See the highlights of historic and modern Dublin and customize part of your tour!
Dublin has all the attractions of a modern city, combined with the beauty and heritage of the past. Elegant shops, hotels, galleries, art-house cinemas, coffee houses and a stunning variety of restaurants have sprung up on almost every street in the capital. Roughly half of the Irish Republic’s 3.6 million people live in Dublin and its suburbs.
This fascinating half-day tour of Dublin gives you an overview of Ireland’s premier city. You will see the main highlights, including Georgian Dublin, Grafton Street, and Phoenix Park.
The 18th century, the Georgian era, was this city’s age of elegance when the Irish gentry set about remodeling Dublin into one of the most elegant cities in Europe. Today the best examples of Georgian architecture can be seen around Merrion Square, Fitzwilliam Square, and St. Stephen’s Green.
Grafton Street, the spine of Dublin’s most popular and stylish shopping district runs south from Trinity College to St. Stephen’s Green. This busy pedestrian strip is characterized by street entertainers as well as Dublin’s finest department store, Brown Thomas, and the famous jeweler, Weirs, but also includes many high street names such as Marks & Spencer, Monsoon, Karen Millen, etc.
Just to the west of the city is Phoenix Park, Europe’s largest enclosed city park and the green lung of the city. Within the park you will find Dublin Zoo, Aras an Uachtarain (the Irish president’s official residence), Farmleigh House (former home of the Guinness family and now open to the public), the U.S. ambassador’s residence and a herd of wild deer. This is where many Dubliners come to exercise and it is a lovely place to spend a few hours away from the bustle of the city.
In addition to the above city highlights, you may choose two inside visits from the list below to complete this tour.
The two most popular options are Trinity College and the Book of Kells and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, but feel free to follow your individual interests. You may make your selections at the time of the tour.
Trinity College and the Book of Kells: Trinity was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I to ‘civilize’ Dublin. It is Ireland’s oldest and most famous college. Ireland’s largest collection of books and manuscripts is housed in the Trinity College Library. Its principal treasure is the 8th century hand-illuminated Book of Kells, generally considered the most striking manuscript ever produced in the Anglo-Saxon world and one of the greatest masterpieces of early Christian art.
St Patrick’s Cathedral: The largest church in the country, this cathedral is named after Ireland’s patron saint who is said to have passed through Dublin on his journey through Ireland. In a well, close to where the cathedral now stands, he is reputed to have baptized converts to Christianity. To commemorate his visit, a small wooden church was built on this site and in 1191 St Patrick’s was raised to the status of cathedral. The present building was erected between 1200 and 1270.
Guinness Storehouse: Set in the center of one of the world's most famous breweries, Guinness Storehouse has rapidly become Dublin's 'must see' visitor attraction. The Guinness Storehouse's dramatic story begins more than 250 years ago and ends in Gravity, the bar in the sky, with a complimentary pint of Guinness, and an astonishing view of Dublin!
National Gallery of Ireland: Situated in the heart of Georgian Dublin, it houses the national collection which includes sculpture, prints, drawings and objects d’art but with paintings by Irish and European artists very much to the fore. The Irish art collection spans every period from the 14th century.
The National Museum: This museum on Kildare Street is Ireland’s largest, the national repository for all archaeological objects found in Ireland. Its collection contains more than two million artifacts ranging in date from 700 BC and the late medieval period. Closed Mondays.
Kilmainham Gaol: For anyone interested in Irish history, a visit to the Kilmainham Gaol is a must. The building was opened in 1796 and during its 130 years as a prison, it housed many of those involved in the fight for Irish independence, including Robert Emmet and Charles Stewart Parnell.
Dublin Castle: Located in the heart of historic Dublin, the castle stands on a ridge, on a strategic site at the junction of the River Liffey and its tributary the Poddle, where the original fortification may have been an early Gaelic ring fort. Later a Viking fortress stood on this site - a portion of which is on view to visitors at the 'Undercroft'. The south range houses the magnificent State Apartments that were built as the residential quarters of the viceregal court.
Christ Church Cathedral: Dublin's oldest building – this is the mother church of the dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough in the Church of Ireland.
Royal Hospital Kilmainham: A magnificent late 17th-century Classical building with chapel, great hall, formal gardens, burial grounds, and artists’ studios, it is now home to Irish and international visual art.
- Entrance fees are not included. You will pay them directly, on-site. Approximate fees at some sites (per person, in Euro): Trinity College €14, St Patrick's Cathedral €7, Guinness Storehouse €25, Kilmainham Gaol €8.
- During check-out, we will ask you which two inside tours you wish to select.
- Some of this tour is done on foot, so please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather.
- Bring cash (Euro) for shopping, gratuities, snacks, and beverages.
- This tour is conducted by an English-speaking driver/guide. The driver/guide will drop you off at each site and narrate in between. Please note: the driver/guide is not able to enter the sites with you. We strongly recommend purchasing the services of a separate tour guide who will be able to enter the sites with you and provide a rich, narrated walking tour.
If your ship does not make port, this tour will be non-refundable. Please take out travel insurance to cover this rare occurrence. This is an exception to the normal ShoreTrips Terms of Service. This tour will NOT be refundable in cases in which conditions make it impossible for the ship to dock and disembark passengers in a timely manner.
Days offered: 7 days a week