Insider Tips

Dublin’s Most Instagrammed

By Visit DublinDublin's Official Tourism SiteBIO
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Dublin is a city of wall-to-wall wonders. The statues, sculptures & landmarks dotted across our busy streets & open spaces serve not only as handy markers on a map; they are the very essence of the city & an integral part of every Dubliner’s life. They are their own characters in the story of our city – so much so that almost every one of them has been designated a nickname or two. They also make for great pictures, as these most popular Dublin landmarks amongst the Instagram community show...


 

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Ha’penny Bridge

Easily one of Dublin’s most photographed sites, this cast-iron Liffey Bridge built in 1816 gives great views in both directions along the river that bisects the city. So-called because locals had to pay a ha’penny to cross it until 1919, it’s the picture postcard piece of Dublin you just have to see.

Trinity College & the Book of Kells

A historic seat of learning in Dublin, Trinity’s awe-inspiring Long Room boasts 400 years of academia and a collection of 200,000 of the university’s oldest books, some of which date back to 1661. Top of the class, though, are the 9th century Book of Kells and its lesser-known older sibling, the 7th century Book of Durrow. If it looks a little familiar, take a look at the Jedi library in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones – it is said that this Dublin library provided some inspiration.

Christchurch Cathedral

In the heart of medieval Dublin stands a site of worship for over a thousand years. First founded in 1028 but renovated constantly over centuries, its imposing Gothic structure remains a noticeable part of the city skyline. While the building itself is magnificent, both inside and out, many tales have sprung from its creepy crypts too. Look out for the mummified cat and rat who are known locally as Tom and Jerry, and feature in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.

 

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St Stephen’s Green

A tranquil sanctuary from city life, this 22 acre park at the top of the shopping mecca of Grafton Street is a perfect place to escape from the city and unwind. A stroll along its 3.5km of pathways offers duck and swan-filled lakes, Victorian shelters and a selection of statues, including a WB Yeats Memorial Garden and a bust of James Joyce facing his former university.

 

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Kilmainham Gaol

The largest unoccupied prison in Ireland, and home to our most famous rebels and revolutionary heroes (as well as many scoundrels), the gaol is as eerie as it is historically important. Opened in 1796, with no glass in the windows for its first fifty years, it is a dark and imposing building. The uprisings of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1967 and 1916 saw many leaders confined here, ensuring this prison's place in Irish history books. Its striking Panopticon style east-wing can be seen in the films The Italian Job, In the Name of the Father and Michael Collins.

 

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The Spire

Initially met with a mixed reaction when it first pointed skywards, Dubliners and visitors alike quickly warmed to the 120 meter-high spike that stands on the main thoroughfare through the city. Now an instantly recognisable part of the cityscape, this O’Connell Street landmark is an iconic and sometimes swaying symbol of modern Ireland.

Dublin Castle

More a series of magnificent buildings than a fortress, the castle stands atop what was once the ‘dubh linn’ meaning ‘black pool’ that gives the city its name. Picturesque gardens, impressive halls, chapels and State apartments where presidents are inaugurated and world leaders come to dine are dwarfed by the selfie heaven of the enormous courtyard. While you’re there, don’t miss the museum that Lonely Planet described as the best in Ireland, the Chester Beatty Library

 

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Molly Malone

Recognise the lyrics to this famous song? “In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty, I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone”. The story goes that back in the 17th century Molly was a Dublin fishmonger, who sold cockles and mussels from a barrow she pushed through the streets. Sculptor Jeanne Rynhart’s statue of the iconic Dublin figure was unveiled during Millennium celebrations in 1988 – today she stands proudly on Suffolk Street.

Croke Park

Home to Ireland’s largest sporting organisation, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), this stadium is immense, and not just literally. Interactive tours give great insights into its history, and the views of the sacred pitch from 30 metres up in the stands, which take in the entire city, mountains and sea, are unbeatable. In summer, the stadium is known to host top artists like U2, Ed Sheeran and The Script for concerts.

 

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Phoenix Park

One of the largest walled urban parks in Europe contains walkways, cycle paths, the world’s fourth oldest zoo and historic buildings, not to mention 500 fallow deer that add to the ‘woods in the city’ feel. It’s also home to the Irish President and US Ambassador, though they are rarely seen grazing among the trees.

While there’s a lot going on in the city, beautiful scenery also lies just outside Dublin’s centre. The coastline boasts stunning views, from the picturesque medieval Malahide, Howth and its Baily Lighthouse to the rocky peninsula of Skerries in the north, and across Dublin Bay to Dalkey Castle and Killiney Hill in the south. On the outskirts of the city, the surrounding mountains cast a watchful gaze over all, and offer the perfect backdrop to capture lifelong memories of a city between mountain and sea. If you’re exploring Dublin, we’d love to see your snaps – share with #LoveDublin to be part of the conversation!