Dublin is a city that speaks volumes through its museums, architecture and arts.
Whether you are into ceol agus craic, comedy or curated collections, Dublin's dynamic and diverse cultural scene will fill your head with stories to tell again and again and your heart will fill with grá for this captivating capital.
Located on a beautiful cobblestone road lined with elegant townhouses, 14 Henrietta Street is one of the earliest Georgian buildings in Dublin. In fact, Henrietta Street has the city's most intact collection of early to mid-18th century houses.
As you step through the door, you peel back the layers of Dublin's social history from the 18th to the 20th century. Through compelling storytelling and remarkably restored rooms and artefacts, you'll discover how the street was built initially as winter homes for Dublin's elite but eventually split into tenements as the demand for working-class housing grew.
Such was the demand that in 1911, number 14 Henrietta Street was home to over 100 people, and on a terrific guided tour, you'll hear the personal stories of the tenants, which bring the building's hidden histories alive.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Dublin is the General Post Office (GPO) on O'Connell Street. The GPO once served as the headquarters of the leaders of the Easter Rising. Bullet holes from the battles still scar the columns outside the building and the stories continue as you step inside.
This self-guided experience, through a mixture of interactive screens, audio-visual booths and authentic artefacts, recreates the dramatic events of Easter Week 1916 and takes you on an emotional journey through the personal stories of the many people affected. You also discover the GPO's role in this tumultuous event. An eye-opening exhibit explained in a way that everyone can appreciate.
Are you looking for a true hidden gem? A secret attraction that not many people, including locals, visit? Then take a trip to the laneway behind St Patrick's Cathedral and wander up the steps from the charming courtyard till you find Marsh's Library. Welcome to the oldest - and quite possibly the most beautiful - public library in Ireland.
Meander around and admire the elegant dark oak bookcases complete with rolling ladders. Old leather-bound tomes fill the shelves, and honestly, it's like something straight out of Hogwarts.
This well-preserved library of the late Renaissance and early Enlightenment first opened to the public in 1707. On arrival, the friendly and knowledgeable staff fill you in on the history and tell you the stories about the fascinating curiosities behind the bounded covers. You then continue through the lovely literary haven on a self-guided tour.
Explore more of Ireland's rich literary heritage on a visit to the Séamus Heaney: Listen Now Again exhibit.
This exhibition, housed at the iconic Bank of Ireland Cultural Centre on Westmoreland Street, takes you on a multi-sensory journey from Seamus Heaney's origins through his poetic career. A carefully-curated selection of artefacts, including photographs, readings, videos, original artworks and Heaney's writing desk, help tell the remarkable story of the Nobel Prize-winning poet.
This immersive experience allows you to glimpse into Heaney's creative process and discover the internal and external forces that shaped his work.
The Museum of Literature Ireland, or MoLI for short, is where you can come and learn about Ireland's greatest storytellers and discover the nation's rich literary heritage from past to present. Housed in the historic UCD Newman House - a Palazzo-style city mansion on Dublin's St Stephen's Green - MoLI is an awe-inspiring cultural landmark.
Through deeply engaging exhibitions and priceless artefacts, the MoLI tells the stories of literary giants, including James Joyce, WB Yeats and Seamus Heaney.
You can take a self-guided tour of the museum, but we highly recommend booking a guided tour through the exhibitions and of the beautiful building, which was once the home of notorious man-about-town Buck Whaley.
After absorbing all the stories, you can explore Ireland's exceptional culinary heritage in The Commons Café and relax to the sounds of birdsong in the tranquil Courtyard Garden, where James Joyce had his graduation photograph taken.
MoLI is a lovingly curated literary oasis in the heart of the city.
Fancy a culture hit with your caffeine fix? Then head to the iconic Bewley's Cafe on Grafton Street for a lunchtime theatre, music or poetry performance. As for the playbill? Well, there's a strong emphasis on comedy, and the theatre's repertoire ranges from classic one-acts showcasing the wit of Shaw, Wilde and O'Casey to the cream of the crop of new Irish writing. The irresistible combo of comedy, caffeine and creativity is sure to cheer you up and put a big smile on your face.
Does theatre thrill you? Then don't miss out on the brilliant backstage tours at The Abbey. Ireland's national theatre has showcased the finest Irish acting, writing, and directing for over a century.
On this engaging and enlightening tour, you have the unique opportunity to learn about The Abby's role in Irish life and see what is required to stage world-class storytelling, how productions come together and what happens in the wings during a show.
You'll also discover Dublin's rich artistic legacies, enjoy a sneak peek behind the scenes and have access to areas rarely seen by the public. Of course, you'll also hear the stories of The Abbey's remarkable history and the famous names that have tread the boards. It’s such a treat for theatre lovers.
If you want to see some of these famous faces, you can book a ticket, settle down into the plush, red velvet seats in the auditorium, and enjoy a performance.
The Abbey Theatre also offers an outdoor walking tour of Dublin, allowing you to see the city from a whole new perspective. Strolling along the capital's streets and parks on a 2 hour guided tour, you'll learn more about the various theatre connections scattered around the city.
A Comedy Club
What's the craic? They, whoever they are, say that laughter is the best medicine, and we wholeheartedly agree. One of the best feelings is a deep-rooted belly laugh, especially when shared with others. It can bring people together and establish beautiful connections.
Since the 1970s, Dublin has had a thriving comedy scene, with comics and comedy gigs on just about every corner and every night. Sure, it's no wonder, as Dubliners love a good story and laugh - we are famous worldwide for our gift of the gab.
So, if you fancy tickling your funny bone and hearing some of that legendary Irish wit and humour, get yourself to a comedy club and prepare for belly laughs, snorts and chuckles galore.
Dublin's most popular comedy nights and clubs include International Bar on Wicklow Street, the Laughter Lounge, Vicar Street and the Comedy Crunch downstairs in the Stag's Head.
If music makes you lose control, rock up to Windmill Lane Recording Studios in The Docklands. In these studios, legendary musicians like U2, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones laid down tracks.
On a guided tour, you can strut around the studios, hear the history, and learn how a recording session works. For those who fancy themselves as the next Pharrell Williams or Steve Lillywhite, you can even have a go at mixing a session. There are also meet and greet opportunities. You can meet a virtual band, and you might even get to greet Cosmo, the resident ghost. A must for music fans.
Are you looking to see Dublin life through an alternative lens? You'll want to book a tour with the brilliant Alternative Dublin City group.
Waiting in the wings to show you around the city are larger-than-life artists, musicians, promoters and photographers who take you on offbeat, unique tours. How about a street art tour or true crime tour of Dublin? What about a ghosts and ghouls tour or a tour uncovering the secret history of gay Dublin?
These are just a flavour of the types of tours on offer, giving you a richer understanding and deeper appreciation of the city through the lens of fascinating topics and perspectives.
Book a break this autumn
So, what are you waiting for? If you're searching for inspiring stories to see the city in a different light, now is the perfect time to discover everything Dublin has to offer. From music to museums, tours to theatre, there’s storytelling for everyone to enjoy across the capital.
The Leave No Trace principles help us make as little an impact as possible on the incredible Irish landscape as we explore the outdoors this autumn and beyond. Keep outdoor areas safe, clean and free from waste/hazards, and help protect the natural environment. Love this place, leave no trace.
Start your discovery at VisitDublin.ie