All posts by Seán Silke

Dublin Bay Cruises

Dublin Bay Cruises

Dublin Bay Cruises is the only regular passenger ferry operating on Dublin Bay and offers a daily service with seven different cruise options to choose from.

Two especially attractive routes are –

Dublin City to Howth via Dun Laoghaire
Cruise south from the City to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, taking in the Convention Centre, the East Link Bridge, Dublin Port and Docklands, Poolbeg Lighthouse, Clontarf and the Bull Island wildlife reserve, the Baily and Kish Lighthouses, Howth Head, Ireland’s Eye, Lambay Island and Howth Harbour. The cruise lasts 150 minutes.

Dun Laoghaire to Dalkey Island, returning via Killiney Bay
Set sail on a 75 minute cruise, heading south past the James Joyce Martello Tower, the Forty Foot, Bullock Harbour, Dalkey Island and Collimore Harbour, Sorrento Point, and Killiney Bay. The ship is regularly joined by a group of dolphins.

The vessel has a capacity for 120 passengers. In theory, you can simply arrive and purchase a ticket at the boat, but advance booking is recommended.

Sailing Schedule:
Cruise 1 – Dun Laoghaire – City Centre – 9:30 am
Cruise 2 – City Centre – Dun Laoghaire – 11.00 am
Cruise 3 – City Centre – Howth (via Dun Laoghaire) – 11.00 am
Cruise 4 – Dun Laoghaire – Howth – 12:30 pm
Cruise 5 – Howth round trip – 2:15 pm
Cruise 6 – Howth – Dun Laoghaire – 3:30 pm
Cruise 7 – Dun Laoghaire – Dalkey Island round trip – 6:45 pm

No sailings Jan-March 16th. First sailing of the year on March 17th.

€25.00 One way. Concessions.

Tel: 01 9011 757

In the city centre, Dublin Bay Cruises are located on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, opposite the Convention Centre and beside the Samuel Beckett Bridge (directly in front of the Ferryman Pub). The company is situated at the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire (i.e. the long pedestrian pier in Dun Laoghaire Harbour; passengers embark opposite the band stand on the East Pier). The company berths at the West Pier in Howth beside the Ice Plant and opposite the Brass Monkey and the Oar House Restaurants.

Liffey Cruises

Dublin Discovered Boat Tours

Cruise along the River Liffey with Dublin Discovered Boat Tours through the heart of Dublin. During a 45 minute tour, you sail under Dublin’s famous bridges and admire historic buildings from a unique vantage point, assisted by an expert guide. Your vessel is an all-weather purpose-built boat.

At least four tours each day. Sailing times vary slightly, depending on the tides. Phone in advance to check the sailing schedule for a particular day. Check the exact  sailing schedule via the official website’s “Book Online” facility. No tours December, January, or February. [As a guide, cruise times in May and June are 10.30 am, 11.30 am, 12.30 am, 2.15 pm,  3.15 pm, and 4.15 pm]

Bachelor’s Walk, Dublin 1.

Tel: 01 4730000.

Adults €13.50 (online price); “walk up” price is €15; concessions.

St Stephens Green

Green Mile Walking Tour

The Green Mile walking tour of St Stephen’s Green is a venture by the Little Museum of Dublin. The Green Mile tour tells the story of a square which has been at the centre of Irish history for hundreds of years.

Every year 8.1 million people walk through St Stephen’s Green; the park has long served as a backdrop for public and private drama, as well as being the setting for many great love stories.

The tour begins with a short presentation at the Little Museum. Participants then embark on a 60-minute walk in the company of an expert local guide.

The tours take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 11.00 am and are free with your entry ticket (€10 online) to the Little Museum of Dublin, 15 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. When booking your Saturday or Sunday entry ticket to the museum online, please select the Green Mile option.

Phone 01-6611000

Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse Tour *****

The Guinness Storehouse Tour  is Ireland’s number one visitor attraction, providing a journey into the heart of the world famous Guinness brand and company. This historic building is central to Dublin’s heritage, and has been continually updated to create a blend of industrial tradition and contemporary edge. The seven floors bring to life the rich heritage of Guinness, telling the story from its origins at St. James’s Gate in Dublin to its growth as a global brand, known all around the world.

