7 Quirky Things To Do In Dublin

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Dublin already has a stalwart reputation as a great city break destination — thousands of visitors flock here every year to sample the delights of the stout at the Guinness Storehouse, gaze in awe at Dublin Castle and while away the afternoons in the Temple Bar area. However, off the beaten track there are a number of hidden gems to be found — little spots which will make you feel as though you have discovered something unique.

Take a Tour of Kilmainham Gaol


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Taking a tour of a gaol might not be a typical holiday endeavour but it is a truly unique opportunity — Kilmainham Gaol is one of the biggest unoccupied prisons in Europe and will give you an insight in to what prison life might really have been like. Opened in 1796, the gaol has played host to some key political players in Ireland’s tumultuous past from Henry Joy McCracken, a founder of the United Irishmen in the 1790s, to people who were involved in the Easter Monday uprising in 1916. The hour-long guided tour offers an insightful look into the prison’s history, and in turn the history of Dublin.

Widen Your Imagination at the National Leprechaun Museum

Dublin’s National Leprechaun Museum takes visitors right in to the heartland of Irish folklore. This museum offers up the history of the leprechaun and explores the origins of this myth. However, this is not the main focus: this is a space in which to hear the folk tales of Ireland, there are day time tours for families and night time tours for adults which divulge in the gorier and more gruesome stories. The building is set up to enhance these stories with props such as giant tables and chairs to get you in to the spirit of a leprechaun.

Tune into Ye Olde Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio


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This museum is the brainchild of Pat Herbert who owns this extensive collection of radios and related memorabilia, and opens it up to the public every day in summer months. The artefacts on show here are hugely varied, from the old gramophones and radios, to stamps from across the globe and telegrams about deaths, births and much more. The building itself is interesting; the museum is housed in a former defensive fort atop a grassy mound. History buffs will love perusing the relics of this unique museum for an hour or two.

Go Deer Spotting in Phoenix Park

For a city, Dublin is incredibly well endowed with green spaces — it is home to the 707-acre Phoenix Park. As well as providing a great spot for a picnic, the park is also home to Dublin Zoo meaning that you can spot elephants, peacocks and orangutans in the city. If you’re feeling a little strapped for cash, you needn’t miss out on all the wildlife fun — this grassy landscape plays host to a herd of around 450 fallow deer. For the best chance to spot them, head to the flat area known as the Fifteen Acres.

Take a Step Back in Time at the Little Museum

The Little Museum is a testament to Dublin — it’s created entirely by donations from the public and as such, there is an incredible variety of artefacts here. Based on the Grafton Street Corner of St Stephen’s Square, this museum is spread across three floors of a Georgian townhouse. There are a number of rooms and one of these rooms features the work of Fergal McCarthy — a series of illustrations of the Easter Rising of 1916. Unless you’re a member, you can only peruse this fascinating museum on a guided tour, and the tours focus on different periods of time from the 1916 uprisings to the U2 years. So, choose a time period that interests you and leap in to the past with a trip to the Little Museum.

Check Out the Graffiti at the Windmill Lane Studios


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Windmill Lane Recording Studio is the birthplace of some of U2’s earliest and most famous tracks. It was here that the band recorded the album, The Joshua Tree. Alongside U2, these studios played host to some other extremely famous recording artists, from Sinéad O’Connor to PJ Harvey and the Rolling Stones — it certainly was an iconic part of Irish music history.

The studios themselves are long since gone; they relocated to Ringsend several years ago. However, the famous graffiti-laden walls still stand and provide a constant source of inspiration and interest to visitors and locals of Dublin alike.

Drink in a Hidden Bar

All that perusing of cultural artefacts can make for thirsty work. Where better to quench that thirst than in a hidden bar, away from the hordes of tourists and revellers. The Blind Pig models itself on a Prohibition era bar, and those wishing to drink here need to book in advance and then receive a secret password to enter. On both Friday and Saturdays nights there is live music to really take you back to a different time. Grab a Sloe Gin Mule or Martini, and dance the Charleston to embrace the spirit of the 1920s.

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