- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Dublin Guide (PDF)
With the city's multitude of attractions and fascinating history, expats will certainly have no shortage of exciting things to see and do in Dublin.
Sightseeing the classic tourist attractions is a great way for new arrivals to get to know their adopted city. A good way to learn more about local history while saving money is the Dublin Pass, the city’s official sightseeing card which allows access to many of the best attractions in the area.
Enjoy a trip around the world in the exhibits at the Dublin Zoo or pack a picnic and head to Phoenix Park, the largest urban park in Europe. Those who enjoy their tipple can take a tour of the Guinness Storehouse or the Old Jameson Distillery.
Below we list some of our favourite attractions in the Irish capital.
Recommended attractions in Dublin
Founded in 1204 by order of King John, Dublin Castle has been rebuilt many times over the centuries. By the 1600s the castle was home to the Law Courts, a banqueting hall and meetings of Parliament. It now hosts a museum, guided tours, cafés, gardens and an international conference centre.
The Dublin Zoo is one of the city’s most popular attractions. The zoo boasts various exhibits of animals from the Arctic to the plains of Africa, and houses rescued tigers, elephants, orangutans and many other fascinating creatures. Animal lovers will be glad to know that the zoo is also involved in numerous conservation projects, including the breeding of endangered species.
This iconic drink may be brewed all over the world, but there’s nothing better than a Guinness in Ireland. It just tastes better. Take a tour of the famous storehouse that was set up in 1759 by Arthur Guinness, and then head up to the Gravity Bar to enjoy a pint while taking in the bar's fantastic view over Dublin.
National Museum of Ireland
Expats interested in seeing the Emerald Isle’s richest treasures need look no further than the National Museum of Ireland. Marvel at specimens dating back thousands of years, learn about Ireland’s natural history and dig through the centuries to find out about local culture and traditions. Famous exhibits at the museum include the Tara Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice, both of which date back to around the 8th century.
One of the largest parks in a European capital, Phoenix Park is a fine place to escape the city’s buzz and unwind on sprawling lawns. More active expats can take a run around the greenbelt, while nature lovers can spot deer strolling through the woodlands.
St Patrick’s Cathedral
Built in 1191, the cathedral is Ireland's largest. Apart from its religious significance, this ancient structure's spectacular interior and deep sense of history make it a must-visit, particularly for those interested in the past.
The Old Jameson Distillery
Learn about the history of uisce beatha (the water of life) and all there is to know about Irish whiskey. The tour is followed by a whiskey tasting at the bar – a great way for expats to get up close and personal with one of Ireland's favourite drinks.
Temple Bar District
The hub of nightlife in Dublin, the Temple Bar District is a good place for new expats to explore their leisure options. Pubs, theatres, cinemas and clubs abound, along with a variety of art and photography centres.
The oldest university in Ireland, Trinity College was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 and has seen the likes of Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett pass through its corridors. With beautiful buildings, green lawns and magnificent squares, expats moving to Dublin should definitely take a look, especially if they might send their children here someday.