There is a seemingly unending choice of different tours to do in Dublin. Guided walking tours, hop-on hop-off bus tours, museum tours, history tours, food tours, etc. are all pretty standard fare in any destination popular with visitors; but there are a handful of exceptional tours you can only ever do in Dublin that really ought to be in your plans if you’re soon to visit the Irish capital.
Beer, heights, songs, faeries, and fun – here’s five utterly unique Dublin tours you shouldn’t miss!
The Guinness Storehouse Tour
Ireland’s most visited tourist attraction, The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is the home of the nation’s most iconic beer.
While there are lots of brewery tours to be done the world-over, there’s none quite like this.
Rising 125 feet into the Dublin skyline, the story of Guinness is told over seven floors in this one-of-a-kind structure at St. James’ Gate. The building is shaped like a pint of Guinness and crowned by The Gravity Bar, a 360-degree circular bar with glass from floor to ceiling, offering spectacular panoramic views of Dublin city while you indulge in a delicious pint of ‘the black stuff’ from the source.
You’ll propel yourself through the history, culture, and taste of Guinness on this tour. Each level provides something special - be it a fascinating multi-sensory experience on the second floor, an exhibition of renowned Guinness advertisements from across the globe on the third, or The Guinness Academy on the fourth where you’ll be taught the six-step ritual for pouring the perfect pint.
Indeed, it’s not all just about the classic pint of stout. The black beer which has become emblematic of Ireland (though it is, in fact, a ‘ruby red’ stout) is but one of four beers brewed by Guinness, and you can delight your palette with all of them, guided by a specialist, on the Guinness Connoisseur Experience at the Storehouse too.
While there are lots of distinctive elements that make this one of the most unique tours in Dublin, one quirky (if pointless) feature of this tour is the opportunity to have your selfie printed onto the head of your pint. Guinness purists might think it blasphemy, the pessimist might write it off as gimmicky, but nevertheless, it’s a bit of fun; and isn’t that what most people travel to Dublin for?!
It's highly recommended to book your tickets for The Guinness Storehouse online in advance as the queue to purchase on arrival can be long!
The Guinness Storehouse is open Monday – Friday: 10am - 7pm (last admission 5pm), Saturday 9:30am - 7pm (last admission 5pm), and Sunday 10am - 7pm (last admission 5pm).
Prices for the Guinness Storehouse tours start from €26 per adult, with student and senior tickets €22.
Croke Park Tour
Croke Park is not actually a park in the conventional sense. There are no ponds, fountains or waterfowl, no shrubbery, or tree-lined paths. It is, in fact, an 82,000 capacity sports stadium and the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association; the GAA.
The GAA is the largest sporting organisation in Ireland, representing our unique national sports, the most prominent of which are Hurling and Gaelic Football.
While the organisation was founded in 1884, Hurling, the fastest field game in the world, is more than 3,000 years old, predating Christianity. Hurling and Camogie, the game as played by girls and women, were granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2018.
It’s a game in which two teams of fifteen players each, each armed with a ‘hurl’ or ‘hurley’ – a tapered flat stick of Ash wood with a wide curved end – compete for possession of a small ball called a sliotar. Players must strike the ball, from the ground or their hand, between the opponent’s goal posts, above the crossbar for points and below the crossbar, into the net, for goals. The team who scores most goals and/or points wins.
Gaelic football is Hurling’s younger cousin. Dating from the early 1600s, our native football game also sees two teams of fifteen compete for scores using a larger ball which can be kicked, either from the ground or the hands.
Those are both very reductive descriptions of what are phenomenally skilful, high-tempo and physical games. What is, arguably, most fascinating about these enthralling spectator sports is that they are amateur games. The commitment of players (and unpaid personnel throughout the organisation) to the GAA is professional in every way but status; it’s all done for the love and pride of the games!
Every county, town, village, and parish in Ireland has a hurling and/or football team and local GAA club. We start playing these games as children, at underage levels, and many continue to do so well into our adult lives. The games are at the core of most communities in the nation; it’s entwined with our identity, heritage, history and culture, and has been for centuries.
The GAA in Ireland is something akin to religion; and Croke Park is our Mecca.
The GAA Museum at Croke Park offers one of the most unique tours in Dublin. With 20,000 items - including an original Proclamation of the Irish Republic – you’ll get fascinating insight to some of our history’s most significant and defining moments, including that of ‘Bloody Sunday’ in November 1920 when occupying British forces entered Croke Park during a football match and opened fire, killing 14 and wounding more than 80 others.
