On the east coast of Ireland, right on Dublin Bay, sits the fantastic capital city of Dublin, a relatively small city that keeps a quaint village feeling while being lively and diverse at the same time. Awarded a position among the top ten cities to visit, Dublin never fails to enchant. The city is packed with historical and beautiful places that make for great photo ops, such as medieval castles, gorgeous Georgian mansions, the many bridges over the River Liffey, and the iconic Trinity College. Everyone knows the Irish like to celebrate life to its fullest, so you will understand why Dublin’s nightlife is unparalleled in the world, especially in the Temple Bar district, where you can meet, toast, and have a ball with the friendly locals. Are you ready to explore the Irish capital with us? Here’s a list of the best places to take photos in Dublin City. 🍀
1. Dublin Castle
As if to crown the city’s long and proud history, Dublin Castle sits right in the city centre and it’s no surprise why we have included it as number one on the best places to take photos in Dublin. Built in the early thirteenth century on the site of a Viking settlement, it served for centuries as the headquarters for political administration. It’s still the seat of government to this date, as well as a major tourist attraction.
The original medieval structure suffered several renovations over the centuries, and now it has a variety of styles, from Medieval Gothic to Georgian architecture. However, parts of the original structure still stand and can be explored by visitors — including the remains of a Viking fortress. 😮
You can also tour the interiors and experience the opulency of the aristocratic times. Highlights are the throne room and the extraordinary St Patrick’s Hall. The castle gardens are popular with locals and tourists alike. They’re great for pics, with several sculptures, leafy trees and an impressive, well-manicured lawn — perfect for relaxing and enjoying the views of the Chapel Royal and the intact Medieval Tower, one of the best-preserved in all of Dublin’s castles.
This place is a trip back in time. 🕰
2. Ha’penny Bridge
Multiple bridges cross over River Liffey, and they make for great photo opportunities. One of the most interesting is the 200-year-old Ha’penny Bridge that links Smithfield’s area to the Temple Bar district. Believe it or not, even after several renovations in the 1980s and 1990s, over eighty percent of the original ironwork still supports the bridge. With its unique arched iron design and vintage allure, this bridge is among Dublin’s most instagrammable places.
Interestingly, its official name is Liffey Bridge, after the river. Still, every Dubliner knows it as Ha’penny Bridge because of the price of the original toll to cross it when it was first built: half a penny.
Though Ha’penny Bridge is small, it’s absolutely lovely. It’s an excellent spot for some beautiful photos with the river in the background, and it’s not a bad idea to take a stroll across it while pub-hopping in the area. Just watch your step. 🍻
p.s. Another bridge worth mentioning in Dublin, one very different from this one, is the Samuel Beckett Bridge. Its edgy contemporary design mirrors the shape of an Irish harp.
3. Temple Bar District
On the Southbank of the River Liffey sits the world-famous Temple Bar District, the city’s cultural epicentre, filled with restaurants, cafés, and pubs. The area’s charming cobblestone streets are quieter during the day, the best time for photos. The Temple Bar District is home to various galleries and art institutions, like the Irish Film Institute, the National Photographic Archive, and the Project Arts Centre, to mention a few.
Everything gets a little rowdier at night. Temple Bar District is, after all, Dublin’s “bohemian quarter.” With a large ratio of pubs per capita, there’s a world-famous one. You guessed it: the Temple Bar. Established in 1840, this traditional Irish pub names the entire area and is a landmark in the city. A picture in front of its iconic red-painted façade is a classic shot to capture in Dublin. 📸
Temple Bar District is also one of the best places in town to see Irish folk musicians performing live. Everyone who visits the city looks for a bit of music and fun, or, as they say in Irish, “ceol agus craic.”🕺
4. Dame Lane
Looking for more pub culture? A stone’s throw away from the Temple Bar District is the narrow cobblestone street known as Dame Lane. Its highlight is The Stag’s Head. Dating back to 1780, this picturesque corner pub has a beautiful exterior with an old green clock sticking out. The interior boasts an exuberant Victorian decor, and Ireland’s best musical shows often enhance the lively atmosphere. No wonder they awarded it the best traditional Irish pub in 2019. 🦌
Late-night drinking on Dame Lane is a classic, but locals love to take over the narrow street by drinking outside on sunny afternoons, too. ☀️
Tip: Look for the lovely floor mosaic advertising The Stag’s Head Pub down on Dame Lane. Do you think you can find it? We love a good scavenger hunt! 🔎
5. Merrion Square
In the city centre, Merrion Square offers the perfect mix of green open space, an artsy vibe, and plenty of historical architecture. Georgian houses surround the square on three sides, and it’s fascinating to admire their unique details while reading the plaques to find out which famous people owned them. ⭐️
Pic alert! Some of these houses have adorable colourful doors that contrast with their brick façades: blue, red, green, and yellow. 🧱
On the fourth side of the square, you’ll find the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery of Ireland, both in solemn Victorian architecture.
In the middle of it all, there’s a well-kept, leafy park with beautiful flowers. It’s a great spot for a picnic or to sprawl on the grass as locals do. On Sundays, the park becomes an open-air gallery with artists hanging their works on the railings to sell them.
Even if the various cultural happenings attract visitors all year round, the park’s most illustrious patron is Oscar Wilde. You can see his statue lounging on a rock and gazing at his childhood home, straight across the street, at No 1. His statue is made with colourful polished granite and semi-precious stones. We can’t think of a better opportunity to take a selfie with a literary legend! 🤳
6. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is Ireland’s largest and tallest church. With its history dating back to 1191, this true Gothic masterpiece exudes all the allure of medieval Dublin and offers a unique cultural experience to anyone who visits it.
