Photography by Dennis Cieri / Written by Lorena Caro
When one thinks of Dublin, one can’t help but think of lush greenery, distinguished literary authors, and bustling streets with friendly people sharing stories at a local cafe or a pub. This city is the perfect place to walk around and explore on foot.
The city has an underlying traditional vibe, with its stone churches, local artisanal stores, and dynamic cultural street performances. However, walk a little more and you’ll also encounter many international businesses as well as hear a variety of different languages being spoken. Dublin is a booming cultural center! Spend a day exploring everything this city has to offer, and fall in love with it, guaranteed. Here is a list of places to go in Dublin in the course of a day, conveniently separated by the upper and lower spheres of the River Liffey.
I. Lower Sphere – Southside
Have Breakfast at Grafton Street
This small street is a populated area with many stores, restaurants, and cafes. This is the best place to start off your day because the breakfast options here are seemingly endless. From popular fast food franchises such as McDonalds, to niche cafes, there’s something here for everyone!
Start your day early and pass by the unique and affordable shops nearby, if you decide to take your breakfast on the go! Grafton street is pretty much dedicated to shopping, so there’s a wide range of things to buy depending on your needs. Here you will also find loads of talented buskers, which make Dublin’s atmosphere an enjoyable one.
Take a quick stroll in St. Stephen’s Green
Head down on Grafton Street and you’ll eventually find yourself on the northwest corner of St.Stephen’s Green. This iconic park is the largest of the parks in Dublin. It was formerly a marshy grazing area which was converted into a park around the year 1663 by the Dublin City Council.
Walk into the park and find yourself with a serene lake complete with an artificial waterfall and a beautiful gazebo! There are also a few statues around the park commemorating notable historical Irish figures as well as the people of Ireland. Artists such as Edward Delaney and Josef Wackerle contributed sculptures that commemorate the people of Ireland’s strength and resilience during difficult times throughout history.
Take Photographs On Your Way to The Northside Of Dublin
Head to Dublin’s upper sphere for some more interesting things to see and explore. If you walk up Kildare street from the park, you’ll pass by the National Museum of Ireland, which is dedicated to national archaeology as well as Irish history, art, and culture. You can’t miss this beautiful building decorated with delicate columns and intricate detailing on its walls.
Head even further up and you may even pass Trinity College, which is the most prestigious college in Ireland as well as one of the most renowned colleges in all of Europe. This building attracts hundreds of tourists every year for its prestigious library and its defining presence in Ireland. Take pictures from the outside of this beautiful, Georginan style edifice and marvel at its detailed beauty.
Less than five minutes away on St. Andrew’s Street is none other than the St. Andrew’s church and the Molly Malone statue! The church is currently undergoing construction with plans to be turned into a giant food hall that will showcase local authentic Irish foods. So modern! The project is expected to be completed sometime this year, but you can still take pictures outside. Next to the church is the Molly Malone statue, which is a popular meeting point for tourists and locals alike. This bronze statue depicts her pushing a wheelbarrow. Malone is known as the star of the Irish song, “Molly Malone” by the Dubliners.
Walk on One of Many Bridges on River Liffey to Continue Your Journey
There’s something about a bridge that just feels special. Is it its architectural beauty? Is it the way sheer human ingenuity allows us to connect from one place to another quickly? Whatever the case may be, if you find yourself in Dublin, you’re going to have to cross one of the many bridges at least once. This is because the River Liffey prominently divides northern Dublin from southern Dublin. The Rosie Hackett Bridge is close to the St. Andrew’s Church, so we walked across that one. This bridge is 48 meters long and made of smooth concrete. It was completed in 2014, making it the newest bridge in Dublin. It’s also the first bridge named after a woman! Today, Rosie Hackett is remembered as an important trade union activist.
II. Upper Sphere – Northside
Stop For A Quick Lunch On Lower O’Connell Street
This street is Dublin’s main throughout fair. It is considered a part of the heart of Dublin itself. Walk along the general area and you’ll find a lot of restaurants, pubs, historical buildings and even more shops! This area is a great place to get a real feel for Ireland’s interesting culture due to all the statues, the friendly locals also walking along the streets, and fully functional historical buildings. There’s always something going on in this city! We had a quick lunch at The Tram Cafe over on Wolfe Tone Street and made our way around the area.
Explore the Ilac Shopping Center
Explore Henry Street – a nearby popular shopping destination where you can find local and international stores alike. This place is chock full of interesting stores where you can find just about anything to bring back home with you. In fact, there are over 200 shops on Henry Street alone which include stores that sell clothing, shoes, sport goods and jewelers. Ilac mall is special because it is one of the oldest malls in Dublin. Walk around this mall and you’ll find interesting and cheap stores. There’s even a library in this shopping center.
Walk Along River Liffey
River Liffey is crucial to the people of Ireland for its location as well as the fact that it supplies much of the country’s water. This river’s name originates from the word Liphe, which translates to “life.” End your trip with a relaxing walk along this prestigious landmark and take in all the scenic views that Dublin has to offer. You’ll come across a lot of friendly people also strolling by, as well as a couple of statues that commemorate historical moments in Irish history. This river is a source of inspiration for writers, lovers, and poets in Dublin alike. Have a drink at a local bar, and watch the sunset over this beautiful city.