Dublin is a very popular travel destination, to the point that it probably goes without saying. Ask the average tourist what he or she wants to do there, however, and that person might just draw a blank! That’s no slight on the city – actually it’s something of a compliment. Dublin has a universal and general appeal; people learn about it from films or books, hear about it from students who studied abroad there, or simply want to visit it because they want to explore Ireland. As for Dublin itself, however, a lot of prospective visitors might not be able to tell you what they want to do aside from a pub crawl.

This is what travel guides are for! This is certainly not comprehensive outline, because the truth is that there’s a lot to enjoy about this city. But the following ideas and attractions should give you a nice head start on exploring and enjoying Dublin.

Drink At The Brazen Head

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I don’t mean to revert to pubs right off the bat. But at the same time, there’s no sense pretending someone travelling to Dublin isn’t wondering about some of the local establishments! Rather than recommending a pub crawl, I wanted to point to a specific place that pops up in almost every conversation about the city’s best pubs. The Brazen Head was founded at the tail end of the 12th century (think about that for a moment…), and James Joyce made reference to it, not in Dubliners but in the novel Ulysses. It’s an old-feeling, traditional pub where you’ll get local beer and whiskey and tasty Irish comfort food.

Tour St. Patrick’s Cathedral

This idea speaks for itself but still merits a mention. It’s the biggest cathedral in a city with quite a few of them, and it’s as striking as it is historic. Both inside and out, it’s one of the most beautiful buildings in Dublin, and its age – nearly 800 years old – is, just as in the Brazen Head, palpable.

Visit Dublin Castle

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This is much like St. Patrick’s as an activity, though you may be surprised to learn that Dublin Castle is actually still functional. It looks ancient – not unlike some of the castles you might find in the country in England or Wales – and yet it still hosts official political events from time to time. Even so, it’s a stunning ancient fortress that you can explore, and is certainly among the best Dublin landmarks.

Play At The Fitzwilliam

If you’re looking for a more hands-on style of entertainment, you may be pleased to know that casino play is legal and regulated throughout Ireland. The regulations required a major update a few years ago because of the emergence of online gaming, but real life locations are still around – in Dublin, as it happens. The Fitzwilliam Casino & Card Club isn’t quite as old school as it sounds (or even looks from the outside), but it’s a fun place for a few games of cards, and you don’t have to wager too much to enjoy yourself.

See A Match At Aviva Stadium

Your ability to follow through on this idea will depend on when you visit and what’s going on. But if possible, you should try to visit Aviva Stadium during a match. This is a modern, 50,000-plus capacity stadium that hosts the Irish national rugby and football teams, as well as Leicester Rugby. It’s a beautiful place for a sporting event, and if it’s a particularly good match the Dublin crowds can make it all the more memorable. For sports fans, this should be a high priority.

See A Show At Abbey Theatre

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The Abbey Theatre unsurprisingly dates way back, but has been refurbished to the point that it now feels fairly modern. It’s the national theatre of Ireland, and is in an excellent location across the River Liffey from Trinity College. Beyond being a pleasant venue, however, it’s also a great place to see terrific theatre. At this time, for instance, they’re showing Dermot Bolger’s “Ulysses,” a brilliantly adapted, vibrant version of James Joyce’s legendary novel, and naturally a perfect show for a tourist getting to know Ireland.

Hopefully this has given you some interesting choices for a trip to Dublin. There’s plenty more to this city than pub crawls and distilleries, and even these suggestions are just touching on all it has to offer.

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