As tour operators welcomed the lifting of restrictions on travel and group activities in the early part of 2022, thankfully most tour providers in Dublin managed to pick up where they left off, with many developing their tour offerings and even creating some new tours too!
The future looks good for excellent walking tours in the Irish capital, and if you’re Dublin-bound in 2023 you’re spoiled for choice. To help you make sense of the different guided Dublin tour options available to you, we’ve got a local’s pick of the best Dublin tours to do in 2023!
Historical Walking Tours of Dublin
If you only have time to take one of the various guided walking tours of Dublin, then you’ll be best off to join a general historical Dublin tour. This will provide a great overview of the city’s history, give you proper local insight, and help you orient yourself with Dublin all while you visit the key sites of the city such as Dublin castle, one of the oldest and most important parts of the cityscape.
There are a number of general history tours of Dublin, but the Original Dublin Free Walking Tour by Generation Tours is definitely the best of the lot; not just because you can pay what you want at the end of the tour, but because it is the longest-running locally-owned free tour in Dublin, has achieved numerous awards over the years, and is run by the highest-rated tour guide collective in the city.
If you do just one historical walking tour in Dublin in 2023, make it this one. The fascinating story of Dublin and Ireland is shared in a thoroughly enjoyable and accessible way by top-quality, professional, local Dublin tour guides and gives you a real understanding of what has shaped the Dublin and Ireland you visit today.
And, of course, you’ll be sure to visit the must-see sights and monuments in Dublin, including
- Dublin Castle;
- Trinity College;
- O’ Connell Street;
- The Ha’ Penny Bridge;
- Temple Bar;
- Christchurch Cathedral;
- Grafton Street;
- St. Stephen’s Green Park;
- And plenty more too.
The Dublin free tours run every day at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. from in front of The Old Storehouse in the Temple Bar district, and are available in Spanish language too. Free tours of Dublin work on a ‘pay what you feel it is worth’ basis at the end of the experience.
Dublin Musical Tour
Ireland is world-renowned for its musical heritage; from traditional Irish folk music and dance, to some of the biggest pop and rock acts on the planet. So, it’s surprising that the first regularly scheduled musical tour of Dublin only appeared in 2022, but boy are we glad it did!
Having already won an award as ‘most unique tour worldwide’, the musical tour of Dublin tells some of the most intriguing tales of the city, recounts key points in our history, and recalls some fascinating local characters all through song!
This special guided tour of Dublin is led by a real local musician, balladeer and storyteller whose incredible voice and musicianship makes the stories all the more enjoyable, interesting, and at times heart-breaking.
You can join the musical guided tour of Dublin every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 3 p.m. starting from number 3 Crown Alley, Temple Bar.
Street Art Tour in Dublin
For a more contemporary slice of the city, the Dublin Street Art Tour reveals some of the beautiful urban artwork adorned by patches of concrete around the streets – some hidden, and more demanding your attention.
This guided urban art tour is more than a prolonged Instagram-worthy indulgence; it’s an exploration of some fascinating and relevant themes, both historic and modern, expressed through thoughtful and thought-inspiring murals, graffiti, stickers, installations, paste-ups, and wonderful parts of the cityscape such as the icon walk – a network of cobbled lanes and previously neglected alleys which have been reborn as an urban gallery hosting imaginative depictions of iconic cultural, contemporary and historical Irish figures.
If you’ve had your fill of history but still want to explore parts of Dublin you might not have found yet, this is the perfect way to do it! The street art tour of Dublin runs every Saturday at 2 p.m.
Dublin’s Dark Side Walking Tours
When it comes to Dublin’s Dark side, there is ample history, folklore, anecdotes and characters to unnerve even the most dedicated of dark-history enthusiasts.
While there are a couple of Dark Dublin Tours in the city operated by different tour providers, these focus on exaggerating certain aspects of history to fit the theme – namely murders, grave robbers, and brutality – which is all fine and gorey, but if you want to cover these themes as well as get some insightful context around them, then I highly recommend the Mythology and Folklore tour of Dublin.
This guided tour is a great alternative and addition to a general history tour as it deals with the fascinating and incredibly important role of folklore and mythological heritage in Irish identity.
Did you know there was a part of Dublin known as Hell? Did you ever hear about the children who were turned into swans? Why did we recently have to divert an entire motorway around a single ‘fairy tree’? These are just some of the topics dealt with on this utterly unique tour.
From the ghoulish to the heroic, the occult to cult-status, and from horrific to hilarious, the traditions, folklore, and mythology of Ireland have helped topple an empire and shape a nation. This entirely worthwhile walking tour is a perfect way to explore Dublin from a different perspective and get your fill of the dark-side of our history too!
The Dublin mythology and folklore tour runs every Thursday and Friday evening at 5 p.m. and you can meet the tour guide in front of the Old Storehouse pub.
With so many worthy tours to do in so little time, you really have to choose your Dublin tours wisely. The above suggestions are our recommended best tours in the city, and we’re pretty confident you’ll discover why if you book them for your 2023 Dublin visit!
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