Places to visit: Entertainment

Aviva Stadium

Aviva Stadium

Aviva Stadium, also known as Lansdowne Road, is the home stadium of the Irish football and rugby teams. It has capacity for over 50,000 spectators and is Ireland’s first, and only, UEFA Category 4 Stadium.

Aviva Stadium is built on one of the oldest sports grounds in the world, the first ever international athletic meeting took place there in 1876. It was called Lansdowne Road until 2007, but the when the old stadium was demolished for redevelopment, it was reopened as the Aviva Stadium in 2010 after the naming rights were bought by Aviva Group.

Opening Hours:
Tours of the stadium were available until 2020, but currently the only way to access it is by attending a ticketed sport or music event. The best time to attend the stadium is during the annual Six Nations Rugby Championship between February and March. However, tickets for these events are often sold out well in advance, or only available from re-sellers with huge mark-ups. Check here to see upcoming events.

Tel: 01 238 2300
Lansdowne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Butlers Chocolate Experience

Butlers Chocolate Experience

What really goes on behind the doors of a working chocolate factory? Where does Butlers chocolate come from and how it is made? Would you like to learn about the different types of chocolate and how handcrafted Butlers Chocolate assortments, fudge and toffee, hot chocolate and the finest chocolate bars are created?

Find out by booking a guided tour at the Butlers Chocolate Experience, with plenty of chocolate tastings along the way. Watch the Chocolate Movie, wander around the Chocolate Museum, savour the aroma from the Chocolate Gallery and decorate your own chocolate novelty to bring home in the Chocolate Experience room.

Although the company was founded in 1932, the Butlers Irish Chocolates brand was not created till 1984. In 2011 Butlers Chocolates were named Food & Drink Exporter of the Year at the Irish Exporters Awards.

Opening Hours:
Tours available Tues to Sun: 10am, 1pm & 3.30pm. Tour times can be subject to change.
All bookings must be made in advance.
Check the official website booking calendar for current tour availability.
Please note that the factory is not operational on weekends and bank holidays.

Contact & Pricing:
Tel: 01 671 0599
Butlers Chocolates, Clonshaugh Business Park, Dublin 17
Tickets: €16.95

The Church

The Church

The former St. Mary’s Church of Ireland is one of the earliest examples of a galleried church in Dublin. Built at the beginning of the 18th century, it boasts many outstanding features, such as the Renatus Harris built organ and a spectacular stained glass window. Important historical figures associated with St. Mary’s include Arthur Guinness, Sean O’Casey, Wolfe Tone, John Wesley, Jonathan Swift and George Frederic Handel.

St. Mary’s closed in 1964 and lay derelict for a number of years. Beautifully restored, it is now a café, bar and restaurant.

Opening Hours:
The venue is open from 10:30am – 11pm or later 7 days a week.
Self-guided tours are from 10:30am until 5pm.
You can use this leaflet (in a variety of languages) to guide you through your visit.
Persons under 21 will not be permitted on the premises at any time without a guardian.

Contact & Pricing:
Tel: 01 828 0102
Junction of Mary St & Jervis St, Dublin 1

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo

Ireland’s most popular family attraction (over one million visitors a year). Opened in 1831, Dublin Zoo is one of the world’s oldest and most popular zoos. It has been transformed in recent decades into a 28 hectare park of gardens, lakes and natural habitats for over 400 animals. Many are rare species and their survival in the wild is under threat; many of the zoo’s animals are part of international breeding programmes for endangered species. The African Plains area is spectacular, a facsimile of the grassy savanna and open plains of the natural wild. See giraffe and zebras wander while the hunting dogs prowl. Look out too for the rhino, the ostrich and the chimpanzees.

Kids rate this venue a 5-star experience.

Opening Hours:
Open daily from 9.30am – 6pm
African Plains closes at 5.30pm, last admission is 5.00pm.
Save up to 15% by pre-booking your ticket.

Contact & Pricing:
Tel: 01 474 8900
Phoenix Park, Dublin 8
Adults from €19.40; concessions

Irish Rock'n'Roll Museum

Irish Rock’n’Roll Museum Experience

The Irish Rock’n’Roll Museum Experience 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 Lynott’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.

