Capture all the best bits of your days out in Dublin with some iconic backdrops. From unique statues and historical buildings to animal photo bombs and unmissable art, these photo hotspots and Instagram places in Dublin are not to be missed!
One of the best ways to discover Dublin is on foot. The city centre is small and ready to be discovered, while bus, DART and LUAS options will take you further afield to discover even more that the county has to offer.
Best Instagram Places in Dublin
The vibrant red lighthouse at the mouth of the River Liffey can be found at the end of the Great South Wall. A 4km walk from the car park will take you out to see the scenic views.
At just over 207m high, the infamous Poolbeg Towers are visible across the Dublin skyline from most directions and one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
St Stephen’s Green
St Stephen’s Green is an oasis in the middle of the city. This historical park and garden has a lined history to many important figures, such as Arthur Guinness, 1st Baron Ardilaun, and Countess Constance Markievicz.
Keep an eye out for a number of important sculptural Irish monuments, while younger visitors will enjoy the playground and the duck ponds.
Built in 1816, The Ha’penny Bridge is a landmark pedestrian bridge crossing the River Liffey. Named after the original tax to be paid for crossing, the bridge is now crossed by thousands each day.
Located in a beautiful campus in the heart of Dublin’s city centre, Trinity College is Ireland’s highest ranked university and a stunning setting to visit as you walk through the city.
The Library at Trinity College
The Long Room at Trinity is one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. It also plays home to the Book of Kells, one of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasures. As you explore the exhibition, you will learn about the 1,200-year-old Book of Kells and the rich symbolism and artistry behind it.
Howth is a working fishing village, with fishing trawlers and fish shops lining the pier. Easily accessibly by DART, there are markets to explore, Howth Head to hike, and seals to spot in the harbour!
Deer in the Phoenix Park
The Phoenix Park is one of the largest enclosed public parks in any capital city in Europe. It was originally formed as a royal hunting Park in the 1660s and opened to the public in 1747.
Open daily, all year round, the 1,750-acre Park offers lots to see and do, including Dublin Zoo, Áras an Uachtaráin, Victorian flower gardens, walking and cycling trails, playgrounds, the Papal Cross and more.
Although the Park is home to the Irish President, the most visited residents are the thousands of fallow deer. The large herd can be seen as you walk or drive through the park, although it is important to remember to keep your distance. Do not feed the deer – just let them photo bomb!
There are 29 Martello towers running the length of the county. Built in the early 1800s, the towers were originally designed as lookout posts. Today, some of the towers are privately owned, while others are run down. Some are suitable to visit, including the Ye Olde Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio in Howth and the James Joyce Tower and Museum in Sandycove.
Are you searching for what’s on for families in Ireland? Enjoy hours of family fun with our monthly round up of exciting events and things to do.
Umbrellas on Anne Lane
For a truly unique backdrop, this canopy of colourful umbrellas on Anne Lane, off South Anne Street in the city centre, is worth a visit.
Georgian doors are synonymous with Dublin, and can be seen prominently in areas like Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square. The vibrant colours are fun to spot – can you get photos with the whole rainbow?
Portmarnock Beach, known as the Velvet Strand, is a stunning, sandy Blue Flag beach in North County Dublin. Stretching five miles from Baldoyle towards Malahide, the beach is popular for swimming, walking and watersports.
Dublin Convention Centre
The unique design and ever-changing light display of the Dublin Convention Centre in the Dublin Docklands is a real vision. Lit up in seasonal or themed colours for all events, the light reflection on the Liffey at night makes for a fantastic photo spot.
The Grand Canal stretches from Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock all the way to the River Shannon. In Dublin, you can follow the canal through areas like Ringsend, Ballsbridge, Ranelagh, Rathmines, Harolds Cross and Crumlin.
While the canal itself is a scenic path to walk, cycle and enjoy, the traditional locks and barges along the water are a sight to behold.
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral is one of Ireland’s most historic buildings, standing in the heart of Dublin for more than 1,000 years.
The cathedral is home to the famous 12th-century crypt, one of the oldest and largest in Britain and Ireland. While the Cathedral itself is a showstopper, the unique footbridge that joins the Cathedral to Synod Hall is particularly eye-catching.
Patrick Kavanagh Bench
Irish poet and novelist Patrick Kavanagh was commemorated with this unique seated statue along the Grand Canal. The bench is situated on the north bank of the Grand Canal between Baggot Street Bridge and the upstream Eustace Bridge.
Dublin Zoo, in the heart of the Phoenix Park, was opened by the Zoological Society of Ireland in 1831 and still operates as a charity to this day.
