courtroom and sometimes as the Parliament house. It was demolished in 1673 after suffering extensive fire damage.

The castle was rebuilt and extended between the 17th and 20th centuries and today the main complex comprises the State Apartments, made up of St Patrick’s Hall, the State Dining Room, the State Drawing Room, the State Corridor and the Throne Room, which was once the Battleaxe Hall. These rooms along with the Undercroft, the Heritage Centre, the Chapel Royal, the Craft Shop and the castle restaurant are open daily to visitors.

Why You Should Visit:
Spacious and beautiful and the huge courtyard allows for breathtaking panoramic photographs.
Great history to read up on, large rooms and chandeliers, good little tea shop which sells cakes, pastries etc. with doors to the ground which are nicely kept and good to walk around.

Tip:
Definitely go for the guided tour! If you just see the castle grounds from the outside (free) you will miss the real thing. Note, however, that they limit the numbers on the tours so it would be worth booking to guarantee getting a slot at the time you want.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9:45am-5:15pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Chester Beatty Library

8) Chester Beatty Library (must see)

The Chester Beatty Library is housed in the 18th-century clock tower on the grounds of Dublin Castle and is a wonderful museum to visit.

The library opened in 1950 and holds the vast and varied collection of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, a mining millionaire and collector of Oriental books and artifacts. The museum has two sections: “Artistic Traditions” and “Sacred Traditions”.

You will find a magnificent collection of manuscripts and papyruses covering over 4000 years of religious culture. There are, of course, Christian Bibles, copies of the Koran, Chinese jade books and Japanese woodblock prints. Also on display are the priceless “Life of the Prophet” and “The Gospel of Mani”, which is possibly the last remaining Manichaeism artifact.

You can also admire Turkish and Persian miniature paintings, Chinese Dragon robes, Buddhist paintings and European medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, prints, drawings, a collection of rare books, as well as Islamic, East Asian and Western decorative art and a wonderful display of East Asian carved snuff boxes.

It isn’t unusual to find students in the museum, as it is one of the most important sources for religious studies. As well as the permanent collection, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions of Islamic law texts, photos of China and its people over the decades, and Japanese art.

Why You Should Visit:
There are lots of great book & antique art collections in the world but the preservation techniques used by the Chester Beatty is amazing.
Has been described as one of the best museums in the world, let alone Ireland.

Tip:
Free one-hour tours are available on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Don't miss the classy Silk Road café is full of yummy Middle Eastern cuisine.
And, as an extra, there are a rooftop "meditation" garden as well as the gardens out the front with great views to the Castle.

Opening Hours: Monday - Friday: 10am - 5pm; Saturday: 11am – 5pm; Sunday: 1 - 5pm.
Closed 1 January; Good Friday; 24, 25 and 26 December; and Monday public holidays.
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Christ Church Cathedral

9) 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!

Tip:
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
10
Dublinia (Synod Hall)

10) Dublinia (Synod Hall)

Whether you are a student or a family visiting Dublin, a great place to have great fun while learning about the city’s past is Dublinia – the former Synod Hall of Christ Church Cathedral.

This marvelous interactive museum which opened in 1993 is full of workshops, activities, live-sized figures and a room with artifacts taken from archaeological digs around Wood Quay. You can walk through medieval Dublin or rub shoulders with Vikings to your heart’s content. There really is something for everyone here!

In the Viking World you will follow their history from the first Viking raids, through their settling in Ireland to their defeat. You’ll learn about their trade and how they lived – you’ll visit a typical Viking home, but you’ll find that the loo is occupied by a Viking with a very uncomfortable expression on his face – something he ate, no doubt! You can squash together onto a Viking war boat and find out about conditions on board and perhaps understand why they were so keen to land! You can even “sell” your kids (or your parents) to slave traders and see them in slave chains!

