8 Totally Awesome Ways to Tour Dublin the UNESCO City of Literature with Trip4Real

This guide is presented by American Tourister. Our travel philosophy is to pack more fun into every moment and every bag, like our Star Wars, Disney and Marvel luggage collections. Keep up with us by keeping an eye on #PackMoreFun!

There is no better way to tour Dublin than through a local. They know the ins and the outs of where to eat, shop, hangout and how to spend time exploring. I feel like Dublin is a second home after visiting twice a year for the past three years. Still, I look to my local friends for advice on what to do while I’m there, and they’ve never let me down. The good news is, now they can share their tips and earn some extra flow for doing it! Trip4Real is a revolutionary way of traveling that offers travelers the possibility of exploring places like Dublin through its locals.

8 Awesome things to do in Dublin

Ways to Explore Dublin with Trip4Real for the Traveler

Trip4Real offers travelers unique and exclusive activities created by local people, allowing them to explore the most authentic spots of the city. What’s even better is their prices are affordable and they offer a guarantee. Everyone loves a guarantee.

For the Local – a Way to Share Your Love of a City

They offer locals some pretty cool things too, like a global spread of their activities, the ability to share their hobby/passion with the world, meeting new people and earning money doing what they love most. In many cases, they’re creating micro-entrepreneurs. It’s all done through their online platform which is stunning and easy to use. You can submit you activity in just 5 minutes.

It’s all done through their online platform which is stunning and easy to use.

Some of My Favorite Ways to Tour Dublin

If you’ve followed me for any length of time then you know I love this city. The locals are charming, welcoming and always friendly. There’s good bites and dining around every turn and it’s dripping with stories and beautiful sights. In fact it’s named the UNESCO City of Literature! Here are some of my favorite ways to tour Dublin.

I packed more fun with the Darth Vader hard case carry on from American Tourister!

I packed more fun with the Darth Vader hard case carry on from American Tourister!

#1 Take a Walking Tour

St. Patrick's Cathedral Dublin

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

I love walking around Dublin. You get so much more of the city absorbed when on foot. Plus, taxis can be costly. Walk around this city and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to take pics of places like Christ Church, St Patrick’s Cathedral, and Trinity College (to name a few).

#2 Take a Library Tour

The Long Library

The Long Library at Trinity College

Trinity College – Dublin has three incredible libraries, two of which are widely known and one which is less heard of by tourists (more on this in the Go Dark section). Trinity’s Long Library is probably the most popular as it’s home to the permanent Book of Kells exhibit as well as traveling exhibits. I’ve seen many exhibits in there however, one of my favorites was the Chidren’s Fairytale Exhibit.

The Chester Beatty Library – This library is a marvelous sight and is just across the Dublin Castle (one of the places on the Bram Stoker Trail). Home to one man’s ( Sir Alfred Chester Beatty) collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and decorative arts, it’s been described by Lonely Planet as not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe.

#3 Get Up Close to Heritage, Magic and Myth

Loughcrew, The Fairytale Traveler, Christa Thompson

At Loughcrew

The Boyne Valley – Home to six plus ancient passage tombs, also home to labyrinths and beautiful rolling hills, the Boyne Valley holds some of Ireland’s most ancient and mystic legends. With megalithic cairns older than the pyramids of Egypt and steeped in mystery.

The Monastic Settlement of Glendalough – One of the jewels of the Ancient East in Ireland, this settlement is where the earliest known Irish legends were transcribed as Christians converted pagan beliefs into myths.

Glendalough

Monastic Settlement at Glendalough

Dublinia – Learn all about Dublin’s medieval heritage and its period of Vikings at this kid friendly center. Located at Christ Church, the crossroads of Dublin’s medieval city.

Malahide Castle – Explore heritage, walled gardens and a fairytale-like castle

Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle photo Wikimedia

National Folklore Collection – Explore books, periodicals and off-prints on Irish and comparative folklore, ethnology and related fields contributed by any of the many thousands of storytellers, collectors and correspondents over the years.

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#4 Be a Bookworm

The Writers Museum

The Writers Museum

Photo by Ingmar Zahorsky under the Creative Commons License

There are loads of places tied to famous authors and books. Writers like W.B. Yeats, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh, Seán O’Casey, Bram Stoker and Brendan Behan have all staked claim in the city of Literature.

The Dublin Writer’s Museum – This is an essential on any bookworm’s list of things to do. Featuring the lives and works of some of Dublin’s most notable literary names over the span of the past three hundred years. Names like Swift, Sheridan, Shaw and Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett are preserved here through letters pictures and personal effects all in a pristine Georgian house.

Trinity College – The educator of many famous Dublin writers.

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College

James Joyce House of the Dead – The Setting of Joyce’s famous story “The Dead” can be visited for dinner! This is not a restaurant but more of an experience, a “Dead Dinner” to be exact!

A Walk Around the City – You’ll spot placards and statues all over the city! Here is a good guide to a walking tour.  

The Bram Stoker Trail – Self made and in desperate need of getting some real tourism funding, this trail takes you to the places historically tied to the famous Gothic novelist and where his legacy lives.

Just pokin about #dublin #literature #unesco #gogreen4patricksday #nofilter #goodreads #instatbn

A photo posted by Christa Thompson (@thefairytaletraveler) on

The James Joyce Museum – An entire museum dedicated to the world-famous author. The collection here includes letters, photographs, first and rare editions and personal possessions of Joyce, as well as items associated with the Dublin of Ulysses.