Opening Hours:
Open 7 days a week 10.30am to 5pm.
Advance booking recommended.

Contact & Pricing:
Tel: 01 677 7134 / 089 449 0795 (weekends).
Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Adults €22; concessions

Irish Traditional Music Archive

Irish Traditional Music Archive

The Irish Traditional Music Archive is the national reference archive and resource centre for the traditional song, instrumental music and dance of Ireland. Here is found the largest collection in existence of sound recordings, books/serials, sheet music and ballad sheets, photographs, and videos/DVDs for the appreciation and study of Irish traditional music. The archive also holds a representative collection of the traditional music of other countries.

Visitors may listen to recordings, view DVDs and photographs, read music collections, and research material and topics of interest. The archive is open to all but for study and research purposes only.

Opening Hours:
Mon to Fri: 10am – 5pm, closed between 1pm and 2pm.
No booking required.

Contact & Pricing:
Tel: 01 661 9699.
73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Free admission; donations welcome.

Irish Whiskey Museum

Irish Whiskey Museum

The Irish Whiskey Museum uncovers the intriguing story of Irish whiskey. Learn the origins of Irish whiskey, its rise to glory, its dramatic fall and its current revival. Located opposite the main entrance of Trinity College, the museum is very centrally located.

The Museum contains a unique collection of Irish whiskey memorabilia that dates back to the 1800s. At the end of the tour you enjoy a sample of Irish whiskey.

There are 4 tours available:

  • Irish Coffee Masterclass teaches you the history and technique of Irish Coffee.
  • The Classic Tour consists of a guided tour and 3 Irish whiskey tastings.
  • The Premium Tour consists of the tour, 4 Irish whiskey tastings and a souvenir whiskey glass.
  • Blending Experience is an extended 75-minute option, including a tasting of 4 Irish whiskeys, plus a chance to blend your own personalised miniature bottle of whiskey to take home.

Opening Hours:
Tours run 10.30am – 6:00pm; early bird discount rates before 12pm.
Tour times vary depending on type, book online to see availability.

Contact & Pricing:
Tel: 01 525 0970
119 Grafton Street, Dublin 2
Irish Coffee Masterclass – Adults €20; concessions
Classic Tour – Adults €23; concessions
Premium Tour – Adults €28; concessions
Blending Experience – Adults €35; concessions

water park

National Aquatic Centre (Aquazone)

The National Aquatic Centre contains competition standard swimming and diving pools, as well as a separate Aquazone waterpark.

Aquazone, at the National Aquatic Centre, is one of the most innovative water parks in Europe. The Centre has over 650,000 visitors per year. Aquazone offers thrills, water adventures and loads of fun. Rides include:

  • Master Blaster (water roller coaster) – with hair-raising drops and thrilling banked curves, this rollercoaster-style ride is a proven hair raiser.
  • Flow Rider (Surfing Machine) – the fun and excitement of surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding in a truly interactive ride.
  • Wave Pool – the swell of the waves starts in the deep end of the pool and comes towards you, lifting you up. Just like in the ocean, as the waves get closer to the shore, they reduce in size and gradually wash up on the centre shoreline.
  • Green Giant – reach high speeds on this long, open top water slide. Experience thrills and high speeds as you are taken around bends towards the splash opening at the bottom.
  • Pirate Ship – heaven for kids aged 8 and under. Full of safe and fun rides, complete with pirate ship, cannons and small slides.
  • Bubble Pool –  sit back and relax into a world of luxury as the powerful jacuzzi pool jets take your stress away. A real adult favourite at AquaZone.
  • Dark Hole – Take a slide down the dark flume. In total darkness. You know the end is coming, you just don’t know when it will arrive. A slide for adrenaline junkies.
  • Lazy River – float around the Wave Pool at two miles an hour, a relaxing 120 metre ride.

