With Dublin’s tourism sector booming more than ever, the streets of the capital are buzzing like never before.
And, although the key attractions that make our fair city so unique are certainly not to be missed, sometimes it is best to veer off the beaten track and delve into those hidden gems only truly known by locals and Emerald Isle aficionados alike.
Whether you’re looking for a view to kill, a roll in the grass or a place to ponder; be it a moonlit stroll or Dublin’s most coveted cocktail bar, these five amazing places are bound to offer you local life over tourist vibes any day.
5. Stephen’s Green Car Park Rooftop
It may be the rooftop of a car park, yes, but this is undoubtedly one of the most unappreciated views of Dublin, by tourists and locals!
Head into Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre – Ireland’s first luxury galleria – that stands proudly at the top of Grafton Street and take the escalators all the way to the top floor to access the rooftop car park.
Bonus tip: make sure to relish in the sublime architecture of this historic building on the way up. Its glass dome and stunning iron structure is a sight in itself.
Once atop Stephen’s Green rooftop car park, breathe in unspoilt views of Dublin city. Stretching across the city centre, towards the Northside of Dublin, this view to kill offers up great chimney-top shots of our historic town.
One thing for sure is there won’t be a tourist, or probably anyone else, insight for that matter.
Address: Sráid Grafton, Dublin 2, Ireland
4. The Iveagh Gardens
Well known to Dublin locals and those on the music scene who lap up summer sounds in the surroundings of this park, the Iveagh Gardens is also an Eden for those in pursuit of silence on any given day in Dublin.
Hidden from the busy streets, this once private park is undoubtedly off the tourist-trail, and although only a stone’s throw from its popular big brother St Stephen’s Green Park, the Iveagh Gardens remain quiet even on the most spectacular of Dublin days.
Check the local gig guides during the summer months to see who is playing in the stunning surroundings of this secret outdoor venue, or just swing by on a sunny day for a roll in the grass – the Iveagh Gardens is a Dublin city gem.
Address: Clonmel St, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2, Ireland
3. Marsh’s Library
Perfect for a rainy day in Dublin (and let’s be honest: we have quite a few), Marsh’s Library is a magical place to ponder the magnificence of Eighteenth-Century architecture.
Housing over 25,000 rare books, Marsh’s Library is one of more obscure points of interest in Dublin city, making it a perfect crowd-pleaser when in search of non-touristy places to go.
Costing only €3 for adults or €2 for seniors and students, Marsh’s Library makes for one of the cheapest outings this city has to offer. Open daily (except Tuesdays, Sundays and bank holidays), this time capsule house of history is the ultimate budget, rainy day thing to do in Dublin.
Address: St Patrick’s Close, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, Ireland
2. South Wall to Poolbeg Lighthouse Track
Escape the crowds of tourists who take to the city sidewalks en masse and walk the South Wall to Poolbeg Lighthouse track, just South of Dublin city.
Although this trail may be dotted with friendly locals passing by, the track is a fairly quiet one by dusk.
Start out in the late afternoon to walk back towards the shore, experiencing Dublin by dusk as it comes alight. Up close views of the iconic Poolbeg Chimneys are another top reason to stretch your legs on this track.
This easy walk has a flat surface from point A to B, so it’s pretty palatable for any level of adventurer. Don’t forget your camera, this view of Dublin is not one to be missed.
Address: S Wall, Poolbeg, Dublin, Ireland
1. Vintage Cocktail Club (VCC)
Hidden in plain sight, Vintage Cocktail Club (or VCC as the locals call it), is Dublin’s most cherished cocktail bar.
Set amidst the hustle and bustle of Temple Bar – the city’s most iconic quarter – this slick and sultry watering hole is accessed subtly behind a black, unassuming door marked only with its acronym.
With prohibition-style, stretching across design and décor, VCC effortlessly oozes style and sophistication. Driven by a mouth-watering artisanal menu that compliments creative concoctions, it is no surprise VCC is Dublin’s premiere award-winning cocktail bar.
Book in advance to skip what could be a hefty wait and don’t forget this venue is strictly over 23’s.
Address: 15 Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 E229, Ireland
Written by Paris Donnatella Callan