Dublin is one of the best places in Europe for a city break. As well as famous attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse and The Book of Kells at Trinity College, there are also many great Dublin hidden gems. From food and drink experiences to fascinating museums, these lesser known Dublin sights are well worth visiting.

Dublin Hidden Gems

Ireland’s capital is a city full of history and culture. There are many tourist attractions that draw people to the city, but there are also some hidden gems that are worth exploring. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most unusual things to do in Dublin. So if you’re looking for something different to do during your visit, read on!

It’s a quick and easy flight from London City airport to Dublin airport via Cityjet. Aer Lingus and taxi transfers take less than twenty minutes to the centre of town. All the Dublin attractions below are easily accessible from there.

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1. The Little Museum of Dublin

Celebrating the lives of Dubliners throughout history, The Little Museum of Dublin is located in a beautiful Georgian town house. One of the top things to see in Dublin, this tourist attraction has over 3,000 items on display.

Learn about fascinating characters such as Alfred Byrne, known as the Shaking Hand of Dublin. He was elected Lord Mayor for a record ten times thanks to his people skills.

There are regularly changing exhibitions on the ground floor. On the first floor, the permanent collection includes a room dedicated to Irish pop group U2. Bono and The Edge visited the museum anonymously and signed the guest book.

Address: The Little Museum of Dublin, 15 Saint, Stephen Street Lower, Dublin 2, Ireland

The Little Museum of Dublin is a great off the beaten path Dublin attraction
The Little Museum of Dublin exterior

2. Farmleigh House

Phoenix Park is one of the largest city parks in the world. Tucked away in the north-west section of the park, you’ll find Farmleigh House.

This impressive building is the Irish State guest house and was previously home to the Guinness family. Dating from the mid 18th century,  it opened to the public in 2001.

Farmleigh House has hosted many international heads of State including the King of Malaysia and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. For this reason, the public may only visit during guided tours which run from mid March onwards.

The tours of the house are really informative. You’ll learn about the Guinness family members who lived here and see ornately decorated rooms.

These include a spectacular ballroom, as well as a charming conservatory. Farmleigh House is set in 78 acres and there’s a Boathouse Restaurant overlooking the ornamental lake.

Address: Farmleigh House, White’s Rd, Phoenix Park, Dublin 15, D15 TD50, Ireland

Farmleigh House in Dublin, Ireland - Dublin hidden gems - Farmleigh House
Dublin hidden gems – Farmleigh House

3. Hanging Umbrellas

Tucked away on a quiet lane off St Anne Street, a short walk from the Little Museum of Dublin, you’ll find these colorful hanging umbrellas. One of the most Instagrammable Dublin sights, they’re suspended from the sky and brighten up any day.

At night time, the umbrellas are illuminated, which also makes for a great photo opportunity. Pop into Zozimus Bar next door for refreshments.

Address: Anne’s Ln, Anne St S, Dublin, D02 AK30, Ireland

The colorful hanging umbrellas in Dublin, Ireland
The hanging umbrellas in Dublin

4. Oscar Wilde Statue

Oscar Wilde is famous for his witty sayings and plays. Fans of the Irish writer can admire his statue in Merrion Square.

This area of Dublin was popular with Irish writers. W.B. Yeats lived at number 82 Merrion Square, while Oscar Wildes’s childhood home was at No. 1 Merrion Square.

Lounging on a white quartz rock in suitably stylish attire, Oscar looks like he hasn’t got a care in the world. The statue was commissioned by Guinness Ireland in 1997.

Address: Oscar Wilde Statue, 12 Merrion Square N, Dublin 4, Ireland

The Oscar Wilde statue in Dublin, Ireland
Oscar Wilde Statue

5. Darkey Kelly’s

Named after an infamous Irish brothel keeper and alleged witch, Darkey Kelly’s is one of the best pubs in Dublin for traditional music. This cosy place is located on one of the oldest streets in Dublin.

