Dublin Sights

"In Dublin's fair city, where the girls are so pretty"—so went the centuries-old ditty. Today, there are parts of the city that may not be fair or pretty, but although you may not be conscious of it while you're in the center city, Dublin does boast a beautiful setting: it loops around the edge of Dublin Bay and is on a plain at the edge of the gorgeous, green Dublin and Wicklow mountains,

which rise softly just to the south. From the glass-wall top of the Guinness Storehouse in the heart of town, the sight of the city, the bay, and the mountains will take your breath away. From the city's noted vantage points, such as the South Wall, which stretches far out into Dublin Bay, you can nearly get a full measure of the city. From north to south, Dublin stretches 16 km (10 miles); in total, it covers 28,000 acres—but Dublin's heart is far more compact than these numbers indicate. Like Paris, London, and Florence, a river runs right through it. The River Liffey divides the capital into the Northside and the Southside, as everyone calls the two principal center-city areas, and virtually all the major sights are well within less than an hour's walk of one another.

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Fodor's Choice


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The Southside 18

Dublin West 17

The Northside 16

Georgian Dublin 10

North County Dublin 10


Glasnevin 2

Howth 4

Malahide 2

Marino Casino 1

North Bull Island 1

Temple Bar 10

Phoenix Park and Environs 4

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Arts/ Performance Venue 4

Beach–Sight 1

Bridge/ Tunnel 1

Building/ Architectural Site 1

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 2

Cemetery 3

Educational Institution 3

Financial Institution 2

Garden/ Arboretum 2

Golf Course 1

Government Building 5

Hospital–Sight 1

Hotel–Sight 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 4

Information Center 1

Island 1

Library/ Archive 6

Market/ Bazaar 2

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 1

Museum/ Gallery 20

Nautical Site/ Lighthouse 1

Neighborhood/ Street 2

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 1

Park/ Playground 4

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 3

Public Art (Mural/ Sculpture/ Statue) 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 8

Restaurant–Sight 1

Store/ Shop/ Mall 1

Winery/ Brewery/ Distillery 2

Zoo/ Aquarium 1

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Best For

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Family 11


Dublin Sights

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Central Bank

  • Financial Institution

Everyone in Dublin seems to have an opinion on the Central Bank. Designed by Sam Stephenson in 1978, the controversial, ultramodern glass-and...

Gallery of Photography

  • Museum/Gallery

Dublin's premier photography gallery has a permanent collection of early-20th-century Irish photography and also puts on monthly exhibitions...

Ha'penny Bridge

  • Bridge/Tunnel

Every Dubliner has a story about meeting someone on this cast-iron Victorian bridge, a heavily trafficked footbridge that crosses the...

Irish Film Institute (IFI)

  • Arts/Performance Venue

The opening of the IFI in a former Quaker meetinghouse helped to launch the revitalization of Temple Bar. It has three comfortable art-house...

Meeting House Square

  • Plaza/Square/Piazza

A spectacular retractable canopy of four 70-foot "umbrellas" has turned this already vibrant square into a year-round playground for...

National Library Photographic Archive

  • Museum/Gallery

This important photographic resource holds regular exhibitions in its stylish modern building in Temple Bar. The collection comprises...

National Wax Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

This slightly hokey but fun museum has a host of famous figures from Irish history and literature imortalized in wax–their Samuel Beckett...

Olympia Theatre

  • Arts/Performance Venue

One of the most atmospheric places in Europe to see musical acts, the Olympia is Dublin's second-oldest theater, and one of its busiest.

The Ark

  • Arts/Performance Venue

A self-described cultural center for children, The Ark engages and inspires young imaginations through a variety of creative endeavors...

Wall of Fame

  • Public Art (Mural/Sculpture/Statue)

If you're strolling through Temple Bar and suddenly come upon a group of slack-jawed young people staring wide-eyed at a large wall,...