An American student’s guide to the best tourist attractions in Dublin - PHOTOS
Hint: don’t go out of your way to see the Molly Malone statue
If you’re short on time, you can live without the tours and just sample some of the good stuff in any pub. But the tours are classic features of a Dublin visit.
National Museum of Ireland (Archaeology) -
Go see the Iron Age bog bodies.
If you’re a literature buff, check out the WB Yeats exhibit.
Trinity College - Old Library and Book of Kells -
To our disappointment, students can’t study in the Old Library, but it’s still one of the most beautiful rooms I’ve ever seen. If you make friends with a Trinity student, they can take you in for free.
Once you’ve done that, take some time to wander around campus. The buildings are lovely - except for the Arts bloc and the Berkeley-Lecky-Ussher library, which look like a Stalinist prison. It’s difficult to find photos of the Arts bloc, probably because no one wants to look at it for too long.
General Post Office -
Look for bullet marks at the GPO (O’Connell St), left over from the 1916 Easter Rising.
Read up on your history before you go.
Abbey Theatre, Gate Theatre, Gaiety Theatre -
Go see a play at one of these historic theatres. If you visit in the Fall, take advantage of the Dublin Theatre Festival, during which I saw two of the best plays I’ve ever seen.
Day Trips -
County Wicklow - Grab a tourist bus and visit the Avoca headquarters, or take Dublin bus to Enniskerry and explore the Powerscourt House grounds. No need to pay the admission fee to walk the beautiful park approach to the house.
The Wicklow Way trail runs from Marlay Park in Dublin to Clonegal, a week-long hike divisible into shorter sections.
See Wicklow Way Bus for a shuttle service to facilitate a day-hike.
You might want to make a longer trip to Killarney, but if you take a train early and come back late, you could do Killarney as a day trip.
Go biking in the national park- it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Bike rental shops are along the main street, and they’ll explain your route options. Don’t miss Ross Castle!
Longer Trips -