The enormously popular tour takes in the history of the Guinness family, the ingredients and craft of brewing, cooperage and transportation, Guinness’s long tradition of award winning advertising, the craft of pouring the Perfect Pint, the use of Guinness in cooking, and a chance to enjoy a pint of Guinness in the lofty Gravity Bar, taking in breath-taking panoramic 360° views of the city.

Open 7 days a week 9.30 am – 7.00 pm (last admission at 5.00 pm).
Late opening during July & August: 9.00 am – 8.00 pm (last admission at 6.00 pm)
Closed Dec 24-26 & Good Friday.

St. James’s Gate, Dublin 8.

Tel: 01 408 4800.

Ticket prices vary. The standard walk in rate is €25 per adult but if you book online in advance the off peak adult rate can drop to €18.50. All adult prices include a pint of Guinness. There are price concessions for senior citizens and for children.


Historical Walking Tours of Dublin

Historical Walking Tours of Dublin run the longest-established walking tour in the city. Historically themed tours are led by knowledgeable history graduates from Trinity College. The tours are highly rated by the Irish Times, the Sunday Times, Fodor, Frommers, etc. The standard tour covers Dublin’s development, the influence of American/French Revolutions, the Famine, the Great War/1916 Rising, the War of Independence, the Northern conflict and Ireland today.

The meeting point is the front gate of Trinity College. From there the tour visits Trinity College, Old Parliament House, Temple Bar, City Hall, Dublin Castle, Wood Quay, Christ Church Cathedral, and the Four Courts.

Summer (May-Sept): daily 11.00 am.; 3.00 pm
Spring/Autumn (April & Oct): daily 11.00 am
Winter (Nov-March): Fri/Sat/Sun 11.00 am

Also on offer is a range of specialised tours for private or group bookings: Revolutionary Dublin: 1913-23; Monks, Marauders and Merchants: A Walk through Medieval Dublin; Dublin’s Architecture: Augustan Capital of a Gaelic Nation; French Tour; and the Story of Irish Food.

Historical Insights Ireland Ltd, 6 Palmerston Place, Dublin 7.

Tel: 087 6889412.

Adults €14; concessions. Online booking available.

Howth Lighthouse

Howth Day Tour

The Howth Day Tour is a 6 hour tour to Howth village, including a cliff top walk, ancient monuments, lonely lighthouses, 18th Century coastal defences, Howth Castle, Howth Harbour, medieval ruins, dramatic scenery and wildlife.

Meet in the small square (Barnardo Square) next to City Hall.

9.30 am Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun.

Adults €30, some discounts.

Run by Sandemans New Europe (Berlin-based).

Irish Rock’n’Roll Museum

The Irish Rock’n’Roll Museum is essentially a tour featuring some of Dublin’s best loved professional music facilities, including the Button Factory (a live music venue); Temple Lane Rehearsal Studios; and Temple Lane Recording Studio (where artists such as Rihanna, the Script and Kodaline have recorded).

The Thin Lizzy exhibition celebrates one of Ireland’s greatest bands, within the setting of Apollo Studio where Phil Lynott recorded his last songs before his untimely death. The exhibition is incorporated into a fully functioning studio and features memorabilia such as gold and platinum albums, set lists, some of Phil Lynotts’s costumes, and musical instruments.

The Wall of Fame as a symbol of Irish music royalty has been a fixture in Temple Bar since its unveiling in 2003, providing a focal point for many of Dublin’s walking tours and showcasing the music that is such an integral part of Irish culture. Recently, LED screens were added to the exhibit, allowing for new artists to be added to the exhibit more frequently.

Down through history, certain guitars and equipment have become as legendary as the musicians who play them. Gibson, Fender, Marshall, and Vox are companies that any musician or music enthusiast will know and love. On display in the museum is an extensive variety of vintage instruments and equipment.

Temple Lane Rehearsal Studios are the premiere rehearsal studios in Dublin. Many acts do pre-production for albums here, trying out new material and getting songs ready to record or perform. Now you can experience what it’s like to rehearse with your very own band.