The pub is popular with locals and music lovers for its live music sessions, held every night. There are also more than 100 Irish and international whiskeys to choose from in the Whiskey Bar. You can even pick 3 and enjoy a taster tray!

Address: Darkey Kelly’s, 19 Fishamble St, Christchurch Pl, Temple Bar, Dublin 8, D08 PD8W, Ireland

Darkey Kelly's is one of the best Dublin pubs for live music
Darkey Kelly’s pub at night

6. The Georgian Quarter

Dublin has some of the best preserved Georgian architecture in the world. Much of it is concentrated in the Georgian Quarter in the heart of Dublin. It stretches from St Stephen’s Green to the Grand Canal, 

Head to Merrion Square for some particularly fine examples and pop into The Merrion Hotel for their afternoon tea if you have time. 

Fitzwilliam Square is also home to many elegant Georgian townhouses. Head to Kildare Street to see Leinster House, the parliament building of the Republic of Ireland.

The Georgian Quarter, Dublin, Ireland
An elegant doorway in Dublin’s Georgian Quarter

7. Peruke & Periwig

This is an intimate drinking and dining den on Dawson Street. Open seven nights a week, it’s a great place for music inspired cocktails and contemporary Irish food.

The low lighting and vintage decor make this Dublin bar and restaurant very atmospheric. Comfy velvet seats and mahogany furniture give a Victorian vibe.

Address: Peruke & Periwig, 31 Dawson St, Dublin 2, D02 DR58, Ireland

Peruke & Periwig, Dublin, Ireland
Peruke & Periwig bar in Dublin

8. Kilmainham Gaol

Going to jail might not sound like much fun, but Dublin’s Kilmainham Gaol is fascinating. This former prison opened in 1796 and is now one of the most unique things to do in Dublin.

Now the largest unoccupied jail in Ireland, it once held Irish political and military leaders such as Robert Emmet and Eamon de Valera. Yet it wasn’t only men who were imprisoned here, there were also women and children as young as 7 years old.

During the Irish famine, people were so hungry that they deliberately broke laws in the hopes of being incarcerated here and given food. These days, there are insightful guided tours and a large exhibition as well as tearooms.

Address: Kilmainham Gaol, Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 RK28, Ireland

Kilmainham Gaol - Dublin hidden gems in Ireland
The interior of Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin

9. Teeling Whiskey Distillery

Although the city is famous for its Guinness, whiskey is another popular local tipple. There are a couple of whiskey distilleries in Dublin, including Jameson.

It’s well worth visiting the first new whiskey distillery to open in Dublin in 125 years. Teeling Whiskey Distillery opened in 2015 on Newmarket in the Liberties district of Dublin.

The only operational whiskey distillery in Dublin, they have a really good tour and visitor centre. You get to taste a whiskey and a mixed drink at the end of the tour and you can even sign your name on the bar walls. This is definitely one of the best Dublin hidden gems.

Address: Teeling Whiskey Distillery, 13-17 Newmarket, The Liberties, Dublin 8, D08 KD91, Ireland

Teeling Whiskey Distillery, Dublin
Teeling Whiskey Distillery exhibition

10. The Hungry Tree

One of the most unique Dublin hidden gems is the Hungry Tree. Located in the grounds of the King’s Inns, this London plane tree is believed to be between 80 to 120 years old.

Planted next to a cast iron bench, the tree has spread over it and appears to have consumed it! This rather greedy tree is a popular Dublin photo spot, and you can visit it when the King’s Inns are open, from 7 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. daily.

The hungry tree in King's Inn Park, Dublin, Ireland
The hungry tree in King’s Inn Park, Dublin, Ireland

11. Latte Art at Beanhive Coffee

This unassuming little cafe does some of the best latte art in Dublin. You can ask for your likeness or leave the barista to choose a design for you.

The coffee tastes pretty good and there’s a nice selection of light meals and snacks too. The vegan breakfast is very popular.

