Wonder where Dubliners enjoy their city away from tourist buzz? This guide unveils amazing non touristy places in Dublin that offer a slice of local life and hidden wonders.
From serene gardens and coastal villages to literary hideouts and vibrant street art, each spot invites you to experience Dublin’s real charm.
Get ready to explore Dublin as the locals love it, with genuine gems that keep the city’s heart beating away from the typical tourist circuits.
Key Takeaways on Tourist Free Dublin
- If you’re looking for a chill spot in Dublin, check out the hidden Iveagh Gardens near St Stephen’s Green for some tranquility away from the crowds.
- Get a taste of local life and stunning landscapes by visiting Dublin’s coastal villages like Howth, known for seafood and cliff walks, or Dalkey with its historic castle and sunset views.
- Explore Dublin’s vibrant street art scene in The Liberties area and experience the city’s cultural soul through its colorful murals and the stories they tell.
Unearth Dublin’s Hidden Gardens
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin city lies a sanctuary of tranquility – the Iveagh Gardens. This hidden gem, a short walk from the popular St Stephen’s Green, offers a peaceful retreat from the city’s craziness. What makes it special? Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s hardly ever crowded, making it a perfect hideaway near St Stephen’s Green.
Guests can enjoy concerts or simply chill out in this beautiful park. What’s more, it’s not a typical tourist spot, so it’s usually quieter and more relaxed compared to the usual tourist spots like the Guinness Storehouse. Therefore, when you need a city break in Dublin, Ireland, grab a bike and make your way to the tranquil Iveagh Gardens or Phoenix Park for a relaxing day amidst nature.
But the Iveagh Gardens isn’t the only green oasis in Dublin. The Ancient Huguenot Cemetery, another hidden gem, offers a solemn and tranquil space to wander and reflect. These gardens are definitely on the list for those eager to explore a less touristy Dublin.
Wander Through Charming Coastal Villages
Away from the city centre, Dublin’s coastal villages invite us to experience a different side of Ireland. Picturesque villages like Howth and Dalkey are a short DART ride away, offering stunning views and a taste of local life.
Dalkey, with its fancy vibe and beautiful views, is a Dublin hidden gem. Here, you can:
- Check out the historical Dalkey Castle
- Wander around the cute shops and cafes on the main street
- Enjoy awesome natural scenery with a walk from Dalkey to Killiney
- Watch a beautiful sunset
- Dine at one of the local restaurants
It provides a wonderful opportunity to discover Dublin, including a visit to Dublin Castle, and truly experience Ireland Dublin.
Howth, on the other hand, is a seafood lover’s dream. A leisurely walk along the cliffs of Howth Head offers spectacular views. Add a beautiful sunset from Howth Pier, a quick ferry ride to Ireland’s Eye, and a visit to the James Joyce Tower and Museum in nearby Sandycove, and you have the perfect non-touristy day trip from Dublin.
Immerse Yourself in Dublin’s Literary Heritage
Dublin’s literary heritage is as rich as a pint of its famous Guinness. In the heart of Dublin city, iconic spots like Sweny’s Pharmacy, Marsh’s Library, and the Winding Stair Bookshop beckon literature buffs.
Sweny’s Pharmacy, once a functioning pharmacy, is now a vintage bookstore and craft shop. Famous for its mention in James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’, it’s a must-visit for any literature enthusiast. Then, there’s the Winding Stair Bookshop, a treasure trove for book lovers. From fiction and poetry to current affairs and cookery, there’s something for everyone here.
Not far from Patrick’s Cathedral, you’ll find Marsh’s Library, the oldest library in Ireland. Founded in 1707, it’s a piece of Dublin’s history and a cool place to connect with the city’s literary roots. Hop on a bike and immerse yourself in Dublin’s rich literary history.
Experience Dublin’s Unique Museums
Dublin’s unique museums offer a window into the city’s rich cultural history. Take the Chester Beatty Library, for instance. More than just a museum, it’s a collection that reflects the personal interests and travels of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty.
From historic Bibles and Christian texts to works from Middle Eastern and Far Eastern religions, there’s a lot to discover at the Chester Beatty Library. And after exploring the collections, you can grab a bite at the Silk Road café and take a stroll through the beautiful gardens nearby, which lead back to the Dublin city centre.
Another unique museum to explore is the National Photographic Archive. Here, you can check out old collections from the National Library of Ireland and learn about Ireland’s historical conflicts. This less-traveled cultural exploration is certainly worth your time.
Uncover Dublin’s Architectural Treasures
Dublin’s architectural landscape is a blend of old and new. The city boasts an array of styles from old school Georgian and Victorian to modern designs. A stroll around the city is like walking through a live architectural exhibition.
One of the defining features of Dublin’s architecture is the vibrant Doors of Dublin. These colorful doors, found on Georgian houses, are painted in bright colors or adorned with unique designs, adding a touch of whimsy to Dublin city. You can spot these vibrant doors in places like Merrion Square, Fitzwilliam Square, and Baggot Street.
Another architectural gem is the Georgian house at 14 Henrietta Street. From a fancy home for Ireland’s upper class to tenement housing during the industrial revolution, the house offers a glimpse into Dublin’s changing life through different eras. A guided tour of this historic building provides a peek into the living conditions and history of its inhabitants throughout the years.
