Dublin is the capital city of Ireland. The city’s name means “dark pool” and is a reference to Ireland’s River Poddle. None of this info has been breaking news yet, but this next tidbit might throw you for a loop. Dublin is nearly 2,000 years old.
Records show that people have lived in the region since 140 AD. Vikings, Christian settlers — even the great Greek scholar Ptolemy gave a shout out to Dublin back in the day. Granted, he called the city “Eblana” but the point still stands — Dublin has been around for a long, long time. That’s why the city oozes so much history.
Going on a walking tour is one of the best ways to experience the historical sites in Dublin. You’ll have the chance to get up close and personal with the city’s oldest monuments and greatest landmarks. We’ve got an amazing expedition planned out for you. Before you head out, you should definitely store your extra luggage in a safe place.
St. Patrick’s Tower
We begin our walking tour of Dublin at St. Patrick’s Tower. Most of the time, towers like these are remnants of destroyed churches or castles. St. Patrick’s Tower is special in that sense; it used to be a large smock windmill that powered the Roe Whiskey Distillery all by itself.
Granted, St. Patrick’s Tower is still the largest building of its kind, but it’s actually the home of Dublin’s Digital Hub these days.
Old Dublin City Wall
Cities, like people, go through phases over the years. During Dublin’s “Medieval Phase,” the city was surrounded by a gigantic stone wall. Only a few pieces of that wall are still standing today. But what little remains of the Old Dublin City Wall is greatly cherished by Dubliners and visitors alike.
There’s a 160-foot segment of the wall in Lamb Alley. Just looking at it gives you a glimpse of the size and scope of the original wall. The people who initially built this wall probably didn’t think it would last as long as it has. In our opinion, the wall is a perfect tribute to the city’s distant past.
The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
Dublin has a lot of churches. No, seriously — there’s like a dozen cathedrals in the Temple Bar area alone. The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is a standout, however. This Roman-Gothic church is a place of worship and a museum rolled into one building.
The cathedral is replete with 19 church bells, a nave, and even a crypt. The cathedral also houses St. Michael’s Tower, the only remaining portion of St. Michael’s Church (told ya!) There’s so much more to this building than meets the eye. Head to the cathedral’s website to get the full picture.
Viking Longboat Statue
Vikings tend to get a bad rep; there are countless movies, shows, and books that depict these men and women from the North as bloodthirsty warriors. In reality, a lot of Vikings spent most of their time sailing to new areas.
The Viking Longboat Statue is a tribute to the travelers who made it to Ireland. The pieces used to create this statue were found at a nearby archeological dig site. The dig site in question became the Wood Quay, another tribute to Dublin’s Viking history.
You can learn a lot about a city by looking at its architecture. Specifically, the architecture of its government buildings. Dublin Castle is a prime example of what we’re talking about; this building has served as the seat of power for dozens of kings and presidents over the years.
King John was the first monarch to call Dublin Castle home way back in 1199. Now, all of Ireland’s presidential inaugurations are held here.
Chapel Royal, Dublin
People occasionally call Dublin Castle the “Dublin Complex” because of its massive size; a garden, a series of state apartments, and a few churches all located nearby. The Chapel Royal is one of those churches. This building is a masterwork of Gothic Revival architecture.
Francis Johnston is the man who designed the chapel. Even though this building was constructed in the 1800s, it still takes our breath away. You should visit the Chapel Royal’s website to plan your visit.
Phil Lynott Statue
The next stop on our walking tour of Dublin brings us face to face with a Rock and Roll legend. Phil Lynott was the frontman for Thin Lizzy, a Hard Rock band that formed in Dublin back in 1969. Lynott has incorporated characters and motifs from Celtic mythology in many of his songs. It’s no surprise why Ireland considers Lynott and his bandmates to be national treasures.
Tragically, Phil Lynott passed away in 1986. This statue was built to honor his memory and to pay homage to one of Dublin’s most influential artists. The statue depicts the musician with a smile and a guitar in hand. Just like Lynott’s music, this statue will continue to inspire people for generations.
Bram Stoker’s Old Home
From Blade to Twilight to Vampire, the Vampire genre wouldn’t be what it is today without Bram Stoker. This man created the characters of Abraham Van Helsing and Count Dracula. Many of Stoker’s life experiences in Dublin inspired the story. That’s why the house that he was born and raised in is so important to Dracula fans.
Birthplace of Oscar Wilde
The internet absolutely adores Oscar Wilde. His witty quips and pithy sayings are constantly posted on forum boards, meme pages, and Instagram profiles. Just like Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde was born and raised in Dublin. Just like Stoker, Wilde’s experiences in the city shaped his craft. That’s why so many fans visit the house that he was born in each year.
It’s hard to choose one building to represent Dublin. You could ask 100 Dubliners which landmark they’d choose and you’d hear at least 100 different answers. If it were up to us, Trinity College is the building we’d pick. The college is one of the first structures to pop up when you look for pictures of Dublin. Its architecture is genuinely awe-inspiring, and it represents the city’s bright future. Best of all, the college actively encourages people to visit the campus. Visit their website to learn how you can sign up for a tour.