Take your time admiring the impressive vaulted ceilings and the intricate details of the interior. Then look for the ultimate resting place of Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels, who was also Dean of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in the 1700s.
Since we are talking about the best places to take photos in Dublin, it is important to note that this is one of the city’s most famous touristic attractions, and it can get crowded and even noisy sometimes. The best time to visit is early in the morning before the crowds arrive. After your visit, stroll the gardens that surround the building. There’s a wonderful lawn, a fountain and lovely flowers — all this and the fantastic views of its exterior to boot. 🌷
Elsewhere in town, The Christ Church Cathedral, one of Dublin’s oldest buildings, is also very well worth visiting for its magnificent architecture and gorgeous floor tiling.
7. St. Stephen’s Green Park
When the sun shines over Dublin, locals run to St Stephen’s Green, another park in the city centre that still maintains its original Victorian layout and one of the very best places to take photos in Dublin. This park is an oasis of calm and peace in the middle of Dublin, where you can enjoy open-air performances all year round, from music to theatre and poetry.
There are photo opportunities at every turn in St. Stephen’s Green, including several sculptures that pay tribute to local personalities and history. There’s also a sensory garden specially designed for the visually impaired. It’s an incredibly aromatic garden, and the plants can be touched and felt. It’s hard to think of a better place to spend an afternoon, have a picnic, read a book and, of course, take some fabulous pics. 😍
In the mood for some shopping after your lazy stroll? Head for the beautiful and enormous Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, on Grafton Street, right across from St. Stephen’s Green Park. The interior boasts incredible ironwork and glass ceilings. The building is so elaborate that locals nicknamed it “the wedding cake.”
If you have enough time, squeeze in a quick peek at Anne’s Lane, a cheerful dead-end street near St. Stephen’s Green decorated with several colourful umbrellas — Instagram heaven. ☂️
8. Malahide Castle
This castle is so stunning that it’s hard to believe it’s actually haunted. 👻
On the outskirts of Dublin, the medieval Malahide Castle has been one of Dublin’s favourite tourist attractions since the 1980s. Before that, it was owned by the same family, the Talbots, for over 800 years — making it one of the longest single-family-owned properties in Europe.
Functioning as both fortress and a private home, the castle is as impressive on the outside as the inside. While touring the interior rooms and chambers, don’t miss the beautifully carved panels of the Oak Room and note how they depict scenes from the Bible. The castle also has an impressive collection of paintings, furniture, and Victorian toys.
Outside, you’ll find the West Lawn and Walled Botanical Gardens. The first surrounds the main building and is a paradise for photographers; the second displays over 500 species of plants, including exotic picks from the Southern hemisphere. 🌿
We’re not kidding about the castle being haunted, by the way. Several of its staff members and visitors have reported strange appearances over the centuries. The question is: are you daring enough to see for yourself? 🤔
9. Marlay Park
If you want to escape the city and get a taste of the Irish countryside, we suggest you head to Marlay Park, also known as Marlay Demesne, on the outskirts of Dublin.
This old and extensive estate includes several lush lawns, beautiful old trees, ponds, and a river running across it. Marlay Park is the starting point of the Wicklow Way trail, a 132-kilometre walking trail that makes its way towards the Dublin Hills and the Wicklow Mountains.
This place is a sports paradise and offers various activities, such as football, soccer, tennis, and cricket. 🏏
During summer, it becomes a festival venue, hosting concerts by bands from all over the world. The park also includes Marlay House, a restored Georgian House built in 1794, and the Regency kitchen garden beside it, making the scenery even prettier.
10. Smithfield Square and Stoneybatter
Visit Smithfield Square and Stoneybatter on Dublin’s north side for more city fun. Both areas are near each other but a little away from the city centre.
Smithfield Square is an up-and-coming area with a nice community feel to it. It has excellent restaurants and activities to keep you entertained — including three casinos. 🎰 Still, the most famous attraction is the Jameson Distillery Dublin, the home of Jameson whiskey. You can learn how they make their whiskey cocktails and go on a whiskey-tasting session.
Not far from Smithfield, Stoneybatter is often referred to as Dublin’s coolest neighbourhood. It definitely has some of the best bars and restaurants in town. It’s an excellent site for people-watching, mainly because of the delightful mix of distinctive Dubliners and trendy newcomers from all over the world.
Browse through the boutiques of Manor Street, pick a book by an Irish author at The Lilliput Press, and then head to Phoenix Park to lie on the grass and chill — there you go, your perfect Dublin day. 👌
Best places to take photos in Dublin
Dublin is really an incredible city, and it offers a lot more to see and do than we could possibly list on this roundup of the best places to take photos in Dublin. Check out Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison that’s now a museum, and the Long Room of the old library of Trinity College that shelters the Book of Kells, Dublin’s most famous attraction and an absolute must-see.Honourable mentions go to the Poolbeg Lighthouse, a red lighthouse that looks straight out of a Wes Anderson movie, and the Guinness Storehouse with its Gravity Bar, where you can enjoy panoramic views with a pint of Guinness in your hand. What could be better? Sláinte! 🍻
Want to make your visit to Dublin even more memorable? Book a local Flytographer for a beautiful photo session you’ll remember for years to come. 💚
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