Address: Beanhive, Dawson St, Dublin 2, D02 FY28, Ireland

Beanhive latte art in Dublin, Ireland
Latte art at Beehive

12. Iveagh Gardens

Nestled in the heart of the city, Iveagh Gardens are a peaceful oasis. With their abundant flowers and tranquil pond, the gardens offer a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Dublin.

Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful garden, or they can simply sit and enjoy the quiet atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for the perfect place to escape the crowds or simply want to enjoy some of Dublin’s natural beauty, the Iveagh Gardens are definitely worth a visit.

This public park is home to a picturesque water cascade, featuring rocks from all 32 Irish counties, a maze and the only purpose built archery field in Ireland.

The Iveagh Gardens in Dublin city centre just off Harcourt Street
The Iveagh Gardens in Dublin city centre just off Harcourt Street

13. Marsh’s Library

The first public library in Ireland, Marsh’s contains a wealth of history and knowledge. The library was founded in 1707 by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh, and it contains over 25,000 books.

Many of these books are quite rare, and they offer a unique glimpse into Dublin’s past. In addition to its literary treasures, the library also boasts an impressive collection of maps and manuscripts. Visitors can explore the stacks on their own by appointment or take a guided tour. Either way, a visit to Marsh’s Library is sure to be a fascinating experience.

The entrance to Marsh's Library
The entrance to Marsh’s Library

14. Poolbeg Lighthouse

Situated at the entrance to Dublin Bay, Poolbeg Lighthouse has been guiding ships into port for over two hundred years. Today, it is a popular spot for photographers and picnickers alike.

The walk along the pier to the lighthouse makes for a relaxing stroll. If you’re looking for a unique Dublin experience, be sure to add Poolbeg Lighthouse to your list.

Poolbeg Lighthouse in Dublin Bay
Poolbeg Lighthouse in Dublin Bay

15. Drimnagh Castle

Dublin is a city full of hidden gems, and one of the most well-hidden is Drimnagh Castle.

Not to be confused with Dublin Castle on Dame Street, Drimnagh is tucked away in a residential area in Dublin 12. The only remaining castle in Ireland with a flooded moat, Drimnagh was built by Norman knight Hugo de Bernivale.

Today, the castle is open to the public although visits must be booked in advance. It’s also a unique and atmospheric venue for events like weddings, birthday parties, and corporate functions.

Drimnagh Castle in Dublin

16. Samuel Beckett Bridge

The elegant Samuel Beckett Bridge spans the River Liffey, connecting Dublin’s financial district with the docklands. Named after the renowned Irish writer and Nobel Laureate, the bridge is sure to please literary fans.

But even if you’re not a fan of Beckett’s work, you can appreciate the bridge for its eye-catching design by famous architect Santiago Calatrava. Inspired by an Irish harp, this is a Dublin landmark that you won’t want to miss.

The Jeanie Johnston tall ship next to the bridge houses an interesting museum about the thousands of Irish citizens who fled the Great Famine to North America.

Samuel Beckett Bridge and The Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship
Samuel Beckett Bridge and The Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship

17. Sweny’s Pharmacy

Head to Lincoln Place to see Sweny’s Pharmacy, which features in the novel Ulysses by James Joyce. This little shop has been serving Dubliners for over a century.

Locals have been coming to Sweny’s for years to purchase lemon soap, which is made from an old family recipe. Today, the shop is run by volunteers and also sells books. So next time you’re in Dublin, be sure to visit this hidden gem and take home a bar of their signature lemon soap.

Sweny's Pharmacy in Dublin
Sweny’s Pharmacy in Dublin

In Conclusion: Dublin Hidden Gems

If you’re looking for a more authentic and off-the-beaten path experience in Dublin, be sure to check out some of these hidden gems. We’ve got plenty of other Ireland travel features that will help you plan the perfect vacation, so be sure to read them all!

As you can see, there are lots of Dublin secret spots to discover. We hope you enjoy exploring them!

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Dublin hidden gems

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