What makes Dublin special? A few quotes from our awesome team of Spotters Alina, Jean Jose, Kevin, Lucie, Maria & Rose:
Kevin: “Dublin has best music, food & bars, and there is a welcoming buzz to rival any city”.
Rose: “It is a city where you can stand on a rooftop and see the mountains from one angle and the sea from another. Dublin is a small city with big opportunities for everyone.”
Jean: “When it comes to cloudy days, there are many of those in Ireland, but weather is never an excuse to not have a good time in Dublin!”
We picked some of the most unique, local gems in Dublin. Here they are, in random order!
The place for non-blockbusters
I discovered the Irish Film Institute pretty much in my first week in Dublin, when I went there to see a Nick Cave documentary – yes they do show that kind of stuff too!
In fact, it’s one of the safest bets that there’s a screening going on of a lesser-known, hype-free type of movie! There’s a little cafe inside, as well as a DVD shop. Even when there’s a choice of multiple cinemas showing the same movie, I’m more likely to pick IFI even over other smaller places in Dublin. — Maria Krupskaya
The home of Irish hurling
Hurling is one of Ireland’s national sports and every year in the month of September, Croke Park comes alive as supporters will travel from all over the island to support their local team!
Croke Park is home to Ireland’s GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) Museum and to the Skyline Tour which allows guests to walk around the top of the stadium and has great views of Dublin City.
The GAA museum tells the story of Gaelic sports while the Skyline tour focuses on the stadium and its surroundings. — Rose O’Donnell
A walk to a lighthouse in the countryside
I love walking and I love quiet. Nothing is better for me than getting out of the noise and visiting one of the natural and/or seaside spots within walking distance.
Dublin is just perfect for these kinds of spots. And one of the top on my list is Poolbeg Lighthouse.
I first see the Shelly Banks beach appearing in sight, and then in about 25 minutes, when walking on the Great South Wall together with the wind – I see the lighthouse in bright red color. — Alina Ecke
Real-deal Irish traditional music
The Cobblestone Pub’s tag-line – ‘A drinking pub with a music problem’ – instantly describes its vibe – fun, friendly, and centered entirely around the music. As well as great pints of Guinness, and a wide variety of other interesting beers, there’s free live music 7 nights a week.
The pub is run by the Mulligan family, who have Irish traditional music in their blood. If you go to one trad session in Dublin, let it be an authentic Cobblestone session. Step into The Cobblestone any night of the week, whatever your budget, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed! — Lucie Ryan Donnelly
An education in coffee
In my experience, if you’re paying around the € 3 mark for a coffee it’s probably not going to be great. In coffee terms, I believe that you actually get more if you’re paying less.
The Dublin Barista School is the perfect example of this theory. They serve some of the best coffee you will find in Dublin and at reasonable prices.
And if you want to learn how to make coffee just as good at home there is a one-day barista training course on offer here too! — Kevin Gleeson
A huge art mural
This is a very nice art mural which I caught in the works, now almost finished! It is quite big, and I didn’t capture the whole mural on the picture so as to still leave you curious enough to see the other half.
It is not in the very center of the city, however, it is just about 20 minutes of walking away or you can get also here with the Luas tram.
This mural is the third artwork I have seen in this space and I can promise I will update the post when it changes again. — Jean Jose Garcia Molina
I’ve lived in Dublin for quite a long time and am a cocktail lover. Since I discovered The Liquor Rooms, I keep coming back here!
Quite a hidden place designed in a vintage style, it has four different areas – “rooms” that can also be rented for private events. The bar is open after 17:00 and can accommodate a big amount of visitors in its cozy hidden corners.
The atmosphere of Liquor Rooms is just great. Some of my personal cocktail recommendations are “Charlie Chaplin” and “The Grand Budapest”. — Alina Ecke
Museum for book lovers
One of my favorite cultural places in Dublin is the Chester Beatty library. Tucked away behind the Dublin Castle and a round-shaped memorial garden (a quiet and peaceful spot too), it might not be easy to find, but it’s very rewarding.
Even though it’s a museum and not really a library, it’s full of books written on all sorts of media: paper, parchment, wood, and even jade, and it’s a kind of quiet library.
The library also runs temporary exhibitions and workshops, from meditation in their rooftop garden to film screenings and medieval ornament painting classes! — Maria Krupskaya
A treasure trove for tea lovers
I love everything about tea – finding the perfect mug, boiling the kettle and of course, drinking the tea, and Wall & Keogh just happen to have an incredible selection of both tea and coffee!
They pride themselves on having the finest loose leaf tea and are constantly changing their selection – they have over 150 varieties.
Upon entering Wall and Keogh you are greeted with tall glass jars full to the brim with tea leaves and staff are on hand to assist with any request that customers may have! — Rose O’Donnell
Southside Sunday stroll
I grew up walking Dun Laoghaire pier, and it’s one of my favorite walks in the whole world. The East Pier is the most popular walk and is a 2.6km return journey. It’s definitely the most scenic, with incredible views of Dublin Bay.
The west pier is worth the walk too but is a bit rougher around the edges in comparison to the pretty east pier, and is definitely not as busy or commercial (which some may prefer).
There are plenty of extra things to do in Dun Laoghaire to round off your day out, as written about by me and by other spotters! — Lucie Ryan Donnelly
A trove of Irish treasures
If you are looking to find that unique memento or gift to take away with you from your trip to Dublin then the Irish Design Shop is where you will find it.
Founded in 2008 to promote both Irish craft and those who produce it the Irish Design Shop does exactly that. From linen covered notebooks screen to hand knit Aran scarves and hats from Donegal to unique Irish cookbooks.
Above the shop is a metal works studio that also offers a very unique weekend workshop during which couples can design and make their own wedding bands! — Kevin Gleeson
Nice park with a small lake
I believe Waterville Park is the nicest park in the Blanchardstown area. It is great for a walk, a run or any outdoor activity, and as any quiet park, it is perfect for laying on the grass and relaxing.
There is also a nice lake with ducks and swans. Just to let you know, swimming is not allowed. Instead, enjoy watching the swans while sunbathing.
If you like, you can also explore the small walks in between the trees. They’re very nice, however, they may not be very easy to spot! — Jean Jose Garcia Molina
For more great local spots check out our Dublin city blog!