Temple Lane Recording Studio has been at the centre of Irish music since 1984. Countless bands have recorded here, including Paolo Nutini, The Script, Rihanna and many more. Now, for the first time, explore and experience the iconic studios for yourself.

Open 7 days a week 11.30 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday and 11.00 am – 5.30 pm Saturday and Sunday

Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

Tel: 01-6351993

Adults €16 (get 10% off this price by booking online); concessions.


James Joyce Walking Tours

James Joyce Centre Walking Tours

Get an insight into historic Joycean Dublin via the James Joyce Centre Walking Tours, which take in some of the sights and sounds of the city in which Joyce staged all his works.

From January to March there is a tour every Saturday, departing from the James Joyce Centre. From April to September, tours take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (and sometimes on additional days – check the James Joyce Centre events website calendar).

Introducing James Joyce’s Dublin – Though Joyce lived most of his life outside of Ireland, Dublin would provide the backdrop for virtually all of his work. On a stroll around the north inner city, the guide explains the inspiration behind some of Joyce’s most celebrated writing and shows just how central the streetscape of the ‘Hibernian metropolis’ is to the author’s life and art. The tour visits stops such as Joyce’s alma mater, Belvedere College; Hardwicke Street, the setting of the short story ‘The Boarding House’; the Gresham Hotel, the setting of the final and most memorable scene of the short story ‘The Dead’; and the James Joyce Statue on North Earl Street, affectionately known as the ‘Prick with the Stick’. The tour also includes a visit to the site of one of the most famous addresses in English literature, No. 7 Eccles Street, and retraces the steps of Leopold Bloom’s celebrated journey to buy a pork kidney in the fourth episode of Ulysses. This tour ends on O’Connell Street.

Dubliners – Joyce once referred to Dublin as the ‘centre of paralysis’, a city that he felt was backward and repressive in contrast to the modern capitals of Europe. Joyce’s “Dubliners” is  a short story collection that illustrates the effects of this restrictive atmosphere on the city’s population. The tour visits some of the key locations from both the collection and the author’s life, discussing Joyce’s critical portrayal of the social, religious and political landscape of his home town. The tour also gives some insight into the publication history of the collection. The walk ends at O’Connell Bridge.

In the Footsteps of Leopold Bloom – This tour explores the background to Joyce’s Ulysses and to Bloom’s thoughts as he crosses the city in search of something to eat in the ‘Lestrygonians’ episode. In Bloom’s footsteps, food becomes the central issue of social, cultural and political life in Dublin in 1904. The tour starts from the James Joyce Centre and finishes at the National Museum.

James Joyce Centre, 35 North Great George’s Street, Dublin 1.

Tel: 01 878 8547.

Adults €10; concessions.

Malahide Castle and Coastal Day Tour

The Malahide Castle and Coastal Day Tour is a half day tour organised by the Dualway Group. The excursion includes a scenic coastal drive along Dublin’s northern coast; a visit to the fishing village of Howth; a climb to Howth Summit; a guided tour of Malahide Castle; and a visit to the Avoca coffee and gift shop.

The tour departs from the City Sightseeing shop at 14 Upper O’Connell Street at 9.30 am and 2.00 pm. The bus returns at 1.30 pm and 6.00 pm approx.

Tours run daily all year. No tours on Dec 22-26.

City Sightseeing Shop, 14 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1.

Tel: 01 5311711

Adults €27; concessions.


Newgrange and Hill of Tara Tour

The Newgrange and Hill of Tara Tour is a full day tour which takes in a scenic coastal drive along Dublin’s northern coast and a visit to the Tomb of Newgrange (where there is an elaborate visitor centre).

Newgrange is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the oldest and largest Neolithic burial chamber in Europe (3,200 BC). The tour also includes a visit to the historic monastic settlement of Monasterboice and a trip to the coastal village of Howth.

The tour departs from the Dublin Visitor Centre (17 Lower O’Connell St) at 8.45 am. The return time is 5.30 pm approx.

The tour runs on Mon/Tues and Fri/Sat from April to October (check the official website calendar, using the Booking facility).

Dublin Visitor Centre, 17 Lr O’Connell St, Dublin 1.

Tel:  01 6854045

Adults €37 (online price); concessions.