You can also take a Skyline Tour at Croker on which you’ll ascend to the top of the stadium, the third largest in Europe by the way, to the rooftop walkway. Here you’ll see Dublin city from a unique vantage point, the highest panoramic open-viewing platform in the capital, at 17 storeys high. It truly is the best view of Dublin, stretching from the Dublin mountains across the cityscape to the sea. What’s more, during Winter months you can do Dusk Tours and witness a beautifully twinkling Dublin city landscape as it lights up in the descending darkness.
The GAA Museum and Tours operate on varying schedules depending on the season and active game days, so you should check online before planning your visit. Ticket prices start at €9 for adults and €7.50 for students/seniors.
Unique Walking Tours in Dublin
In addition to distinct attractions offering unique tours in Dublin, we are just as blessed for unique walking tours of Dublin too!
Doing at least one Dublin city tour while you’re here is an absolute must; you’ve got to hit the pavement and cobblestones if you’re to really get under the skin of this city and understand the events and people that have shaped the Dublin you see today.
In addition to our daily general free Dublin walking tours
, you can also opt to see the city on two utterly unique walking tours with excellent local Dublin tour guides.
Dublin Musical Tour
The Musical Dublin Tour is a city walking tour like no other. Lead by a talented local musician, balladeer, and raconteur extraordinaire, the story and history of Dublin is shared through the songs and music of the times.
You’ll be enthralled as much by the fascinating stories as the captivating singing voice of your authentic Dublin tour guide, and you’ll even learn a song or two to take home with you. It’s a genuinely special Dublin tour and an inimitable way to explore the city.
The Original Dublin Musical Tour is every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3PM from in front of the Old Storehouse pub, 3 Crown Alley in Temple Bar. This guided walking tour is about 90 minutes duration, costs €22 and you can sign up on arrival to the meeting point.
Dublin Mythology and Folklore Tour
And while we’re on the topic of utterly unique Dublin walking tours, the Mythology and Folklore Tour in Dublin is an unparalleled exploration of Irish and local stories, mythology, legends, folklore and characters – both real and fictional - through centuries and generations.
You’ll learn all about Irish mythology, faerie lore, medieval Dublin, witches, heresy, the occult and dark Dublin, superstitions, sagas, pagan rituals, and how our ancient stories even helped defeat an empire!
The Original Dublin Mythology & Folklore Tour is every Thursday and Friday at 5PM from in front of the Old Storehouse pub, 3 Crown Alley in Temple Bar. This city tour with local guide is about 2 hours duration. Tickets are €22 and you can just rock up to the meeting point to join in.
Dublin Pub Crawl
The concept of a pub crawl is not necessarily unique, but this pub crawl in Dublin
certainly is special!
Dublin is a city of pubs and, as the capital of a nation famed for unique pub culture, there’s no other place like it to do a pub crawl in. With incredibly lively pubs, distinctive atmosphere, fantastic live music and wonderfully welcoming people, a Dublin pub crawl is an experience like no other.
There are a few things that put this Dublin bar crawl in a class of its own, but what makes it a must do in Dublin is the insane value, the fun factor, and because it’s the perfect cross-section of authentic Dublin nightlife.
You’ll join lovely local guides and a ready-made gang of party-people from Dublin, from Ireland, and from all around the world at the first pub where you’ll get a free welcome Guinness. You’ll also get a free quality shot in each pub thereafter, as well as exclusive discounts and specials across a range of drinks – beers, spirits, and shots.
Not only that, but you’ll save up to €20 on entrance fees alone as you’ll enjoy free entry to all venues, including VIP entry to the city’s most popular and celebrated nightclub. With all this and unbeatable craic across five pubs and venues for just €14, the pub crawl is simply a must do for anyone wanting to do Dublin right!
While the Temple Bar district has a reputation as being a bit of a tourist-trap, there are a couple of absolute gems in the quarter that us locals love and are always a guaranteed good time. This pub crawl knows them well and makes sure you avoid the tourist-traps to experience the best of Temple Bar – and let’s face it, you’re not going to visit Dublin and not venture into this renowned part of town.
Then, once you’ve ticked the Temple Bar box, it’s off to where the locals party and tourists are few. You’ll skip the lines and get free entry to some of our most-loved institutions of local nightlife, including Whelan’s and Copper Face Jacks. It’s the only Pub Crawl in Dublin with exclusive access to these locally revered venues, making for a proper Dublin night out and an utterly unique Dublin tour.
The Dublin Pub Crawl runs every night from 8PM, starting at The Norseman pub in the Temple Bar district. Advance booking is highly recommended to ensure your spot as it often sells out ahed of the start time.
There you have it, folks - from drinking your own face to traversing the roof of one of Europe’s largest Stadiums, singing along to old Irish songs, venturing into the ‘other world’, and partying the night away – seeking out all or any of these five utterly unique tours in Dublin will ensure your experience in the Irish capital will be unrivalled and long cherished. Now, you just need to decide which one to do first!