5 Ways to Learn About Dublin’s History Without Visiting the Museums

Dublin is a vibrant, exciting city with a rich and colourful history. Founded by the Vikings almost 1,200 years ago, the city has been shaped by over millennia of invasion, civil war, and interwoven cultures. Dublin also boasts an interesting modern history, and these days is a hub for music, art, and cuisine.

In Dublin, history is everywhere, so there is no need to set foot in a single museum. Here are just a few of the many ways to learn about the city while still having a blast.

Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour

These iconic open-top buses travel around Dublin all day, every day. With live audio commentary from friendly, knowledgeable, and entertaining guides, you can see all the major highlights of the city while listening to interesting facts.

The tour doubles up as transport; you can get on and off as many times as you like. There are two different routes, and tickets last for 24 or 48 hours, so even if you choose to take the full two-hour tour, you can still use the bus for getting around later.

Viking Splash Tour

For a bus tour with a difference, take a trip on an amphibious World War II truck around the historic highlights of Dublin. Fun and knowledgeable guides provide commentary on the full history of the city, including the Vikings.

The tour includes a 20-minute cruise around the Grand Canal Docks, hence the amphibious vehicles! Highlights include St. Stephen’s Green, Christ Church Cathedral, Trinity College, and much more.

Image via Flickr by Neil T

Drink Tours

Dublin and Ireland, in general, is well-known for enjoying a drink. Temple Bar is a famous hotspot for the city’s nightlife, but it can get busy and crowded. Experience the best venues for live traditional Irish music, with the privilege of reserved seating, on a musical pub crawl.

You can also take guided tours of both the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery, both of which include free samples. The Gravity Bar at the top of the Guinness Storehouse provides breathtaking panoramic views over the city, making it a worthy addition to any Dublin itinerary.

Ghost Tours

With such a long and complex history, there are plenty of spooky tales associated with Dublin. The Gravedigger Ghost Tour is a two-hour night ride on a customized bus to some of the city’s most haunted sites. Learn about the plague victims at Trinity College, the old inmates at the now empty Kilmainham Gaol, and the grave robbers at Bully’s Acre. 

Dublin Discovery Trails

If you would rather experience the city at your own pace and on foot, then try one of these new, free walking trails. Using a simple smartphone app, follow one of eight themed routes around the city, and learn along the way with interpretive, educational panels and an audio guide through the app.

There is an adventure to be had in Dublin for everyone, no matter what you like to do. It’s the perfect destination for an action-packed, fun-filled trip. 

Richard Collett