Seven wonders of Dublin
There’s plenty to see and do for everyone while visiting the capital
1 Croke Park Wouldn’t it be great if you could find somewhere to go that is uniquely Irish, historically significant, visually spectacular and still sports related? You can! Croke Park is the home of Gaelic games. Located on Jones’s Road on the north side of Dublin, “Croker” as it is affectionately known, is Europe’s fourth largest stadium, with a capacity of 82,300.
Steeped in history, this was the site of the original Bloody Sunday, when, on November 21st, 1920, 14 people were shot dead by soldiers, Black and Tans, members of the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Dublin Metropolitan Police.
There are daily guided tours of the stadium, where you can visit the dressing rooms, walk pitch-side and take a seat in the VIP area. For those with a head for heights there is also an Etihad Skyline Croke Park Stadium tour, which includes some spectacular views of the Dublin skyline.
The tours are curtailed on match days, but if you are lucky enough to get a ticket to see a game of either football or hurling at Croke Park, take it. (The All-Ireland football semifinal between Dublin and Mayo takes place this Sunday.)
2 Guinness Storehouse The Guinness Storehouse at St James’s Gate is open 360 days a year, so there can be no excuses for not learning more about the dark art of making the black stuff. Discover what goes into the perfect pint before collecting your free sample in the remarkable Gravity Bar, which offers panoramic views of Dublin City. The price of entry for adults is ¤16.50, but discounts are available if booked in advance online and all of the usual concessionary rates apply.
3 Viking Splash Tour. American Football fans will be familiar with the Minnesota Vikings, but Dublin has a more tangible association with those Scandinavian warriors and you can learn all about it on the Viking Splash Tour.
Your amphibious chariot awaits to bring you around Dublin – by land and water – learning about the city’s medieval and more recent history as you go, all the while donning your faux-horned helmet. Entertaining, engaging and informative.
5 Museums Dublin’s Natural History Museum, on Merrion Street, is home to more than two million scientific specimens, while the nearby National Gallery houses some 15,000 art works dating from the early 13th century to the mid-20th century.
For bookworms, the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle is named Ireland’s best museum by the Lonely Planet. Or for something more contemporary, try the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Kilmainham or the Hugh Lane Gallery on Parnell Square (next-door to the Dublin Writers Museum).
museum.ie; nationalgallery.ie; cbl.ie; imma.ie; hughlane.ie; writersmuseum.com
6 History If you want to brush up on your Irish history, there’s no better place to start than Glasnevin Cemetery and its recently opened museum. The well-informed guides impart their huge expanse of knowledge at a very reasonable price.
Dublin city is steeped in history, from Trinity College and Kilmainham Gaol to Dublin Castle, Christ Church and the medieval showcase of Dublinia. For daytrips, consider going further afield to the 5,000-year-old structure that is Newgrange or the site of the Battle of the Boyne in Co Meath.
glasnevintrust.ie; tcd.ie; heritageireland.ie; dublinia.ie; newgrange.com
7 Science Gallery If you’re more interested in the future than the past, visit the Science Gallery on the Trinity College Campus.
For those with a head for heights there is an Etihad Skyline Croke Park Stadium tour, with some spectacular views
Discover what goes into the perfect pint at the Guinness Storehouse