With areas like the Gorilla Rainforest, African Plains, Sea Lion Cave, Flamingo Lagoon, and the elephant’s Kaziranga Forest Trail there is so much to discover, learn and see. Make sure to check out the scheduled feeding times, which are a great way to learn more about the animals. Who knows, you may get photobombed by some of the residents!
Killiney Hill is a popular destination for walkers and hikers availing of the spectacular views, over the surrounding areas: Dublin to the northwest, the Irish Sea and the mountains of Wales (on a clear day) to the east and southeast, and Bray Head and the Wicklow Mountains to the south.
Start planning your trip with our Guide to Dublin for families – we’ve got all the details on where to eat, stay, play and explore!
Grand Canal Square
Grand Canal Square features a striking composition of a red “carpet” extending from the theatre into and over the dock. Bright red angled light sticks are eye-catching during the day, but a real stand-out when glowing at night.
Designed by American landscape architect, Martha Schwartz, the 10,000 sq metre square is one of the largest paved public spaces in Dublin city.
Oscar Wilde Statue
The lifesize, colourful statue of Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde can be found in Merrion Square in Dublin’s city centre, opposite his childhood home of 1 Merrion Square.
The Spire of Dublin, alternatively titled the Monument of Light, is a stainless steel monument standing 390ft tall in the centre of O’Connell Street.
The Hungry Tree
The Hungry Tree in Dublin is located on the grounds of The Honorable Society of King’s Inns, Ireland’s oldest school of law. This 80-year-old London Plane tree is currently in the process of “eating” a cast-iron bench.
As the tree has grown, it has overtaken and swallowed parts of the structure in its way. Its gnarled bark now spills over the back of the bench, making it appear as though the seat is being sucked into the tree’s trunk.
The grounds are open and accessible to the public, so you can visit The Hungry Tree for yourself!
The original Jeanie Johnston made her maiden voyage from Blennerville in Tralee, Co. Kerry to Quebec in Canada in 1848 with 193 passengers on board. She carried 2,500 Irish emigrants on 16 transatlantic voyages to North America throughout the Famine years.
Today, you can climb aboard the authentic replica Jeanie Johnston in Dublin’s Docklands for a tour. Alternatively, use the landmark sight as a phenomenal photo backdrop.
The Icon Walk, Temple Bar
The Icon Walk in Temple Bar is a public art project that comprises a series of imaginative and inclusive snapshots of iconic Irish historical and contemporary figures. These creative representations of cultural icons, past and present, are posted on the walls of the streets leading up to the Icon Factory Gallery.
Butterfly House at Malahide Castle
Step inside Ireland’s only butterfly house at Malahide Castle & Gardens. Watch them fly among tropical plants and spot their individual traits and markings. With over 20 species of butterfly housed at Malahide, it’s a paradise for both amateur enthusiasts and experienced lepidopterists!
Iveagh Gardens are popularly known as Dublin’s ‘Secret Garden’, due to their almost hidden location at the top of Harcourt Street, behind the National Concert Hall.
From modest beginnings as an earl’s lawn, the gardens went on to host the splendour of the Dublin Exhibition Palace in 1865. Many of the original landscape features are still in place, or have been restored and conserved since 1995. These include the yew maze, the rosarium, and the fountains.
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is located in The CHQ Building, a beautifully restored 200-year-old Georgian warehouse. Discover why over 10 million people left this island, where they went and what they brought with them. Uncover stories of adventure, adversity and triumph, as you engage with their personal stories and engage with history in 20 interactive galleries.
One particular photo hotspot is the EPIC sign out front!
Buskers on Grafton Street
Buskers are an integral part of life on Grafton Street, from tradition Irish music and instrumental to pop and rock you can sing along with. Many of Ireland’s famous musicians started out here, including Damian Rice, Glen Hansard, Bono and more.
You can still spot some famous faces on occasion, most notably on Christmas Eve when some of the biggest stars host an impromptu busking session for charity.
Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 as the new County Gaol for Dublin. While most of the prisoners were common criminals, it also held political prisoners involved in Ireland’s struggle for independence. Included amongst those held here were Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin, the Fenians, Charles Stewart Parnell, Countess Markievicz and the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Now, the Gaol is a popular tourist attraction with guided tours and a museum to explore.
Dun Laoghaire Pier
The East Pier of Dun Laoghaire Harbour is a popular place for walkers, joggers and pleasure seekers. The pier boasts a Victorian shelter and bandstand that was first constructed in 1890 and has since undergone extensive renovations.