Does your family have even a teeny tiny part of Irish in your heritage? Is that one of the main reasons you want to visit this popular destination? Or do you simply want to experience a tasty Guinness the way it was meant to be poured, as well as listen to the locals talk with their accents? There are so many reasons to take a family vacation in Ireland. Almost as many as there are things to do in Ireland. However, what happens when you want to spend all your time in Dublin? Does your list of things to do get shorter? Or are there plenty of things to do in Dublin to keep your family busy for your time away from home? I can guarantee you will find plenty of things to do in Dublin to add to your vacation itinerary.
Today, I am going to share some of the best things to do in Dublin to help you get started. I can then come up with others, as I am personalizing your family vacation itinerary in Dublin.
You don’t need to venture too far to visit the oldest college in Ireland. Trinity College was founded in 1592. Some of the alumni from this college went on to become renowned writers. Two of those writers were Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift.
Upon your arrival at Trinity College, begin by wandering around the Gothic style halls. Then head over to the Old Library. This library is where you can capture a glimpse of The Book of Kells. This illustrated book was completed by monks in 800 AD. Only one page is on display at a time to ensure the book does not get damaged by light.
The largest cathedral in Dublin is St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This cathedral is said to have been constructed on the site where St. Patrick baptized converts hundreds of years earlier. While inside, take the time to look at the vaulted ceilings, as well as the intricate details.
You may also visit the tomb of Jonathan Swift at this cathedral. He was one of the writers who graduated from Trinity College. One of the books he is known for writing is Gulliver’s Travels.
One of the best things to do in Dublin on a nice sunny day is relaxing at St. Stephen’s Green. This beautiful park has been open to the public since 1880. The kids can run around the playground. Everyone can then take a walk to see the monuments or check out the garden.
Pack a picnic lunch, so you don’t need to leave early.
Anyone who is interested in learning more about the Irish Emigration is encouraged to visit this museum in Dublin. The exhibits within this museum include one thousand five hundred years of history. More than one hundred million people left Ireland during this time. The museum shares where they went, how they lived, and how those choices impacted the country as we know it today.
You don’t need to just see all the popular attractions while on vacation in Dublin. You can also see a few unique sights like the Kilmainham Gaol. This jail shows the darker side of Irish history. Many famous prisoners spent time in this jail between 1796 and the 1920s. Executions and hangings were also performed here.
This jail is now a museum. I recommend taking the guided tour, because you learn more about the people who spent their days within these walls.
Numerous parts of this castle have been torn down and rebuilt over the years. The current oldest structure of Dublin Castle is the Record Tower. It dates back to the 13th century.
You can take the self-guided tour of this castle. However, if you want to see more than the basics, I recommend the guided tour.
In the Irish language, the word whiskey translates to the water of life. One of the best ways to learn more about whiskey and the history of Jameson is to visit the Jameson Distillery on Bow St. Take the forty-minute guided tour before sitting down to a whiskey tasting.
After getting your fill of whiskey, it will be time to head to the Guinness Storehouse. A self-guided tour of the seven floors is available. On this tour, you will learn about the history of Guinness, as well as the brewing process. Your favorite part though will be drinking a pint while sitting at the rooftop bar.
If your kids love to shop, head over to Grafton Street while on a family vacation in Dublin. This happens to be the premier shopping district in the city. The stores are full of familiar brands, as well as unique items.
Oh, and if you don’t feel like shopping, this is still a wonderful area to walk around. Especially if you love to watch people.
History and archaeology lovers may want to visit St. Michan’s Church to see the mummies down in the basement. Some of these mummies are more than eight hundred years old. This is one of the most unique experiences you can have while on vacation in Dublin.
Another place to visit tombs is Glasnevin Cemetery. Numerous famous people are buried at this cemetery.
The Winding Stair Bookshop happens to be one of the oldest independent bookstores in Dublin. This bookstore sells both new and used books.
On the second floor of this building, you will find a restaurant. This restaurant was opened in 2006 when the bookstore was purchased and reopened. The menu items include seasonal produce and local ingredients.
Grab a book first and start reading it while waiting for your meal. Or enjoy some food and then peruse the books until you find something you have been wanting to read.
There are plenty of hiking trails near Dublin. However, none of them are as popular as the ones that lead to Howth Cliff. The trails to the cliffs range in difficulty and time to complete. Start with the easy ones if your family is new to hiking. Or if you are short on time.
There are two trails that will take you to the Poolbeg Lighthouse. The shorter trail begins at the parking lot at Pigeon House Road. That trail takes an hour to walk.
The longer trail begins at Sandymount Strand. This walk is about two and a half hours. Each trail takes you to the exact same place. So, all you need to do is decide how far you want to walk to see the beauty of the shoreline.
If you have no idea what you want to see or do in Dublin or want an easy way to get acclimated to the city, ride the Hop On Hop Off Bus. You can purchase a ticket that is valid for a day or two days. Then hop on and off as many times as you wish during that time.
These are some of the best things to do in Dublin during a family vacation. There are many other things you can do during your family trip in Dublin. I can help you decide which things to do are perfect for your family, as I personalize your vacation itinerary.
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