The Ultimate Dublin Guide

Emily Facciolo headshot
Emily Facciolo
March 13, 2024

Whether you’re visiting Dublin for a week or staying here for four months, you will not run out of things to do in this city. As my family and Pittsburgh roommates have come to visit me, I was able to be a tourist (or tour guide) in Dublin. Here is a list of things to do to help gain a great appreciation for this place:

  • Explore the greenery around the city
    • Cities often have a reputation of having too many buildings and not enough parks or just places to sit out by the grass. Dublin is not lacking in this category at all. Furthermore, you will not see grass greener than in Ireland, even in January. On a sunny day, which may be few and far between here, you will not regret sitting on a bench and just observing and appreciating the things around you. Some of my favorite places include:
      • Mountjoy Square Park
      • Saint Stephen’s Green
      • Saint Patrick’s Park
      • Merrion Square
      • Irish National War Memorial Gardens
  • Visit the museums
    • Of course, museums are some of the best way to learn about the history of the city or the country as a well. Dublin has many opportunities to learn about all different aspects of what makes Ireland what it is today. Some of these are free, but the other ones also have student discounts, making them all worth it (in my opinion):
      • EPIC Emigration
      • Kilmainham Gaol
      • Henrietta Street
      • Little Museum
      • Guinness Storehouse
      • Book of Kells at Trinity College Dublin
      • National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology
  • Watch a match at Croke Park
    • Unexpectedly, one of my favorite memories thus far has been going to Croke Park, the third largest stadium in Europe. It’s really cool that I can see it from my bedroom window, but being inside was amazing. For just 15 euros, I was able to watch two sports back to back, ones that I have never seen before. 
    • The first game was hurling, which is one of the national sports of Ireland, played with a stick and ball on a field with goals shaped like H’s. It took me a little to understand the rules and scoring of the game, but it was really fascinating to watch because I knew virtually nothing about it. 
    • The second game was Gaelic football, the other national sport of Ireland. This one is played with a ball about the size of a soccer ball, but you could use both your hands and feet, and the scoring was similar to that of hurling. I think I had more fun watching this game, but both were so fun to see and learn. 
    • While these are the national sports of Ireland, they are amateur, so the players do not get paid for this. This was fascinating to me considering the size of the stadium and how many passionate fans there were; I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that in the United States in a non-professional sport. 
  • Go to a coastal town outside the city
    • Since the city center is so close to the coast, it is extremely easy to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and go to a different town in the county for a nice day trip. You can take the DART to numerous quaint coastal towns for just a few euros in under an hour. There are so many different places to visit, but the towns I’ve been to include:
      • Howth
      • Bray
      • Dalkey (Bono lives here)
      • Killiney
      • Dun Laoghaire
  • Embrace the traveler in you
    • The biggest tip I have for you to enjoy your time in Dublin is to embrace the fact that you are here for a limited amount of time, so do as much touristy activities as you want, or stay away from it if you want to avoid the crowds (and probably Americans). But doing the things that you want while also getting a good feel for the city is the best way to make it special. Also, it is important that you don’t feel rushed and try to accomplish everything on your list, because sometimes just taking a stroll around the park can be the most valuable memory you have of this place. Here is a list of things I have really enjoyed doing/seeing:
      • Murray’s live music and Irish dancing
      • Watching rugby matches at the Living Room
      • Window shopping on Henry Street and Grafton Street
      • Journaling every day since I’ve been here
      • Listening to musicians play on the streets
      • Watching Irish movies and TV shows, especially noticing places I’ve been to as well
      • Vintage shops and thrift stores

While I could go on and on about Dublin, I won't. This is a great place to visit for just a weekend as well as living here for the semester. I'm super grateful that I am just over halfway done this program and have already done all of this. 

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Emily Facciolo headshot

Emily Facciolo

Hi! My name is Emily and I am currently a sophomore business major at the University of Pittsburgh, but I am from Delaware County, PA. Before going to Dublin, I have been to six other countries. My biggest passions are reading and traveling. 

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