Dublin is a city steeped in culture and history. It has been the backdrop and the inspiration for countless novels, poetry, films and music. When the sun shines, it is hard to imagine anywhere more beautiful in the entire world. Luckily for the tourist industries around the world, that sunshine can be very far and few between.
We Irish have become as accustomed to the rain as we have a pint and a packet of Tayto crisps, and it has even become the backbone of our famously dark humour. Unlike other cities where the rain causes things to slow down and even stop altogether, Dublin thrives in it and, when it does rain, a whole other Dublin opens up for you to enjoy.
So, the next time you’re in Dublin and it isn’t quite the weather for an ice-cream in St. Stephen’s Green, why not check out these five wonderful things to do in Dublin when it rains. We are very fond of things that are more off the beaten track, so you’ll definitely be brushing some (damp) shoulders with locals at a few of these places.
5. Warm up with a coffee in Accents lounge
Famed as one of Dublin’s finest hidden gems, Accents isn’t so much hidden as it is adored. Serving up steaming coffees in mugs that Central Perk would be jealous of, you can sink into one of the many couches located downstairs, away from the hustle and bustle of the street. Take a book from the shelf to read and bring it home with you, if you have a book to swap it for, or just soak up the atmosphere around you.
Accents is always packed with interesting characters, from creatives pouring over a laptop and spreadsheets to the local knitting group, The Dublin Knitting Collective, that meet every Saturday from 12 pm to 2 pm. They are always happy to have a newcomer to the group, even just for one day.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’re in luck as they have some of the yummiest cakes and pastries in the city and their menus change regularly, so even if you’ve been before, you might get to try something new.
4. Learn about the history of Marsh’s Library
Dating from 1707, Marsh’s Library in St. Patrick’s Close was the first public library in the city. Just imagine the number of people who have hidden in one corner or another and whittled away a rainy hour or two with a good book and a comfortable chair over the past 311 years …
It boasts an extremely well-preserved collection of late Renaissance and early Enlightenment novels and has a collection of over 25,000 books and 300 manuscripts.
But don’t just think this library is a place of silence and reading; the curators at the library do know how to have their fun too. Young and old alike can enjoy the Selfie Gallery by dressing up as some of their favourite literary characters, taking some pictures and getting them posted on the library’s website. The library also hosts regular events, readings and craft days for children.
3. Browse the books in the Gutter BookshopInstagram: theanansi
You’ve heard the famous Wilde quote; “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Well, the Dublin locals are all in the Gutter Bookshop, but all of them are looking for something to read.
Gutter Bookshop is an independent outlet, offering something completely different than the large chain bookshops out there. The staff are knowledgeable and extremely helpful. Whether you are searching for something specific, looking to find your next favourite read, or just curious about why it was so important to be earnest, they will be happy to help.
They even have some first edition signed copies of some of Ireland’s most revered classics. So, walk in, browse around, or ask for a recommendation. They also have regular events, for adults and children, so keep an eye on their website for any upcoming events. More than likely, a few of them will fall when the rain does.
2. Have a tipple at the Teeling Whiskey Distillery
While everybody who visits Dublin heads to the Guinness Storehouse or the Jameson Distillery (and they would be right to do so!) a little lesser known distillery is Teeling’s.
The Teeling Whiskey Distillery is the first new distillery in Dublin for over 125 years, and while it is the new kid on the block, it really holds its own against the more well-known and established Guinness and Jameson experiences.
The fully functioning distillery is a pot still distillery producing up to 500,000 litres of whiskey each year – so definitely enough to go around. Whiskey translates to “uisce beatha” in our native language, which means “water of the soul” and the Teeling’s tour is definitely full of soul, with insights into how the whiskey is made and, most importantly, tastings. Tours run every 20 minutes, so no need to plan ahead and you won’t experience the same number of queues and waiting times.
1. Have a pint in Dublin’s smallest pubInstagram: missrosemawar
When we say small, we mean small. Hidden in plain sight along Dawson Street is Dawson’s Lounge, the smallest pub in Dublin. Brave the narrow, steep staircase down to the bar, where you will find a room with no more than three or four tables, low ceilings, a capacity for only 26 people – and a huge atmosphere.
If you can fit in, order a pint of The Black Stuff and enjoy. The place is so small that even some Dubliners never get to experience it because there is never any room! The best time to go is early afternoon before people finish work. This is one of Dublin’s quirkiest pubs and will have you telling tells of the Hobbit-esque size of the place for years to come. And even if you can’t fit yourselves in, this is Dublin we are talking about, another amazing pub will be literally around the corner – try The Stag’s Head, Kehoe’s or Grogan’s.
So, next time you’re in Dublin and it starts to rain, be sure to visit some of these spots – just don’t forget your umbrella!