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Hidden Dublin: 12 Cool Things to do While You're in Town

Although it's small enough, Dublin is one of those cities that has surprises up her sleeve and never disappoints. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend, a fortnight, or like me, live here, it is always presenting things I’ve never done or heard of to do, and I’ve been taking note. So, here are 12 hidden Dublin things to do that you’ve probably never thought of doing.

1 Have a drink in The Hacienda15 Little Mary Street, Dublin 7

One of the best bar experiences you'll have in #Dublin, the #Hacienda. #uncoverdublin

A photo posted by Cristin (@cristinlarkin) on

Well, obviously I had to start the list with a pint of the black stuff. What kind of Dubliner would I be if I didn’t? The Hacienda is a local treasure on Little Mary Street, on Dublin’s north side. With three rooms big enough to hold a handful, and decorated with famous faces who have enjoyed a drink there, you have to ring the bell and wait for whoever is manning the bar to let you in. It’s the perfect spot for a pint and a chat. It does get quite crowded on Friday and Saturday nights, mind you.

2 Pick up some antiques at the Brocante market Green Door, Newmarket Square, Dublin 8

#brocante #NewmarketSq

A photo posted by Jan Leonard (@jeannineleonard) on

Every third Sunday of the month, the sleepy morning streets of Dublin 8’s Newmarket are woken with the sounds of vintage delights setting up shop. Packed with an abundance of stylish finds including furniture, clothes and ornaments, the Brocante Market is a great day out even if you don’t plan on purchasing. The good finds are gone quickly, so if you are in the market to buy, get there early.

3 Go to a Ukulele session in the Stag's Head 1 Dame Court, Dublin 2

#TheDublinBible #lovindublin #AllAboutDublin

A photo posted by Rafael Prado (@rafaelpradorp) on

On any given night, the Stag's Head on Dame Lane is a fantastic place to sit and relax. But on Tuesday nights, the pub’s upstairs comes alive with a different kind of vibe. Eager players descend from all corners of the city to play their Ukuleles together, and it’s great craic. Go, grab a pint and enjoy the tunes.

4 Grab a breakfast burrito in K Chido Mexico 18 Chancery St, Inns Quay, Dublin 7

K Chido Mexican Restaurant Dublin

Photo credit: William Murphy

What’s better than breakfast? A breakfast burrito of course! And I must say the gang at K Chido do a stand-up job. From a funky converted VW van in a repurposed warehouse, they serve up delicious Mexican street food in cosy surroundings decked out in upcycled furniture. It’s a really cool place to wander to and get set up for the day.

5 Catch a gig at the Ruby Sessions 9 College St, Dublin 2

If you happen to love music and be in Dublin on a Tuesday night, upstairs in the popular Doyle’s pub hosts the Ruby Sessions. An acoustic session set in intimate lighting with the acts that play announced a couple of days in advance. They usually have one super special act that is revealed at the last minute, and previous shockers have included Ed Sheeran, Paulo Nutini and Mumford & Sons. It’s a ticket-at-the-door kind of deal, so get there early to avoid disappointment.

6 See a movie in the Lighthouse Cinema Market Square, Smithfield, Dublin 7

#lighthousecinema #Dublin #design

A photo posted by Light House Cinema (@lighthousecinema) on

Dublin’s most loved independent cinema is the Lighthouse in Smithfield Square. Showing the latest releases, cult classics and homegrown flicks, it’s a reassuringly lovely place to spend an evening or an afternoon.

7 Walk along Henrietta Street Dublin 1

Henrietta Street, Dublin

Photo credit: Seán Smyth

For somewhere a little bit different to add to your city stroll, walk over to Henrietta Street on the north side. This somewhat hidden, picturesque former tenement street, has been the set of many a TV show and movie, and it’s a photo op just waiting for you budding photographers.

8 Sit by the Hungry Tree Constitution Hill, Dublin 7

#hungrytree #dublin #loveireland

A photo posted by Cléo Fogerty-Followill (@cleo.fogertyfollowill) on

Nearby on Constitution Hill, King’s Inn Park has a tree. A regular looking tree from one angle, but from another, a very hungry looking tree indeed. Slowly digesting a park bench, it’s a sight to behold. Once you’ve taken a few bench selfies, wander around the park. It’s gorgeous, and it too was used as the set for many movies.

9 Visit the Sunday market in the People’s Park Park Road, Dún Laoghaire

People's Park Market, Dún Laoghaire

Photo credit: Sebastian Dooris

Every Sunday in Dún Laoghaire, about 30 minutes outside of the city centre, the People’s Park sets up for a day of market. You can buy food (too many cuisines to mention), flowers, gifts and even a bike or two if you’re in the mood. If it’s a nice day, go there early with a picnic blanket, and enjoy a day of eating and lounging. When the market finishes, walk along the pier and take in the sights of the sea. Oh, and don't forget the obligatory Teddy's Ice Cream cone.

10 Head to the Meeting House Square in Temple Bar Dublin 2

You won't be stuck for a market in Dublin, that’s for sure. If you’re planning to stay central, head along to Meeting House Square in Temple Bar on a Saturday or Sunday. A foodie's paradise smack bang in the middle of the cultural quarter; you’ll find everything from fresh bread, cheese, olive oils and vegetables. The traders will also be on hand to give their advice on how to prepare their produce at home. There are lots of freshly prepared food stalls too, so grab a bite while you consider the next meal.

The square also hosts regular gigs and movie nights. Huge umbrellas open up to form a weatherproof canopy roof, so no need to bring the raincoat.

11 Hang out on the trendy Drury Street Dublin 2

Lazy Saturday#drinkasmuchcoffeeasyoucan // Сегодня я на 99% состою из кофе.

A photo posted by Ksenia Kalmykova (@kseniakalmykova) on

It’s fair to say that Drury Street, in the middle of Dublin’s Creative Quarter, is home to all things hipster. But we don’t mind that. It means delicious food, coffee and some pretty great shopping. Go to Industry; peruse the shop, get some lunch and grab a coffee. I suggest hopping across the road to Kaph; they pride themselves on being Dublin’s favourite coffee shop. Expect to queue, but it's worth the wait.

12 See an exhibition in the Science Gallery The Naughton Institute, Pearse St, Dublin 2

Where science meets a night out. The Science Gallery hosts fun and educational exhibitions where they aim to fuse art and science. They have regular exhibits and events, so do catch one if you can. Check out the 2017 programme to see what’s on while you’re in town.

And, of course, there's no greater find than a homestay. Your host will be able to give you their very own tips and secrets about Dublin.

Tempted yet?

We have hundreds of fantastic Dublin hosts to choose from.

See Homestays in Dublin

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