How to squeeze Dublin into just ten things to do? Well, there are priceless – and free – galleries, the famous Book of Kells, a toast to Arthur Guinness and a tasty pie for dinner
1. See priceless pieces (absolutely free)
Dublin's museums and galleries harbour priceless treasures and you can visit them for free. Be moved by incredible Iron Age bog bodies, astounded by a Caravaggio masterpiece, and gaze at a stunning Bronze Age gold collar.
2. Pull a pint and raise your glass to the black stuff
After the seven interactive storeys survey panoramic views of the city from atop Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse. The Gravity Bar is like a glass bird’s nest, with views stretching from rooftops to parkland and steeples to mountains.
3. Examine ‘The most beautiful book in the world’
Admire the detail in the renowned Book of Kells in Trinity College. This lavishly illustrated manuscript of the Gospels dates from the 9th century and is a marvel of Early Christian art carried out by the monks’ steady hands.
4. Ask "What’s the story?"
Yeats, Wilde, Stoker: in a city laced with literature, there’s a story around every corner. Grab a pint and toast a few on the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl – an actor-led tour of Dublin’s literary legacy.
5. Soak up the culture in Temple Bar
The creative community founded the bohemian enclave of Temple Bar in the 1980s. Now the warren of car-free cobbled streets houses a hotbed of art-house cinema, galleries, music and theatres. For lunch, try a Beef and Guinness Pie in The Merchant’s Arch.
6. Cruise around Dublin Bay
See Dublin from a different angle – the sea. This 90 minute cruise takes you from Howth, an iconic harbour town, to Dun Laoghaire, a sailing centre. Think sea breezes and cute islands. Extra points for spotting a Dublin dolphin.
7. Sweet sounds in U2’s home-town
There’s always music playing in Dublin city. Traditional music tinkles out of O’Neill's and Oliver St John Gogarty’s, Whelan’s showcases the best local indie rock bands for free and there’s a weekly silent disco for those dancing demons.
8. Go to gaol
Kilmainham Gaol is an important memento of Ireland’s journey towards becoming a republic. Its chilling exhibition and guided tours paint a vivid picture of lives of the political and lay prisoners who lived within its stone walls.
9. Cycle City
Dip into Dublin with Dublin City Bike Tours or go independently by hiring a Dublin Bike. The 3-Day Ticket for €2 allows unlimited use of the bikes for three days with the first 30 minutes of use free (Services charges apply. Check for details).
10. Swift and singing at St Patrick’s
A guided tour St Patrick’s Cathedral – named after Ireland’s patron saint – will inform you that Gulliver’s Travels author, Jonathan Swift, was its Dean for 32 years and is buried there. Coordinate your visit with a lunchtime recital for an aural treat.