If you’re visiting the capital city of Ireland anytime soon, then no doubt you can expect some rain on your stay! And that i don’t say this to place you off going (I'd even go so far as to say that Dublin might actually be a little bit prettier under overcast skies), but instead to advise you to be able to plan your perfect itinerary accordingly! Here’s how you can spend a rainy day in Dublin and have fun!
Admire the Architecture and Book of Kells at Trinity College Dublin
Hands down, the main must-see attraction in Dublin is Trinity College Library. Wooden shelves are stacked floor to ceiling somewhere where many of the greatest writers, historians, and thinkers of that time period gone by once studied. And that’s not every a day you need it experience at Trinity College will unveil.
Instead, underground, in a complex of well-designed low-light rooms, some of the greatest treasures of the Republic of Ireland are held. And maybe none is very so famous as the Book of Kells. This historic manuscript dates all the way back to the 9th-century and it is probably the most beautiful historic monastic works in Europe. Purchase your Fast-Track Access Book of Kells and Dublin Castle Tour within advance.
Drink beer at the Guinness Storehouse
Of course, after experiencing the beauty of Trinity College Library, it’s time to unwind in the intense crowds and chance to learn with a glass of the local tipple. Guinness, of course, is the drink of choice and there’s perhaps no better spot to experience the famous drink compared to the fashionable and trendy Guinness Storehouse.
Part museum, part brewery, part chance to learn, and altogether fun, you could easily while away a rainy afternoon in Dublin by learning by pointing out good reputation for the brew, as well as sampling some for yourself. Set across seven levels, you start your visit by learning just how to brew beer, as well as the strategies of why is Guinness such a unique drink (incidentally, it’s vegan!)
Next, you’ll ascend with the levels, which are shaped to resemble the ‘largest pint glass in the world’ and get the chance to explore the quirkiest of Guinness advertisements over the years, learn how to ‘properly taste’ Guinness, and even get the chance to pull a pint on your own, all contained in the cost of your ticket. At the top, there’s a ‘Gravity Bar’ that provides panoramic views across the city. Purchase your Guinness Storehouse tickets within advance.
Discover Dublin’s Free Museums
Throughout the city, though largely located near to Trinity College Dublin, there are a number of free museums which are really worth exploring. These cultural hubs are the perfect places to while away a rainy afternoon. A well known visit among tourists towards the city is that of the National Gallery of Ireland, which boasts many of the Emerald Isle’s greatest works, all on display free of charge towards the public (though donations are always appreciated).
One of my favourites is the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, which houses a sizable assortment of peat bog bodies which go as far back millennia and offer a look into how people lived (and died) previously. Nearby, the Natural History of Ireland (which is also sometimes referred to as the Dead Zoo) is really a Victorian-style museum showcasing its collections in traditional glass cabinets.
Discover Dublin’s coffee culture
Though not quite as advertised as the coffee culture of top European destinations such as Paris or London, Dublin includes a surprising group of cafés, with every being as equally delightful because the last. From traditional breakfast joints to chicer dining options, there are many Dublin coffee shops where you can hide in the rain.
For individuals with a sweet tooth, I suggest none other than the Queen of Tarts. Cake slices are generously served and there’s several other sweets also available. Otherwise, I particularly loved our cooked breakfast in the Stage Door Cafe, which states serve ‘the best breakfast in Dublin’. And, indeed, I’m very happy to say that it had been claims that certainly proved true!
Marvel in the better of Dublin Churches
From the imposing St Patrick’s Cathedral to the lesser-known church which houses the relics of Saint Valentine, there’s no shortage of wonderful, quirky, and ever so unusual churches to discover in Dublin. Because of their largely covered nature (the ruins of St Kevin’s being perhaps the sole exception), the ecclesiastical buildings of Dublin provide a glimpse in to the architecture of the past, even while being perfect places to hide in the rain.
However, the thing you need to know before you go is that many of the more famous churches in Dublin are taken care of entrance only. Including St Patrick’s Cathedral (though this building is actually not the main ‘cathedral’ of the Fair City) and Christ Church Cathedral, that was once known as The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.
Go vintage shopping in Temple District
For fans of thrifting and fashion, your two greatest loves can be found in abundance with regards to Dublin. For through the Temple Bar district from the city, there’s an array of offbeat, unusual, and occasional budget finds to be had.
One of my all-time favourite quirky vintage shops in the city is Lucy’s Lounge. Set over several levels, this emporium of second-hand goodies offers various pre-loved games, clothing, as well as some eye-catching jewellery. Otherwise, check out Siopaella for luxurious and designer finds.
Hide from the rain within the cosiest bookshops within the Irish capital
Thanks to its status as a must-see European literary location (in the end, Dublin has been the muse for many a famous writer; James Joyce and Oscar Wilde to name but a few), it should come as no real surprise that Dublin has a range of welcoming and cosy bookshops.
The perfect spaces to cover away when it comes to a day you need it, a specific favourite of mine may be the Winding Stair. Park bookshop, part café, wander in at any given moment and you’ll be greeted by rows of books, stacked from floor to ceiling. In other areas of Dublin, Books Upstairs and Alan Hanna’s Bookshop & Bark Coffee are well worth discovering.
Uncover the hidden gems of Dublin
Though a number of Dublin’s best-kept secrets are, indeed, predominantly outdoor activities, it’s fair to state that many of the best indoor activities to become discovered in the Irish capital are great finds. In the lesser-known Leprechaun Museum (yes, this can be a ‘thing’) to the beautifully appointed Marsh’s Library, a place where Bram Stoker once studied and James Joyce once frequented, travellers to Ireland is going to be equally enthralled and enticed by Dublin’s many hidden treasures.
Enjoy a pint inside a traditional Irish pub!
Though this is perhaps the most obvious option for hiding away from the bad weather with regards to Ireland, enjoying a traditional Irish meal (along with a pint) is one of those authentic Dublin experiences that can’t be had elsewhere.
As its name indicate, the favourite, oldest, and historic pubs in the city can predominantly be found within the Temple Bar district, though make sure to read reviews as you can’t always rely on the meals being the best! Elsewhere within the city, make your way Christ Church Cathedral and you’ll soon discover The Brazen Head, a historic drinking establishment which dates all the way to 1198!