The Emerald Isle is green and luscious, and that is primarily because we do get a fair bit of rain! Luckily they are often showers and certainly do not spoil your fun exploring Ireland’s capital. Knowing what to do when the heavens open is not always obvious, so here is our Top 10 list of things to do in Dublin when they do!

Take in a show

Dublin has a number of amazing theatres and concert venues, many who offer matinee performances. The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in the Docklands is a contemporary architectural delight and is the location of big name musicals and touring productions. The Gaiety Theatre is a classic venue with opera, musicals, drama and revues – it is also the home of Riverdance!

Known as the National Theatre of Ireland, Abbey Theatre is the cultural hub of Irish theatre, founded by W.B Yeats and Lady Gregory, with performances of some of Ireland’s finest work throughout the year. If that is still not enough, Dublin has over 30 concert and theatre venues across the city!

Distillery tours

Dublin has been synonymous with whiskey distillation for centuries and at its peak, there were some forty distilleries in a one mile ‘Golden Triangle’ with The Liberties at its centre. Over the past few years, more and more distilleries have been emerging and even re-emerging, leaving you spoiled for choice.

From the landmark Jameson Bow Street Distillery to the small batch Pearse Lyons Distillery, set in the restored former St. James’s Church complete with glass spire – there really is a distillery experience for everyone. Of course, if you want to try a bit of everything, The Irish Whiskey Museum is the place to go!

Museums and Galleries

It doesn’t matter what your interests are, there a museum in Dublin for you. The National Museum of Ireland has locations featuring archaeology, decorative arts and natural history, or visit the GPO museum on O’Connell Street and discover the events of the Easter Rising. EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum traces the history and changing culture of the Irish who left these shores for new lives overseas – a must for anyone with Irish roots!

We have art galleries displaying outstanding historical works, both contemporary and classical. We have museums dedicated to our writers and literary heritage and a print museum to show how these works were published. Museums of maritime, arts, crafts, transport and even Irish rock and roll at the Rock and Roll Experience museum are just the thing for a rainy day!

Bus Adventures

When is a bus not just a bus? When it is a Dublin experience bus of course! Join Vintage Tea Trips on one of their three specially designed routemasters, called Pauline, Kitty and Jean! Immerse yourself in nostalgia and fun as you delight in an Irish Afternoon Tea. Enjoy stories and anecdotes in the dry as you explore the streets of Dublin. If you don’t mind running between the showers, a Dublin Hop On Hop Off Bus Pass will take you to all the major landmarks with entertaining guides on board between stops.

If that is a bit tame for you, then join one of Dublin’s Ghost Bus Tours! Whether you opt for The Gravedigger Bus tour that includes Glasnevin Cemetery, or DoDublin’s Purple Ghost Bus, which reveals Dublin’s spookiest secrets, either are a perfectly terrifying way to spend a rainy night!

Cathedrals and Churches

Pay a visit to Christ Church Cathedral, which has stood in the heart of Dublin for over almost a millennium. From the historic bells in belfry to the vaulted nave and ancient crypts, there is a myriad of discovery within the hallowed walls. St. Patrick’s Cathedral was built on the site of a St. Patrick Holy Well and you will enjoy exploring Ireland’s largest church with a stunning array of stained glass.

For something a bit different, you can visit St. Michan’s Church with crypts containing the mummified remains of nobility or pop into the Whitefriar Street Church and visit the Shrine of St. Valentine include relics of the saint!

Dublin Castle and Chester Beatty

Not simply a castle, Dublin Castle is a centre for major government events and banquets. It contains the State Apartments, a medieval tower and the Chapel Royal. It holds a large collection of fine art, antiques and tapestries dating back over three hundred years. It was also the work place of civil servant Bram Stoker! As well as a traditional castle, it has been a fortress, prison, law court and home to the Treasury.

In the grounds of the castle is the Chester Beatty – an exquisite showcase of some of the finest books, manuscripts, artwork and treasures from across the globe and a plethora of different cultures and religions.

Guinness Storehouse

A Guinness Storehouse tour will take you through the history and right to the heart of the black stuff! As you traverse the seven floors, a journey from grain to glass will unfold. Enjoy a chance to pour your own pint and finally in the top floor Gravity Bar find yourself surrounded by a 360-degree view of Dublin as you enjoy your entry ticket pint of Guinness. How much of the view you will see on a rainy day in Dublin we cannot say!

Kilmainham Gaol and Trinity College with the Book of Kells Experience

If you ever wanted to get a real grasp of Irish history, Kilmainham Gaol is the place to go. A century of incarceration of men, women and children, wrapped in some of the most significant moments in the history of Ireland. Most notable inmates were the revolutionary heroes, from Robert Emmet and Charles Stewart Parnell to the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. As one of the most popular visitor locations, tickets usually have to be booked when released 28 days in advance. Not conducive to an unexpected rainy day, however they do have cancellation spots and additional entry released at 9:15am each morning!

As well as the magnificent Old Library of Trinity College with the Book of Kells, you can now include the new immersive digital experience. The Book of Kells is the world famous 9th century gospel manuscript with some of the finest examples of calligraphy and illumination ever discovered. The Old Library also includes the Brian Boru Harp, one of our national symbols and an authentic facsimile of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic.


Grafton Street is home to the flagship Brown Thomas store, Ireland’s supermarket shopping experience. As Grafton Street is just for walking, it is a simple step from door to door of shopping in-between the drops of rain. Just a short stroll from Grafton, you can enjoy the elegance and heritage at the stunning Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, as you browse everything from the best of Irish yarns, antiques, fashion, art and jewellery in the charming Georgian setting.

The Victorian George’s Street Arcade is full of quirky stalls and shops. On Dawson Street, you will find Hodges Figgis, Ireland’s oldest bookshop. Opened in 1768, it has the largest stock of Ireland related books in the world. You could also hop on a LUAS (tram) to Dundrum Shopping Centre, the largest in Ireland, which includes the upmarket Harvey Nichols and popular brand stores.


There is an Irish local saying – it doesn’t rain on a barstool! As well as the obvious tasty food and tantalising drink selection, many Dublin pubs are so much more. Soak yourself in the history and architecture of some of Ireland’s oldest pubs rather than the rain! The Brazen Head claims to be Ireland’s oldest, with ties to the great Irish revolutionaries. The Long Hall maintains its Victorian façade and interior, often frequented by famous Dubliners, including Phil Lynott. Even Bruce Springsteen pops in from time to time!

If it’s traditional music you are after, then head for The Cobblestone in Smithfield or pop into Darkey Kelleys – dark in history as well as name and also the first location of the performance of Handel’s Messiah! In so many Dublin pubs, the laughter, banter and music will drown out the sound of raindrops and make you feel as welcome as the sunshine!

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