Dublin is an amazing city with so many wonderful options... arts, culture, history, museums, and of course Guinness. There is something for everyone, but where do you even start? If you've got an upcoming trip to the Fair City, then check out these top things to do in Dublin.
My first suggestion for any new city is to do a guided bicycle tour as soon as possible. It's a fantastic way to see a ton of the city and hit several highlights in a short amount of time with a local guide. You don't have to be an experienced rider, as most tours are designed for all experience levels. You'll cover so much more ground and sights than a walking tour, and there are lots of stops along the way to break up the riding. My group used Dublin City Bike Tours, and I highly recommend their services. We had a great time and they took excellent care of us.
Obviously, when in Dublin, you really must visit the Guinness Storehouse and Gravity Bar. I know, it's touristy. But seriously... you're in Dublin. GO!! Even if you are not of fan of the beer, it's a fun and education experience, and the views from the Gravity Bar of the top floor are awesome. You may even find that you actually do enjoy a real Irish Guinness on tap, because I promise, it's not the same that you buy in the States. The quality control the company does there is almost unbelievable, down to the temperature served, the amount of seconds to pour, and the rest time before serving. Yes, it will probably be crowded, but getting a perfectly poured Guinness from the source, with beautiful 360 degree views of the city, is not an experience that comes along every day.
Another highlight of our weekend was seeing the Book of Kells at Trinity College. Walking through the 18th century Long Room Library to see the medieval manuscript is definitely worth a trip to the beautiful campus grounds. Entrance lines can wrap around the building, so if you can, go with the Online Fast Track ticket option, otherwise get there early in the day.
If you would like more economical site seeing options in the city, then be sure to check out the National Museums. Entrance to the National Museums in Dublin is free (heads up they are closed Mondays/bank holidays), and the couple that I visited were absolutely worth a stop. We spent an hour or so at the Archeology Museum and learned about Viking influence on the country, as well as saw the excellent preservation of several bog mummies. While pressed for time I also had a very quick stop into the National Gallery of Ireland art museum and saw pieces from Picasso, Monet, Rembrandt, Van Gough, and Goya to name a few. If you are in the area, the childhood home of Oscar Wilde is very close to there (not available to tour but you can snap a quick from the outside), as well as Bram Stoker's (his city home is right across the street just North of the Archeology Museum entrance at 30 Kildare St - look for the small plaque on the red brick wall).
One thing that I didn't get to do that others in my group did (and it's on my list for next time) is the Kilmainham Gaol Museum (the Historic Jail). It was on my list to do the morning of our departure flight, but unfortunately my hubbs came down with food poising the day before, so plans changed. :( Before I visited Ireland, I had read about this museum, but not knowing much about Irish history, I thought it wasn't something I would really appreciate or needed to see since we only had about 3 days in Dublin. However, after spending 11 days traveling all over the country, I learned so much about the history and culture of the Irish. This museum represent