Dublin is one of Europe’s cultural capitals and a great travel destination with its mix of the traditional and the modern. Dublin Book Festival takes place at the heart of Dublin City, making it easy to reach from the airport, ferry terminals and central train stations, and provides a wonderful incentive to visit Dublin and explore the city while you are here. Whether you’re exploring by foot or by boat, you will not be disappointed by the many things to do, see, learn and eat. Each year we partner with a range of wonderful cultural organisations for our events, that continue to bring you year-round events, exhibitions, and more to enjoy outside of our festival period. Here are some suggestions of things to do in Dublin to fill your days with the best cultural sights, nature and food while you attend the Book Festival, and thereafter.
Nature in the City
From sketching to mindfulness, our walking tours are the perfect way to explore the city by foot. If you want a respite from the bustling city, a visit to the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin will not disappoint. The entry to the gardens and greenhouses is free to explore at your leisure, and you can also book in for guided tours, before enjoying a cup of tea and bite to eat surrounded by nature in the Garden Tearoom. Phoenix Park is another must-stop for nature lovers, and its 709 hectares also include Dublin Zoo and Áras an Uachtaráin, home of the President of Ireland.
See Dublin from the Sea
Tired of walking? Get a different view of Dublin while you take part in our boat tours. Dublin Bay Cruises also offers many other destinations to discover by boat from the city.
Museums and History
Libraries are an unmissable stop in Dublin, one of UNESCO’s Cities of Literature . You can explore the beautiful grounds of Trinity College and book a visit to the breathtaking Old Library, where you can get a glimpse of The Book of Kells. Be sure to pay a visit to one of Europe’s finest museums, the Chester Beatty beside Dublin Castle. The Castle itself is a venue for many of this year’s events, so explore the grounds and take a guided tour of one of the most important buildings in Irish history. Other museums worth a visit are EPIC the Irish Emigration Museum, The National Gallery and the National Museum of Ireland.
Dublin is a paradise for book lovers! While you are downtown, make sure to visit the wonderful The Gutter Bookshop in Temple Bar, our festival partner who also holds a book stall at the festival each year. This independent shop opened in 2009, and offers a full and diverse catalogue of titles ensuring there will be something for everyone. A must-stop for a bookworm. Other delightful Dublin bookshops are Books Upstairs, The Winding Stair, Dubray and the famous Hodges Figgis.
Dublin is known for its fine cuisine and it has something for every palate, whether you’re looking for a fancy restaurant or an easy-going spot. Be sure to try out Chez Max next to Dublin Castle for some French cuisine or, if you’re in the mood for a sweet treat and a cup of tea, Queen of Tarts is the place to go. Live music is a vital part of Dublin’s nightlife, whether you listen to it at a street corner or in one of the 1,000 pubs in town. Speaking of pubs, you can also visit The Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Ireland or try the traditional Irish stew at Gallagher’s Boxty House.
Whether you’re visiting from nearby or from far away, you can get a glimpse of the Irish hospitality in the many beautiful hotels and cosy B&B’s in the city. Brooks Hotel, Jury’s Inn Christchurch, and The Clarence Hotel are great choices to stay close to many of this year’s venues and historical landmarks.
Things to Do in Dublin: DBF Team September 2023 Highlights
For further information to inspire you when planning your trip to Dublin please visit VisitDublin, and when planning for further afield DiscoverIreland is the perfect resource for inspiring your travels around the island of Ireland.