#5 Get Political

Daniel O'connell Tomb

The tomb of Daniel O’Connell at Glasnevin Cemetery

Like many big cities Dublin has its share of statues. Many of these are political figures and many of which you can see on O’Connell Street. Here’s a complete list. But what may be the most important of all these political sights to see is that of Daniel O’Connell’s tomb in Glasnevin Cemetery.

#6 Get a Sip or Two or Four

The Whiskey Museum

The Whiskey Museum

It wouldn’t be Dublin without its pubs but moreover, it wouldn’t be Dublin without its whiskey and Guinness! There are so many pubs to choose from, it’s best to take the advice of a local. And, before you go out, why not take in a little history on your favorite adult beverages so you can be on the up.

Teeling Whiskey Distillery – Here you can get a close look and taste of the Teeling brand Whiskey.

The Whiskey Museum – Learn every single thing there is to know about Irish Whiskey and its history. With a rare collection of bottles, you will love this tour. And you’ll especially love the taste! Even if you’re not a whiskey drinker, you may be surprised and how different they are.

The Whiskey Museum, The Fairytale Traveler, Christa Thompson

Tasting some Irish Whiskey at the Whiskey Museum

The Guinness Storehouse – A must do on everyone’s list when visiting. It’s like going to Orlando and not going to Disney. The Guinness truly does taste better from the Storehouse!

Take Your Pick of Pubs – I’ve been over this a hundred million, trillion times. I’ve been toured by the best local there is and there’s no getting around it, these are the best, least douchey pubs in Dublin; The Long Hall, the Cobblestone, Frank Ryans, the Bernard Shaw, the Headline Bar, the Hairy Lemon and the Stag’s Head (I squeezed that in there for those of you who insist on hanging around Temple Bar like a total tourist). If you’re on the edge for a hipster bar packed to the brim with tattooed bearded men try a personal favorite the East Side Tavern, Foley’s, 37 Dawson or O’Donohues (also great spots to eat).

East Side Tavern

East Side Tavern

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#7 Go Dark with Tombstones and Ghost Tales

There’s a definite dark side to Dublin. Like any city with years of history, it has its tales. Here are a few which have stuck out to me over the years.

The Hellfire Club – Much less creepy by day I assure you. The Hellfire Club is one of the world’s most notorious haunts. Visited by multiple ghost hunting shows, this place has a history so dark, it will make your hair stand on end.

The Hellfire Club, Dublin

photo by Christa Thompson

St. Michan’s Church – Did you know there are mummies in Dublin? Not something you hear on a daily is it? You can take a tour of the St. Michan’s Cathedral crypt and learn all about the infamous dead. Matter of fact, they may have even inspired Bram Stoker.

St.-Michans-Church-Crypt2

Mummies in the crypts at St. Michan’s Church in Dublin are believed to have inspired Bram Stoker. By Chirsta Thompson 2013

Glasneven Cemetery – Also known as “The City of the Dead” will lead you through what appears to be an endless sea of high crosses peppered with ravens. Despite the death here, it is quite peaceful and simply stunning to explore. There is a fantastic museum below the guest center I recommend you take a look. It’s done to perfection. I especially like the wall of death rituals from around the world.

High Cross, Tombstones, Glasnevin Cemetery

High cross tombstones at Glasnevin Cemetery

Marsh’s Library – A smaller yet incredibly preserved historic library is Marsh’s Library behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This little spot will make you go “whoa” not just because of its Harry Potter-like books but because it’s haunted!

Marsh's Library Dublin 2

The stone entrance into Marsh’s Library photo taken by me.

The Bram Stoker Festival –  Experience Gothic Romanticism like you  never have before at the Bram Stoker Festival. This festival, held annually around Halloween brings together a weekend of theater, parades, lectures, exhibits, parties and street performances all to the tune of vampirism to celebrate the works and life of Bram Stoker.

Bram Stoker festival, Dublin, Bram Stoker, Vampire

The Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin

#8 St. Patrick’s Day Festival

Visiting Dublin is the most epic way to do St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish are some of the most artistic and creative people I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Every year I am thoroughly surprised at the bells and whistles they pull for their parade. The whole day is a complete experience and not to be missed. It should be on your list of things to do in life!

St. Patrick's Day Parade Dublin

The crowd waits for the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin.

There is no other way to experience Dublin than through its locals. Tried and true, it’s been the best bet for me yet. If you’re a local and would like to enter your suggestions, you may do so through this form. Otherwise, if you’re ready to get the absolute best out of Dublin, check out Trip4Real and get the scoop on your ideal trip.

A word from our sponsors:

Trip4Real is for the traveler not the tourist. Explore the world through its locals and be the local when you travel.

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This guide is presented by American Tourister. Our travel philosophy is to pack more fun into every moment and every bag, like our Star Wars, Disney and Marvel luggage collections. Keep up with us by keeping an eye on #PackMoreFun!

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About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

6 Comments on this post

  1. I am determined to embrace Dublin, and much more of Ireland, in a year not far from now. Yes, the traveler experiences far more, on a deeper level, than those who eat, shoot, and leave.

    righteousbruin9 / Reply
  2. Hopefully by next year, crossing my fingers. Its my dream city ❤ to explore with the locals. Looking forward to exprience everything this city has to offer.

    Catherine Arana / Reply
  3. […] both. They both offer different experiences. Dublin is clearly a much larger city, bustling with shops, restaurants, pubs and history, while Kilkenny offers a quieter much smaller city but also with a great variety of options for […]

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