The History of Dublin takes over from the defeat of the Vikings and continues to the dissolution of the Catholic churches, monasteries and abbeys by Henry VIII between 1534 and 1539. In this part of the reconstruction of Dublin in the Middle Ages, you can visit a rich merchant’s house, take part in fun fair games and even throw softballs (representing rotten fruit) at the poor chap in the stocks. To see how the nobles waged war, you can try on a suit of armor, which will leave you wondering how medieval knights even got on their horses carrying all that weight.

The Dublinia experience is great fun and it brings history to life with its stories told around the camp fire, its sounds and smells recreated through speakers and ventilation shafts (don’t worry, it’s mostly wood-smoke and roasting meat) and its attention to details that are based on real historic facts.

Opening hours: March to September: Monday to Sunday: 10.00am - 6.30pm .

October to February: Monday to Sunday: 10.00am to 5.30pm
11
St. Patrick's Cathedral

11) St. Patrick's Cathedral (must see)

St Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest church in Ireland and one of the oldest. According to legend, the first church was built in the 5th century on the site where Saint Patrick used the water from a well to baptize the people converted to Christianity. The well became known as the Holy Well and the wooden church was built beside it.

In 1192 it was elevated to the status of cathedral, which was unusual as the growing city already had one – Christ Church. The present church was built between 1199 and 1270 and has a 43 meter-high spire.

Between 1783 and 1871 the cathedral was used as a chapel by the Knights of Saint Patrick, a part of the Order of Saint Patrick, and you can see their heraldic banners hanging above the choir stalls. The church is filled with busts, monuments and memorial plaques.

One curiosity is the “Door of Reconciliation”. The story about the door is based more on legend than fact; in 1492 Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Osmond and Gerald Fitzgerald, 8th Earl of Kildare waged war on each other. The Earl of Ormond hid in the cathedral’s Chapter House and the Earl of Kildare had his men cut a hole in the door, through which he put his hand in a gesture of peace.

In the cathedral shop, you can buy CDs recorded by the choir and the organists, books, traditional Irish souvenirs and very pretty silver jewelry.

Why You Should Visit:
A sight to behold; more of a historical place and not so much a 'worshiping' cathedral.
Tours are run by volunteers, run for about 45 minutes to an hour and carry no extra cost.
There is also a very pretty park (church grounds) next door, that is open to the public.

Tip:
Make sure you check online for any scheduled events before you visit.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-5:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
St. Stephen's Green

12) St. Stephen's Green (must see)

If you don’t want to wait your turn in one of the busy restaurants in the shopping center, the best thing to do is to pick up a sandwich and a drink and take it to Saint Stephen’s Green Park on the south end of Grafton Street.

This 27-acre park is the biggest of Dublin’s Georgian square parks. It was laid out in 1880 by Sir A. Guinness and is a delightful area to have your lunch, with its flower beds, shady walks, fountains and benches round a large ornamental lake where you can feed the ducks. In the summer open-air concerts are held here.

The rectangular park is surrounded by stately Georgian houses and is noted for its many statues and memorials. You will see a statue honoring Sir A. Guinness; a bronze statue of Theobald Wolfe Tone surrounded by monoliths (the locals call this “Tonehenge”); a fountain statue of the Three Fates, donated by German refugees after the Second World War; a statue of Robert Emmet and busts of James Joyce and Constance Markievcz.

Among the memorials are the Yeats Memorial Garden with its statue by Henry Moore; the Fusiliers Arch, a memorial to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who died in the Second Boer War; a monument to Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, the Fenian leader and member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and a memorial of the Great Famine that caused so much death and misery in Ireland between 1845 and 1850.

Why You Should Visit:
Beautiful, cosy and tranquil park. There are lovely little ponds with swans and ducks and plenty of places to sit.
Many cafes nearby, just down the road, where you can pop in for cake and coffee/tea before or after your walk.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 8am-6pm; Sun: 10am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
13
Grafton Street

13) Grafton Street (must see)

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.

Walking Tours in Dublin, Ireland

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 Km or 3.1 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles

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