11 Things to Do in Ireland (County Dublin)

I visited Ireland in November 2018 with my mom, and it was actually my first time flying outside the US! We mainly toured parts of County Dublin (City Centre, Dun Laoghaire, Clontarf, etc). The scenery was breathtaking, and everyone was beyond friendly. Ireland isn’t necessarily well-known for its dining, but I personally loved my diet that week (lots of seafood, goat cheese, and tea!) It’s also a cheaper destination than the majority of European countries, which was a plus. I absolutely loved my time there, and 100% plan to visit again. I’ve listed some highlights from my trip below!

~ Temple Bar ~

Ireland is famous for the atmosphere of its pubs, and Temple Bar certainly didn’t disappoint. Complete with live music, delicious small plates, and an infectiously upbeat setting, it was the perfect way to end the night, I visited near Christmas, as well, so both the exterior and interior were stunningly decorated. 

~ St. Patrick’s Cathedral ~     

If you’re looking for gorgeous architecture and a location that reflects Ireland’s rich history, this is it!

~ Trinity College ~     

Trinity College is particularly known for the Long Room of the Old Library and its Book of Kells, a text of Christian gospels dating back to 800 AD.

   ~ Dublin Castle ~

Visiting Ireland’s famous castles was high on my bucket list for this trip, so we made sure to fit several into the itinerary!

~ Clontarf Castle Hotel ~

I was fortunate enough to stay in this castle-turned hotel, which has a rich history as it was built on the same grounds as castles dating back to the 12th century. Certain corridors were slightly eerie, but I loved exploring the grounds.

~ Howth Harbour ~

Howth was a charming seaport town with lots of shops and great seafood, which was ideal for a more laid-back day.

~ Grafton Street & Henry Street ~   

These two streets are Dublin’s primary spots for shopping. Crowding around the street performers and gazing at the nighttime Christmas lights was the perfect combination. A couple of my favorite stops on this stretch were Aran Sweater Market and Butlers Chocolate Cafe.

~ St. Stephen’s Green ~

We were told by locals that we had to take a lap around St. Stephen’s Green and take a look at the park’s well-known gardens and sculptures.

~ Dun Laoghaire Habour ~

During our stay, my mom and I took morning walks along the pier of Dun Loaghaire’s harbour, and I loved the view of the sea.

~ Malahide Castle & Gardens ~

It’s no secret that Ireland is known for its beautiful castles, but Malahide was by far my favorite. We took the guided tour, which I would highly recommend. Afterward, we took some time to explore the grounds, which included a variety of charming gardens. I was awed by how incredibly green Malahide was. (Most of my pictures are filtered with presets, which don’t quite do it justice.)

~ The Royal Marine Hotel ~

Being the hotel I stayed at for the majority of my trip, this is a bonus. I highly recommend this hotel, located right on the coast of Dun Loaghaire with an ocean view.

The afternoon tea at the Royal Marine Hotel was definitely one of my top memories from the week!