What to Do in Dublin on the Weekend -From a Local

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Visiting the Irish capital and wondering what to do in Dublin on the weekend? Wonder no more with this list of things to see and do in a weekend in Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin is the ideal city to visit for a weekend and with so much on offer to visitors, it can be hard to finalise your itinerary in the city. Here are some great ideas for what to do in Dublin for a weekend.

What to do in Dublin on the weekend

1. See the Book of Kells

Exhibition on 9th Century work of art that combines Latin, figures of humans and animals.
The book of Kells Exhibition

One of the 10 top things to do in Dublin is to head to Trinity College to see the world-famous Book of Kells. This illuminated Gospel manuscript attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Dating from the 9th century, the Book of Kells is a work of art that combines Latin, figures of humans and animals, and Celtic shapes and symbols including Celtic knots and interlacing patterns.

The Book of Kells is housed in a special room following an exhibition which highlights the book for visitors before seeing two pages of the manuscript. Being so popular it is advised to pre-book your tickets.

2. Take a tour of the city

If you are looking for things to do in Dublin for a weekend, then taking a tour of the city is a great way to explore, get your bearings and discover some hidden gems and local recommendations from knowledgeable guides.

Whether you opt for a walking tour or one of the many Dublin food tours, you will visit plenty of the landmarks, learn about the city and its history.

If you’ve been wondering what to eat in Dublin, then a food tour is ideal for enjoying traditional dishes and local delicacies. You will visit some of the best places to eat in Dublin and might even find one to return to during your weekend in Dublin.

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3. Visit the museums and galleries

Exteriors of Natural History Museum in Dublin.
The Natural History Museum

If you are Dublin for a weekend, then visiting one of the many galleries and museums are perfect, especially if it is raining outside. The Natural History Museum, known locally as the ‘Dead Zoo’ is one of the top 10 things to see in Dublin with kids.

The National Museum of Archaeology is a fascinating place to visit to see artefacts from Ireland’s past. The National Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art are perfect for those who enjoy art and sculptures.

And, the best part is, many of the National Museums and galleries are free to visit, perfect if you are on a budget!

4. Get locked up in Kilmainham Gaol

Prison cell and stair ways in Kilmainham Gaol Jail, Dublin.
Kilmainham Gaol Jail, Dublin

One of the top 10 things to do in Dublin is visit Kilmainham Gaol. This former prison is now a museum which visitors can enter via a guided tour. Knowledgeable guides bring you through the maze of this late-18th century prison and share tales of inmates with you.

You will visit the old wing and the East Wing, one of the most famous sections of the prison. The jail has been used in feature films such as The Italian Job (1969), Michael Collins (1996) and Paddington 2 (2017).

If you are looking for interesting an historical weekend activities in Dublin, then pre-book your tickets to Kilmainham Gaol which sells out fast.

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5. Learn about Irish Emigration at EPIC

Interactive galleries presenting the history on Irish Emigration.
EPIC Museum, the Irish Emigration Museum

Often voted one of the 10 best things to see in Dublin is the EPIC Museum, the Irish Emigration Museum.
Housed on Custom Quay in a regenerated part of the docklands, this award-winning museum showcases Irish emigration that has led to 80 million Irish diaspora across the globe.

20 interactive galleries highlight the reasons for Irish emigration such as the Great Famine, where the emigrants went to, and the long-lasting effect emigration has had on the world. You can also discover some famous faces who either hail from Ireland or who have Irish heritage.

The museum is also ideal for families as the exhibitions and displays are often bright and interactive, and there is a museum passport for kids to stamp in every room.

6. Eat, drink and dance

When it comes to Dublin at the weekend, eating, drinking and dancing is often top of the list, especially after a bit of retail therapy on Grafton Street or Henry Street.

And there is no better place to do that than in the centre of the city. Whether you opt to visit the famous Temple Bar area, or cross the river, you won’t be short of places to visit.

The Church on Jervis Street, on the northside of the city, is the ideal venue to combine all three. It has a restaurant, bar and late-night dancing at the weekends. It is perfect for a girl’s weekend or hen night in Dublin.

Another great option is to eat and enjoy drinks in Nolita’s on South Great George’s Street before heading to the Capital Bar up the road for cocktails before ending your night in Whelan’s or Flannery’s on Wexford Street.

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7. Take a day trip from Dublin

Dramatic outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale, the Rock of Cashel.
Rock of Cashel

And last but not least, if you have a full weekend in the city, you could opt to take a 1-day tour from Dublin to get out of the city and see a bit more of Ireland. There are plenty of options and tours visit places such as the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle and even the Rock of Cashel.

You could even choose one that takes you to Northern Ireland where you can visit the likes of the Dark Hedges and the Giant’s Causeway.


Whether you like art, history, shopping, eating or simply want to explore the city on foot, there are plenty of things to see and do during a weekend break in Dublin City. Your only problem will be fitting it all in!

About the author

Cath of Travel Around Ireland
Cath of Travel Around Ireland

Cath is the author of Travel Around Ireland, a site dedicated to helping people plan their perfect trip to Ireland through helpful Ireland travel guides and reviews from across the island. Cath is an Irish expat who returns to the Emerald Isle annually to visit family and explore the country with her husband and son. You can connect with Cath via her Facebook page or join her Ireland Travel Planning Facebook Group.

What to do in other popular cities on the Weekend

Pinterest Images of the Book of Kells Exhibition and Irish Emigration at EPIC.
Pinterest Image of Rock of Cashel.

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