Are you looking for things to do in Dublin in advance of your budget vacation to the Emerald Isle? If you want to get to know the real Dublin, below is a list of Dublin's Top 10 tours to get you started.
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The best walking tours of any city are the ones where you are completely immersed in the history of the place and you can imagine that time period vividly based on the guide's retelling of it.
That's what you'll get on a walking tour of Dublin with native Alan Byrne of AB Tours, who has been leading groups of locals and international visitors and getting them acquainted with his hometown.
Alan holds a master's degree in history and is also an archive research assistant. His tours are customized to suit the traveler, including tours that feature both historical and cultural elements.
Historical Walking Tours of Dublin
If you're eager to hear the history of Dublin, there's no better tour to take than the Historical Walking Tours of Dublin.
Led by Trinity College and National University of Ireland graduates, the 2-hour tour includes information on Ireland's Potato Famine and how it affected Dublin and its residents; the Easter Rising, which took place in 1916 in the heart of Dublin; the influence of the French and American revolutions on Dublin life and society; the Irish Civil War and partition from the Six Counties in Northern Ireland, and much more.
There are other, more themed tours that you can take either privately or as part of a group.
Tickets are €14 for adults, €12 for students, and for children under 14, tickets are free. Tours depart from the College Green entrance.
Pat Liddy's Walking Tours of Dublin
This tour promises to help the visitor “experience Dublin in its own unique way, from the famous highlights to the hidden gems.”
Designed by Pat Liddy, a Dublin writer, illustrator, and historian, this is one of Dublin's most popular tours.
Guides use a combination of humor and expertise to tell the story of Dublin, taking tourists to both the well-known and hidden treasures of the city.
Scheduled tours include “Dublin Highlights & Hidden Corners” and “The Best of Dublin.”
Private tours are also available and cover a range of topics related to Dublin city and its history.
They include “The Docklands Tour: The New Old Dublin,” “Georgian Dublin,” “The Former Viking & Medieval Quarter” and much more.
Prices start at €14 per person. Tours begin on O'Connell Street. Once you book, you will be given further details.
Dublin City Tours
On a Dublin City walking tour with Alan Swaine of Dublin City Tours, you'll get a bit of everything, from an in-depth look into the lives of the wealthy in 18th-century Dublin to unraveling the weird and wonderful stories about Dublin's history.
Alan is a teacher at heart, regularly leading school groups through his native hometown, but his love of guiding is evident in the enthusiasm that he shows both local guests and international visitors who are interested in finding out more about Dublin.
Read more about Alan and his tour company in our Tourism Ambassadors section.
Dublin's Literary Pub Crawl
This company is a 2018 TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Awardee and another popular tour for visitors to Ireland's capital.
Led by two actors, this 2 1/2-hour tour/performance is well worth the money and will bring you to the pubs associated with Dublin's most celebrated writers.
This is an evening tour and includes some drinking.
The tour leaves from The Duke Pub at 9 Duke Street at 7:30 p.m. every evening from April 1 through Oct. 31.
Tours are available during the winter months (from Nov. 1 through March 31) on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, also at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are €14 for adults, €12 for students. Some tickets are available at the pub at 7 p.m. (cash only)
Note: once Ireland's Covid restrictions on drinking in pubs have been lifted, this tour will resume its regular schedule.
1916 Rebellion Walking Tour
If you have an interest in Ireland's turbulent history, specifically its fight to become an independent nation, you will thoroughly enjoy this tour, now in its 25th year and run by historian and author Lorcan Collins.
Collins brings to life the events of one fateful week in April when a group of Irish patriots tried to defeat the British forces in what would permanently shape Ireland's history.
The tour brings visitors to the relevant sites associated with the Rebellion.
It starts at the International Bar on Wicklow Street and runs for two hours.
The price for an adult ticket (ages 17 and above) is €15 and €9 for children (ages 8 to 16).
The price of an adult ticket is €12 and €10 for students. Children can tour for free. The tour, available in English and Spanish, starts at 5 p.m. Meet at Joy of Chá located at 10 Essex Street East in the Temple Bar section of the city.
Taste of Dublin Bike Tour
There are no hills on this bike tour, just a leisurely jaunt through the city's streets where you'll avoid tour buses and other heavy traffic.
Tours last for close to three hours are available from Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Helmets and hi-visibility bibs must be worn by all participants.
The tour starts at the multi-story car park at Drury Street in the city center, a short walk from Stephen's Green. Tickets are €30 each and can be booked on the website.
James Joyce Walking Tours
The James Joyce Center offers a number of walking tours based on Joyce's life.
During the spring and summer months, the tours run three times a week. During the fall and winter, they are offered on a Saturday.
They include “Introducing Joyce's Dublin Tour,” a stroll through Dublin's north inner city, where Joyce found real-life inspiration for his work.
The tour also brings visitors to his alma mater, Belvedere College, the Gresham Hotel, the setting for the last scene in his short story, “The Dead,” as well as a stop at No. 7 Eccles Street, cited in his novel, “Ulysses.”
Other tours include “Footsteps of Leopold Bloom” and the “Dubliners Tour.” Tickets cost between €8 and €10 for the 90-minute tours. Book online.
Do Dublin Sightseeing Tours
DoDublin Tours offers various bus tours, including a Hop-on, hop-off tour, a Ghostbus Night Tour, a tour of the Guinness Storehouse, the Jameson Distillery, and much more.
The company's most popular one is the Dublin Freedom Pass Tour, which allows you to hop on and off and see the city's main attractions for up to 72 hours, all for €39.48. All tour guides are Failte Ireland-trained.
There is no charge for children under 5 with a fare-paying adult on any of the DoDublin tours.
The company offers a free pass for the Pat Liddy Walking Tour of Dublin, mentioned above, when you buy an adult ticket, in addition to other discounts.
Mostly Medieval Walking Tour of Dublin
Have you ever wondered what Medieval Dublin might have looked and felt like?
Tour guide Ruth Kelly, who has been guiding since 2010, is an expert in Dublin history, particularly the period during the 1300s when Dublin, like other European cities, was the victim of the Black Death.
On her walking tours, Ruth delves into the nitty-gritty of the period, when children worked around the clock, when the living quarters were confined to one room and when life spans were a lot shorter than they are today.
Ruth's 90-minute tours meet on Dublin's Cows Lane (you'll find out more about that on the tour). Find out more at her Airbnb Experiences page.