Opening Hours:
Opening times vary seasonally, and depending on the facility required.
Prices and facilities available can vary wildly between peak and off-peak.
There are numerous entry restrictions, time limits and additional fees.
It is highly recommended to visit the website for the latest opening hours.
Advanced online booking is required.

Competition pools may be closed or restricted use for events.

Contact & Pricing:
Tel: 01 646 4300
National Aquatic Centre, Snugborough Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
Adults from €8 (off-peak, swim only); concessions

Leprechaun Museum

National Leprechaun Museum

The National Leprechaun Museum is a light-hearted celebration of Irish fairy tales and folklore. It covers such territory as the festivals of Samhain, Bealtaine and Lughnasa; the Tuatha Dé Danann; Cúchulainn and the Fianna; and ghosties such as the Púca and the Banshee. Exhibits include the rainbow room, a leprechaun well, the Giant’s Causeway, and the rain room.

Opening Hours:
Sun to Thurs: 10am – 6.30pm, Fri & Sat: 10am – 8pm
Day tours start every 30mins (not suitable for children under 6).
Adult only night tours available at 7 & 8pm, Fri & Sat only.
Tours may be sold out weeks in advance, so early booking is recommended.

Contact & Pricing:
Tel: 01 873 3899
2/3 Mary’s Abbey, Dublin 7
Day tours – Adults €18; concessions
Night tours – Adults €20

National Wax Museum

National Wax Museum

The Great Irish Writers Room is a salute to the literary legacy of our nation’s greatest writers. Figures featured include James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, Sean O’Casey and George Bernard Shaw.

The Time Vaults of Irish History section offers the visitor the opportunity to explore the various stages of Irish history. One passes through the magnificent old Armoury vaults which formally housed the nation’s gold and armour. Visit St Patrick, the Celts, The Normans, the Vikings and the Famine, all the way through to Modern Irish History.

Meet Setanta and his wolfhound, watch out for the Viking slaying monk, witness a glimpse of the devastation of famine life, feel the tension of the 1916 Rising and meet the men and women who secured peace in Northern Ireland. Enjoy a history lesson in Irish culture and life, from the Bronze Age right up to the Good Friday Agreement peace talks in Northern Ireland, and stand side by side some of the nation’s most famous historical figures.

No wax museum would be complete without its very own Chambers of Horror. Feel your heart pounding and your hands sweating as you come face to face with the infamous Buffalo Bill, Hannibal Lector or Dracula.

In Wax World  you enter through the Wardrobe into a fantastical room that features all the greats and all the seasons of the year. Santa Claus sleeps in the Wax Museum 364 days a year. Harry Potter and Mad Eye Moody stand in Autumn. Children can sit with Peppa Pig and take a seat in the creative corner and draw and colour to their hearts’ content. Also featured are Sponge Bob Square Pants, the Simpsons, the Evil Queen, Harry Potter and Bob the Builder.

The Science and Discovery Zone pays homage to Irish Inventors, engineers and scientists. Interactive touch screen technology helps bring this room to life, with real experiments and figures to examine and touch.

An Offaly man, Henry George Ferguson, revolutionised the farming industry by designing and building a plough with a 3 point linkage to the tractor. His invention and design is still widely used today. A sample of the back end of of a tractor is on view for all to see. Along with the tractor there are many more fun, weird and wonderful inventions and experiments on display throughout this section. Included is a commuter railway track, fibre optics displays and a link to the NASA space station.

Other scientists and inventors featured include John Philip Holland, the Clare man who developed the first US Navy Submarine; James Drum from Co. Down who invented the nickel zinc rechargeable battery; and Ernest Walton from Waterford, the first person in history to artificially split the atom.

Wax Hands give visitors a chance to have a copy of their own hand moulded in wax to take home and keep.

Visit Father Ted in an authentically Irish room set to capture one of the most influential cultural programmes of the 90s. Take a photo with more than one priest and spot as many Ted references as you can.

Opening Hours:
Open 7 days: 10am – 8pm.
Open later during summer.
Closed 24 – 26 Dec.

Contact & Pricing:
Tel: 01 671 8373
22-25 The Lafayette Building, Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2
Adults €17.50; concessions