Rick Steves

4 Delightful Plans for Touring Dublin

No trip to Ireland would be complete without going to Dublin, the country's largest city and capital. The city carries a thousand-year-old history, with reminders of its flavorful past and culture marinated into just about every street corner.

Go-to Euro travel guide Rick Steves visited this beautiful, long-established city on a recent episode of "Rick Steves' Europe." From diving deep into Dublin's rich ancient stories to exploring the Temple Bar District's cobbled streets, shops, cafes, and pubs, he proves that the city has much to offer for both first-time and return visitors. Here are some ideas for getting the most out of your trip to Dublin.

Watch Steves share his insight and ideas for European travels each weeknight at 7:30 p.m.

1. Visit some great museums and historical sights ... for free!
Though not the cheapest European city to visit, Dublin does have an array of no-cost museums and landmarks, where you can discover Ireland's inspiring history and rich culture. Some interesting things Steves saw on his trip include: the campus and library at Trinity College, the grassy picnic spots of St. Stephen's Green, and Celtic and medieval artifacts at the National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology.

By enjoying Dublin's free offerings, you can save your euros for other parts of your trip -- great news when traveling on a tight budget.

2. Take a day trip to Boyne River Valley
A short one-hour drive north of Dublin, this part of the Irish countryside is what Steves calls, "The place to commune with the ancient soul of Ireland." In this region, you can visit the old capital of ancient kings (The Hill of Tara), see Celtic high crosses and ruins at Monasterboice, and crawl through the burial mounds of Brú na Bóinne.

And get this, you can do all that and still make it back to Dublin in time for dinner and a pub crawl, which leads to my next point ...

3. Go on a unique pub crawl
I know what you're thinking: Pub crawl equals crawl home. But before you discard the idea, know that pub crawls in Dublin are unlike others, and enjoyable even if you're not much of a bar hopper. For something different, check out the Traditional Irish Musical Pub Crawl, where you and other crawlers hit up three pubs and listen to musicians play traditional Irish instruments, like the drum-like bodhrán. The live music will have you tapping your feet in no time.

There's also the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, which leaves almost every night from the Duke Pub. This book-themed tour follows the footsteps of Ireland's most famous writers. Crawlers can enjoy a pint of beer while watching lively, and quirky, actors partake in great Irish storytelling traditions.

4. Visit the Guinness Storehouse
Home of Ireland's national beer, the Guinness Brewery welcomes visitors to its old fermentation plant, where you can see beer-making exhibits (for a fee) before taking the elevator up several stories to the Gravity Bar. Up there, visitors get an amazing 360-degree view of Dublin. Of course, you can sip on a traditional warm, dark Guinness or try another variety while you take in the breathtaking city views.

The Custom House

Photo: Giuseppe Milo/Flickr/Creative Commons License

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