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Where to Find the Best Northside Dublin Attractions on a Day Out

Seek out Dublin Northside attractions for a day. Discover a Dublin Northside itinerary including the National Botanic Gardens Dublin and a Glasnevin Cemetery tour. Explore Dublin's Northside for a day.

In this post, we'll build a one day itinerary focused on the top Dublin Northside attractions. Venture across the River Liffey and discover some of the best and most historic things to do in the Dublin.

About This Dublin City Itinerary

One Day in Dublin City Itinerary Rating: Ambitious
This Dublin itinerary is recommended for people with the following interests: nature, history

Dublin Northside Attraction: Brendan Behan statue on the Royal Canal

Dublin Northside Day Out Itinerary in Brief

  1. Breakfast at McMahon's of Botanic Ave.
  2. Stroll the National Botanic Gardens
  3. Learn about Irish history and the road to independence at Glasnevin Cemetery
  4. Grab lunch and a pint at the Eatyard / Bernard Shaw
  5. Take an optional detour to see the Brendan Behan statue on the Royal Canal.
  6. Do a bit of birdwatching in Blessington Street Park
  7. Go traditional or more exotic for dinner at The Church or Hilan

Explore other one day Dublin City itineraries here

One Day in Dublin City Recommended Itineraries

Dublin Northside Day Out Itinerary in Detail

    National Botanic Gardens Dublin

    Explore some of Dublin's awesome but often overlooked attractions that are a little further afield on the Northside of the River Liffey. Take Dublin Bus Number 4 from Dublin City Centre to the entrance of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland. Pop into McMahon's of Botanic Ave for coffee and a pastry before taking a stroll around the National Botanic Gardens which features 15,000 plant species from around the world. Founded in 1795, Dublin's National Botanic Gardens are free and open to the public. In fact, the National Botanic Gardens is one of my top picks of free things to do in Dublin. Atmospheric Victorian-era greenhouses, Palm House is hard to miss, dot the expansive gardens. Flower gardens, burbling rivers, and an arboretum will keep you busy for a few hours. Seasonally, you can visit Sculpture in Context exhibitions where local artists display their works in harmony with the natural surroundings. Stop at the National Botanic Gardens visitors' centre to see what guided tours might be happening during your visit. We took a walking tour through the gardens which focused on plants of Chinese origin.
    Dublin Northside attractions: Sculpture in Context outside Palm House at the National Botanic Gardens Dublin

    Glasnevin Cemetery Tour

    Seek out the gate that connects the National Botanic Gardens with Glasnevin Cemetery. Glasnevin is a wonderful spot for a crash course on Irish history. The cemetery is done in the garden-park style and is lined with trees and other foliage. You'll find Glasnevin Cemetery Museum on the premises along with a cafe and other facilities. The museum is tastefully done and separated from the cemetery proper by a black privacy wall. Take a tour of Glasnevin Cemetery and you'll find yourself regaled with stories from the time of Daniel O'Connell "The Liberator" through the 20th century. O'Connell commissioned and funded the cemetery as a non-denominational resting place and his tomb sits beneath a tall tower. A bomb was set off in the 1970s which charred the inside of the tower and blew out the wooden staircase. 
    Dublin Northside attractions: Glasnevin Cemetery tourDublin Northside attractions: Victorian greenhouses at National Botanic Gardens Dublin
    Keep an eye out for famed Irish writer Brendan Behan's final resting place. On the anniversary of his death, it is said that his headstone is covered with pints of Guinness from respectful fans. Learn about Irish Independence and the Pro- and Anti-Treaty factions of the IRA. Some of the principle antagonists are buried within 50 feet of each other in Glasnevin Cemetery.

    James Joyce, arguably Dublin's most famous writer, set Chapter 6 "Hades" from Ulysses in Glasnevin Cemetery.

    Dublin Northside Lunch on the Royal Canal

    Enjoy lunch at the Eatyard and craft beer at the new location of the Bernard Shaw along the Royal Canal. If you are feeling extra ambitious, walk along the Royal Canal for another 10 minutes to the statue of Brendan Behan and pay homage to the bad boy of Irish writing. 

    Dublin City Council's Blessington Street Basin

    Walk through the Phibsborough neighborhood of Dublin to Blessington Street Basin an amazing park centered around a lovely man made lake. Managed by Dublin City Council, Blessington Street Basin is one of my favorite Dublin gardens. You may find swans nesting on bales of hay that had been tossed into the pond. Apparently the bales serve not only as great nesting fodder but also to prevent algae blooms. Various bits of copper art are nestled in the stone wall surrounding the park. Blessington Street Basin is a former water reservoir built in 1810. At different points in time, it served to distribute water from the Royal Canal to Dublin City Centre and supplied the Jameson Distillery. This park is truly a hidden gem in the heart of the Dublin's Northside.
    Dublin Northside: Blessington Street Basin (Dublin Gardens)
    For dinner wander over to Capel Street for authentic spicy Chinese Food at Hailan or Irish pub food along with a spot of traditional Irish music and dancing at The Church (literally homed in a deconsecrated church) before calling it a day.

    Map of This Dublin City Itinerary: Northside Day Out

    Click on the map below to open up an interactive map of the points of interest highlighted on this one day Dublin itinerary.
    Dublin Northside Map

    Guide to Sidewalk Safari Dublin City Itineraries

    • Leisurely: No need to get up super-early to start this itinerary which is always good if you experienced a little too much of Dublin's famous craic the night before. Take your time exploring the sights on these itineraries or take detours that you discover on your own in the process of following my suggestions.
    • Intermediate: You should be able to comfortably fit in the activities recommended even if you don't get an early start. There is a fair amount of walking involved in these itineraries to get from place to place.
    • Ambitious: Lots to see plus a lot of walking. Make sure to get an early start or you won't make it to everything on the list.
    The perfect formula for a day out in Dublin City includes: breakfast/coffee, morning activities, lunch, afternoon activities, a pub stop, dinner, and evening fun.

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    Dublin Northside Attractions

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    Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Where to Find the Best Northside Dublin Attractions on a Day Out
    Where to Find the Best Northside Dublin Attractions on a Day Out
    Seek out Dublin Northside attractions for a day. Discover a Dublin Northside itinerary including the National Botanic Gardens Dublin and a Glasnevin Cemetery tour. Explore Dublin's Northside for a day.
    Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog