The Hidden Gems of Dublin: A Tourist’s Guide
Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is a picture-perfect city with a rich history, vibrant nightlife, and warm hospitality. The city is famous for its Georgian architecture, medieval castles, lively festivals, and world-renowned whiskey. Tourists flock here to explore the famous landmarks of Dublin, such as the Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse, and the Christ Church Cathedral. But there’s more to Dublin than just its popular tourist spots – the city also offers a plethora of hidden gems, which are often overlooked by tourists. In this article, we explore some of the lesser-known places in Dublin that are a must-visit for any traveler.
The Hidden Gems of Dublin: Top Picks
1. Walk along the Grand Canal
The Grand Canal is a scenic waterway that stretches for miles through the heart of Dublin. The canal offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, with its tranquil waters and picturesque bridges. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the canal and admire the charming Georgian architecture that lines its path.
2. Visit the National Botanic Gardens
The National Botanic Gardens is located just beyond the Phoenix Park on the Northside of Dublin. Here, visitors can bask in the tranquility of Victorian glasshouses and the sprawling gardens, home to thousands of plant species from around the world. The Gardens also feature a beautiful water garden, a rock garden, and a herb garden.
3. Explore the Iveagh Gardens
The Iveagh Gardens is a hidden oasis just minutes away from the bustling shopping district of Grafton Street. It is a beautifully landscaped public park, offering visitors a serene escape with its maze of winding paths, fountains, waterfalls and a cascading fountain. The Gardens are an ideal spot for a picnic on a sunny day or a romantic stroll in the evening.
4. Get lost in Marsh’s Library
Marsh’s Library is an old and hidden gem of Dublin, located near St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is Ireland’s oldest public library, founded in the early 18th century. Visitors can explore the atmospheric chambers, where past students of famous university, Trinity College, used to study. It’s a unique experience for any book-lover and history buff, making it one of the best hidden gems in Dublin.
5. Head to Smithfield Square
Smithfield Square is a vibrant and lively part of Dublin, located to the north of the River Liffey. The square features a vast range of restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it a perfect hangout spot for any time of day. Visitors can also check out the Jameson Distillery and the Light House Cinema for a perfect evening.
6. Take a stroll through the Phoenix Park
The Phoenix Park is a vast urban park on the western edge of Dublin, covering 1,750 acres. It is one of the largest walled city parks in Europe, and is home to a vast collection of flora and fauna, including red and fallow deer. It’s an excellent spot for an afternoon picnic or a jog.
7. Visit the National Museum of Decorative Arts and History
The National Museum of Decorative Arts and History is one of Dublin’s less crowded museums, located in the Collins Barracks that was a former military barracks. The museum displays decorative art objects from the 17th century to the present day, including furniture, ceramics, and costumes.
8. Explore the Dublin Mountains
The Dublin Mountains are a treasure right on the doorstep of the city. A short drive outside of Dublin takes visitors to scenic hills and mountains, offering sweeping views of the city and a refreshing escape. A must-visit in the Dublin mountains is the Hellfire Club and the St Kevin’s Way trek.
9. Discover the charming village of Howth
Howth is a beautiful fishing village located on the Northside of Dublin. It is famous for its picturesque harbour, beautiful cliff walks, and seafood cuisine. Visitors can take the Howth Cliff Walk, a two-hour trek along the beautiful cliffs that provide panoramic views of the Irish coastline.
10. Get lost in Merrion Square
Merrion Square is one of Dublin’s best examples of Georgian architecture. The square is a beautiful landscaped park, featuring artistic sculptures, perfect for a quiet, relaxing afternoon. Visitors can also check out the number of museums around the area.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What are the top hidden gems that most visitors miss?
Some of the top hidden gems that most visitors miss are the Iveagh Gardens, Marsh’s Library, the Dublin Mountains, the National Museum of Decorative Arts and History, and Howth.
2. What is the best way to explore the hidden gems of Dublin?
The best way to explore the hidden gems of Dublin is to take a guided walking tour or hire a bike for the day. This will allow you to discover the city’s hidden gems at your own pace.
3. What are the opening hours of Marsh’s Library?
Marsh’s Library is open from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, and on Saturdays, from 10 am to 1 pm.
4. Is entrance to the National Botanic Gardens free?
Yes, admission to the National Botanic Gardens is free of charge.
5. Which hidden gem should I visit if I am short on time?
If you are short on time, we recommend visiting the Iveagh Gardens or Smithfield Square. Both attractions are located in the heart of Dublin City and can be visited in under an hour.
Dublin is packed with hidden gems that are just waiting for visitors to uncover. By exploring the lesser-known parts of the city, travelers can discover the rich history and culture that Dublin has to offer. Whether you’re looking for peaceful gardens, scenic mountain views, or charming villages, Dublin has it all. Pack your bags, and get ready to experience the city’s hidden gems.