How To Discover The Real Dublin – Without Falling Into The Tourist Trap

Rdp 20140909 00457 Dublin

Discover Dublin's Hidden Gems

As a city, Dublin is ever changing and so is its cultural scene. The capital offers so much more than pots of gold and pints of the black stuff – great news for anyone planning to visit in the future.

Whether you’re a tourist or playing the role of travel guide, here are the hidden gems that showcases what our nation's capital is all about.

Roe & Co Whiskey Distillery

In the heart of the historic Liberties, this urban distillery is part of a huge Renaissance that's taking place within the Irish whiskey scene over the past decade.

Housed in the former Power House of the Guinness Brewery, and resembling a comic book villain’s HQ this iconic building is worth the trip to Thomas Street alone. The famous distillery has been restored and repurposed, offering tours exploring the science of distillation, the art of blending and a hands-on flavour workshop.

After your educational tour has ended, relax with a complimentary cocktail in the lush surrounds of the Power House bar.

Rascals Brewery

If you’re after something a little more casual, Rascal’s Brewing offers just that. Situated in Dublin 8, Rascals offers popular styles with their own twist – alongside a delicious selection of pizza.

More interested in the goings-on of an independent Irish brewery? No problem – book a tour and discover how craft pints are made, from the malt room to the brewhouse to the fermentation tanks. Oh, and you’ll get to sample some of the tasty brews on offer too!


The Irish Museum of Modern Art boasts a dynamic programme of exhibitions, screenings, talks, workshops and live events among others. Where else would you be able to immerse yourself in the work of artist Kim Gordon – among others – on such an important historical site?

IMMA gives visitors the opportunity to go beyond the gallery and discover a side of Ireland that not everyone is immediately aware of.

Irish Museum Of Modern Art

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham Dublin

Marsh’s Library

Located beside St Patrick’s Cathedral, Marsh’s Library is home to more than 25,000 rare books. Unchanged for three centuries, this perfectly preserved library of the early Enlightenment, with its original oak bookcases, should be a must-visit for anyone scoping out The Land of Saints and Scholars.

And if that isn't enough for you, you can step back into the 19th Century with a quick selfie dressed as a master book thief, while your little ones are entertained by the myriad of events held at the venue.

Marsh’S Library

Marsh's Library Dublin

The Cobblestone

If you’re looking for an authentic taste of traditional Irish music, without breaking the bank in Temple Bar, head north towards Smithfield and look no further than The Cobblestone.

This laid-back and authentic pub has been hosting musicians across five generations, such as Na Piobairí Uilleannon (an Irish pipe band) on the first Tuesday night of every month. The Cobblestone Backroom also presents gigs, sessions, classes and talks tapping into a whole manner of Irish cultural quirks.

It really doesn’t get more eclectic than this.

Buswells Hotel

Located just a stone's throw away from Leinster House, the home of Irish parliament and five minutes from Dublin's main shopping district, Buswells Hotel is ideally situated to meet all of your needs under one roof.

Enjoy a meal in the critically acclaimed Trumans Restaurant and discover the best of fresh, local, Irish produce on offer. Or take time to pause amidst the old world charm of Buswells Bar, practically an Irish institution, famous for regular sightings of Irish politicians pouring over a pint of Guinness and debriefing after the days activity. If only those walls could talk!

Buswells Hotel 2

Little Museum of Dublin

Want to know the real story of the Irish capital? Make sure you prioritise a visit to the Little Museum of Dublin. Located in a beautiful Georgian house just off St Stephen’s Green in the city centre, it offers visitors the chance to explore U2’s rise to the top, the personal archives of cult politician Alfie Byrne, among a whole manner of other oddities that give Dublin its unique personality.

Be warned – the Little Museum has very limited capacity and their famous guided tours are usually sold out. However, once you do make it in the door you might be able to bag yourself a free ticket for your next visit by singing an Irish song or telling a great story.

Marsh’S Library 1

Ukulele Tuesday

Don’t fancy traipsing around Temple Bar for trad? The offerings upstairs in the Stag’s Head pub are truly off the beaten track.

Ukulele Tuesday sees those of all playing abilities get together to enjoy tunes spanning all genres and generations. If you can't play, just sing along or have a pint and enjoy the spectacle.

Brooks Hotel

Fancy hiding away from it all?

You can do just that in Brooks Hotel. Despite being a two minute walk from Grafton Street, the boutique hotel offers treats closer to home – like a private cinema for you and your friends to curl up with, or whiskey tastings at Jasmine’s Bar.

The décor of Francesca’s Restaurant will also put you at ease – picture leather furniture, intimate seating arrangements and an open-plan kitchen with head chef Patrick McLarnon at the helm.

Brooks Hotel Exterior Image

Clement and Pekoe

Specialty coffee is having a serious moment in Dublin right now. While it may feel like we’ve reached peak-coffee, with new cafes popping up almost overnight, Clement and Pekoe is one of the original and best.

Situated a hop, skip and a jump away from Powerscourt Shopping Centre, this relaxed cafe is the perfect place to take five after you’ve satiated your sartorial needs.

The focus is on a broad range of quality coffee in an informal, community space with an onus on sustainability. Each of Clement and Pekoe coffee cups are compostable and feature the work of a rotating list of Irish artists.

About Original Irish Hotels

Original Irish Hotels are a collection of unique, owner-run hotels, located in Ireland’s most outstanding destinations. Open the door to the magic of unmissable moments with Ireland’s leading collection of independent hotels.

Our 60 hotels are dotted around the entire island of Ireland in must-see locations, from the Wild Atlantic Way, to Ireland’s Ancient East, the Causeway Coast, Dublin and the treasured heartland of Ireland’s midlands and lakelands.

Irrespective of where our hotels are, Original Irish Hotels pride themselves in hosting a unique and truly memorable experience for our guests, and soon to be friends. The collection is made up of a range of traditional and boutique hotels, castles, manor and country houses, all run by locals, ensuring a unique experience every time.