5 things locals love to do in Dublin

Ever wondered what the five things locals love to do in Dublin are? Find out now!

Dublin is the capital city of Ireland; a thriving metropolis on the east coast where locals and tourists celebrate the legacy of Irish culture, world-class entertainment, outdoor adventure, and an endless array of activities. As well as that, there are many hidden things locals love to do in Dublin.

Dublin is the beating heart of Ireland, a cultural hub that marries adventure and history, entertainment, and the arts. Home to some 1.2 million citizens, and welcoming over 11 million tourists per annum, it is safe to say Dublin is a hive of activity. 

Whether you’re dropping by for the weekend or planning an extended excursion, it always helps to know the five things locals love to do in Dublin. From hidden gems to the more obvious sights, these are the things not to be missed while visiting the pinnacle place on the Emerald Isle. 

5. Iveagh Gardens – stroll through this slice of nature

Paying a visit to the Iveagh Gardens is another of the top things locals love to do in Dublin.

The Iveagh Gardens is one of Dublin’s best-kept secrets. Nestled in the heart of Georgian Dublin, only a stone’s throw from key sights like Grafton Street and the National Concert Hall, lies the Iveagh Gardens.

Hidden from plain sight, behind a row of established Georgian properties, is this public park. Less than 200 metres from the tourist-trodden St Stephen’s Green parkland, the Iveagh Gardens offers a little slice of paradise in the heart of this vibrant city.

Expect only locals and their four-legged friends as you wander the enchanting gardens, removed from the buzz of city life that lies beyond its walls.

Address: St Stephen’s Green, Park, Dublin 2, D02 HX65, Ireland

4. Lighthouse Cinema – catch a film in this quirky spot

Paying a visit to the Lighthouse Cinema to catch a movie is one of the top things locals love to do in Dublin.

No list of the five things locals love to do in Dublin would be complete without including the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield, on the Northside of Dublin city.

This art cinema has gained somewhat of a cult following since its inception. Not only does it offer Hollywood blockbusters, but an array of independent flicks bound to keep even the most discerning movie-goer keen.

The Lighthouse Cinema is defined as not only a movie theatre, but a cultural hub. It includes a café and subterranean bar with an eclectic and inclusive clientele, making it one of the best places to dodge the rain on a dimly-lit day in Dublin.

Address: Market Square, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 R6YE, Ireland

3. A day beside the sea – catch some rays and sea air

Spending a day by the sea is another of the best things locals love to do in Dublin.

Every Dublin local loves a day beside the sea. Lucky that the entire city traces the eastern coastline, ensuring there are plenty of opportunities to seize on a sunny day in Dublin.

The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) runs the coast of Dublin county and into Wicklow. When the sun does decide to rear its head, hop on board and choose your destination. Both north and south of Dublin city offer stunning places to spend the day.

Bray (Southbound) and Howth (Northbound) would be the most popular destinations, and both boast equally idyllic settings. Expect sand, sea, and some of the best fish and chip shops you can find in Dublin city. No wonder it’s one of the five things locals love to do in Dublin.

2. A Guinness at Grogan’s – grab a pint in this local pub

Grab a Guinness at Grogan's, one of the top things locals love to do in Dublin.
Credit: @grogancastlelounge / Facebook

If it’s your first time in Dublin City, you’ll be in for a treat when it comes to Irish pubs. The city offers some of the best in the country. So, whether you’re after a laid-back local or buzzy Irish bar with music, we’ve got you covered!

Our top tip is to head to Grogan’s on Castle Street, opposite the entrance to the Powerscourt Centre. This public house is known to pull one of the best pints of Guinness in the city – and we can verify that.

Favoured by locals and artists, this intimate old-school Irish bar is small and simple in its presentation, but man does it offer mighty energy! Warmer evenings see patrons spill onto the street out front, Guinness in-hand and a belly full of laughs making it an Irish experience not to be missed. It has to be one of the best things to do in Dublin if you love a pint!

Address: 15 William St S, Dublin 2, D02 H336, Ireland

1. Cans on the canal – kick back and relax

Cans on the canal is a frequent activity people take part in in Dublin.
Credit: @rakshita_paul / Instagram

One of the most time-honoured traditions of Dublin’s youth culture is to enjoy ‘cans on the canal’ (which translates to drinking cans of beer along the Dublin Canal when the weather is good).

This pastime has been long observed and is without a doubt one of the 5 things locals love to do in Dublin. When the sun does decide to take the stage, head to a local supermarket and stock up before heading to find a piece of grass along the waterway. 

The most popular stretch falls around Richmond Street/Lower Rathmines Road. Expect picnics and portable speakers; and for some unspoken reason, the chances of the Garda – a.k.a. the Irish police – moving you on is slim to nil. 

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Note: our travel articles should be used only to plan future trips. Please stay at home until the government has advised otherwise.

Paris Donnatella is an avid writer and traveller. From a young age, nomadic parents placed a strong emphasis on education in real experience and the outdoors - a trait which has carried through her life and into her career. She has travelled Europe, Africa, America, Asia and Australia and still claims that wanderlust tempts her daily. Saying that she believes Ireland - her homeland - is the most enchanting place she has ever been and is passionate about documenting the Emerald Isle. Chances are, you can find her drinking coffee in some hidden gem cafe in Dublin, planning her next big trip.