The Best Things to Do in Dublin off the Beaten Track
The Republic of Ireland welcomed 10.65 million tourists in 2017, with close to six million of those visitors heading for Dublin.
Without a doubt, Dublin is Ireland’s most visited county, leaving second-place Galway, trailing far behind with 1.63 million tourists. In fact, Dublin’s most-visited attraction, the Guinness Storehouse, pulls in more tourists, with 1.7 million visitors a year.
But, the most popular parts of Dublin aren’t necessarily the best. Whether you’ve been to Dublin before, or you’re a first-time visitor who wants to avoid the typical tourist trail, there are plenty of hidden gems to be discovered in Dublin.
Here we reveal some of the best things to do in Dublin that are off the beaten track.
Unique Dublin Tours
Walking tours and bus trips are a must for exploring any city. But fun things to do in Dublin don’t come much better than our selection of unique tours.
If learning about Dublin’s grisly past and supernatural secrets is up your street then the Haunted History Tour is the one for you. Or, you might prefer the Northside Ghost Walk, where you’ll take a trip through Oxmantown, a former Viking enclave with a rich haunted history.
For beautiful scenery, nothing beats the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Tour where you’ll get to explore the Cuilcagh Mountain Park, as well as the spectacular Marble Arch Caves Geo Park.
And, for those of you who want to explore the city while also enjoying some Irish craic, make sure you book a seat on the Dublin Comedy Bus Tour. Hosted by professional comedians, this hilarious trip is guaranteed to have you laughing through the streets.
Watch a Hurling Match
You might not be familiar with the sport of hurling, but it’s somewhere between hockey and lacrosse, and yet, nothing like either of them. It’s also one of Ireland’s most popular sports.
And, since there are different levels of hurling going on throughout the year, it shouldn’t be too difficult to catch a match at Croke Park while you’re in Dublin.
The rules of hurling will probably be lost on you at first. But you’ll soon get into it, thanks to the rousing atmosphere and thrilling mix of athleticism, timing, and skill.
Hurling is also one of the fastest team games in the world so you’re guaranteed to be on the edge of your seat throughout. For cool things to do in Dublin, look no further!
Explore the Dublin Mountains
Most visitors wouldn’t associate Ireland’s capital with mountains. But, the Dublin Mountains are just eight miles from the city’s urban center.
Exploring the forests of this natural playground is one of the most unique things to do in Dublin. Not least because of the amazing views over the city and bay you’ll get to see. Pack a picnic, get your walking shoes on, and prepare to blow those cobwebs away.
Or, for those of you who’d like to experience the darker side of the Dublin Mountains, be sure to book a place on the Hellfire Club Tour. This night-time walk is the only one of its kind, promising unique insight into the infamous Hellfire Club, with stories of Satanism and sacrifices, and spectacular views over the city.
Visit Dún Laoghaire Sunday Market
Wherever you’re traveling in the world, the local markets are where you get to really see what a country and its people are about.
While you’re in Dublin, be sure to stop off at Dún Laoghaire’s Sunday market, which is a 40-minute ride on the DART down the coast. Every weekend, around 40 vendors set up in People’s Park to sell their crafts, food products, and other services.
Come to sample the freshly cooked food and browse the stalls. Even if you weren’t planning on shopping, you’re sure to leave with a ton of souvenirs and tasty treats. And, while you’re in Dún Laoghaire, you can enjoy a scenic walk along the coast.
Try Kayaking on the River Liffey
Running through the heart of Dublin, the River Liffey might be symbolic but it’s not exactly somewhere you’d want to take a dip.
Kayaking on the river, however, is a fun way to see Dublin from a different angle. And, as touristy as it might sound, some locals like to take to the river for a joyride now and again. Plus, all that physical exercise is a good way to work up an appetite for some tasty Irish fare.
Although there are guided tours that take you along the river, if you’re looking for something less regimented, rent a kayak and go at your own pace instead.
Take a Tour of Kilmainham Gaol
Many visitors coming to Dublin visit the Kilmainham Gaol. But, there are many more who wouldn’t consider a former prison as a tourist attraction and tend to leave it off their list. However, anyone who’s been to the jail will testify that it’s one of the best things to do in Dublin.
On the tour, an experienced and enthusiastic guide will take you around the cells and communal rooms that were once full of prisoners, many of whom were protesters to British rule. You’ll also see where the firing squad operated, and hear all about the conditions the prisoners were subjected to.
The experience is poignant and emotional, with lots of informative and personal stories that will really bring the jail’s past alive. For anyone with an interest in Irish history, this is a must. And, even if you’re not interested, a tour of Kilmainham Gaol will change that.
The Best Things to Do in Dublin
Despite the increasing number of visitors coming to Ireland’s capital each year, many of them miss out on experiencing some of the best things to do in Dublin.
Of course, it’s only natural to want to hit some of the main tourist spots. But, there’s also something special about finding your own path, especially in a foreign city.
Dublin is full of unique and cool things to do that shouldn’t be missed. For fun ways to enjoy your time in the city, contact us for more information!