Over eight million tourists visit Dublin city every year, either passing through or staying for a while. All of them most likely have guide books and will hit the major tourist attractions, but we decided to put together a list of some of our (the locals) favorite spots in Dublin.
To see a show, sit back and watch the world go by, get back to nature or find that unique souvenir, here is our list of Dubliner’s favorite spots:
Red Rock, Sutton, Dublin
Just 25 minutes outside the city center and you will find yourself in Sutton village on the north coast of Dublin. The Red Rock walk is one of our favorite walks in Dublin, due to its easy access from the city and also because of the feeling of remoteness you get standing up on top of the cliffs looking out to sea.
The whole walk takes about three hours and stretches from the magnificent Martello Tower, in Sutton, all the way to Howth Harbour on the other side of the peninsula.
The area is named for the home of the Jameson Irish Whiskey family, Red Rock, which was then renamed the Sutton House Hotel and is now private residences. The red building can be seen above the cliffs. Along the walk you’ll also pass the Bailey Lighthouse which was once the home of Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries.
Dublin Flea Market, Newmarket, Dublin 8
The Dublin Flea Market is a great afternoon trip for many reasons. The market itself, of course, the people watching, and the area that you walk through to get to the market.
The flea market is all about innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration and it’s one of Dublin’s best loved markets. At the market you’ll find a mix of DJs and live bands, furniture, jewelry, vintage clothes, and a great selection of food.
Just minutes away by foot is the fabulous St. Patrick’s Cathedral and also Francis Street, which boasts of a wonderful collection of small galleries and antique shops with some of the best finds in Dublin.
Olympia Theatre, Dame Street
This beautiful theater, right smack bang wallop in the middle of the city, was built in 1879. This theater plays home to some great acts from popular bands, to plays, magicians, and pantomimes.
Back in the 1970s it was closed due to structural damage, but it was returned to its former glory and city councilors eventually place a preservation order on the building. In 2004 a truck crashed into the beautiful glass canopy and it was replicated and replaced.
With great shows, the wonderful old world charm and its surrounding area which includes some of the best pubs and restaurants in Dublin, it’s an ideal spot for a night out.
The Church, Mary Street
The Church is one of the more recent arrivals on the bar scene in Dublin, but it has quickly won a place in the north-side locals' hearts. Located just a five minutes walk from the Ha’ Penny Bridge the converted Saint Mary’s Church is a great spot to grab a drink, some food and do some serious people watching in their huge beer garden.
The church lay derelict from 1964 to 1997 when it was bought by John Keating. After years of restoration and excavation it was reopened in 2005.
Not only is it a great pub, but it’s also filled with history. Arthur Guinness, the founder of the Guinness Brewery was married there in 1761. Playwright Sean O’Casey was baptized there, as was Theobald Wolf Tone. And many notable figures in Dublin’s history attended service at the church.
Grand Canal Theatre [Bord Gáis Energy Theatre]
Located on the Grand Canal Dock this theater is in a great location, right by the beautiful dock and surrounded by some really excellent bars and restaurants. Away from the busy streets of the city center it’s a great spot to come to for a calmer, more civilized evening.
The theater, which was designed by world renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, is something to behold, looking something like a folded piece of tissue and built at the end of the most unusual red carpet of red lit-up sticks. The theater plays host to national and international theater, musicals, operas, ballet, family shows, and classical concerts.
Grogan’s, South Williams Street