Get Active in Dublin’s Great Outdoors
The great outdoors of Dublin offer a playground for adventure seekers. Imagine kayaking down the River Liffey, with Dublin city as your backdrop. The ‘Music Under the Bridge’ tour takes this adventure a notch higher, with live performances at each bridge along the river.
If you fancy a hike, the Hellfire Club ruins await. Here, you can explore the old house ruins, have a picnic while watching the sunset, and hear about the demonic legends that are said to have left this place in ruins.
And for those who love the sea, the Dublin Under Sail experience is a must. Sail along Dublin Bay on a tall ship, helping with the ship if you wish, or simply relaxing and taking in the views.
Lace up your shoes and prepare to explore the wonders of Dublin’s outdoors with Dublin bikes, while passing by locals playing gaelic football.
Delight in Dublin’s Alternative Food Scene
Beyond the traditional Irish food, Dublin offers a diverse and affordable food scene. Capel Street is a food lover’s paradise, offering a range of tasty international food that won’t break the bank.
For a unique dining experience, head over to Mad Egg, where you can design your own cheesecake. Whether you’re a fan of the classic New York cheesecake or prefer something more adventurous, it’s a culinary adventure you’ll not forget.
And if you find yourself in Dublin on a Saturday, don’t miss the Temple Bar Food Market. Here, you’ll find fresh produce from farmers and lots of stalls with ready-to-eat food, offering a great outdoor dining vibe. Prepare yourself for a culinary journey through Dublin’s diverse food scene.
Discover Dublin’s Vibrant Street Art
Dublin’s street art scene is as vibrant as its music and food. A free walking tour offers a great way to uncover hidden gems, murals, and emerging scenes in Dublin’s street art culture.
The street art in Dublin is a reflection of the city’s culture, adding color and commentary to the urban landscape. Some notable pieces include:
- ‘Pass Freely’ by Asbestos
- ‘The Year-Ahead’ by Emmalene Blake
- ‘Marvin Gaye’ by Kevin Bohan
- ‘U Are Alive’ by Maser
Every piece tells a story.
The Liberties area, in particular, is packed with colorful street art. Big names in Dublin’s street art scene include:
- James Earley
- Joe Caslin
- Vanessa Power
- Shane Sutton
- Dublin Canvas
- Emmalene Blake
Each bringing their unique styles and messages to the city’s streets. Strap on your walking shoes and set out to explore Dublin’s dynamic street art.
Embrace Dublin’s Musical Roots
Music is at the heart of Dublin’s culture. From street buskers to famed musicians, the city is alive with music. Grafton Street, in particular, is a haven for street musicians. Here, you’ll find performers of all kinds, from musicians to artists, adding to the lively atmosphere.
It’s also the street where famous musicians like Glen Hansard, the old lead singer of the Frames, and Damien Rice, got their start. So, as you stroll down Grafton Street, you’re walking in the footsteps of some of Ireland’s most famous musicians.
In the heart of Temple Bar, you’ll find Rory Gallagher’s Corner, a memorial dedicated to the legendary Irish musician and blues guitarist. And for those who’d like to combine their love for literature and music, the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl offers a unique experience, exploring the city’s literary history and pub scene.
Soak Up Panoramic Views of Dublin
Your Dublin visit isn’t complete without absorbing the city’s panoramic views. The Smithfield Tower, Dublin’s concealed treasure, provides such an experience.
For a different perspective, head over to the Croke Park Skyline at the Croke Park Stadium. Here, you can enjoy 360 views of the Dublin Skyline and even peek down into the stadium’s playing fields. The Stephen’s Green Car Park Rooftop is another spot that offers breathtaking views of Dublin city, providing a beautiful backdrop for your Dublin memories.
Dublin, a city rich in history, culture, and vibrant life, has more to offer beyond the usual tourist attractions. From hidden gardens and charming coastal villages to unique museums and vibrant street art, the city invites you to explore its less-touristy side. So, why not hop on one of the Dublin bikes and embark on an authentic Dublin adventure?
Frequently Asked Questions on Getting Off the Tourist Trail in Dublin
What is the least touristy part of Ireland?
To avoid touristy areas in Ireland, you can visit the Coral Strand in County Galway, the Mourne Mountains in County Down, Dalkey Island in County Dublin, or other off-the-beaten-path locations. Enjoy exploring Ireland’s hidden gems!
Where do celebs go in Dublin?
Celebrities in Dublin often frequent places like The Liquor Rooms, Johnnie Fox’s Pub, the Guinness Storehouse, Yamamori Sake Bar, O’Donoghue’s Pub, The Vintage Cocktail Club and Grogan’s Pub. Enjoy hoping to spot a famous face while checking out these spots!
How can I experience Dublin beyond the usual tourist attractions?
You can experience Dublin beyond the usual tourist attractions by visiting hidden gardens, exploring coastal villages, delving into the city’s literary history, exploring unique museums, admiring the architecture, getting active with outdoor activities, enjoying the alternative food scene, discovering vibrant street art, embracing musical roots, and soaking up panoramic views from various spots around the city. Enjoy exploring!
Where can I find unique museums in Dublin?
You can find unique museums in Dublin at the Chester Beatty Library and the National Photographic Archive, which offer fascinating collections and a rich cultural experience and of course Trinity College Library has a lot of Irish history.
What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Dublin?
You can enjoy kayaking on the River Liffey, hiking to the Hellfire Club ruins, and sailing with Dublin Under Sail for outdoor activities in Dublin.