We caught up with three local Dublin influencers and asked them for their top three things to do in Dublin, so you can experience the city like a local! From the lesser-known sights and tucked-away restaurants to hidden bars and nearby Dublin attractions, this article is perfect for visitors looking to explore the city outside of the regular tourist traps.
Say sláinte! Eat & drink like a Dubliner
When it comes to things to do in Dublin, you should sample some of their world-famous hospitality with a night on the town! <o:p></o:p>
If there’s something the Irish are well-known for, it’s their love of the wet stuff. Whether you think of Guinness, Irish whiskey or Baileys, the Irish certainly enjoy a drink and if you want to experience Dublin like a real local - you should immerse yourself into their drinking culture.
If you’re looking for unique things to do in Dublin, the best thing to do is ask someone who lives there. Christina Murhill is originally from Kerry and is lucky enough to now call Dublin her home. The avid travelista regularly blogs at Dear Passerby about her top tips on unusual things to do in Dublin and she shared the following tips about where to eat and drink in the city’s secret spots:
Bunsen: If you’re looking for a tasty burger, go here. They are usually busy, so my suggestion is go there maybe 20-30 mins before you plan to eat, they will take your details and text you when your table is ready. While you’re waiting, go the nearest pub and have a drink! (Bunsen has three locations: 36 Wexford St; 22 Essex St. E. in Temple Bar; and 3 Anne St South)<o:p></o:p>
Coco Bó: They do delicious hot chocolate with actual warm melted hot chocolate (O’Connell St)<o:p></o:p>
Sweet Nosh: If you want a little treat for yourself, go to this place for tea and a tasty small dessert (14 Chatham St)<o:p></o:p>
Dolce Sicily: This place does amazing cakes. It’s in the basement of a building so if you blink you could miss it (43 Dawson St)<o:p></o:p>
Featherblade: A great place for steaks using different cuts of meat. Not overly expensive either (51 Dawson St)<o:p></o:p>
While the Guinness Storehouse is a fantastic place to visit if you want to sample the black stuff, one of the best ways to fit into Dublin like a true local is to head to one of the many bars and pubs. <o:p></o:p>
Foggy Dew: Found off Dame Street on Fownes Street, Foggy Dew entertains a young local crowd and it’s easy to get caught up in friendly conversations with the locals. <o:p></o:p>
O’Neill’s: Located on Suffolk Street, this is a great venue to catch all kinds of sporting events on the many television screens and while you eat and drink the wares; you can steer clear of the crowds of tourists found in the nearby Temple Bar. <o:p></o:p>
Lord Edward: This pub always attracts hordes of locals and with its cosy upstairs bar and well-priced drinks; it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular drinking hole for Dubliners.
Altogether now say 'Slainte!'
Go for a hike around Guinness Lake
While we all know Ireland is famed for its Guinness, did you know that just an hour outside of Dublin there is a dark lake bordered by a cream-coloured sandy beach aptly named – yes you guessed it – Guinness Lake! <o:p></o:p>
According to self-confessed travel addicts Caz and Craig Makepeace who blog at the Y Travel blog, Guinness Lake is a little-known beauty spot and should always be added to a list of places to visit in Dublin: <o:p></o:p>
“Only an hour south of Dublin is a scenic drive that takes you through the Wicklow mountains to an impressive lake set in the valleys. Guinness Lake is aptly named for its dark colour, and with its white sand sitting at the top makes it look like a foaming pint of Ireland’s finest. Actually, I have heard it is named for the Guinness family whose property surrounds the area, but I like the other reason better.<o:p></o:p>
It is a beautiful spot for photographs and to enjoy the peace of the Irish countryside.<o:p></o:p>
You can walk around the area to see various waterfalls, large boglands with sheep and streams, forests and historical places such as Glendalough. While you have the car, drive up to Johnny Foxes for a drink at the very famous “Ireland’s highest pub.”<o:p></o:p>
You can experience the craic yourself by taking a day trip out of the city into the Irish countryside for a day exploring the great outdoors!<o:p></o:p>
Enjoy a picnic in Phoenix Park
If you are lucky enough to be visiting Dublin on a dry day, Phoenix Park is always popular with locals looking for a green space to bike, walk and picnic.
An oasis of calm in comparison to the busy streets, here you can watch the wild deer, explore the zoo, discover the Zoological Gardens and take some time out away from the hubbub of the rest of Dublin.
<o:p></o:p>This pretty park lays claim to being Europe’s largest enclosed park in a city and if you are visiting with children, you might want to check out the Glen Pond.
We caught up with Aoife who shares her secret travel tips on Like a Local and she recommended the following for anyone looking for some serenity in the city: <o:p></o:p>
“Phoenix Park is another very popular spot to spend a sunny day. Here you can walk for miles, hire a bike, watch wild deer, visit the zoo and much more.”<o:p></o:p>
She went on to add: “When the elusive (usually watery) sunshine does make an appearance, St Stephens Green fills with workers making the most of their lunch breaks. Dublin has a few beaches, but they tend to be windblown blustery affairs not for the faint-hearted. Closest to the city there’s Bull Island and Sandymount Strand, and further afield in north Dublin you’ll find a good beach at Portmarnock.”